It’s been a minute! By the end of last season, I was feeling burnt out; it had been my longest period of racing by almost 5 weeks and I had done more traveling than ever before. I needed to take the spring to get away from training, to give my body and my mind a break from it all and to just enjoy a few weeks of visiting friends and family. I took two weeks completely off from any “real training” and filled it with downhill skiing with my family in Colorado, backcountry skiing with friends in Montana, and running (short jogs) with my sister in Minnesota.
This break from the daily stress of counting hours, ticking away at intervals, and checking heart rates seemed to be just what I needed. I was able to take a solid four weeks to look back on my first ski season as a “pro” and absorb what I was proud of, what I wished had gone better and where I could make adjustments. This allowed me to easily make new goals for the upcoming season, both objective goals and process goals. In the end, I realized three main issues from the past year:
I was given the opportunity to frequently race internationally at a much more competitive level. In the moment, I thought to myself, “this is what I’m trying to do, why would I say no?” But in reality, this led to a travel, racing and training schedule that never allowed a break. After each race I would travel to the next place, try to get in as much training/preparation as I could before I had to race again, and then continue this same pattern for weeks. I never allowed myself to fully rest and I never had much time for training blocks within the season.
That being said I have new goals in mind for the upcoming year and have been very excited about a few changes. Some of the goals I am still keeping to myself and some I’ve only told my coach about. But I do know that I hope to travel less, race less, and make sure that each effort is really worth it. I’ve already started putting these thoughts into motion as I’ve adjusted my summer training from last year. When I first joined the SMS T2 team I wanted to jump into every single interval session that they did no matter what I was previously used to doing. I had no problem with this last summer and assumed that I was unbreakable. This caught up to me mid-Winter. I was tired! So, I’ve communicated with my coach and teammates about slowly getting back into intervals in Stratton. I haven’t done every threshold workout and I haven’t done as many intervals as each of my teammates, but instead filled in more easy volume into my training. I am hoping that with this gradual approach I will be able to properly conserve myself for when it’s GO TIME!
Other changes for me this summer include:
This brings me to my last thought. Training and racing around the world for a year has given me a lot of time to “think.” Recently, I’ve been thinking about the reasons I fell in love with the sport, who/what inspired me to try to take each new step and what makes me value each unique opportunity that’s been presented to me. Quickly, I realized that I have always looked up to older athletes. At first, it was my parents and my older sister. Then, it was the upperclassmen on my high school and club ski team. Soon, I found myself in situations where I was training or working with Midwest elite athletes either on the ski trails or at clinics. These mentors encouraged me to challenge myself athletically, mentally, and emotionally. They are who inspired me to set goals and hold myself to them. Without these influencers, I would not have been able to find the same success over all these years.
I want to give back to the ski community that gave so much to me! I want to work with younger athletes more; explain to them how to avoid the mistakes that I made and encourage them to keep challenging themselves in life. I am looking forward to finding new ways that I can incorporate this community involvement into my year of training and racing :)