April 28, 2009: Last Day on Snow

Sunshine Mountain, Banff, Canada – Today was my last day training on snow for a while. While I expected spring temps and conditions, the weather was, once again, like the dead of winter. I don’t know why it continues to surprise me, no matter what time of the year I’ve been to Banff it’s always been cold. But that’s great for training.

My legs felt fine in the morning, but my first turn indicated otherwise. They were tired and sore from yesterday’s mega-session. It was strange because they were mostly sore in my inner thigh muscles which is very rare for me. Maybe it was the box jumps. But as the day went on my legs loosened up and I still felt strong enough to put some good runs in.

I maintained the same focus that I’ve been working on the past few days on snow, mainly keeping a strong and stable upper body and diving down in the turns. The first part of the morning was fine, just worked on those points and maintained a good intensity. At lunch my coach showed us video of those morning runs and they were okay but he pointed out what I needed to do: clean up the heelside turn and keep my upper body quiet with no twisting. He said that particularly for girl racers the heelside turn is the most important and difficult to master, and time is lost with poor heelside technique.

So for the second half of the day he had all of us focus on driving that inside hip on the heelside turn down into the ground at the top of the turn before the fall-line and achieve our max pressure before coming out of the fall-line.  (Whereas before I would semi-drop my hip and start the turn when I was already in the fall-line which was too late.) I held the hand cues from a few sessions ago to quiet my upper body. I feel like when I hold them my upper body has a greater tendency to stabilize so that I can focus more on what my lower body is doing (very difficult to focus on both at the same time!).

My first run doing the drill was successful and I even got a ‘good!’ from my coach. I found that when I dropped my hip at the beginning of the turn the board would engage and almost whip me through the turn, way faster than I was used to. Sometimes the board would get ahead of me so I have to remember to stay forward and even stand up on that back foot to not only put pressure on the back foot so the tail won’t slide out, but also to get my body forward again (good point to remember!). It was a little uncomfortable at first because my hip was so close to the snow forcing my legs to extend out pushing my board further away from my body. But it held and I was carving cleaner, faster turns.

All in all it was a good day, a lot better than our previous training day on snow. I just have to keep all these lessons fresh in my mind until our next snow training camp in late June. After training my teammate, Ekat, and I went and did an afternoon workout that almost killed me (6 bike sets of 2 min. of hard pedaling, 3 min. rest). Hopefully my legs will hold out for tomorrow’s circuit!


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