Coaching with Kevin Brochman
My journey to becoming an elite runner began when I was in high school. I dabbled
in many sports throughout my high school career, but really focused on Nordic
skiing my junior and senior year of high school. I went on to ski at Northern
Michigan University on a cross country ski scholarship, where I was a 2-time All
American. This early success helped shaped my future, as I worked with great
coaches as a junior. These coaches helped me learn how to be an athlete and have
been a big part of my success as an elite ultra runner today.
One of the first coaches who helped shape me into the athlete I am today is Kevin
Brochman. I first started working with Kevin in the summer between my
sophomore and junior year of high school. That winter, as a sophomore, I decided to
try Nordic skiing for the first time. I was a successful runner, and had a good engine,
but knew nothing about Nordic skiing. I had some moderate success the first winter
I skied for Forest Lake High School, but it was really the first summer of dryland
training with Kevin Brochman where I made the most improvements.
Dryland training was hard. I was new to the sport and the technique wasn’t easy for
me to pick up immediately. I trained with Kevin three days a week: Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday. Each day was different and provided different training
stimuli to help me become a better athlete. Monday was always distance. We
rollerskied, worked on a few technique drills, then skied a big loop. It was a good
day to focus on endurance and to refine technique (which I needed). Wednesday
was interval day. We would meet at Afton and ski up the coulee, or do a time trial. It
was a hard day of ski intervals, but it made me fitter and stronger. I always had
butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of Wednesday’s workout. The silver lining?
There was an amazing ice cream shop in Afton that we could look forward to post-
workout. Friday, similar to Wednesday, was another hard interval day. But Friday
was on foot at Afton ski hill. Running was something I excelled at, so I really looked
forward to this day. We alwasys started with some strength near the parking lot:
dips, pushups, relays, ski drills, etc. Then we start running. We’d warm up and then
do things like mile repeats, or 800m hill repeats (I may still have the female record
for Campground hill?). It was a very hard day, but also rewarding. The thing I most
appreicataed about working with Kevin is that he taught us how to be good athletes.
It was important to include distance, intervals, and strength into an effective
training plan. We didn’t just ski easy everyday, nor did we go too hard each day.
There was a balance and method to the training we did each summer. I guess that’s
what happens when you have an ex-Olympian as your coach
My senior year in high school I won the MN state Nordic ski meet in the classic
division. I can’t give Kevin enough credit for helping this become a reality for me.
Kevin always believed I could be a good skier, even when I was a lowly sophomore
flailing around on the trails. The support he gave me and belief that I could be a
good skier was really important in my development.
As an elite runner now, I still find myself thinking back to those training sessions
with Kevin as a junior. It’s so important to me now to be fortunate enough to have a
great coach growing up. I learned how to be an athlete, how to train my body
correctly, and how to race. I attribute a lot of my recent success now to my roots in
endurance sports as a high schooler. Thanks Kevin for believing in me!