The German expression 'alle guten Dinge sind drei' correlates well to my recent month of August. Translated roughly to 'all good things come in 3's'. As the youngest of four children, I was a little hesitant to adopt this saying but I'm coming around to seeing the beauty of having a start, middle and end section to every yearly training cycle, training camp, interval session or meal.
The pattern of 3 correlates well to my training partners Nathalie von Siebenthal and Nadine Fähndrich and I. With the three of us working together and pushing one another, the momentum is perpetuated upon and carried from one training camp onto the next. The chemistry of a group of three means the quality of work isn't spread too thin, the group focus stays strong as well as that each individual has a distinguished strength or weakness, compensated for by the other two.
We've just returned from Oberhof, Germany after a successful camp in the ski tunnel (what does that even mean? Read here). The 1.7km long loop kept us well cool at about -3º as the temperatures outside blasted above 25º. The massive fluctuations in temperature takes its toll on the body and especially respiratory system. Wearing a mask while in the tunnel is one adaptation that I found useful because it warms the air before you breathe it into your lungs. That, and you look like Darth Vader which is a plus. Training in the tunnel was done in the mornings and supplemented by the trails, strength gym and rollerski trails. Oberhof boasts two amazing rollerski loops with mellow as well as challenging terrain. The weather was incredible the entire week (abnormal for the notoriously socked in cloud pit of Oberhof), to the point where I was excited to see rain clouds upon return in Davos yesterday.
The insights that come to you after spinning lap upon lap inside a tunnel on snow in the middle of summer are somewhat delusional at times. The tunnel vision, however, allowed me to really focus in on technique and the small nuances of skiing on snow that rollerskiing will never be able to truly replicate. Hip positioning, centre of gravity and really breaking down the movements, in classic skiing for me especially, may be hard, slow gains at the time but they're gradually coming together!
Back tracking to the beginning of August, Training Groups 1-3 met in Davos from the 3-9 of August for a training camp. The souvenir I took away from this camp was the renewed pain of the double pole test in 7º and pouring rain. The test starts at the beginning of the Sertig valley and traces its way 9km to the finish. What starts off as a gradual climb initially, turns into a grunt of a pitch to finish it off. Another highlight of the week was a long roller skiing/running combo tour from Bergün to Scalettahütte and back to Dürrboden.
Outside of two training camps, I played tourist for a weekend off of training in Davos, and visited some family friends, Daniela and Marco, in Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria. Although they now live in Canada, it was great to see the area with the locals. The tourist role is an easy one for me to assume here, because almost everything is new and worth taking a photo of. And because I literally am a tourist. I aslo visited Nadine in her home town of Eigenthal. Getting to know her Pilatus backyard as well as an afternoon in Luzern together with German National Team chica Sofie Krehl.
The beginning, the middle, the end. Introduction, body, conclusion. Appetizer, main course, dessert. Train, eat, sleep. The beat of the three's rolls on and September is just around the corner. The kids are back in school and before you can say 'bob's your uncle', the leaves will be yellow and it will be time for another trip to Magglingen testing facilities to track the progress of the summer grind.