Monday, October 8, 2007 - LatestNews
INDi2010 Update: Lugging Salt

- By: Skeets Morel

Last time I sat down to write one of these, I was kicking Lance's butt everyday. Well, I'm sad, but yet surprisingly happy to say that I haven't seen Lance in well over a month. We had a good time while it lasted but I think I can say from both of us that we are happy it's over. I haven't been riding a stationary bike nor even looked at one for sometime. I am well on my way to being completely recovered from my lapse in judgment.

I have been double poling and roller skiing for about a month now and am back in the weight room rebuilding the strength that I lost. As I had said in my last update I wasn't too worried about my strength, as I can build it quickly. I believe I am actually back where I left off in the weight room. My legs on the other hand are in great shape, probably the best shape ever. Not just because they were the only things that I could use for sometime but because of the discovery of new forms of training.

My favorite workout that I started doing was what I like to call Mountaineering training. While I was at home my parents were getting ready for a hiking trip so one day my dad/coach came home with 2 bags of 20kg of salt, one for me and one for him. We started off just going for long hikes on a hilly road, but what it led into was something totally different.

Since I was getting frustrated by not doing any form of strength or plyometrics, I decided to experiment. With the aim of increasing the endurance strength/power output in my legs, I put on my pack and started a routine basically consisting of climbing a steep hill numerous times. Sure it doesn't sound all that hard but when you start lunging uphill for 5 minutes multiple times in a row, the workout gets tougher.

I had derived a routine that involved 2-3 sets of step ups for 2-3 minutes, followed by 2 sets lunging uphill for 5 min with walking downhill as recovery (which is basically strength when you have a 50+ pound pack on your back), followed by 2 sets of backwards walking, 2 sets for each leg crossovers and finally one set of skate striding uphill. I would then take off the pack and do 3 all out sprints on the hill.

I could feel the benefits of this workout almost immediately and thus fell in love with it. I actually continued to do it even after I was able to train with my arms. I just felt that there was no substitute for this type of strength endurance. Plus the questions I got while doing the workout were great. Most often I was asked if I was going hiking somewhere cool, or something along those lines. I think the best part about the workout was replying to people that I was simply a cross-country skier. This is definitely a workout that I would never have thought about prior to my injury.

When I look back on my time on the DL (down low), I can confidently say that I benefited from it. I realized that I could have taken the entire time off but I chose not to. I can say now with 100% certainty that I enjoyed what I was doing. Everyday I got to do a new workout I was like a kid in an endless candy store. I was so happy to push my limits and test myself that I realized I couldn't live without it.

I'm actually finishing this article while on a plane to my first training camp of the year. It's also the first time that the whole team will be together. It almost feels like I'm going on vacation, maybe because I finally get a break from school, but I think it's more because of the sheer amount of fun that I'm going to have.

I would like to thank everyone once more for their support. You have no idea what it has meant to me. I look forward to seeing everyone on snow soon.

Team Builders

Philip Betcherman

Philip Betcherman is an avid outdoors man who loves spending as much time as possible outside in the natural world. He has been the inspiration behind Tasha's ski career from the moment she was born. He taught her to follow her heart, spend as much time as possible outside and wake up really early. His love of people, nature, art and living gently on the earth has inspired many. His knowledge of the North and stories of canoing and portaging are always able to captivate his listeners. He's affectionately known by his Grandson, Austin as Pa Pa Eye because of the Betcherman family camp on Hawkeye Lake.

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