The summer of training is over for Whitehorse cross country skier and member of the Canadian national team Dahria Beatty. On Nov. 13 and 14 she competed in the Nordiq Thunder races in Canmore, Alta.
The first race, Beatty said, was a sprint race done in a king’s court format with mixed heats.
“It gets everyone racing,” said Beatty. “No one gets eliminated from the race. It’s a full sprint day.”
The following day was an eight-kilometre distance race. Beatty won the race completing it in 18 minutes, 43 seconds.
She also won the sprint. Fellow Whitehorse cross-country skier, Emily Nishikawa came in fourth in the distance race with a final time of 19 minutes, 33 seconds.
The national team will soon be travelling to Europe and will have a busy December of three straight racing weekends starting in Slovenia. They will then head to Davos, Switzerland before going back to Slovenia.
“These are high-level races,” said Beatty.
Beatty said getting race weekends in like Nordiq Thunder is good preparation for when the world cup races begin again.
“It’s the first true race,” said Beatty. “You put on a bib, you do a full race warmup and you get into the swing of race mode.
“This was nice to have before the high-pressure races. It gets you into the race process and helps work out the kinks.”
Beatty said the race is also helpful to remind oneself about all the things that surround a race.
“In some sense, it becomes second nature but it’s little things like remembering dry gloves,” said Beatty. “It reminds yourself of those things, picking up leg chips, that come easy by the end of the season.”
In her offseason training, Beatty told the Star the focus is always bringing up the fitness level and working on smaller details.
“All these things technical or baseline numbers they are all small percentages,” said Beatty in October. “That’s the difference between five spots in the results. The base has been built now it’s about the smaller details.”
At Nordiq Thunder, Beatty said she was happy with her race mentality.
“My brain was where I wanted it,” said Beatty. I had good focus on execution. My body was lagging behind but that’s what I was expecting.”
On the second day of the event, she said she was feeling better.
“In the last sprint my overall fitness was good,” said Beatty. “In some terrain sections I didn’t max my strengths and carry that through the course.”
After a race, Beatty said she along with her coaches will do a reflection on what can be improved.
“The cool thing about cross-country is you can always find something to do better,” said Beatty. “There are always technical and tactical things to be improved.
“The degree for error is so much smaller and it’s constant evolution. The details may seem minor but it all changes seconds.”
Another reason Beatty wanted to get in some races before heading out is that competitive races can’t be replicated in training.
“Race day is always harder,” said Beatty. “A training session doesn’t feel the same. There is no external pressure. In training you win some you lose some.”
With the European races looming, Beatty said she is getting excited to go out and compete.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said.