October Nordic Newsletter

October Events!

October's schedule is jam packed with events that are all aimed at getting ready for the Winter!  Thank you to everybody who came to Team Night at Skinny Skis last week, that was a great first step towards preparedness and making sure that everyone has the appropriate gear for the season.  It was amazing to see how many families are invested in making sure that their athletes are equipped so they can grow and learn in their skiing in the months ahead! 

It's been a stunning Fall in Jackson Hole!

First up on the October event calendar is the Schutzenski Festival in Soldier Hollow, Utah on October 14-15.  This event is a really fun rollerski race on the Olympic trails from the 2002 games where athletes will compete against some of the best Junior and Senior skiers in the region and the country!  The weekend consists of two rollerski races, a sprint and a distance race, which are run in the exact same manner as a wintertime ski race.  However, the rollerski races are run at this time to take advantage of the fact that the US Cross Country Ski Team and all of the regional pro teams hold camps concurrently during the first two weeks of October.  Park City at this time of year is the center of the Nordic universe, as the US Ski Team's elite junior team (the National Training Group), and the US Biathlon National Team are all also holding training camps during this time.  We went down last year and had an amazing time getting to see all of the USST big dogs like Jessie Diggins, Gus Schumacher, and Kevin Bolger while also spectating Biathlon world cup trial races.  There is even a running race that happens during the weekend as well, and we had some moms and athletes take top spots in the running race while everything was going on.  

The next events are both here in town; the annual JHSC Ski Swap and Trail Creek Cleanup.  The Swap is going to happen on Saturday, October 28th so make sure to clean out your closets and bring your gear to sell the day before.  Volunteer shifts are already full but we would love it if you stopped by and sold your gear, the amount of equipment really helps us put on a good event and it is always one of our biggest fundraisers of the year.  The next day, on Sunday October 29th is Trail Creek Cleanup.  We still need lots of volunteers for this event, which is where we make sure that our home trails are buffed and ready to go for the ski season.  Make sure to circle the weekend of October 28-29 on your calendar, we would love to see you all there!

Skiing past Trail Creek and thinking snow...

Junior Training Starts Today!

The Junior Team, our group of Middle School athletes, begins training TODAY, October 2nd.  While many of these athletes got some quality training in over the summer two days per week, their full season starts in October where they begin to think more about training and racing while still having a ton of fun with their friends.  Our coaching staff this year is totally stacked with Head Coach George Cartwright being supported by Ben Morley, Kirsys Campbell, and Adam Meyer.  Alums Annabel Hagen and Sam Johnson will also help out part-time, and Leah Lange will also help fill in occasionally.  We are so excited for this group to start practice and get going with the season!

JHSC athletes doing an active warmup before Plyos

Renew your USSA Memberships

For those of you who are intending to race in any regional Intermountain races this winter, now is the time of year to renew your USSA Memberships!  Prices go up on October 15th, so it is great for you to take care of it ASAP.   Athletes who are 13 or younger should purchase a cross-country general license, which costs $35.  Athletes who are older should get a cross-country competitor license, which will allow you to accumulate USSA points.  These licenses are not required for local races such as the Betty Woolsey Classic or the Moose Chase, but you need one if you are going to go to any of the regional races such as the Junior National Qualifiers.  We are going to host a JNQ in Jackson this winter, so if you are intending to race at that one you will need a USSA License.  

Fall Training Continues

Strong skiers approaching the summit of Teton Pass

Meanwhile, the Prep and Comp Teams of the Nordic program have kept up their hard work on the pathways, trails, and in the gym for the past month.  We have seen a lot of athletes perform well in the NICA mountain biking races as well as the WYHS high school cross-country races this fall.  Competing and training for multiple sports is something that we love to encourage since learning different movement patterns and gaining fitness in other ways than our typical nordic training can really help athletes succeed at a high level.  

Those athletes who train exclusively for nordic have also been doing a great job the last month.  We have been getting in our final big blocks of training with sizeable amounts of training hours while racheting up the intensity looking towards race season.  We have been focusing on explosive fast-twitch movements and building good elasticity in the muscles.  We do this through what the Norwegians call "spenst" but everyone else in the English-speaking world calls "plyometrics".  This consists of lots of jumping, short sprints, and fast bursts of power and speed that can help train your muscles to explode.  We have also been dialing in more adjustments to technique through video, focused drills, and specific sessions that help athletes focus on certain cues that develop good ski technique for the winter.  One highlight of the past few weeks has been doing one of the keystone workouts of the whole year; skate rollerski intervals up Teton Pass.  This workout builds resiliency and character for the long distance races that these athletes need for the winter.  I can confirm the rumors that all of the athletes are training extremely well and they look strong and fast headed into the later Fall!  

Abby Murphy grinds to the top of the Pass...

Winter Race Dates

Below is the race calendar for the upcoming Winter!  There are a few different dates this year, but this calendar looks robust without being overwhelming for all of these athletes.  The Prep/Comp team will be heading back to Turpin Meadows Ranch over Thanksgiving break, and there will potentially be a training camp for Juniors in West Yellowstone at the same time.  For athletes who are in elementary school or middle school, you should focus on the JNQ in Jackson and Soldier Hollow, and the local races like the Betty Woolsey Classic and the Skinny Skis Moose Chase.  Either way, there will be lots of volunteer opportunities available for the winter!

December 16-17 IMD Opener

West Yellowstone, WY

December 23

Betty Woolsey Classic

Wilson, WY

January 2-6  US Nationals

Soldier Hollow, UT

January 13-14

JNQ #1

Wilson, WY

January 26-27

JNQ #2

Soldier Hollow, UT

February 10-11

JNQ #3

McCall, ID

February 17 Moose Chase

Wilson, WY

February 23-25

IMD Tune-Up

Bozeman, MT

March 11-17

 US Junior Nationals

Lake Placid, NY

March 30-April 6

 International Spring Series

Jackson & Sun Valley