November 23, 2006

Faster

The goal of today seemed to be "faster"; both faster feet (we had several flushes one of which was about 4 stubby gates long and designed to be taken as straight as possible, this wouldn't have been too bad apart from the fact that it spat you out into a steeper section of full sized poles...), and faster pace (we were taught how to use the power from the flattening of the camber on the turning ski to launch us forward out of the turn).

The weather today was mild, there was no wind, after some delays most of the glacier was open and as such the lifts at Rosolin were reasonably sane for most of the day. The lack of wind was a relief and the visibility down on Rosolin was pretty good. The snow was firm and grippy, ideal for playing around. After several warm up runs, whilst Blair set the course, we went straight into the course without so much as an inspection or a slide.

The first four gates were "special" two poles per gate, set at the start and end of the required turn, imagine there was a pole at the centre of the two poles, offset slightly so that you'd clip all three if you were to take the right line around it. These gates were quite difficult to get right, due to the slow speed (we're not that good at fast starts and they were the first gates) it was difficult to ski the required line as it was hard to angulate appropriately at the slow speed; the result being these gates amplified any errors that you happened to make. I had an amusing stack on video (but of course!) on the second gate when I found myself unable to make the turn and so I piled on the pressure and dropped into the turn and found myself totally on the inside ski, it came around nicely and dropped me in a heap next to the gate. Then came a reasonably simple flush and then the longer faster one. After that it was into the big poles on the steeper pitch and by then we were all travelling pretty fast. Although I didn't really get the "project forward powered by the uncoiling of the ski" thing to work quite right, what I did get still pushed me faster... The later section was fun, partly because of the speed and the fact that I was able to throw my legs out quite confidently due to the snow conditions and the speed and this helped me make some of the gates that I would otherwise have missed (as you may imagine this was mostly "recovery mode" skiing, but it worked and I was travelling very fast...). Near the end was a hairpin that was very close to the proceeding gate, it was a tactical thing, you needed to pretty much ignore the previous gate and just ski the hairpin pretty straight, or else you'd loop around the previous gate so much that you'd never strike the poles of the hairpin (i.e/ bad, bad line).

The course was hard work, I was tired after each run. Due to the lack of lift lines we looped on the course pretty quickly and did quite a few runs. We had a few special guests today; friends of Blair's, a couple of Scottish junior team members, who showed us how it's done.

The video session was useful, as always, and it was interesting to compare the moves that we were making in the gates to the young competitors. Tomorrow we're up on 3500 for some steeper gates; so it seemed appropriate to make sure that the skis were nice and sharp this evening...

I'm currently looking forward to having Saturday off!


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Posted by Len at November 23, 2006 06:42 PM | Categories: R21 - Race training , Season 2 - Ski Days
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