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Underway, Whistler in May

Kris Freeman

Fri, May  16, 2008 - By Zach Caldwell

The USST arrived in BC Wednesday for a Spring training camp on snow at the Callaghan Valley. This marks the start of organized training for Kris, and as his training goes, it’s pretty low-key. The goal for this camp is to keep the load moderate and to take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the venue, and to bang heads with the teammates.

CVMAYDP.jpgThe banging heads part commenced this morning, with a classic sprint workout on the Olympic sprint course. One big question in everybody’s mind these days is whether there is a sprint course anywhere that is immune to successful double-poling. The 2010 sprint course is borderline right now, in my opinion. It will certainly depend on conditions. On a day like today, refrozen corn snow - incredibly hard and fast - double poling looked pretty viable. These guys did the qualification round and the first heat on skating gear, double-poling. Kris took a beating - he was something like 19 second slower than Newell in qualifying. He got a bit better as the session went on - actually speeding up in the second round while everybody else felt the tug of slowing conditions. But the day was eye-opening nonetheless. Kris is not indomitable at the moment. He was losing quite a lot of time on the uphill portion double-poling. Signs that his fitness is not at peak (no kidding) and that he hasn’t practiced much peak-power double-poling (again, no kidding). It’s good to know where things stand. By the “final” everybody was striding, Kris was feeling a bit better, and Koos and Newell took each-other out on one of the downhill corners, leaving the door open for Kris to look good. While he may have won the final, he clearly didn’t win the workout, and Kris is left with a good benchmark for comparison later on.

OmnipodCVMAYOMNI2.jpgKris has continued to have good luck with the Omnipod, the new, compact insulin pump that he’s been using since early April. The thing stays on the back of his arm comfortably, and he controls it from a small PDA-like control unit. Today’s session provided a good example of the way the thing worked. Kris’s blood sugar was starting to climb a bit after the second round, and so he dialed up a slightly higher dose. No injection, no hassle. Kris has been able to reduce the total amount of insulin that he’s taking because the system is so refined and immediate. There’s a lot left to learn about how to optimize the use of the Omnipod as a tool, and there will be a good opportunity to do some testing to that end in Utah once this camp is over.

Looking ahead, Kris will leave Whistler on the 12th and head to Utah for testing. He’ll be back home in New Hampshire on the 16th, and will start his first real capacity-building training at that time.