Sunday, November 21, 2010

AIS / Sydney training camp

Last week the Australian Ski Cross National Team headed to Canberra and Sydney for a 5-day camp before we depart for Europe.

We started off the week with fitness testing at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. This was the first time I had ever been to the AIS. As an AIS athlete, we will now be using the world-class facilities more and more for fitness testing and training.

We began with anthropology testing, which is a measure of our percentage of body fat. Along with this, we used the AIS’s extremely high-tech “body scanner”, which takes a 3D image of our body, and is used to analyse muscle mass and body composition. Pretty interesting!

Next was our favourite… the VO2 max test, which is a maximal aerobic test that measures cardiovascular fitness. Fun! It was great to see some large improvements after such a heavy training period. It’s good to know that all the hard work is paying off!

(VO2 max test on the bike) 

(AIS lab) 
Over the following day, we did some explosive strength testing as well as made use of the AIS’s incredible recovery facilities. The recovery centre is equipped with enormous hot tubs, cold pools and whirl pools, all set to highly specific temperatures…. a little more high-tech than jumping in the freezing glacier-water river in Austria!

On Tuesday we drove to Sydney’s Northern Beaches where we spent the next two days training in Narrabeen. Over Wednesday and Thursday, we did a total of 8 enduring training sessions (about 6-8 hours of training per day).

This was the schedule:


Session 1: 6am- Beach sprints and exercises plus a swim in Warriewood beach.

(Warriewood beach)

Session 2: Strength testing and anaerobic testing (maximum sprint for 30 seconds on the wind-gate bike to test lactate threshold and power output… the longest 30 seconds of my life!). On top of this, we did the beloved ‘farmers run,’ where you carry your body weight whilst running with dumbbells for 400m, or alterteratively half your body weight for 800m. About 6-7 minutes of pain.

Session 3: 1 hour bush run in the Narrabeen hills.

Session 4: 1 hour session of ‘Crossfit’ – a strength / cardio-based circuit session.


Session 5: 5:30am – 2-hour bike ride to Sydney’s ‘West Head’ (very hilly).

(At the top of the lookout point at West Head, Northern Sydney)

(View of the morning sunrise)

Session 6: Soccer / agility training.

Session 7: 1 hour of sea kayaking.

Session 8: Boxing.

By Friday, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to hold my pen for my final Construction exam! All-in-all however, a great week of training.

It is now that time of year again! On Wednesday I leave for Europe. We are heading back to Stubai, Austria, for a block of training before we begin racing. Our first event is a Europa Cup ski cross in Pitztal, Austria, and then on to the first World Cups of the season in San Candido, Italy.

Will keep you posted with how the first few weeks in Europe go!