By Ian Torchia
As the temperatures drop rapidly and we start to don tights and jackets for training sessions in the crisp fall air, the intensity ramps up from the traditional base building of the summer. To put it simply, the big volume work I put in the summer allows me to train at a higher level in the fall, leading to greater fitness gains for the winter racing season. It is a weird concept to be “training to train” in the summer for preparation of the fall but the important workouts are upon us and it is time to capitalize. While I still incorporate traditional L3 or threshold sessions into the weekly flow, the 2nd and 3rd intensity of the week usually are some type of race pace or L4 style workout. I have been feeling good about these sessions this fall, especially in light of getting discretionary start spots for the World Cups in Lillehammer and Davos, two of the hardest courses on the international circuit. Getting this welcome news has sharpened my focus and I am making sure to make each repetition, each session, each recovery time, the best I can make it. This fall has differed from last year in that I have not been working my dishwashing job at nights to make ends meet which really took a toll on my recovery and led to some tired, less optimal training. I was lucky enough to be supported last year by my hometown ski club and am in a better spot financially than one year ago thanks to them. That being said, racing on the World Cup is a big financial cost and I will be pinching pennies to support the dream of racing on the highest stage.
I am looking forward to seeing how this season unfolds in light of the pandemic. Regardless of racing, I know the ski community will band together and support each other in these uncertain times. It is not about the medals or the competition, but the camaraderie on the trails and having that perfect Blue Extra day that we all dream about during the hot, sweaty summer. This all-encompassing ski community embodies the Nordic Spirit and I try to add to this special group by inspiring others and helping my hometown grow the sport to lead active, healthy lifestyles.
Moving forward, I am excited about an upcoming rollerski race on the freshly minted Craftsbury rollerski track. I had an opportunity to do a speed workout around the 3.3k loop and it is quite the feeling to be zipping through the woods on wheels and being able to practice the transitions of ski courses that are hard to emulate on roadways. The workout was a bit somber however as my SMS T2 teammate Bill Harmeyer took a digger on the big downhill and sustained a major concussion. He luckily did not have any major structural damage but it was a good remind to wear your helmet as it can save your life! Speaking of helmets, I have been enjoying my Bliz Zonar and have been loving the aero vent as I can flip it down during the crisp mornings and open it up once the sun really starts beating down and get some nice air flow!
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Don’t forget to vote :)