“My summer of training has been mostly dry-land training such as roller skiing, running and biking in and around Canmore, Alberta, but highlighted by a three-week, on-snow training camp in August at Snow Farm in New Zealand. Starting in May, the first few months of summer training are focused on building up our aerobic base, overall strength and stability.
“This means lots of long workouts mixed with sprints and controlled interval work, as well as specific work in the weight room. This summer block ended with our training camp in New Zealand, where I was able to ski four to five hours a day and really focus on my ski technique during these long sessions as well as during the controlled interval workouts. Our training camp in New Zealand was a perfect way to do a really big training block while transitioning the overall focus to a more ski-specific focus in preparation for the race season.”
Some of the Highlights from Training in New Zealand: Bluebird Days!
“And lots of them, this place sure knows how to cheese it up for the camera. It sure makes those long three- to four-hour days pass quickly, and is a perfect backdrop to snack on Rancho’s dried apricots and apples mid-ski.”
“My favourite skis at Snow Farm are always the afternoon sessions. There’s not much that can make me smile bigger than skiing into a sunset.”
“We took a lot of video this camp and did a lot of comparing to the best world-class skiers. I think it’s safe to say that we have all made some big improvements and I’m excited to see them at work this winter.”
“We had two rest days during the camp. One we spent in Wanaka and the other in Queenstown. Both were highlighted by great food, adorable animals (notably sheep) and lots of laughter.”
Holding Those Technique Gains in Intensity
“It’s one thing to hold good technique when you’re going easy, but always hard to keep it together when you’re going hard. I have started to see the things I’ve been working on this year stick during intensity, which is really exciting.”
“Now that I am back from New Zealand and recovered from the strain of the training camp, we have switched the training focus to shorter, more high-intensity workouts. These next few weeks will be filled with race simulation intensity sessions and roller-ski time trials. In making this transition we are allowing our bodies to build up those high-speed, high-intensity systems that we need, as well as our aerobic base for racing in the winter. The first time trial of this training block was a five-kilometre, uphill, roller-skiing double-pole test, where I took 35 seconds off my previous best time from last fall.
“The increase in race efforts usually means the cool fall weather is on its way. Although the cool weather seems to be some distance away this year, I am hoping that sweater weather will be here soon! In the meantime, I am heading north to the Yukon to finish my intensity block away from the smoke of the current forest fires. The onset of autumn, complete with the anticipation of snow and race season, is my favourite time of year to spend in the kitchen.
“Here are a couple of my favourite fall recipes that are packed with different delicious Rancho Vignola products.”
Pumpkin and Pecan Granola
- 3 and ¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅔ cup Rancho coconut
- ⅔ cup Rancho pecans
- ⅓ cup Rancho walnuts
- ⅔ cup Rancho pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup Rancho dried cranberries
“Toss the oats, coconut, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together until combined. Set aside.
“In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for about one minute. Whisk in the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth and combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened.
“Bake at 325˚ for about 40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. Add cranberries once cool, and optional dark chocolate chips.
“This recipe is great for breakfast or on top of a smoothie after one of my time trials.
“Another fall favourite is a variation of ‘Green Beans and Carrots with Aromatic Spices’ from Suneeta Vaswani’s Easy Indian Cooking. This recipe is great all year round but I especially enjoy it as the days are cooling off and you want warm veggies on your dinner plate. I make this recipe with Rancho cashews and coconut.”
Green Beans and Carrots with Aromatic Spices
- 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced green chillies
- ¼ cup chopped cashews
- ¼ cup coconut
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 oz green beans cut into sections
- 8 oz carrots peeled and cut
- 1 teaspoon salt
“In large skillet heat oil over high heat until a couple of mustard seeds start to sputter. Add the remaining mustard seeds and cover.
“When seeds stop popping in a few seconds, uncover, reduce heat to medium and add cumin seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic, chillies, cashews and three tablespoons of coconut. Stir-fry for two minutes, then add turmeric and cayenne. Sauté one minute longer. Stir in beans, carrots and salt. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of water. Cover and cook for five minutes over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and stir. Cook, covered, until veggies are tender, five to eight minutes.
“Garnish with the remaining coconut and serve.”
“As any good athlete, I partially love training so I can enjoy lots of delicious food. Autumn never turns to winter without at least one pecan pie being made and consumed.
“My race season starts in mid-November, only one month away! I will start the season racing on the World Cup circuit in Scandinavia. We will have a couple of pre-season races on snow in Canmore at the start of November before we travel across the pond for a winter of racing.”
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