On July 6th, Canmore based Rocky Mountain Racer athletes loaded into their vehicles and headed out to Jasper for the first camp of the 2016-17 season. Over our 5 days in Jasper, coaches Luke McGurk and John Jaques led the team through gruelling training sessions incorporating both volume and intensity.
Day one’s training session involved a stunning run/hike over Wilcox Pass. Upon completion of the workout (after some athletes intensely debated the best children’s movies) everyone was in high spirits, setting the mood for the rest of the camp. Arrival at the campsite meant time to set up, possibly the greatest challenge some of us had ever endured. Lots of food, giggles, and a team meeting later, the athletes turned in early in preparation for the hard work to come.
Over the next few days, RMR athletes continuously put in hard efforts with a long bike up Maligne Lake Road, ski striding and summiting Whistlers Mountain, and doing roller ski intensity up Marmot Basin. For Tatiana Tilley, a fresh recruit to RMR, the location made the long hours even more enjoyable. “Jasper is a beautiful place to train! Not only did we get some tough days of training, we got beautiful views and sights as well,” she explained.
A trip to the Jasper Fitness & Aquatic Center was also fit into the busy schedule, where athletes used amazing rock climbing and swimming facilities to get in a short strength workout. For some, bouldering was a new experience, but everyone had a great recovery session.
In any great training camp, lots of tough training means there’s also some quality downtime to spend with teammates. Emma Holmes found the camp was a great chance to learn more about everyone, saying, “I really enjoyed this camp because not only did we get some really good training in, I also was able to get to know some of my new teammates!”
The last workout of the camp was a long run starting at our campsite and heading towards the Valley of Five Lakes, with the option to continue on to Wabasso Lake. With a long week of training behind us, packing up and preparing for a long run seemed like a daunting task. An impromptu dance off at the campsite raised team morale and the athletes took off running. (Or were we just terrified by Luke’s “awesome” dance moves?) Even at the end of the long run, everybody’s spirits were still as high as they were on day one; so overall, our first camp was a great success!
With Jasper finished, RMR athletes are preparing for a big volume camp in Whistler, BC before heading up to the Haig glacier for some summer skiing.
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