It’s been a while since my last blog post, summer flew by with many training camps and hours logged in. Everything went smoothly bar the slight issue of a minor ankle break in September right before returning to University. Concept 2 sorted me out with a ski erg so that I could maintain my training volume and intensity, this was a huge help as there is only so much swimming with arms only that one can take!
Since then I’ve been busy trying to maintain the training volume of a professional cross country ski athlete whilst trying not to fail the final year of my chemical engineering degree. Elite ski racing isn’t generally a sport where competitors study fulltime whilst competing. It’s quite common in Scandinavia for athletes to complete a degree over 10 years but in the UK this is almost unheard of and to be quite honest, in my degree programme I’m not sure it would work very well.
So here I am, finishing up a demanding degree and training a little over 800 hours this year. My class mates ask how I possibly have time to fit in training alongside all the work we have to do and competitors draw a sharp breath when I say I’m studying engineering at 100%. So I thought I’d show a typical day from the semester just finished:
8:30 PM – Pack training kit, shower kit +change of clothes, Make large meal + sufficient snacks to keep me going all of next day.
9:00 PM – Load car
9:45 PM – Bed
6:30 AM – Wakeup
7:15 AM – Drive out to training roads
7:45 AM – Begin training (2 hours rollerskiing)
10:45 AM – Arrive at Uni, shower, change
11:10 AM – Start class (1hr fluid mechanics lecture)
12:10 – 2:10 PM – Eat lunch, meet design group/work on current assignment
2:10 PM – 3hr lecture/ tutorial class
5:10 PM – Arrive home, change and run to gym
5:20 PM – Arrive at gym, complete 90 minute session then run home
7:00 PM – Arrive home, make dinner, sort kit and start all over again.
It’s busy and far from ideal for recovery between sessions, but I feel it will be worth it even it’s a few years before I use my engineering knowledge in earnest. I think it’s pretty important to have something to come back to when sliding over snow on bits of wood is no longer everything!
Right now I’m making the best possible use of a Christmas break extended by avoiding a December exam course…. Skiing for every possible day of it. Currently I’m in Livigno, Italy with Andrew Young whilst we prepare for the Tour de Ski, wintersport’s equivalent to the Tour de France which starts on January the 1st.
Livigno has provided a great base for us over Christmas in a winter where all of Europe is struggling with a complete lack of snow, here we have about 7km of artificial snow which is the best I’ve skied on so far this year! I feel I’ve put in a good block of training here with plenty of rest and good food so hopefully I’ll go really fast in the coming races (I’ve also done loads of fluids revision, just in case you’re reading Prash). Generally sharing a double bed with Andrew for 2 weeks has been uneventful, although he does have a rather unfortunate tendency to get lonely in the night.
That’s it for now, hopefully not as long till my next update!