• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Dachstein, Austria - CNEPH Training Camp Report sponsored by AltaGas

      October 21, 2008

      By: François Pépin - September 2008

      Under the AltaGas High Performance Coaching Experience (HPCE) program, I had the chance to participate at a Pierre-Harvey National Development Training Center (CNEPH) training camp, held in Ramsau, Austria from September 21th to October 9th. With the help of head-coach Louis Bouchard, working with athletes and observing numerous other national cross-country ski teams on the Dachstein glacier, I learnt many important aspects of training cross-country skiers. Here are some examples...

      Heart Rates

      Athletes had to take their heart rates when they woke and during training and share it with Louis in a daily report. While analyzing the results throughout the camp, we were able to adjust the workload for each athlete in order to maximize the amount of efficient training for everyone.

      Ski Testing

      With the recent hiring of full-time wax technician at CNEPH, I could enjoy, like the athletes, the advice and knowledge of Sacha Bergeron. I was able to help with ski preparation and also learned about proper skis selection for each athlete.  I learned a lot, because I am a new level 3 coach and I haven’t ever done that kind of sophisticated selection before. I saw how to compare skis, select good cambers, different types of base preparations (“stone-grind") and the plus/cold aspects of Fischer skis.

      Skiing Techniques

      With Louis’ help and thanks to the presence of other national teams, I saw some technique workouts that were slightly different from what we normally do in Canada. But in general, it was really close to what is already done in Canada. This suggests that we are headed in the right direction. There were workouts without poles half-length behind their back, behind the shoulders, the hips, without any poles or with a single pole. The Russians were doing intensities sessions every two days, speeds ranging from 15 sec. on up hills and down hills, to as long as time trials on the 5 km loop! Also video technique work from all angles.  I saw several ways to ski, some very wide stances with the arms poling, others very close and out of sync. Some high arm double poling, others close to the body (no extension from biceps). Many teams also used the lactate monitor so I could observe their methods.


      In closing, this trip was extremely rewarding, from a technical and training aspect, but also on a cultural perspective. Thank you to all the CNEPH team and foremost, thank you Louis!