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Track length - cause for different technique

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

At our local hill we have racing tracks of the length of 20-30 sec. This weekend I was at a national event and the SL track measured 40sec. It was way more tiring and most of the guys that crashed did so at the very end of the track. Ok, it was also the most demanding with pure ice etc. but still it may have been the cause of being tired.

 

So my Q is, how much do WC racers adjust their technique at the start of the course to save themselves for later on the track and how much do they fight total fatique at the end. For example standing up straight insted of being in a tuck or ILE insted of staying low etc. Any guesses? And how about you?

 

T

post #2 of 16

I'm guessing the crashes were more a result of too much speed at the end than being tired, but that's just a guess.

Another Guess: unless there is a serious compression near the bottom of a DH and the racer feels some abnormal serious fatigue developing he's going all-out.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thats my point Ghost. If they are going all out at the end then maybe they saved themselves at an earlier stage.

post #4 of 16

If it's only 40 seconds; I don't see it being much of a factor, but I'm not a racer.  Just guessing based on my athletic endeavours.  Seems much more likely confidence from getting through most of the course and additional vertical combine to add a little too much speed for the turns that must be made, perhaps along with evil course designers, to cause the crash.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

If it's only 40 seconds; I don't see it being much of a factor, but I'm not a racer.  Just guessing based on my athletic endeavours.  Seems much more likely confidence from getting through most of the course and additional vertical combine to add a little too much speed for the turns that must be made, perhaps along with evil course designers, to cause the crash.


or also a strong chance that once you get in sight of the finish you start to go balls to the wall, especially if you are trying to make up for errors earlier in the course that you know have cost you time...

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

If it's only 40 seconds; I don't see it being much of a factor, but I'm not a racer.  Just guessing based on my athletic endeavours.  Seems much more likely confidence from getting through most of the course and additional vertical combine to add a little too much speed for the turns that must be made, perhaps along with evil course designers, to cause the crash.


or also a strong chance that once you get in sight of the finish you start to go balls to the wall, especially if you are trying to make up for errors earlier in the course that you know have cost you time...


Yes, thanks for the racer's perspective.    I can easily see that happening.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

If it's only 40 seconds; I don't see it being much of a factor, but I'm not a racer.  Just guessing based on my athletic endeavours.  Seems much more likely confidence from getting through most of the course and additional vertical combine to add a little too much speed for the turns that must be made, perhaps along with evil course designers, to cause the crash.
You're underestimating the physical aspect of a WC race. Think of it more like a sprint that lasts for a minute, but with much more strength needed. Or Wengen DH which lasts for two and a half minutes. None of the athletes can feel their legs the last 30 seconds or so.

Edit. Lauberhorn is a 2:30+ race. Almost unreal.
Edited by Karlsson - 4/1/15 at 2:00am
post #8 of 16

^^^ No, but I might be underestimating the athletes.  In any event, I think ScotsSkier's later post nailed it.

post #9 of 16
My local hill has 150m fall height and a GS run for a racer with reasonable skills takes about 35s plus or minus a bit depending on course set, snow and wind. I can manage that ok. But skiing a full length GS course with a fall height of over 400m absolutely kills me. Over the finish line and it's a real effort to clear the braking zone before collapsing on the snow. The minimum lengths of course for FIS races are really testing.
post #10 of 16
In response to the OPs question, when setting a race course for younger racers I deliberately make the course progress as follows:

First gates fairly easy and uniform to allow them to relax and find their rythmn. Traversing set to keep speed down

Middle section is hardest, with more technical challenges and higher speeds and turning forces.

Last section is easier, to reflect the fact that they are tired. If the end of the course is steep I will stretch the gate spacing and/or reduce the traversing so that they can let the skis run without having to fight. The speed will go up but this is good. Younger racers should get used to going fast. But since all that comes next is a braking zone, the high speed is no big problem.
post #11 of 16

For SL, you should be prepared to race full on for the entire course, with allowances for tactical adjustments identified through the inspection.

 

A 40 second course will probably have between 40 & 50 gates, depending on the set & the level of the field.

If the athletes have been training on a 20 second course, with 20 to 25 gates, they are going to be very tired at the end of the 40 second course.

I don't think a change in technique or tactics is the answer for this, you want to emulate your target race environment.

This certainly isn't easy if you're really restricted for space on your training lanes, but it's what you have to strive for.

 

At top competition levels (e.g. WC) athletes will be training on courses that resemble their race venues.

If they are expecting a 60 gate SL race, they'll be training with 60 gates so they won't be surprised on race day.

post #12 of 16

Fitness matters people... why do you think Hirscher won most of the long GS and SL races this season? More fit = less compromise.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Fittness matters thats for sure. No question about it. Problem for guys like me is that our local hill is to short for training 40 sec SL courses. Need to put in more training camps next year and maybe ramp up summer and fall dry land training a notch or two.

post #14 of 16

I see your problem.  You will have to substitute some dry land training.  You will have to take up the martial arts:D; IIRC (don't own a heavy bag) full-power, full-speed, side kicks to the heavy bag is a good work-out (so is fighting, but that has high probability for injuries, and I think doing the sidekicks comes closer to working the same muscles as skiing). 

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
 

Fittness matters thats for sure. No question about it. Problem for guys like me is that our local hill is to short for training 40 sec SL courses. Need to put in more training camps next year and maybe ramp up summer and fall dry land training a notch or two.

 

Have your athletes hike up a few times to run the course again instead of cycling through on the chair.

That will provide a significant increase in the physical demands for running the course.

 

You can also stretch the course with increased offset (but be careful not to spend too much time with unusual turn shapes).

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

mogulmuncher, thanks for the input. I have actually been quite successfull in setting the course using terrain features, slanting across the slope and setting the goal as far away as possible. This way I have managed to increase time by as much as 5-10 sec.

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