It's been a few weeks since my last update, which generally means I've been busy with my head down on training.
In October, I headed across with a few of the squad guys and ladies Youth athlete Lynne Gray for a week long training camp in Sweden.
Why Sweden, well it's one of the few places in Europe that have an indoor ski facility specifically for cross country ski training. Basically like a 1km road tunnel thats got snow on the road all the way around. This allows for all year round training on snow and you'll quite often see the Swedish, Norwegian and the other elite teams training there throughout the year.
The week was pretty full on with generally a 2 hour session in the morning, break for lunch and a bit of rest, then back in for a 2 hour session in the afternoon. And in the evenings, we'd generally head out into the surounding countryside for a run in the forests and hills.
It was my first time at the tunnel and whilst exciting to be back on snow, after you've done a few laps around the 1km circuit, the novelty soon wears off. That said, it was great to be making improvements in technique and putting them into practice whist on snow, by the end of the week, I could see, and the coaches, that progress was being made.
My first FIS race is in just under a month's time when I'll be back in Sweden, at Idre, with the Youth squad. We're all bidding for a potential selection place for the Youth Olympics in Lilliehammer next February so we're all chasing our best form to maximise our points. I say maximise, as the way that the scoring on XC works is the lower the points, the better you are.
I have a target to try and hit for qualification but I've also set my own personal target and will be delighted if I can achieve both. Representing Team GB would be pretty awesome too, but competition in the team is tough and we've all got a chance on the day.
Thereafter, I have another set of races in Austria 10 days later whereby there is another opportunity to secure qualification for selection. Last year, the weather was a bit patchy with limited snow, but it's looking good already for this year and I'll give it my all on the day and see what happens. Hopefully in my next update, I'll have some good news to share.