Here comes the Winter!

This week has been spent in Italy working with the British Alpine Development Ski team.  After a couple of weeks on the glacier in Saas Fee on the skis, we’ve had an opportunity to get a really good bout of dryland training in.  Some of the great things about the job are the enormous variety present and the adaptation and thought often required in order to set training programs that achieve your required goals but also meet logistical needs. 
This week, and more so planning for the rest of the season, has thrown up a number of issues.  For example, the garage space that was set aside as a lifting area has had to accommodate a tonne of ski kit as the other space isn’t yet ready.  Once the space was cleared we’ve ended up with a really good facility, a little rough and ready, but quality nonetheless.  We were also able to make the most of our surroundings.  We’re based right by the 2006 Turin Olympic park and the paved area surrounding the buildings turned out to be ideal for intervals…the guys weren’t as happy as me to find out about that!
The weeks succeeding this involve more travelling and a heavy ski period ending in the start of the race programs in December.  Again, issues arise, this time in terms of kit and recovery meaning some fairly innovative circuits will come to the fore as our lifting kit will have to stay behind.  After this the main area to focus on is race preparation and conditioning takes place largely in maintenance doses.  These are issues coaches involved in tour based sports have to overcome and while having your own training base can be nice, I think everyone enjoys a challenge!!

Neil Welch

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