For a whole summer month, the little cow-town of Inzell becomes an international hub of athletes. They cycle up and down the main road, wether riding between the rink and their "gasthaus" bed & breakfast or on their road bikes getting ready for a long haul through the bavarian countryside. You see their speedskating skinsuits of different countries drying on balconies in the sun after morning workouts. In the evenings we all go to the gelato ice cream shop in the town center and grab a well deserved scoop and talk in english, broken english and whatever other languages we mutually know.
It's interesting training alongside athletes from all over and seeing their methods of training and what technical points they're working on. How hard are they training? Do continue to push training if their bodies have recovered well the previous night? Do they care more about technique or strength and endurance? Who has improved from last year and why? What can we learn from what we see.
Our whole team got pretty sick with soar throats and bad sinuses this last week which messed up our training schedule a little bit. We're mostly back to normal now but we've trained pretty hard the last two days to make up for what we missed earlier this week. Today was the last day of skating because the rink melts the ice tomorrow so most of the teams here have left or will leave soon. Tomorrow we have a long bike ride and then we head to London on Teusday!
Training on the long track ice here is going really well and we're focusing a lot on technique because the beginning of the season can set the tone for the rest of the season. We want to fix the technical issues right away.
Each week here, we have 11 main workouts. Usually we skate in the mornings and then we have dry land training in the afternoons. So last week, one of our dry land workouts were stair runs and jumps and since we have the mountains all around us we try to use them as much as possible. Sylvester Stallone-style. Mother-nature style. Waterfall mist in the air and nothing but dirt, rocks, and trees. It always keeps training exciting!
Stairs + waterfall
Nancy discussing workout w/ coach
Brian doing step-up jumps on the road above the stairs
Last summer and again, this summer, I wanted to get some more power and quickness in my speedskating stroke. So i've been doing speed training at TCBoost in Northbrook, IL, that focuses on the specific needs of your sport and coach in order to increase your speed, strength, and overall athleticism. They've trained professional football players (Bears, Steelers, etc.) to Olympic athletes; tennis, lacrosse, NCAA star basketball players to the local high school and athletes that are rehabbing and they've all witnessed fantastic results. Throughout my training there this past June, I'm pumped that TCBoost put together a short video showcasing their work with me and it's cool to see the finished product! An athlete is never perfect, meaning that there is always room for improvement...so if you are reading this and desire to improve your athletic skills in any way, I highly recommend TCBoost! Check out the video below...
Again, thank you TCBoost for the work you've done on me so far and excited to continue working with you when I am back in the US to carry on our success!
1 Corinthians 9:25
It's already day 3 here in Inzell...but there are still 27 more days :) This week is a lighter week on our training, so besides one skating (technique-based) workout per day, Jeffrey and I are biking/running for easy recovery. The weather, as you can see above has been ok...unpredictable like most weather in mountainous regions, but the beautiful landscape makes up for the rain, hail, and foggy weather. Bavaria is a region that is just stunning everywhere you look. My favorite is riding home from using the internet at night and riding in utter silence unless a cow moo's or its cowbell clings in the distance, breaking the silence; I love it! If it's clear, the stars are shining bright and the shadows of the Alps are haunting in the distance...
Jeffrey turnskating in the rink's reflection glass
Yesterday was our first day on the ice and both Jeffrey and I feel great. Working solely on our technique, we skated easy laps and enjoyed being back on the ice, putting all our summer dry land training to action! In addition to our skating, we continue to warm-up with turn skating (like the pic of Jeffrey to the right) in a reflective glass so we can even more, analyze our form. Call us obsessive...haha, but that is what all speedskaters do. We are obsessive and particular :)
In the afternoons the past 2 days (and trying to keep awake, ha), we have been riding around the area, exploring the small towns nearby and recovering our legs from the last 3 hard weeks of training back home in America.
the rink in Inzell: Max Aicher Arena
pics from our bike rides around town
On another note....tomorrow is the 4th of July, America's Independence Day! It kills me to not be home for this prideful day in America and to be able to recognize and celebrate those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, but I will be there in spirit and thinking about America all day :) I'll be missing spending it too with my extended family, such great traditions we've all had over the years! May all those who served our country know how grateful we all are and how much we thank you for our freedoms...to you all, God Bless and God Bless the U.S.A!
The speed here is in the low 20mph area even though it doesn't look all that fast. The funny thing about speedskating and many other sports is that it's hard to make a sport look easy but it's really easy to make a sport look hard.