The weather for the month of May in Davos has been pretty spastic. From snow, rain and sleet to sunshine and summer vibes. The mountain life isn't renowned for the most consistent spring sunshine, and I'm used to altering training accordingly to avoid too many soaked and cold rollerskiing workouts. This spring, it has meant enjoying some time with my new mountain bike (thanks BiXS and Velo Flütsch Küblis), a few tromps in the snow and lots of layering!
The entire sporting body of SwissSki meets twice a year (spring and fall) to collect sponsored clothing and goods as well as celebrate the season successes and fuel the upcoming training or racing season. At the most recent 'Masstag' in Nottwil, we were again spoiled from Odlo clothing, Asics shoes and the continued support of the SwissSki sponsor pool main sponsors, including SwissCom, BKW, Raiffeisen and Helvetia. With the new snow in Davos and the clothing, it could very well have been Christmas! Thankfully the sun has been making a few appearances on Schatzalp and it's been warm enough to rock the summer clothes and plant a few hearty plants.
For the 2016-17 season, my training partners will be the same (Nadine Fähndrich and Nathalie Von Siebenthal), but I will now be coached by Bärti Manhart as part of Training Group 2 (together with the sprint team of men), with B team status. The Swiss National Team is divided into four levels (National Group, A, B and C Teams). This is based on results from the previous season. From there, training groups are created based off of racing goals, training partners and training preferences. The change in coaching for me (from Christian Flury to Bärti Manhart) doesn't feel like much a change, as Bärti was alongside at every one of my training camps last season and almost all of the races. The transition and communication between coaches happens often here and I'm confident in the direction of the program and staff. It's great to have the same training partners this year as well. Although we're only three women, we all offer our individual strengths and weaknesses which diversifies the training group. Together with the men in TG2 sprint team, training opportunities with other training groups (TG1 and TG3) collaborating at various training camps, there is always new and diverse energy.
The first two training camps of the year (each four days long) were in Magglingen. The sport centre in Switzerland is always an interesting mix of athletes across many sports. The weight room is a hilarious mix of gymnasts, track athletes, alpine skiers, hockey players and even us nordic skiers. Our first trip to Magglingen combined physio exercicses and technique examination on the outdoor running track as well as the roller ski treadmill as part of the 'Basic Instinct' program. Designed by the Swiss Team physios in collaboration with the technique knowledge of our coaches, the program is intended to have athletes, physio therapists and coaches all on the same page as to what the individual needs of the athlete are and how to best transfer them to practical use to improve ski technique. My knocked knees and shoulder tightness, for example, mean that hip stability and shoulder opening exercises will be part of my home work. Werk twerk Werk. Repeat.
Following the first stint in Magglingen, I ran in the 10 Mile Bern Grand Prix. I'd never been to Bern and had always wanted to see the old part of the city. I'm a bit of an impatient tourist, though, so doing a running race through the old city instead of taking a guided city tour (yaaaaawn) seemed like a fun way to get two birds stoned at once. Touristing while hammering. Fun times! The crowds were amazing and although my tourist pace of 1:08:00 isn't amazing, the people reading the name on my bib and yelling 'Hopp Heidi' eased the pain of the pavement slam.
The second stint of Magglingen (24.-27.06) consisted of more lab rat time as well as ample time in the pain cave. Incremental skate testing as well as VO2 Max testing and double poling imitation intervals were an abrupt wakeup to that sleeping side of my brain and body. I haven't hurt that bad in awhile and was a stark reminder of the pain and work that lies ahead in the training season. Werk twerk Werk. Repeat.
The next training camp will take us to Sognefjell, Norway from June 6-13 for a stint of skiing. The appeal of skiing on a Norwegian instead of Swiss glacier, is a matter of elevations. The conditions, grooming and hopefully weather in Sognefjell at 1500m versus the 2300m plus options here in Switzerland. I will take as many rainy days here in Davos in exchange for some Norwegian sunshine. Weather Karma. It's science.
A year ago today I was cleaning my apartment, packing boxes, saying 'farewell' and jumping into the great Swiss unknown. A lot is still left to learn, but being back on my literal home block of Schatzalp as well as the training block life, feels great and the transition into Swiss life and training is much smoother this time around! Thanks for the support and check in soon!
Grüss aus Davos