This week’s workout comes to you from Ezekiel “Zeke” Williams, FasterSkier’s newest intern and an athlete at the Alberta World Cup Academy in Canmore, Alberta. This time last season, Williams said he really enjoyed doing what his team called, for lack of a better name, the Agility Sprint Track Workout.
Canmore Alberta may be known for its skiers rather than its track stars but it still has a short 300-metre stone-dust track. And this is where the Alberta World Cup Academy men’s team was to be found, more often than not, on Thursday mornings in May and June 2013. As the athletes warmed up the coaches set up a pair of agility ladders on one of the track’s straight-aways and hurdles on the other. Finally, the coaches would draw ‘finish lines’ at about 10-seconds worth of sprinting past the end of the obstacles.
After warming up we would partner up and do laps of the track. We would focus on speed through the agility ladders and hurdles and then sprint out of them. Then we’d slow back down to an easy jogging pace until we hit the next feature.
The Workout: Agility Sprint Track Workout
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
Need: A track, running shoes
Warm up: 30-minute jog
10 track laps: 20 x 10-15 second sprints with about 1 minute easy jogging between each. Whole thing takes just over 20 minutes
Cool down: 40 minute jog
I like this workout for two reasons. First, it’s a lot of fun to do! Getting to race through the ladders and the hurdles against a teammate makes it a sweet competition.
Second, the workout gives a bunch of training benefits. At first glance it looks like a speed workout, but heart rate ends up at lactate threshold for most of the time because of the shortness of the sprints and the minute of easy jogging between them. Check out my heart-rate log during a similar workout here.
Also, the agility component of the workout improves coordination at speed, which is nice to stay in touch with for when we get back into rollerski sprinting.
Combine the agility work and lactate threshold building into the short 1:30 hour workout time and it makes for a solid early training-season session.