We are ready to roll for the competition season starting in a few weeks! These past few weeks have been a good chance to get our first on-snow cross country action at White Pine Touring, and we are on schedule to begin jumping Tuesday. Big thanks to the crew at Utah Olympic Park for getting snow made around the clock whenever the weather permitted. It warmed up just as there was enough man made snow on the hill so we got very lucky.
As we get all our winter gear fine tuned and ready to rock we took last week to check in on the progress we have made physiologically. We did a VO2 max test on the treadmill and our final strength test which both showed great results. I am stronger, jumping higher, and have higher VO2 numbers than ever before! Of course the numbers only go as far as showing a comparison to what they were previously, and don’t necessarily translate to better nordic combined skiing, but it is very reassuring to see these tests improve after all the hard work and big changes we have made. It is a big confidence booster and I’m starting the season at an all time high!
A few days after the testing in the gym we got the opportunity to go experiment in a wind tunnel down in Ogden. We were able to test flight positions and inruns and learn a lot about how much drag different positions create. To be able to pick apart a jump and try different things in every position adds a lot to understanding how important little things are during a jump. While ski jumping allows for a few seconds to experiment, the tunnel gave us all about a half hour. It was really exhausting to hold positions for that long but we can compare that half hour of tunnel time to a few seasons of on-jump time.
Saturday was our last roller ski time trial of the summer and we all saw faster times even after a long couple weeks of high intensity training. To show this much improvement right before the season begins reassures what we have all been thinking this summer, that team USA will be coming out swinging this year and I believe we will see incredible results! My season starts with Lillehammer World Cup Dec. 7 so bring it on!