We’re checking in with Kendall Kramer at the 2019 NTG Camp in Park City, UT:
It’s mid-camp, but it’s already been so packed it’s felt like a whole week!
We started things off with a group shake out run, as most of us traveled across the country from both ends. We definitely got our first feel of the altitude and were winded just walking up stairs and doing our drills.
The next day, we made our first trip to the US Ski and Snowboard Center of Excellence, where one of the many highly trained and specialized strength coaches brought us through some lateral movement drills to wake up the muscles we needed to activate on our skate rollerski. We had a running drill activation and classic rollerski on another loop in the afternoon, as Park City has endless amounts of connecting trails and pavement.
Sprint Power Drills. Photo by Bryan Fish.
We incorporated “speed play” on all our distance workouts, but I won’t get into any details, as it’s going to be USA’s secret weapon this next season!
Tuesday consisted of USTART testing, in which strength coaches analyzed and evaluated the quality of our basic movement and flexibility to gauge our weak points and areas to work on in our future strength routines.
Our first strength session was on Wednesday, where we got basic movement guidance from two other strength coaches, then were let loose with our own personalized plans.
The amazingly healthy and diet-adapted dinners (thanks Steve!) have consisted of a talk while we eat, from sports psychology, to nutrition, to reflection on our USTART testing scores and what that means for how we should stretch and mobilize in the future to align ourselves perfectly so “even at our worst (or at fatigue) we can still be efficient enough to win,” as Michael Bingaman (one of the head strength & conditioning coaches) stated.
After we get home from dinner we get together and watch The Bachelorette or play Uno, and just get to know each other better (and find out that Vermonters truly do live under rocks).
On Thursday, we did our first set of intervals. They were threshold pace, which definitely varied from the usual speed the Vermonters and Alaskans were used to going at threshold, due to being at 5,500 feet elevation at the Soldier Hollow rollerski track as opposed to their normal 500 feet. The track is very technical and challenging, making us better, more adaptable skiers by forcing us to work the high speed downhill corners and flat sections following the killer, 2 minute long climbs. To make sure our blood lactate levels were appropriate to threshold level of exertion, finger pricks and blood samples were tested right after the interval. If you get sick when you see blood, like me, this is daunting, but necessary.
Sophia Mazzoni and Mara McCollor rollerski in the heat. Photo by Bryan Fish.
This years National Training Group has been very collaborative and uniquely cohesive. It’s been an amazing time and the team is making this tough week manageable. I hope a look into what it means to be on the U.S. Ski Team inspires all of us to keep up this quality when we return home! Looking forward to coming out of this faster with these guys!
I’d really like to send on appreciation to all those in our community who donate to the National Nordic Foundation, which help fund these memorable experiences and opportunities for us Juniors on Team USA to become better skiers and translate the skills we get from these trips onto our racing this winter! These camps wouldn’t be as accessible without NNF, and the donations have been invaluable and appreciated!
NTG Jr. Boys lead by Zanden McMullen. Photo by Bryan Fish.
NTG Jr. Girls lead by Sydney Palmer-Leger and Kendall Kramer. Photo by Bryan Fish.
The NNF's mission is to support athletic excellence in developing nordic athletes in the United States.
“NNF Crew: XC skiing in this country would be very lost without you guys…You all rock!!”- Liz Stephen