Rochester Nordic Racing Summer Update

Rochester Nordic Racing is committed to improving the state of cross-country ski racing in the Mid-Atlantic Division amongst J2-U23 athletes. Cross-country ski racing is no longer a winter-only sport. Consistent year-round training is a major step towards reaching our goal of developing the best junior racers in the country.

We have been “rolling along” literally since the beginning of June. It was nice to get back to normalcy and start our summer program on time and without any restrictions. The first couple of weeks we really focused on technique and being comfortable on skis through a series of technique progressions and agility-based warm-up routines.

As the summer progressed, we went through our “testing week” which includes the Canadian Strength Test and Double Pole Time Trial. We have been doing these tests for several years and have data going back to 2012. Having the data from over 22 sectional champions as well as 10 individual state champions is great for current athletes to compare themselves with and see where they match up. Seeing a steady improvement from year to year is also added motivation for many of the current athletes.

After the testing week, we alternated between some volume weeks and intensity weeks to keep the athletes’ adaptation high, and continued work on technique and specific strength.  Having a group of dedicated athletes seems to keep things focused while at the same time being fun!

In July, Grace Mattern (Brighton / Bowdoin College) attended the U.S. Ski Team Regional Elite Group camp which took place in Waitsfield, VT and Lake Placid, NY. This camp brings together the top U18 and U20 athletes in the Mid-Atlantic and New England Divisions. Coach Hettenbaugh also attended the camp as a coach. The camp culminated with a full sprint race on the paved rollerski loop at the recently re-vamped Nordic complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg. In addition to the camp, the U.S Ski Team offered a Level 100 technique clinic that was attended by Coach Hettenbaugh and Coach Bellizzi. All of the summer coaches are now certified by USSA! (Hettenbaugh L200, Bellizzi L100, and Mattern L100). You can learn more about what these certifications mean here.

The week of August 22 marks the last week of summer training before many athletes start fall high school sports. We also are seeing our college-aged athletes head off to campus. We will still be meeting at Mendon Ponds Park for easy distance skis on Sunday mornings to maintain ski-specific strength and the technique advancements we have worked on all summer for those athletes who are competing in fall sports.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram channels @rochesternordicracing for more up to date content! We have also been working on a technique project. Coach Bellizzi has been uploading videos to the Instagram account @rxcsfskischool these videos are great for beginners and advanced skiers!