|Canadian Olympic Preparation|
- By: Dave Wood
The Olympic journey began last January after the Pre-Olympic events at Soldier Hollow. Canadian skiers had an incredible week of competition that gave Beckie Scott her first individual podium, the women's relay team was on the podium, and six athletes qualified for the 2002 games. This event set the standard for the remainder of the season. As well at this event a strong supporter of cross-country skiing came forward with a significant contribution for the Olympic Year.
The 2001- 2002 season began with confident, motivated athletes and a budget that will allow us to prepare as we need to.
The preparation for the Olympic year will have some minor changes. We will have a focus on systematic altitude training using both natural and simulated altitude. The time spent at altitude and using altitude preparation will increase significantly. The training program will focus on increasing the capacity to climb, as the Olympic venue will demand this quality. We have set up some measured distances on the ski trails at the Canmore Nordic center where the bulk of our intensity training will be done. With a little luck the bears will stay away and we will use these tracks until the snow falls. Our strength program will be very similar to what we have been working on over the past years. The strength training will have a large specific component, with Russian Pulleys and roller skiing involved in every session.
We have a strong focus on recovery. This will be accomplished with nutrition, fluid intake, massage, training periodization and ice baths. One area we have put an emphasis on is the Nutrition: pre-training, during training and immediately post-training.
We are looking for seconds everywhere. We have to make improvements that will come through hard work, and those we can gain by looking after small but important details.
At the time of this writing the team has completed three training camps, is in the middle of a training camp, and will do another three prior to leaving for the World Cup events in December. We had a snow camp in Bend Oregon in May/June, a glacier camp at the Haig in early July, and a dryland camp in Jasper in July/August. Our current camp is a high altitude dryland camp in the Park City area in September. This will give the athletes more opportunity to be familiar with the area around the Olympic venue.
We are about six months form the games, but they are coming fast!
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