Boot Camp

The team wrapped up our annual “Boot Camp” last week. New team members, Julian and Sam, came up for the week of testing but returned home afterwards to finish their final high school semester, while Dave moved and stayed up, as he graduated last year.

It was a busy week; we started things off with an incremental workload test on the treadmills at PUSH. Starting somewhere around 6mph at 1% gradient, we would run for 3 minutes at the set pace, then lap our watches, stand on the sides of the treadmill and Vic would take a lactate while Timo recorded our heart rates and bumped the pace up by 0.5mph. And then you repeat, increasing the pace by half a mile per hour every three minutes until you can’t stay on the treadmill anymore. I don’t think there were any incidents where people actually fell off, but at the end of my test I would drift to the back of the treadmill, then have to sprint to get back to the front – kind of like a yo-yo.

We then had a couple days of training before our 3k Uphill test. You may remember, I wrote a bit about the 3k last fall during our re-testing week. Unlike in the fall, there weren’t any PBs set this week (other than the new guys, who technically set personal bests…). I was quite a ways off my best time, which was a little disheartening, but upon review found that I wasn’t too far off my time from last summer, and was faster than I was last spring – so really not that bad.

After that was a few more training days, FMS screening and strength “learning sessions” with our strength coach Paul Hemsworth at Thrive Strength and Wellness. I am proud to say that I am much less baffled by some of the strange exercises and stretches we are doing than I was last year. It’s nice to be able to actually process the details I’m getting this time around, rather than glazing over and getting really confused by all the information and particulars of our program and exercises.

The final test of the week were the Minnow Hill skate and double pole tests. Both are conducted on skate skis, first time up is the skate test, then 25minutes later (with your classic poles, on skate skis) you double pole up – as fast as you can! This year we experienced some significant rainfall during the test, which not only soaked us to the bone, but made for some slow times too. Timo did a comprehensive analysis (as always) and provided hard results as well as “consideration results”, which factored in the average time lost relative to PBs on the course. Turns out the steady stream and pooling of water does make a noteworthy difference in your speed – interesting.

There was actually one more test, albeit an unofficial one: paintball. Last year when we went paint balling after Boot Camp I learned a few things:
a) I’m bad at shooting
b) I’m bad at hiding
c) I’m okay at lurking
d) I’m good at sprinting down the middle of the field to get the flag (and subsequently getting shot a lot)

So in short, I got shot a lot, but had a lot of fun going kamikaze in our flag-feature games. It was also kind of muggy when we went, so the masks would fog up real bad and made it hard to see. This did my already poor aim no favours.

And that was that. My second Boot Camp in the bag. All in all, a fun week having the whole team together. We all said our goodbyes to Sam and Julian, and will be reunited with them when we all regroup in Thunder Bay. As mentioned, they will be going home to finish school, and the rest of us leave for Bend, Oregon on June 18th for a training camp with the National Team and CNEPH. Should be fun!

If you haven’t already – check out my NDC Roster series, the first post is already up and there are two more in the pipes! Til later.


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