Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mark Arendz - Training season underway

Training season underway
Photo courtesy of Molson Canada
Mark Arendz


The Guardian

The 2009-10 training season started with an awesome spring camp. A week of, I want to say, pre-summer skiing at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley. A spring camp like this I had never experienced.
It was a week of simply enjoying skiing with not a care in the world.
A typical day started out at 8 a.m., by heading down from Whistler to the Olympic Park, about a 25-minute drive. We get there and there was slight nip still in the air, but during the 20 minutes of getting ready with boots and skis, the sun was already warming everything up. The first 30 minutes was pretty stretchy, everything was pure ice, so an added thrill now accompanied the already fun, high-speed technical corners. The snow soon warmed up to an ideal surface. It is every skier’s dream of racing on snow like that. This lasted maybe another 40 minutes and then it started to get granular and slow, but still amazing.
A focus of the camp had a shooting aspect to it. So we worked a lot on the pursuit course and transition into the range. Another bonus of the camp was that I was able to watch the Swedish national team train. To see how aggressive they skied in certain sections, the tempo and the technique, to me, was a true learning experience. To watch, arguably, the number one and two sprinters in the world train, there is hardly anything that can beat that.
We made our way back to Whistler around noon. Then it was to the patios of Whistler for lunch. Enjoying great food, with the best of company and soaking up the bright sun in shorts and a T-shirt in April, nothing beats that. Every afternoon was filled with some recovery and a run on the local Whistler trails. And the whole camp was like this (with the exception of one day, where the wind picked up and it was a little cooler).
Though, all good things must come to an end! It was back to Calgary and back to school (two spring courses at the University of Calgary) and dry-land training.
June began with a great technique and biathlon camp in Canmore. The weather threatened to make it ugly, but held out for us. The camp was very demanding and rewarding at the same time. And to be honest I have never felt so physically and mentally exhausted after a camp, then this one. It proved that there are limits and we played (dangerously close to) crossing those limits.
The remaining days of June will be spent finishing off my courses and continued training, which consists of running, cycling, roller skiing, and strength, for the next little while. Then for July it is off to Canmore for a month of, I hope, great training.

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The Guardian


A native of Springton, P.E.I., Mark Arendz is preparing to compete for Canada in the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games March 12-21 in Vancouver, B.C.
Arendz will provide Guardian readers with updates on his training and highlights of his participation in the games.

Photo courtesy of Molson Canada

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