Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 USASA Nationals Re-Cap #3

Be sure to read Nationals Re-Cap #1 + #2.

SBX Practice days, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Series, are awesome.  You’ve got access to the course for 3 hours each day with a limited number of participants.  Most of the skiers/riders there are pretty good and are working with a Coach/Race Team so you get to watch a lot of solid riding during practice as well.
Copper Course - Practice Version
Ale from Team Haleakala was present for Mountain Athlete led Coaching during all 3 days of practice.  On Day #2 a fellow Mens’ Legend Racer, Brad O’Neill, joined us, and on Day #3 Jams Woman Anike Vanagas was part of the training crew.

There was a great atmosphere/energy created with these athletes working together and we had a lot of fun during the practice sessions.  Everyone showed solid improvement and progress during their time on the SBX Course. 
Anike Feeling Psyched After Practice
Practice Day #1 was focused on fundamentals, course line and building speed.  Day #2 provided more of an opportunity to work on starts, reinforce skills from Day #1 and practice passing/riding with multiple competitors while increasing speed throughout the session.  During Day #3 we spent time reviewing skills and then went through a mock Race Day (there’s no video as we were treating it as if it was actually race day – no POV cameras allowed).  Afterward we focused on solid starts and hitting our lines at full speed in race situations.  Check out the videos to see some of the riding from practice.

Unfortunately there was one glaring let down at training -- due to a request from the USASA, Copper did not build out a full course for the practice days.  The closest it got to a complete course was on Day #3, but even then the bottom section (finish stretch) was blocked off.  The good news was we were able to use the available portions of the course to practice our skills, technique and strategy to ramp up for Race Day, though we had to modify or efforts to some degree.

Each day after practice we reviewed video and ate lots of good food (thanks to Ale’s cooking skills).  Though often overlooked, nutrition is an extremely important aspect to performing well on the racecourse.  Ale and I use Generation UCAN before training and racing with great results.  I also drink a serving before working out in the gym.  You can read more about my UCAN experience here.  Having our nutrition dialed in makes Race Day efforts go that much smoother.
BBQ, Fresh Slaw and Homemade Cornbread
No Explanation Needed
There was one other cool activity we checked out during practice week –- BKPro Academy Waxing Clinic hosted by former Olympic Coach, and Shaun White’s Coach, Bud Keene.  Ryan McDermott, from Mono Cera, was also on hand to assist Bud with the seminar (more about Ryan and Mono Cera later).  It was fun to learn new tuning tricks while listening to some cool stories about Bud’s experiences with Olympic Athletes from all across the World.  

Part #4 coming soon…

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