On Sunday the 5th November the team flew out to Norway for our first snow training camp. Although over the summer months we’ve been able to train on artificial snow in a tunnel in Germany, there is nothing that compares to being outside in the fresh air having amazing views around you instead of looking at concrete walls.
The selected training camp venue was town called Trysil it’s about an 1hr 45 min drive north east of Oslo. We arrived in Trysil quite late on Sunday evening so it was hard to tell how the ski tracks were going to be but we knew there was snow as we could see it on the verge as we drove.
The next morning we woke up to an incredible sunrise and snow on the ground. The tracks were going to be good! Our apartment was about a 3 minute drive to the stadium area which had about 7km of well maintained ski tracks we couldn’t ask for better conditions to shake out and do our first 2hr session of the day. After training it was back to the apartment to stretch, eat, chill, throw banter at each other then get ready for session number 2.
Being in Norway it gets dark by 1645 so our second session started about 1615 and finished in the dark which if you haven’t done it skiing through the forest with a head torch on in the dark is BRILLANT fun and very peaceful even if your heart rate is at 150+ due to the effort your putting in.
Again, after training it’s back to the apartment to carry out the same routine as after the first session. This time though like most nights, our Coach (yes Coach!) cooks dinner and I’ve got to say he’s not made a bad meal yet, nice work Si.
The rest of the week ran pretty much the same as day one, train in the morning, rest up then train in the evening rest and repeat. The weather on Thursday however was the worst I’ve skied in strong winds and lots of rain. To make it worse we were doing race day practice which was a 10km Cross Country race. Although it was horrible, it was also good to do as you need to train in conditions like that so if it does happen on competition day, you’re prepared for it.
Friday was also a race day practice but this time we did a 7.5km biathlon. The weather had improved but the wind was still quite bad so shooting was a bit dodgy. I dropped a few shots but was fairly happy with how it went.
During the week we also had a media crew with us from Help for Heroes and as media crews go they were very good they didn’t get in our way and worked with us so they did interrupt our training. Nearly all the footage and photos they took were done while we were training so we didn’t have stage anything thing and the interviews we did were done as quickly and as painless as possible. It wad like they weren’t there which is the best way with media I think so cheers guys.
So after a great week on snow it’s now time to head home but not for long. On the 30th November the team heads out to Canmore in Canada for 8 days training before competing there in the first World Cup of the season and also our unofficial team qualifier for the Paralympic in March.
All three of us are looking stronger and faster than last season and I believe we are in a good place to get the results we are all searching for and be the first Paralympic Nordic skiers in 20 years to represent ParalympicsGB at a winter games.
But for now, it’s back to the gym lifting weights and sitting on a ski erg daydreaming about being on snow.