I have some q @ a here from Adele Espy regarding training and her recent experience at World Juniors. She is currently the third ranked J1/OJ skier in New England. Additionally, she is ranked 24th nationwide, from US Ski team down to juniors. She has worked hard at her sport and deserves all of her success. Take a look and see what you can learn from some of her experiences:
1. You have taken your skiing to new levels in the last few years, what do you contribute that to?
Training a lot more and focusing on technique. Always considering skiing when I do anything- eating, sleeping, going to do something active other than ski training- how it will effect my next workout session, good or bad, keeping my goals in mind at all times.
2. You have increased your training a lot this year, can you speak to the annual volume that you did in 2008 and what you have in 2009?
I trained 315 hrs in 2007-2008 and have increased it to 450 hrs 2008-2009, but I am on track as of now for more like 470-480 hrs. Having an organized training plan to follow each day was really helpful for me to know how much to do and when to do it. It gives me something to mark my progress and to keep me motivated to go out and do that workout that I'd otherwise "forget about." One thing I have to be careful about is not doing too much. Sometimes I start letting the training plan control me, and I have to remind myself that it is an "idealistic" training plan, what I can do is "realistic."
3. What have you worked on most with your skiing this season?
Technique and getting in longer hours.
4. If you were going to start your ski career over, is there anything that you would do differently?
Work on technique from the get go more intensely and get on skis more often at an earlier age-not necessarily for long distances, just to get used to the speed of the skis. Racing younger sounds intriguing to me know, but I don't know how I would have felt about this at a younger age. I know that I was not ready, mentally, to do the NENSA races when I was a J2 so I'm glad no one forced me into them. I needed another year before I got the courage and drive needed to compete at the higher level. It just takes time, so don't rush it.
5. What do you think about when you race? What do you think about in your race preparation routine?
When I race I think about going as hard and fast as I possibly can. I think, "it doesn't matter if I die at the finish line, I just have to win this race." or, "love the pain, I have to love the pain." I'm a pretty morbid racer, but it works for me! I basically just go "balls to the walls" and push myself as hard as possibly, because even if I don't get a first place, if I push my absolute hardest for the entirety of the race, then in my mind, I won that race! In my prerace warm up I think about skiing well. I think about not getting nervous, because being calm saves you the energy you're going to need in the race. I focus on the details of my warm up and on how I feel.
6. What is your biggest opportunity with skiing right now?
If you mean what have I been able to do already, I'd say racing in the WJs was a great opportunity. If you mean what's to come, I don't know exactly, except, I'm going to try for whatever big races come up next!
7. What future goals do you have?
I'd like to make the USST and race in the Olympics (win a gold!) and race in World Cup races!
8. What advice would you give to the Southern Maine high school race who wants to get better?
I'd advise high schoolers to train year round. It works! Also, be careful you aren't getting over raced. If you are racing in the NENSA and high school races, that's great, but make sure you get enough rest in between races and get enough time to train. In other words, don't just be racing all the time and resting all the time, take a few days to actually ski easy and do some intervals before jumping in another race.
9. You qualified for World Junior Championships this year. Can you describe the skiing perspective that other skiers have in other cultures?
Skiing is a job, it's a life style, it's what they do. Skiing is everything! It's awesome! The skiers from other countries are really good skiers, they train many hours and take the sport seriously, working toward
10. Are there any pointers that you could pass on technically regarding technique from some of your W-JR competitors?
There are so many opinions about technique out there. Some say double pole with hands close to torso, other say double pole with hands stretched out away from torso. This is the case with so many other technical aspects of skiing too. I'd say, try them all out and see what makes you go fastest!