For the past few years, all the training centers under the Cross country Canada body have come together for an annual training camp. Following the past two happening in Canmore and Mont Tremblant, this year was Thunder Bay's turn to play host. The focus of this years camp was intensity, being at sea level and having the opportunity for us to train with a big group from across Canada it made sense to focus on hard efforts so we crammed in five intensities in eight days!  

                                                                          easy roller ski first workout of the camp 

                                                                          easy roller ski first workout of the camp 

The first intensity of the camp was the headliner of the week, the roller ski race that took place in downtown Tbay. Any chance us nordies get to race on skis is exciting and having the extra incentive of cash prizes, spectators, and on Canada Day made it extra special. 

It was the first real race i have ever done on roller skis and being at home on the streets where i grew made it a pretty cool experience. Hoping not to disappoint in front of the crowd i definitely put a bit more preparation into getting ready for this one compared to most workouts, the added incentive of cash on the line may have played a part as well. whether it was the prizes or the process that caused me to, it was awesome to feel a little nervous heading to a workout at the beginning july. 

                                                            Racing away - Photo: John Sims 

                                                            Racing away - Photo: John Sims 

I had a ton of fun competing in the event and was quite happy to end the day feeling like it was a successful effort and with a little more cash in my pocket. I had been putting in some big hours both at work and training for most of May and June, I was not sure where the body was at for top end fitness. I knew i was getting good base fitness with the amount of volume training i was doing, but that was the focus of june, not speed, and with the added exertion of working for 8 hours 3-4 days a week i was happy to find i was not suffering the consequences from limiting my rest and recovery time.   

                                 Water front view from the race course - Photo: John Sims 

                                 Water front view from the race course - Photo: John Sims 

The final intensity workout of the camp was also a race event, however this time it was done on teams. The coaching staff from all three training centres divided all the athletes up into what they thought were even teams of three for Matterhorn Madness, a 1600m climb lapping the steepest ski run at Mount Baldy, a local downhill ski area here in Thunder Bay. each lap accents roughly 150m so as teams of three we each got to hammer up what felt like the steepest hill i've ever climbed 4 times. 

the Camp was wrapped up with a long easy run on the sleeping giant, a classic workout for any training camp in Thunder Bay. The lengthy trail system with multiple views back across the lake to the city makes for a great long workout and shows off some of the most picturesque training Tbay has to offer.  

During the run i went over on my ankle, which unfortunately is becoming a reoccurring theme while trail running. I had never dealt with any serious ankle sprains while running until last fall, since the surgery i had last summer my shins have been pain free which has been incredible, but the one side effect seems to be weak ankles. luckily this was not a serious sprain and i was able to finish off the the run and wrap the camp up on a good note. 

I wrote an article for Fasterskier.com on the roller ski race during the camp. for a more detailed summary of the day's events check out the link below.