It was a quick two weeks in Norway and I am now back in the US for training and home competitions! Back tracking to my time in Norway, my team and I started in a town just outside of Lillehammer called Sjusjøen. It is a very small town mostly based around what is typically a very large system of Nordic trails. We stayed in this awesome little cabin walking distance from the trails for the first segment of the trip. Usually Sjusjøen has tons of snow and skiing however this year all they had was a 4km loop. Quite honestly, it was scary showing up to Norway a place I typically pair with being a Winter Wonderland to no natural snow on the ground. We were still able to make the best out of it and got some great training in, it’s always fun to be back on skis and snow regardless of the circumstances. We were also planning on jumping that first week however there was no snow on the hill when we showed up. Lillehammer did an awesome job of making an large amount of snow the first week we were there opening the jump for training the week leading into the competitions. It was a little behind schedule but really good to start jumping again, it feels great to be jumping on snow! As I expected I had to work out the kinks a little bit but each day I was able to take steps to continue to improve my jumping. My team and I had a great minicamp leading into the comp regardless of the snow situation!
A few days before the competition started we moved down to Lillehammer where we would be staying with the rest of the teams. Our wax team showed up and we all started to get back into the groove of competition weekends. Personally I didn’t put together a competition that I was satisfied with, however I did continue to make improvements each day. I had some jumps typical of where I know I can jump, and they are right in the mix which was good for me to realize I am capable. I also got to compete in my first ever Mass Start Nordic Combined competition, a format the World Cup hasn’t seen for 10 years. It was a learning experience racing with that many guys on such a hard course but very fun. If you want to check results from the weekend click here, and check out some media below.
I am now back in the US where I will be training with my entire team before the Continental Cup circuit kicks off in Steamboat. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to compete at home once again, that will be the weekend of December 14-15, I will post an update with more info on that so stay tuned!
At the end of every season I tend to think to myself, man there is so much time ahead for training before we start competing again. Yet, as I am heading to my first competition of the year it feels like the training season flew by. Backtracking a bit, since my last update I have been in Park City with the rest of my team in the midst of our final preparations before the season kicks off. Our team now has access to a new roller ski treadmill thanks to Park City Treadmill. This may sound weird, however, it is essentially a very large treadmill dedicated to roller skiing and it’s perfect for our workouts this time of year. Each intensity session is very specific in how hard it should be, i.e. not too hard but also never too easy and the treadmill is a perfect way to dial that in. This worked really well for our team as we all got multiple sessions and saw great improvements throughout each one. It allows for great hands on work with coaches so that each athlete is getting full attention during an entire workout. November tends to be an in-between month for the ski jumps as they have been closed to summer jumping and it’s sort of holding pattern waiting for the snow/temps to help us out. Regardless, this is an important time to make sure that all of my body mechanics and flexibility are continuing to improve along with maintaining the technical feelings I have from my last jump sessions in Oberstdorf. It is also key to get really good recovery so that I am fully energized and fit as possible for the start of the season. Due to weather we weren’t able to get the hills open in time for us before we left, so those gym sessions became even more important. This is wasn't that bad though, as we planned for something like this. We choose to skip the first weekend of World Cup competitions in Ruka, FIN and instead spend a week in Lillehammer, NOR training. That is where I am now, we will have the opportunity to work out the kinks and get some quality training before the first World Cups on Nov. 29th– Dec. 2nd. I am very excited for the next two weeks as Lillehammer is a one of my favorite places on the World Cup circuit and its FINALLY time to compete! To check up on results in Lillehammer click here. This season NBC Sports Gold has a new service that will allow you to watch all of my World Cup Competitions both Live or On Demand Replays so you don't have to wake up at crazy hours to see me compete, follow this link to learn more! Also Check out a few photos from our in between time in Park City.
I am currently joined by Ben Loomis & Taylor Fletcher in Lillehammer, after those competitions we will all fly home to compete in the Continental Cup’s in Steamboat Dec 14th& 15th! I am very excited to compete on home soil again this season, it is a very special weekend. Following Steamboat, Ben and I will be traveling back to Europe to compete in Ramsau, AUT at the next World Cup location. This next month will be a whirlwind but I will start to post more consistently so stay tuned! As the season approaches a great way to follow me is through my Social Media accounts (located on my home page) and the FIS Nordic Combined website. Also check out this video from FIS getting spreading the hype for the new season!
The second half of my fall camp in Europe blew by as always, I am now traveling back to the US. When I left off last time I had just arrived in Croatia, a new country for me, in fact it is the 26thcountry I have traveled to! One of the many things I love about my sport is the opportunity to travel the world and experience all of those countries. In Croatia we had all of the National Teams (Men’s & Women’s Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined) along with a large contingency of coaches. Our camp mostly consisted of dryland training and plyometric type of work. It was fun to spend time with all of our teams as it is rare that we are all in the same place together, intermixing and doing training sessions together made the camp very unique and fun! We stayed at a resort right on the beach, so naturally the first thing we did upon arrival was jump in the water! We also did several intensity sessions on roller skis, climbing up into the mountains and changing landscapes. Croatia is a beautiful country and it was very interesting to ski up through different parts of the countryside. If you haven’t seen any yet my teammate Jared Shumate started a Vlog (video blog) and made a funny little one from our camp in Croatia, check it out below! He also has a couple other good ones on his Youtube page you should check out here.
After Croatia we drove back to Slovenia for a few days rest before the final part of our trip. Naturally we took to the mountains and went on one last beautiful hike, it was classic Slovenian hiking gaining 4,500ft in elevation and then descending right back down in 3hrs. After our short rest we drove to Oberstdorf, GER for the final week of camp and finally time for some more ski jumping! We lucked out big time and had wonderful weather for almost the whole week, naturally it was rainy and cold the morning of our Time Trial, only making a warm shower and coffee that much better afterwards. The ski jumps in Oberstdorf are fun hills, however they bring out some of my weaknesses on the jump hill. With the help of my coaches I was able to learn from them and greatly improve during our week in Germany! We were in Oberstdorf with our entire USA Nordic National Team (same as Croatia) making for a super fun week. We all jumped together and stayed in the same apartments. USA Nordic has created an awesome team atmosphere and vibe that has gotten better each year I have been on the team. This camp was a great example of how everyone can work together and have a fun but productive training camp. After a month in Europe I am now traveling back to the US with all of the National Team, we will stop in Minneapolis first for another visit to the Mayo Clinic. This will be great to check up on each athlete before our final weeks of preparation and the season begins! As always keep scrolling for more media from the camp and stay tuned!
My fall training camp in Europe started off with a week in Planica, a familiar place. We jumped on the hills right in Planica and in Kranj (45min drive from Planica). It was fun to get back on the ski jumps in Europe and have some productive days on the hill. We also had several days of cross country training in Planica on the roller ski course located at the base of the jumps. It is a hard course but great for some intensity sessions where we worked on our top speeds. Whenever we are in Planica we stay at an apartment complex at the base of the valley and get to cook for ourselves. It is really nice to have this independence while we are in Europe, it helps to make it feel more like a home rather than just another hotel room. We have a fun time cooking with each other and coming up with new things to cook. One of our days we drove across the border into Italy, then up a valley none of us had hiked in before (only 15min from our place in SLO). It turned into a bit of an adventure hike as we missed the trail turning off and followed an old river bed. After getting ourselves back onto the trail and working our way up the valley we had a quick snack with incredible views before descending back down to our van. Check out some photos and videos from my week in Slovenia.
Training Jump in Planica
We then packed ourselves up and drove to Ramsau, AUT for our second week of the camp. This was going to be a cross country focused week as we were going to be skiing on the Dachstein Glacier above Ramsau. This was my second year skiing on the glacier, it was a bit scary when we showed up to ski our first day as there was not much snow and the conditions weren’t ideal. It is sad to see the effects of Climate Change being so real in only a year. Regardless of the conditions we had several days of skiing in which the conditions actually improved with better grooming. We also did some intensity sessions on the roller skiing course in town and a beautiful run thanks to a local friend who took us out. Our wax techs were in Ramsau with us, they went to the Atomic factory to get our skis dialed in for the winter! While they were in Ramsau with us we all went go karting together during a morning off. It was a very tight race, however I’m proud to report that I took the win! It was super fun to spend time with all of our staff and have a little fun outside of skiing. We are now on our way to Croatia for a USA Nordic Team camp including all National Team athletes for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined (Men & Women). We will then all travel to Oberstdorf, GER for our final week of this camp! Check out some photos below and stay tuned for more!
After what feels like a real long time I got to spend September in the US. I had an absolute blast, and of course the time flew by. Directly after I returned home I was able to take a few days totally off and enjoy some much needed relaxing with friends, I finally got to go camping which I had been meaning to do all summer long. Sleeping outside is something I enjoy so that coupled with time off and great friends helped me recharge the batteries ‘upstairs’ real fast. After that I dove right back into training (I wouldn’t have it any other way), it was a very productive month. We took a little bit more time off of the ski jump, working on our cross country endurance and technique in fun and focused sessions. On the jumping side of things we continued our work in the gym preparing our muscle memory for the hill. We did jump in Park City, and it was so much better than summer in my mind, mostly because I wasn’t dying of heat the whole time. My team and I also entered the Red Bull 400 race during September. This is a brutal uphill race going straight up the Large Hill Ski Jump at the Utah Olympic Park. We had a strong showing getting 5 USA Nordic athletes in the top 10 of the final heat! Below are some photos from my general month in Park City.
While we were home this last month I was very happy to see bike riding on the plan, something I really love to do. On one of our rides in particular it turned into a bit more of challenging and adventure ride than we originally thought. We did a loop along a ridgeline in between Park City and Salt Lake City with incredibly long steep hills and the most challenging part… an extremely overgrown trail. The bushes were taking over the trail, leaving a rather small part of trail left for me to ride through, the amount of micro scratches on my limbs was mind boggling. The reason I bring up this bike ride is something I have been constantly pumped and proud of so far this season. My teammates, coach (Nick Hendrickson) and I may not have been having the best time but kept spirits up and pushed each other to work through the challenges however minor. This is a team atmosphere that isn’t obvious in the way that it shows itself but I think is key and a huge help to us this year so far. We all help pick each other up and push through the pain whether it’s a brutal interval session, mentally challenging bike ride, or being stoked when your teammate makes a break through on the ski jump. One thing that we all seem to thrive on is a bit of dry humor in these sessions, the bike ride was full of comical commentary, check out this video below made by my teammate Jared Shumate as he was mic’d up for our ride! (Volume on)
I am now back in Europe with the team for the month of October. I will be spending time in Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, and Germany. I am looking forward to some focused and productive sessions on the ski jumps with my coaches along with a few days on the glacier in Austria skiing on snow!! Stay tuned to my homepage for media from my trip until my next update!