We had many moving parts at practice yesterday! While our most experienced skiers roller skied on the beautiful Nelson Loop with our new ski club, Dublin XC, and their club coach Kathy Maddock, our other 26 skiers worked with coach Alison Weber, team manager Hyeong Bin and me. Alison used the school's walkways to teach the novices to roller ski for the first time. A few were allowed to ski up the hill to the gym before walking back down. Roller skiing is challenging for beginners because the skis are easier to use the faster they go. I was surprised with how many of the kids said they loved it!
After roller skiing, each athlete did an aerobic fitness test using either the Ski Ergometer (a machine like a rowing machine but designed to build upper body strength in skiing) or the running treadmill. Hyeong Bin set everyone up with a heart rate monitor and the athletes were required to perform their tests keeping their heart rates at 160 beats per minute. For most young people that keeps them in the aerobic range where they are using oxygen to burn fat for energy. On the treadmill test we measured their speed after two miles at that heart rate. On the Ski Erg we had them ski for 20 minutes and measured how many meters they skied. The goal is that they increase their efficiency at that heart rate over the course of the season.
Finally, each group did a strength circuit working on upper body and core muscles. Many of our strength exercises are designed to work on balance and coordinating different muscle groups. The athletes had a great attitude throughout the practice and earned a good day of rest today.