After a week of training in Oberstdorf, we drove through the mountains toward Innsbruck for another concentrated and focused week. The Innsbruck valley is absolutely spectacular, and it offers excellent training opportunities.
It’s not that often that we get to jump a new hill, yet that was the case for the whole team asides from Todd Loddwick (but I dare you to count ten ski jumps in the world that he hasn’t jumped…). Innsbruck is a phenomenal venue – a little tricky to figure out the hill, but a blast nonetheless. And you can’t beat the views.
Looking down on Innsbruck from the inrun-top restaurant.
Quality rollerskiing is a little harder to find in this area, but there are a few good places. One day we drove up into Seefeld, in the mountains just above where we were staying. The 5km rollerski track was just about perfect for a hard interval workout. Another day we skied intervals up a mountain pass towards a couple of high ski areas. It was pouring rain, a little cold and extremely slippery – one of those sessions that doesn’t look like any fun but kind of is.
Monday through Wednesday we jumped in Stams, which is one of the best training hills in the world. It’s a K105 – technically a “large” hill – but right in that sweet spot of slower, small hill speeds combined with large hill air pressure. One of the days we jumped alongside some of the Austrian and German National ski jumping team members. Which is to say, some of the best ski jumpers in the world. Thomas Morgenstern was extremely cool to watch, and I saw the best ski jumps I’ve ever seen on a K60 from Andreas Kofler. That’s the hill on the left below. There’s a lesson to be learned here: no shame in stepping down to a small hill.
Guess where the $40,000 machine is here.
Our jump coach, Marc Noelke, used to coach many of those German and Austrian athletes, so I’m sure he was happy to see them again. Marc got us into the Stams Ski School gym for strength training. It’s safe to say that it’s a little nicer gym than your high school’s - they take their athletics pretty seriously there. It was a little strange crashing the gym, I’m sure we’re the only American team to train in there, but that’s just one of the many perks of having a German coach who’s been around the block a few times.
We wrapped up the trip with a second practice comp on the last day of the camp. Taylor put it to us, winning both the jumping and skiing the fastest race time. Watch out for him this season with the way he’s jumping – and we all know that he can ski.
All in all, this two-week trip has us feeling even more ready and excited for winter. We’ll keep training hard and expecting nothing but the best. A huge thanks to all of our supporters who make this possible. You are the NNF, and the NNF is our lifeline.