With the seasons changing and the temps dropping our focus is starting to turn to winter. Our first project is always on the glaciers, working with candidates aiming to get things dialled in for the first Euro Test of the season. This years calendar kicks off with Carezza in the Dolomites and we as a team are excited to go and start grafting with you guys towards getting some wins!
With a month to go before it all gets going here are some answers to some of the questions we get during the summer and on camp!
What should I be doing now?
Hopefully you have a decent summer full of other sports and getting in some fitness prep aimed toward the winter. However if things haven’t gone to plan its never to late to get some last minute sessions in before. You may have been getting some miles in on the road bikes or pounding the pavements on some long runs but now is the the time to up the intensity and build some power in the legs. Check out a couple of blogs done by the lads Gareth Shelbourne and Stu Little on intervals, HIIT training and gaining a bit of strength for inspiration.
Get your equipment spot on! Firstly make sure you are on the right stuff so that your times are relevant to the inputs you make and not down to the fact your bases are as slick as sandpaper, you have serrated edges grinding through the turn and your boots are gummy and all power is lost before influencing the ski. Make sure you are piling wax into your skis and you have your edges tuned up for day 1 of training along with getting yourself to a boot fitter to make sure everything is lined up properly, you have the right flex and you footbeds are still doing the job. We recommend giving these guys a call:
Test yourself in pressure situations and set goals. It could be as daft as I’m never allowed a cup of tea again until I can complete a Rubicks Cube in under a minute. Or use other sports and go through the processes that help you get the best performance out of yourself! I find golf a decent one and also mountain biking and motocross as it involves similar movements and line choices.
What happens in Carezza?
The night before your test there will be a meeting and bib draw. This is completely random and there is usually around 100 candidates each day. There are two tests on the day and after an inspection you will run in bib order for test one after the pace setters have opened the course. After all the candidates have made their efforts the pace setters will close the course and the calculations can be done using the average of the fastest two openers ‘calibrated times’ and the fastest two closing ‘calibrated times’. If you have had a stormer and are inside 18% for males and 24% for females of the calculated time then you can go and put your feet up in the knowledge you perhaps don’t have to wear lycra again to pass an exam! If you didn’t quite make the pace then you will get a second shot where we do it all again. The course will be re set either completely different or just moved out of the ruts, you will get another look at it. Its important to remember bibs will go in reverse order and those that have already passed wont be there so there could be some big gaps in the bibs to watch out for.
You will have sussed out your own warm up prep and timings during mock tests and figuring out whats works best for you with your coaches during training. It is important to remember on the day to go through the same routines and get them dialled in so that you are in the right places at the right times with minimal stress.
Whats the hill like?
Carezza has a bit of everything. Steeps, long flats, blind rolls a couple of compressions. Its around 50 seconds long depending on the course set so not to much of a thigh burner. You will want to make sure you prepped to have something left in the legs for the long flat at the bottom so you can hold a low tight tuck, so get yourself to the gym!
The hill demands you to be 100% from the wand. There is no real skating or turns to ease into your rhythm. Its important to have practiced steeper starts and the tactics around that whilst getting your psych ready to be able to give it full effort from your first push.
Knowing your markers and line choices on the roll overs is key! This sets you up for the whole of the next section. Being confident where you are going prevents you putting them sideways. Throwing in unnecessary drifts usually leads to more skidding action unless you are on a brutally steep pitch like in world cup or have an unbelievable touch like Hircher or Ligety then you will end up with a big time on the clock.
Figure out where you need to let it run from. The bottom section is extremely flat and whatever pace you bring onto it you have to live with to the finish line. Make sure your flying!
Where are we heading to train?
Our TDG (Tour Du Glacier) kicks off on the 5/11 in Solden for two weeks before making a move to find new terrain and ensure we haven’t just mastered one hill. We have a full team for the 18/19 season and are excited to get to work.
We also have an intro camp combined with tech work running in Saas Fee for two weeks from the 19/11 we have a couple more spots available on each week. If your keen to take your first steps into the Euro Test world or make the most of a mixture of race and tech training give us a shout to secure your spot.
Best of luck to everyone, ski fast!