By Meredith Edwards
This summer will be my second year of real training at the Mountain Tactical Institute.
I first trained at this facility in the summer of 2008. Back then I was a scattered, ski bum, unsure of what I wanted. I was afraid of lifting heavy, and still searching for my athletic direction.
Fast forward to 2012. Now 27, I knew who I was and what I wanted, athletically. I was ready to train hard.
MTI can be intimidating. The coaches both have military backgrounds and are demanding. Also, you’ll find yourself training alongside established, professionals. You walk into the gym and realize you have to rise to the level of all these other accomplished athletes.
The programming and training sessions aren’t random. The coaches design the cycles appropriate to the season/sport/athlete. In the Fall I completed a cycle designed to prepare me for the skimo racing season.
Work in the gym made me strong, but not bulky. The strength helped carry me through the season of racing. I have a degree in physiology and have been a life-long athlete. I’m no coach, but I know the difference a planned, progressive training program can make. Jordan gave me the entire 10 week print out for my cycle. I was able to review what the cycle and see what it entailed. I saw the logic and reasoning, and it made me a believer.
I like being coached. I like coming into the gym and knowing I don’t have to decide what to do that day – the coaches have decided for me and are ready. Both coaches know when to you push me out of my comfort zone. They know when I can give more, and are not afraid coach me to my potential. They respect me as a professional athlete and expect me to behave like one. Beyond the gym, they are genuinely interested and supportive of my broader career success.
Pre and Post Surgery Training
I had ankle surgery last summer. The weeks leading up to my surgery I was unable to run. My coaches helped make me strong before my surgery. Having this base fitness going into surgery was a big help. This also helped with my head. When you’re an athlete and unable to do your sport it can play head games with you. Coming in and channeling that energy in a gym-based training session really helped.
After surgery, I was able to recover faster and get back to my normal training schedule more rapidly. My coaches were very careful with what I could and couldn’t do and designed training sessions around my ankle limitations.
I feel both of my coaches are dedicated to me and my success. They expect me to be here and on time, and I know I can expect the same out of them. They are there for me when the training session gets intense – and help me get through it.
Mountain Athlete trains has a wide range of top mountain athletes and mountain professionals. I enjoy being around the other pros – it’s a great, positive environment to train in. Even though we come from different sports and compete as individuals in the mountains, we’re a team in the gym.
The coaches have given many of us nicknames. Mine is “Foxtrot Alpha Mountain Rooster.” Don’t ask.
Last Fall I was the only skimo racer training in the gym. I trained alongside about a dozen Freekiers. They would be lifting, and doing box jumps and plyos, and I’d be off in the corner, skinning hard intervals uphill to nowhere on a damn treadmill. (Sounds Euro, I know, but it was great training!) Days when things got hard on the treadmill my teammates would notice, and cheer for me. That was pretty awesome.
I enjoy my time in the gym. I used to be scared to come in each day, but now I look forward to it. The training sessions are a fresh break from my endurance work, and always challenging.
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