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Park City Action: John Farrow's Blog

28 June 2013

31-year-old skeleton athlete John Farrow suffered a major injury in 2011, but is determined to compete at his first Olympic Games in Sochi. In his last blog he set the scene in Park City, Utah for a week of training. Here is how it unfolded...

BLOG: I’d landed in Park City, Utah and settled into my routine: two hours of push training and start analysis to start each day, a physio session with Ashley Merkur and then mountain biking runs for the rest of the day.


Start training is nothing exciting, but each day in Park City I would do 10 to 12 starts timing and filming each one from different angles and then talk with my coaches about what is working and what isn't. We would then try different ideas and techniques and slowly start to polish a few pieces of the start.

What I am working on is starting to look a lot different to how I usually start. Above is a sample video from one of the days training.


Ashley Merkur, who I mentioned in my last blog, had worked on me before for the World Championships in 2011, but she invited me around for physio during the week as she had just completed a hip course. Ash had done some great work on my hips in 2011 and so was keen to use what she had learnt at the course on me over the week.

She was able to find a lot of tightness in my left hip and glute which she worked hard on to release. This is most likely due to balance compensation from my injury and something extra I need to work on to be my best by next year.

Ash would later in the week send me a message like "You should probably go for a ride before physio today because I will most likely destroy you again!" She wasn't wrong either. Most days I would leave with a limp but feel free and limber the next day.


After training and physio I was free to go ride and Park City has some of the largest hills around to ride, with over 400 miles of mountain biking trail there was plenty to do. Once I had met a few locals they showed me around some beautiful scenic rides in the Park City ski resort back country and Wasatch national park areas.

Here is a pic from a ride I went on that took me to 3000m elevation.

John Farrow on a beautiful scenic bike ride in the Park City ski resort back country and Wasatch National Park.

Not only is there so much trail riding, but with winter ski resorts comes lift access and a lot more ski resorts are starting to use their lifts for summer time downhill mountain biking. Downhill mountain biking is my gravity training when there is no ice around. I think the fast reactions and speed required mimics skeleton runs and keeps the mind sharp when we aren't on the sled.

Being off the bike for over two years after injury I noticed last year my sliding wasn't as sharp as previous years. But now being back on the bike is a major strategy of mine to be fast from the first run on the sled next year. Here is a video cam run of mine from the canyons mountain bike park in Park City >>


After seven days straight of the program above, my body is now worn out. I probably pushed a little hard and should have factored in a rest day to this week of training. I sometimes forget our bodies are working as high performance machines and we need to factor in rest to our training programs as much as we need to factor in performance. Sometimes stepping it back a little can reap more gains than constantly pushing forward.

Take a step back, look around at what is going on around you, and then attack again!


Read my previous blogs:
Setting the scene in Park City >>
No ice? No worries >>
Flying head first to Sochi >>

Read all Australian Winter Blogs >>

PS: It’s also not rare to see a moose out while riding! Here is a pic of a moose just cruising down the ride during one of my rides.

It’s not rare to see a moose out while riding in Park City.

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