August Camp, And We Danced!!

"That's my boat."-FG

Ironwood,MI Camp 2013
August 11-17, 2013
Whoa!! I labeled the photo set, “Be careful what you wish for!”. I wanted to help grow the sport and the summer training camps and this year the growth was exceptional! We maxed out our facilities! A partnership with Loppet Nordic Racing and quite a few other clubs and coaches around the Midwest has grown our camps to capacity! Our goal for these camps is to bring committed and hardworking athletes from different clubs around the region together to train, live, and socialize. We have done that and now we will look to improve and grow it even more!! Athletes attended this camp from Loppet Nordic Racing, F.A.S.T., Lake Superior Ski Club, Mesabi East, Copper Country, Mad Nor Ski, CXC, Hayward HS, Eau Claire Ski Striders, and 4H-CANSKI. The age span went from 12 year old athletes up to 21.

The camp this year was again held in Ironwood, MI. Our facility was Wolverine Village with Debbie C. and Bob A. hosting. About 46 athletes and 9 coaches worked from August 11-17. The last camp of the summer is designed to be high hours. Athletes are finishing their summer base build up and are getting ready for school and fall sports. The workouts are a good mix of roller skiing, running, and strength. The top guys at this camp finished the seven days of training with around 22-24 hours.

Some of the workout highlights include a 3+ hour ski on South Boundary Road in Porcupine Wilderness State Park. The first 1.25 hours of that ski is basically uphill. It is a nice gradual grade that makes you ski focused and slow. While skiing up one would think that the down on the way home would be easy, it is not! A static tuck or a long free skate after 2.5+ hours is extremely taxing on the legs! All the athletes including the youngest put in 2 hours or more with the strongest athletes going a full 3.5 hours. There are two other workouts that I think work the athletes harder and smarter than most. An intensity session combining ski walking, moose hoofs, and bounding at Powderhorn Mountain is one and the other is a double pole only workout that is all uphill out of Black River Harbor. The intensity session was led by Northern Michigan University Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim. The uphill double pole is about 4.5 miles of all up except for a .5 mile reprieve near the end. It climbs from lake level at the parking lot and goes to the top of the Copper Peak Ski Flying hill! Most athletes covered about 12 miles that day while the top achiever of the day, Scott Harrison, covered over 20 miles in about 1:40. Sten visited for two days and also led a skate technique session. On Wednesday evening Sten had a discussion with athletes about being a student athlete in the NCAA and that was followed by one of his story times.

One of the best resources for training in Ironwood is the availability of water to the training venues. Various rivers, creeks, and Lake Superior make for excellent recovery and swimming opportunities after the workouts and in the down times. We ended up taking advantage of this about 4-5 different times.

The time at camp went flying by as the younger athletes stayed at camp for five days and the older ones went seven. The summer training season has passed by again and the cooler dry weather will make this one memorable. Fall is now upon us in the North woods and the night time frosts are only a couple of weeks away. The summer camp season was busy and so awesome! 49 days of Junior, Senior, and Masters camps is in the books for 2013! Fall travel and training camps with the Senior athletes are four weeks away and then only two more till we are on snow in Canmore.

A huge thanks to Piotr Bednarski, Kim Rudd, Andy Keller, Bruce Manske, Kevin Johnson, Sten Fjeldheim, Scott Johanik, and Charlie Keller for all the coaching and logistical support! This camp happens because of these coaches! Enjoy the photos from Ironwood! Train Smart, Ski F.A.S.T.!!

Ironwood photoset: