NORDIC TEAMS TRAIN THROUGH THE SUMMER

For the Mammoth Nordic Competition and Development Teams, the summer months were the time to increase fitness levels for ski races many months in the future. For a group of dedicated cross country skiers from Bishop to Mammoth, there was not much sleeping in happening during summer vacation. Getting up early wasn’t much of a problem when the object is to get out there with your friends for a good workout.

Rollerskiing, running, strength training, hiking, stretching, ski walking and bounding, Ultimate Frisbee, and cycling were all part of the program for the two teams that trained together under the direction of coach Nancy Fiddler and assistant coach Bryce Tiernan. For the Competition Team, the focus was on high quality, ski specific training with the end goal to be competitive at the Junior Olympic level. The Development team was introduced to general and ski specific training, with an emphasis on base aerobic and strength training. The two groups trained together for some workouts and separately for others.

The Mammoth Nordic Competition Team officially started training as a group in early May. Weekends were spent skiing where there was good, smooth snow, usually up Rock Creek or at Tioga Pass, where copious amounts of snow remained far into the spring. The group focused on running and strength training during the week, adding rollerskiing when the skiable snow was gone in June. Athletes involved in the 2010 summer training block were Kathi Kirkeby, Maren Hauter, Joelle Romo, Laurel Fiddler, and Bryce Tiernan.

For the Competition Team athletes, the week was divided up into different workouts addressing distance and overdistance training, strength training, speed training and intensity training. Workouts were as varied as running track intervals on the Bishop High School track, rollerskiing at Watterson summit, strength training at Snowcreek Athletic Club, running at Shady Rest, and hiking in the high Sierra. A monthly strength test, a double pole test, and an uphill running time trial in Lower Rock Creek were part of the program to assess the fitness levels of the athletes.

Athletes involved in the Development Team (8th grade and up) took a more general approach to training, with cycling and hiking, and some running being the means for aerobic training. Rollerskiing and strength training were introduced, along with ski specific drills and agility exercises. Development athletes were subjected to the monthly uphill time trial, which showed every athlete making huge aerobic gains during the summer. Amanda Kirkeby, Kylie LaFramboise, Devin Burgenbauch, Jack Roten, Philip Oxford, and Carson Bold all participated in the Development Team workouts this summer. The summer training commenced in mid-June and ended when school began in August.

Some highlights for the teams this summer included kayaking on Crowley Lake, bagging summits like North Peak, San Joachin Peak, and Mts. Dana and Gibbs, the Far West Nordic dryland camp in June Lake, Ultimate Frisbee games with the MHS and MMS running teams, and competing in the Footloose Freedom Mile. The teams spent a great day volunteering for Friends of the Inyo on the Duck Pass trail, repairing damage to the meadow around Barney Lake.

Competition Team member Laurel Fiddler spent a week in early August in Houghton, Michigan participating in the USSA National J2 Talent Camp. Forty J2 (15-16 year old) skiers convened from all over the country for a massive week of learning, training, and bonding as Nordic skiers in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. For Fiddler, this was the high point of the summer, and she was quickly pressed into service upon her return to share her experiences with the rest of the team.

While some of the skiers will continue with dryland training this fall, others will keep in shape cross country running and playing soccer. All will be back when the snow blankets the Lakes Basin for another exciting ski season.