Be sure to read Part #1
Practice Days #2 and #3 began the same way, course inspection followed by a few start section laps to get loose and in the groove. On Day #2 we focused on two of the more challenging areas of the course for most of the day to make sure we had the right line and were confident with these features. The next to last berm and finish section were where we put in the most effort. The berm was really rutted out and had a washboard-like surface. You also had a ton of speed hitting this right to left bank which went right into a table, then drop, then left to right bank into a table which gave you even more speed headed into the final section.
|Awesome Waxing Set-up at the Condo|
Continuing with the theme of “Progression”, each run was faster and faster and we usually had our speediest runs toward the latter part of the day. We also took a few runs as if we were in our race heats to put in a little mental practice at speed. During most full-length runs there was also a focus on course line and exaggerating movements over features. The only thing that was different about Day #3 (no video from this day) was that we spent a decent portion of the session running through a ‘mock’ race day. Once our 'mock' time trial, heats and finals were through, we spent the rest of our efforts dialing in any section we weren’t super confident with.
Everything was running smoothly and we both felt really comfortable with the course and confident with our race strategy. As a quick side note, Rocky Mountain Series did a great job conducting the practice sessions all week and kept the Copper Course in decent shape every day.
|Even the Slip Board gets Prime Treatment|
About this time of the trip is where a lot of extra, behind the scenes, preparation kicks in too. The boards need waxed for race day (this is a 2-day long process). The Nationals lasagna tradition goes down. You’ve got opening ceremonies and coaches’ meetings to attend. Don’t forget you need to get all your gear and backpack contents ready to go.
|Tuning for the Ultimate Speed|
|Boards Ready to Go Fast|
|Nationals Lasagna = Best Lasagna|
Lastly, lots and lots of rest. It’s vital to take the few days before race day off to recover physically and mentally and be completely fresh for the competition.
Coming up next: Finals!
Coming up next: Finals!