Gear West Blog by Paige Schember
Hello Gear West athletes, fans, and followers. My name is Paige Schember, and I grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, skiing for Wayzata High School and then St. Olaf College. I graduated from St. Olaf in 2014 and now I ski for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s Gold Team, based out of Ketchum, Idaho. Gear West played a huge role in my development as a skier throughout high school and college, so I’m super excited to be representing them this season!
I’m currently in the midst of a U.S. Ski Team training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. The week schedule contains three sets of intervals, two strength workouts, a sprint simulation time trial, and the Climb to the Castle! Basically it’s a big week.
During weeks like this there are definitely more than a couple important things to focus on. I’ll highlight a few: recovery, pacing, and mental toughness.
Intensity skiing requires a lot of recovery. This means between sessions as well as between days. Skiers aren’t usually couch potatoes, but if you’re putting your body through hard and fast workouts, it will thank you for throwing your legs up and reading a book or taking a nap for a few hours. Refueling in between workouts is also critical, I like to make sure to get enough protein and carbs to get me through the next session. The quality of your intensity workouts changes drastically with your amount of recovery.
Intervals and time trials with big groups like this camp at the OTC are an incredible way to get used to skiing fast around people just as fast as (or faster than) you. A lot of people love the solitary feelings that nordic skiing offers, and we all can appreciate a workout on our own. But switching it up by skiing in pace lines can throw you out of your comfort zone, a feeling common found in races. It trains you to respond to shifts in pace, terrain, and challenges faster and easier. So if you’re a solitary skier, try getting out there with a group every once in a while, it will better prepare you for winter.
Weeks with this much intensity are hard, both on the body and the mind. Vamping yourself up for every workout can sometimes take about as much energy as the workouts themselves. So I like to take it workout by workout, day by day. Try not to worry about the workouts at the end of the week, because stressing out about them now takes the focus out of the workout right ahead of you. Put your energy into the workout now, and trust that you’ll recover right for the next one.
Good luck with your September training!
-Posted by Paige Schember on Sep 21st 2015