Athlete Blog: Ben and Gus Update on NTG Camp


Ben Ogden and Gus Schumacher mid camp update:

August NTG is always a time where junior and U23 level skiers can get together and take advantage of each other’s strengths and get a midsummer training boost. By grouping up at these camps we are able to learn what our teammates across the country do to prepare for the upcoming season. This year’s group is particularly talented and motivated which shows every day in training. Everyone comes to workouts with a professional attitude and ready to give their best effort. This creates a productive atmosphere where everyone is hungry to get to the next level.

Ben Ogden

A few workouts that have stood out as being especially effective are our skate sprint simulation, Mirror Lake over distance and a somewhat unusual workout called “classic speed play”.

The sprint simulation took place on the hilly course at Soldier Hollow nordic center. We ran it as a kings court sprint style starting with a prelim and then based off the results the athletes sorted into heats of 4 where at the conclusion of each subsequent race the winner moved into a faster heat and the loser moved into the next slower heat. It was especially cool because we mixed the Alberta Provincial team, men and women all into the same race so there was a lot of mixed competition. Sprint simulations of this nature are always fun because skiers can experiment with tactics with little or no consequence for not getting it right. This is important for moving to the winter race scene where tactics could be the difference between advancing or not. In the end, we *only* broke 3 separate poles and a skate boot cuff, casualties of the tight nature of sprint racing, especially at high speeds on pavement.

Zak Ketterson and Bill Harmeyer

As nordic skiers we do a lot of distance workouts and they tend to run together, so it’s always refreshing to explore a different place, especially one as scenic as Utah. On this distance we covered almost 50k and climbed a total of 3,000 vertical feet, all while enjoying the Uinta Mountains. During this we skied with peers and had the chance to talk about how the summer had been so far and plans for the rest. All this time also gave us an opportunity to discuss technique ideas with each other in an attempt to further streamline our skiing. One thing I notice is that when we can ask each other for opinions and be comfortable giving and receiving constructive criticism, we can all become more in tune with changes that can affect our ski economy. One person that’s really good at this is Zak Ketterson, he’s very quick to ask how he looked or what we think he could work on, in our perspective. This, in turn, facilitates more conversation about it, leading us all to become better, more efficient skiers.

Mirror Lake Highway – Johnny Hagenbuch, Ben Ogden, and friend

The speed play workout was an interesting one that was new for many of the athletes. The general idea was to ski easy around a set loop in a tight pack while one person would start a speed without warning, attempting to drop his/her peers. It was the job of the remaining group members to match the speed and hopefully even beat the instigator. The older boys group took it to the next level and installed a points system where the speed starter could gain one point by finishing the roughly 20 second speed in the lead, and the other members of the pack could get an additional 3 points if they could beat the person who started it. Not surprisingly, the big boys of the group took home big points compared to the rest of us. Bill Harmyer (6’4”) was able to acquire an astounding 14 points and Noel (6’2”) was in a close second with 9 points. The rest of us were left with less than five… While not all of us may have crushed this workout, it was good practice getting more familiar with big changes is pace that we are likely to see in high caliber races.


Noel Keeffe

In addition to the training we have received several talks about recovery, training and nutrition. The goal of these talks is to present optimal situations; be they in training, nutrition or whatever else, and gives the athletes a gold standard to always work towards. The remaining free time around Park City has been spent resting, eating, bouncing on the trampolines or hanging out at the pool… Ski camp life is a good life! Thanks NNF for all the support!

Group hiking up the Wasatch Mtn Crest above Park City Mtn Resort



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