Last month I traveled down to Argentina, not in search of snow, but to join my boyfriend and his family on a trip to Buenos Aires. I traveled with no roller skis, no snow skis, just two pairs of running shoes and a hydration vest. Prior to committing to the trip I discussed the idea with my new coach, Perry Thomas. I explained to him how excited I was to have the opportunity to join this crew for such an incredible trip and did not want to pass it up. I also acknowledged that ski training during the two week trip would be dismal and tricky to optimize. We came up with a good plan to keep up the work while also enjoying the balance of real life. This is how I got creative with my training... The first week of the trip we were on a safari in the desert or Northwestern Argentina. You can read more about it on my blog, which explains that training at 12,000 ft in a desert during winter has its challenges. However, I made some adjustments and prioritized quality over quantity. The first week I did one over-distance session, a plyo workout, and a strength workout. For the OD, I joined the rest of the crew for a hike up a volcano and then volunteered to run home (an additional 6-8 miles). For the plyo workout, I woke up early to go for a warm up run and then found a slight incline on a dirt road to work on explosivity, power, and speed. The following day, I woke up early again to warm up and then did a strength workout at the local park. Luckily, playgrounds are designed perfectly for pullups, step ups, jumps, and other useful strength exercises for cross country skiers.
Running against a 30 mph headwind at 12,000 ft definitely increases the level of intensity in the training session.
Found some sand dunes to continue working on my plyos and explosivity.
Once we made it back to the city of Buenos Aires I gave my running legs a little bit of a break and went to the gym to spin on a bike. However, I quickly found out that the parks in the city are beautiful and perfect for running intervals with closed roads and bike paths that loop from one lake to another. Over the week I did one set of mile repeats around a small lake and then another long tempo run.
Great parks to run around in the city!
Taking two weeks off from ski specific training in the middle of the summer is not ideal for a professional athlete. Although, I do believe it is important to maintain a work-life balance and prioritize mental health. There were moments during the trip where I was stressed about the lack of quality training, but it did motivate me to get my butt back in gear upon returning to Vermont. Now that I'm with my Stratton teammates I'm feeling fired up to get back to consistent training; I'm ready to put my head down and get to work!