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On to Utah

Kris Freeman

Mon, May  19, 2008 - By Zach Caldwell

Whistler camp wrapped up last Sunday and Monday the team traveled down to Utah for physiological testing. Kris did the standard protocol yesterday, and surprisingly put up better numbers than either April or July last year. Good evidence of the power of recovery and a little bit of training. If he had run that tests four weeks ago I don’t think it would have been so good. Today and tomorrow Kris will be back on the treadmill testing different insulin dosing scenarios. The management of his disease needs to be well integrated with the rest of his life and his athletic goals. The Omnipod gives him greater control and adjustability in his basal insulin dosing, and he’s working with the sport science staff to start to understand some of the parameters for dosing during race efforts.

Whistler wrapped up very well. Kris felt better as the week went on, and he responded incredibly well to the training. We talked about keeping the load quite low, and for the most part that happened. The exception was that a rollerski double-pole intensity session that we had scheduled as something pretty light turned out to be quite hard. Kris joined the sprint team for their workout, and just like on the first sprint day he got pretty well obliterated double-poling uphill. The session ended up being quite hard, resulting in 10mMol/L lactate concentrations.

On Saturday, the penultimate training day of the camp, the team ran a simulated sprint relay. No teams in this case - everybody went head to head. Three laps with just about equal rest between laps, mass start each time to keep things competitive. Then a half hour of holding time, and repeat the whole thing for the “final”. It was a brutally tough day - very soft and slow conditions, with light rain in the air. For the most part everybody looked quite tired - “bagged” as they might say up here in Canada. Kris was the exception - he looked energetic and good - and in slush no-less.

We’ve learned a great deal already this Spring. Kris has good race fitness after a month of taking it easy followed by a moderate couple of weeks with a few hard efforts. Kris’s energy management strategies will be comprehensively recallibrated for this season. We don’t have the details in place - that’s what the camps are for this year. But a lot of pieces to the puzzle are currently falling into place ahead of schedule, and the whole thing is serving to illustrate just how far off the mark Kris was for most of the season. I’ll put up some more involved thoughts after the testing in Utah has concluded and we’ve had the chance to learn something from the results.