Ready, Set, PPP!
This month we are focusing on training for the 33rd annual PPP, April 15, 2017. You can race as an individual or team of two-five. Sure this race is meant to be fun, but being prepared can make it even better! Great costumes are also advised; they not only add to the event but also can result in great prizes!
Part 1: POWDER
The low down: 4.5km Starting at the top of the Bear express chair, racers start with an uphill skiboot sprint, jump into their skis and descend cedar bowl. Racers then ski out Cedar Trail to the base area.
Training musts: Skiers must first be able to run uphill in boots. Great training would be to practice your speed up Siberia Ridge off the Timber chair. As well, make sure you ski the course a few times so you know your line and are efficient on the long Cedar Trail traverse out. Skiing down with the masses is always challenging and it is very important to communicate if overtaking another skier. As this is essentially a sprint, shorter, higher intensity cardio sessions of 10-15 minutes will help you get your heart rate comfortable performing at max intensity for this duration.
Part 2: PEDAL
The low down: 6km Start at base area, pedal through Timberline Subdivision to Highway #3, along #3 to the Elk River in Fernie. While most years a road bike is the best move, having access to a mountain bike can often be advantageous in the event of slushy or icy conditions. Drafting behind a biker can also be advantageous in higher winds.
Training musts: This leg is often described as lactic acid burn in the legs and death to the lungs for much of the ride. Hence, lactic training (one to three minute sprints, repeated after one to three minute light pedaling) can help train your system to withstand more intensity. Again, look at the amount of time it may take you to do this ride and train your cardiovascular system accordingly.
Part 3: PADDLE
The low down: 6km Leaving near the West Fernie bridge in Fernie, paddle down the river to the bottom of the ski hill. Having a good boat can provide a major advantage. I have done this in a hunting canoe and a sprint kayak, no comparison to which was faster.
Training musts: This leg takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on your arm endurance, boat and paddling talent. Arm endurance can be improved using the elliptical and trying to power from your arms instead of legs, swimming focusing on arms and no legs or hitting up the river a few times prior to the race. If you are canoeing with a partner, make sure to switch sides regularly to change up your arms.
Part 4: RUN
The low down: 2km Start at the bottom of the ski hill, run uphill through Timberline, parking lot #1 to the finish line. This is grueling, especially if you are trying to catch someone! Because it is the last leg, you are often waiting in the cold for longer than you want. As soon as you see your boat, try to start warming up-jog on the spot, jumping jacks etc. as that first hill hits hard!
Training musts: A 2km race is really a sprint. Running maximally for ten minutes is the best kind of training for this leg. Ideally, you can train on the course itself, though it may deter you from wanting to ever do it again!
The low down: 19km of awesomeness! You will need someone to assist you with your bike and boat. Soloists also get local hero status!
Training musts: Doing the PPP solo is much more endurance based than sprint based and getting your stamina to be able to sustain 60-120 minutes of maximal output is your best training goal. Most soloists typically have good endurance so trying to incorporate all of the above training musts would also be advantageous.