“I have a workout that I like and usually do in the autumn when it’s time to shape up.”
Those are the words of Swedish national-team member Hanna Falk. To take Falk’s words literally, it is that time of year: in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s officially autumn and “time to shape up”. In two months, the 2017/2018 World Cup will open with classic sprints on Nov. 26 in Kuusamo, Finland.
For the figurative aspect of Falk’s comment, if you’ve been eschewing hard workouts and log six days a week of perfunctory OD, yes, “it’s time to shape up”. For World Cuppers, potential 2018 Olympians and those giving a Heisman to Father Time, it’s the season to think about priming for those moments when latching on to those skiers pushing the sharp-end pace is paramount.
In group sprints or distance events, no one likes to be yo-yoed off the back of the pack.
Last season on the World Cup, Falk finished third in the sprint rankings and 20th overall (a combination of both sprint and distance results.) Although certainly a sprinting force, Falk now considers herself an all-arounder. She placed eighth in the World Cup 10-kilometer freestyle race held in her birthplace of Ulricehamn, Sweden. After we interviewed Falk for FasterSkier’s Nordic Nation, we reached out for a Wednesday Workout, requesting something she uses this time of year to round herself into shape.
The Workout: 6 x 5 minutes with 2 minutes rest
“I usually do the workout on roller skis in variable/tough terrain,” she explained. “I also try to do a real sprint start in the start of each interval, just to practice that special moment. It means 10 seconds all out and then continuing the interval in the speed you can manage. You can also do a short sprint at the end of the interval if you want to practice the change of frequency in the finish. It’s a race-inspired workout that will get you tired!”
How to pace it:
“You should try to go hard, at high speed, without losing the technique — and with the same speed from the first to the last interval. It probably means Level 4. If you start off too hard and you are not able to have the same speed on the last interval, you are doing it wrong!”