I have been in Norway for one week now and have learned a great deal. Perhaps the most important lesson in regards to ski racing is keep it simple. Whether it is recovery drink consisting of coke with salted peanuts, or improving your double pole by using that technique more in long workouts.
Although I haven't adopted the coke and peanuts drink yet, as an athlete and a coach my search for the magic element of racing fast I will look no farther than train hard, recover harder, keep the technique simple - and practice it often. Double polling improves by repetition during long training sessions - work the flats harder and the uphills easier (reverse of my normal training). There is less aerobic stress on the body when just the arms are involved which can translate into a higher tempo on the flats. Simple concepts. Big results. At least that is what I am seeing over here. After losing 1 minute to the leaders last weekend in the first 3km of the race (all double polling) I think they are on to something.
I am taking a rest day today. Just a 45 minute run to give the upper body muscles a rest. Yesterday Frode took me about 15 km south of Steinkjer to ski up on a highland plateau. We put in a strong 2.5 hour ski, where we put into practice pushing the flats and cruising the climbs. Easily my best ski of the year. Forgot how great it was to be able to go out on a long ski in endless rolling terrain.
I will jump into a 15km TT on Saturday with one of Frode's athletes. I am looking forward to getting another race type effort in before heading to Germany on Monday.