I’m currently in Switzerland for the first training sessions and races of the year.
The past few months have mainly been about ski training. Let me tell you what I’m doing and how I spend my time during such a training week.
We leave from Landgraaf with the team. This time, we’re off to Switzerland and are due to arrive at our hotel by the end of the afternoon. After unpacking my gear, I go to bed early, as I’ll be up at the crack of dawn for my first training session.
Breakfast is at 6:30am as we’ll be taking the gondola to the summit at 7:00. I’m always curious to see what the glacier looks like and whether it’s got significantly shorter. It seems to be alright. Up top, the snow looks good, too. On the first day, we’re just skiing freely. This means that we’re skiing without gates, so we can get used to the slope. It feels great straight away! However, the snow is rather soft and there’s light rain in the air. We head back down after about 8 runs.
Once down, I head to the gym for a weights session and then it’s on to the physio. My apartment has a jacuzzi. So, in the evening I’ll have dinner and then enjoy the bubbles before going to bed at 9:00pm.
The alarm goes off even earlier today: at 04:45 am to be exact. At 06:00 am, we’re in the gondola up to the summit. Today, a giant slalom training session has been scheduled. The snow is at its hardest in the morning, which is one of the reasons why we train as early as possible. Training goes off without a hitch and after 12-13 runs, the snow becomes too soft, so we call it a day. The remainder of the day, I’m eating a lot. I feel that I’m using up loads of energy on the glacier. Luckily, the hotel also provides us with lunch. However, this is not sufficient and I still have to prepare a lot of extra meals for during the day. And, of course, it’s off to bed on time.
It’s a nice day today, with a clear blue sky. As we go up in the dark, we can see stars everywhere, but by the time we get to the glacier, the sun has risen. The snow is awesome again, and it’s an incredible day! Unfortunately, I break my ski during a fall. But we always take plenty of spares with us, so it isn’t a big deal. After skiing, I have a chat with the guy who looks after the equipment, as it’s important to know how my new ski needs to be adjusted. After all this, I’m mainly just looking forward to my bed!
Today, I have to get used to my new ski. And later on, during a crash, an edge of my seat snaps off. Fortunately, I can repair it quickly and continue training. When get back down, we analyse the video. This is important to me, because you don’t just feel when things go right or wrong, but you can really see what you’re actually doing.
I spend the rest of the day on the physiotherapist’s bench, in the weights room and eating loads of food!
Today is another good training day. I seem to have got more used to my new ski, and I feel like I’m skiing faster. However, I do feel I’m starting to get more exhausted. But that’s normal. When I get back down after skiing, I go straight off to bed for an afternoon nap. That really helps. That night, there’s heavy rain and a thunderstorm. I’m worried we may not be able to train the next day.
We can train! Against all the odds, the lifts are open as usual. They tend to close quickly on the glacier, but yesterday night’s bad weather has disappeared completely and a beautiful day awaits us. It is, however, a lot icier, due to rain having frozen. But a hard slope is good for training on! Today, we’re also doing time trials. This adds another dimension to the training session. And it enables you to see where you’re at, and what you may need to improve on. Also, you can feel the difference in time when you adjust your routine or make a mistake. I start well, and fast. But later on, my times get a bit worse because the snow’s getting softer and, therefore, slower. I’d like to sleep when I get down, but I have less time today. I get about half an hour’s rest. And then it’s off to the gym and physio. During dinner, I can feel myself dozing off. In the end, I’m in bed asleep at 08.30 pm.
Today’s the final training day! We’re doing time trials again. And everything’s going to plan. I’m getting faster every run and I’m very happy with this week’s progress. The weather’s nice, too. We’ve been able to ski every day. Something that isn’t very common out here. But I’m feeling the impact these 7 days have had on my body. I get to the bottom of the mountain exhausted, happy and satisfied. I fell again, which led to a big bruise on my shoulder. But that’s all par for the course. My physiotherapist checked it out, and everything’s okay. Then it’s time to pack my stuff and have a good sleep. Tomorrow, we’re heading back home!
Today’s an early start for the last time. A quick breakfast and into the car. I sleep on the way back.
I’ve enjoyed telling you more about one of my training weeks. I hope, this gave you a better impression of what I get up to. And now on to the races!