Friday and Saturday the masters team (supplemented by a couple of “mini-masters” from the Bill Koch developmental team) met up with Laurie Humbert for a dryland technique and roller ski camp. Laurie is a Rochesterian who was on the US Olympic Biathlon team in 1994 and now serves as the masters XC ski coach for Salt Lake City.
Friday evening we took to the hills at Mendon Ponds for bounding. I have to admit I sort of underestimate the amount of technical improvements to be made bounding. I usually look at bounding as a strength/lactate threshold workout. Go up hard and fast till the legs burn. We did that, but with Laurie critiquing our technique along the way. Working to get our weight forward, open up the hip angle, improve the timing of weight transfer versus arm swing. Made me see how much value there was to paying attention to how I was going up the hill, instead of just doing it hard and thinking I was going to get better.
On Saturday the lessons were all driven home on roller skis. Lots of time without poles. Drills working to get our balance better out over our skis. I thought I was pretty good until she singled me out (very nicely) to tell me my upper body balance was exactly wrong. She had me ski behind her and match her balance transfers. I almost ate concrete on the first try, but quickly realized how out of whack I was compared to her. As we went further I could feel myself start to balance in the new (and unquestionably better) rhythm. From our master who was second time ever on roller skis up to our ex-collegiate racer she spent one on one time with everyone and made quick improvements in everyone’s style and gave focus points to us to help us keep moving forward.
Look for Laurie to return for a can’t be missed on snow clinic this winter.