We’ve managed to catch Charlie Guest in-between her busy Pre-Season schedule to bring you another Q&A with one of Britain’s top racers.
Whilst most of us are enjoying what has been a sizzler of a British Summer, the Ski Racing World is quietly grafting away. Whether it be on the high Glaciers or in the ‘Ski Halles’ of Europe, a lot of work is going on. Some racers even opt to go down under to the Southern Hemisphere in the search for the perfect training opportunity. Summer/Pre-Season training is probably the most important part of the Ski Racing year for all athletes. It offers time on skis, uninterrupted by race schedules. Offering the perfect chance to grind out technical flaws. Not only does it allow for positive changes to the Athletes Skiing, it gives them opportunity to test new equipment. Whether it be the model of ski/boot, lifter plates, tuning or even a completely new brand (this is very hush hush until the deal is signed however), racers can dial in their equipment to suit their need for speed. Its safe to say Pre-Season is the foundation for a successful winter.
Their has been a few noticeable brand changes this summer, Brit Dave Ryding Fischer > Dynastar/Lange, Mattias Hargin Atomic > Head, Max Franz Atomic > Fischer to name a few. But today we are here to chat with 4 times British Champion Charlie Guest. We are delving into her move from Head to Fischer and how her Pre-Season is progressing.
SRS – Charlie, thanks for your time, how are you? And how’s the back going?
Charlie – Thanks for including me in your blog! I am great thanks and am currently wrapping up the best summer I can ever remember. I’ve just had 12 weeks at home of solid strength and conditioning work followed by a camp in Saas Fee and then indoors in Peer, Belgium so am definitely feeling good abut heading down to New Zealand next week for 4 weeks! My back at the moment has been handling skiing and training really well. As always it is just a matter of managing it and knowing what training we can and can’t do and then adapting to that!
SRS – You recently announced your move onto Fischer, let’s start there. What were the reasons behind this move? Also how would you rate your time with Head?
Charlie – Obviously I had a great 6 years with HEAD and the equipment I was provided with was always incredible. I need to thank everyone there at the race department and the boot guys for always making sure that I had everything that I needed. I decided that it was time to make a change after a couple of disappointing seasons and the Fischer slalom ski was always one that I was keen to try. I gave it a go and loved it. I think that the change has been refreshing if anything else, and I am really excited to see what this season brings.
SRS – In your previous Blog post you mention you’ve been able to spend a lot of time working on fitness. Do think this will play a big part in injury prevention? Also will it allow you to keep charging in the end of season races (which we all know can be the best races of the season if you are on the money)?
Charlie – I think that the key for me after this season was getting my back health sorted and as we know, time to build up strength is the best way to fix that. By having 12 weeks of routine gym and physio work, it has meant that I have been able to build slowly back up to where I was pre-Olympics (after a massive episode of back pain throughout January) and keep pushing the weights up after that. With regards to end of season races, I think that depends a lot on your form throughout the season as well and how mentally fresh you are. If you are feeling confident, fast and mentally ready then, of course there are massive opportunities to be had at that time of year. So, I would say that a good focus on all aspects of recovery throughout the season will help massively if you want to give yourself the best chance in April.
SRS – We are big advocates for being as fit and strong as possible, for the young aspiring racers out there, can you explain some of the benefits?
Charlie – For me, number 1 has to be injury prevention. Of course being fit and strong will help you train harder for longer and create more power in your turns and ultimately make you faster. However, if you are planning on having a career in any sport, minimising the wear and tear on your body is massively important. The better your muscles are working to support your joints and your body, the better chance you have of staying injury free.
SRS – As you’ll know, diet is a massive part of training, but tell us… what’s your cheat food?
Charlie – I have a few. Chocolate obviously. We also play team mini-golf rounds when we are out in Saas Fee and the loser has to buy Magnums for the rest of the players, so that is definitely one. However, when I am at home, the number one thing that I have a cheeky snack on at the weekends are cheesy Doritos!
SRS – There has been some growth to the Team BSS groups in the last few years at the top end. Do you believe in having national training groups/teams and what benefits does being part of a team bring to the table?
Charlie Guest – Absolutely. As with anything, the more fun that you can have the easier everything becomes! I think having a bigger team just increases the morale for everyone and gives you people to bounce off. The more of us that we can get together, the more resources we can afford – so all in all , it is definitely a positive move.
SRS – Would you like to see national teams lower down the ladder of development and if so why?
Charlie Guest – 100%. The first thing I would like to see is another girls team to move between FIS and EC. I think we have so many promising athletes coming through that it would be a shame not to create a team whilst that opportunity is there.
SRS – Team GB made a valiant effort in the Team Parallel Event at the Winter Olympic Games, narrowly losing out in the quarter final. Do you think this shows the British Team is growing in depth and stature to be able to challenge the worlds best? And is there anyone bursting through the ranks we should keep an eye out for?
Charlie Guest – Definitely. I think that BSS is definitely moving in a good direction and the experience that the four of us now have is growing and growing. Obviously Dave has been on incredible form over the last 3 world cup seasons, Alex has been crushing into the top 15 and Laurie had a fantastic season as well, so they are all athletes that I was very humbled to be on a team alongside! Of course it has been awesome to see the growth of the Europa Cup Mens team and on the girls side, there are a number of young girls that are really pushing hard, so it is definitely exciting to see a new generation of racers coming through!
SRS – Can you give us an insight to the average on snow day for you? Do you have a set routine?
Charlie Guest – I try and keep my routine the same throughout all training days. My morning will start with a small warm up before doing my physio activation exercises which includes a mixture of yoga and Pilates. I will then have breakfast (almost always porridge with banana) and head out to the training hill. Before even getting my ski boots on, I will go through a more dynamic warm up including jumping and core work just to make sure that all of my muscles are firing the way that I want them to be and to ensure that I am definitely awake before I get skiing! Then of course, finally getting onto the snow is the best part of the day and it is so important to remain hydrated and be eating enough throughout the session – especially if you are on the glacier in the summer. Afternoons are lunch, nap and fitness followed by dinner, video, stretch and bed – before doing it all again the next day!
SRS – What are your goals for the 2019 season?
Charlie Guest – Of course we have World Championships coming up in February, so that is something I am really looking forward to -especially the team event. Beyond that I am just looking to really build on my skiing from the last season, dial in the new equipment to be really competitive in Europa Cup and all going well, be making a good run for the top 30 in WC.
SRS – Can you give us an rough idea of what the programme looks like for the rest of pre-season and forthcoming season?
Charlie Guest – We will head to NZ for a 4 week camp and then in September head back out to Saas Fee. After that, it really isn’t long until Tilley will be gearing up for Soelden, so will head to Austria for some training before heading to the USA and Scandinavia before Christmas. World Champs will be in Are, Sweden and after that who knows! The beauty of ski racing is that you never know where it will take you. For now, I’m going to focus on a good NZ training block and then be as ready as I can be for the start of the Europa Cup season.
SRS – Fun one to wrap things up, Haggis or Battered Mars Bar?
Charlie Guest – Haggis! Easy!
So there you have it folks, get in the gym, train hard, recover and eat well, ski fast! Although if you aren’t fond of haggis you can opt of that one!
Just before this blog went live Charlie posted an excellent ANC Cup Win in SL and a tasty 7.33 FIS Point result! Looks like her new SL skis and season are off to a great start! Nice one Charlie!
You can also keep up to date with her blog here: https://mailchi.mp/dfc797f34e11/end-of-season-1640829
We’d like to thank Charlie for her time and wish her good luck for this season. We’ll be keeping an eye on the results and hopefully we’ll see a few top 30 WC finishes this winter. The first ladies WC races get underway at Sölden on the 27th of October 2018.