Training2001 Season Wrap-Up

FasterSkier FasterSkierDecember 9, 2002

This article is a wrap-up of my training and racing year (including my
February training), how I rank my racing this season and how my peaking
plan worked out.

Torbjørn’s February Training
I trained 43 hours in February. My highest week was 13.5 hours and the
lowest was 7.5 hours. I did only one race, The Boulder Mountain Tour.
I also did one 5K time trial and two hard interval sessions in addition
to three running sessions. The majority of my training was skiing and
I did not do any weight training this month.

The Olympics forced my training to be less structured than it was before
Christmas and racing was impossible due to my coaching involvement. The
month was not what I consider ideal training. It was, however, very inspiring
to be at the Olympics and see the two skiers I have worked with, Beckie
Scott and Justin Wadsworth, race with the world’s best skiers. Beckie’s
pursuit race was great, but it was disappointing for Justin to have caught
a cold a few days before the Games started. He somewhat made up for that
later by putting together four solid races in European World Cups following
the Olympics.
His three top-20s in individual races (20th, 11th and 16th) and a good
relay in Falun, Sweden were encouraging. Maybe Justin shouldn’t retire
after all.

Torbjorn
(right) working at the Olympics

I mentioned
that my training was less than ideal as far as structured intervals, speed
and racing goes. But the number of quality sessions recorded in my training
log does not reflect the real number of hard session I did during the
Olympics – which was a lot more. My plan was to make up for lost
racing by training harder than normal, a lot harder in fact, during my
ski testing at Soldier Hollow. This way I would simulate racing and get
in shape for March and the US Masters Nationals in California. I was aiming
for a total hard effort equal to two – four races per week for two weeks.

The Olympic trails are great for hard distance training since you spend
most of the time going uphill. I often did two sessions per day with only
one hour of waxing or lunch in between. A 15 K skate workout could be
followed by 15 K classic. The high week during this period did not total
more than 13.5 hours, but the terrain I skied in made me realize that
the actual load should be compared and viewed closer to a 17-20 hour week.
In other words, I needed to back off after that in order to "peak"
next month!

My Season’s Races
December
-Local 5 K Relay where I skied the classic leg. Hard, but a good effort.
Good to get started.
-Local 10 K Classic on the Olympic course. Raced two days after being
done with Antibiotics. Not too good, felt tired and sluggish. A step back,
1.11 behind Gordon. 3rd fastest time age 30 and over.
-Timetrial, 5K skate with Gordon, finishing 12 seconds behind. Felt a
little better. Not much speed yet. Needed a training adjustment.
-Utah Winter Games Sprint Championship. Won the over 35 category. Felt
very good. Had speed and acceleration. Going forward.

January
-Local same day Pursuit (7.5 K skate followed by 7.5 K classic). Had the
fastest time in my age category (by a lot) but could feel that I now hadn’t
raced for almost four weeks.
Second fastest time age 30 and over. Need more speed. Intervals and short
pace needed.

Torbjorn
with Justin at the Boulder Mountain Tour

February
-Boulder Mountain Tour. Felt good, had good wax and skied well on skis
with way too much structure. Bad mistake. Happy with how I felt but not
with result. Was second in the age group but should at least have been
sprinting with Gordon for 1st.
-Time trial with Beckie. Got a nice reminder that you better warm up and
wax properly when you race someone who is aiming for an Olympic Medal.
Felt good.

March
The Great Race. 12th Overall. I look at myself more as a sprinter than
a distance skier and this race is clearly not designed for me. It is,
however, a fun race and I would do a lot better if I dropped another 5lbs.
This year I also felt that I needed to do this race to get in shape for
Masters.

Masters Nationals.
I won all five races and had a great week. The 15K classic was my best
race; I had the fastest time of the day regardless of age. Felt great
and had good skis. It was like a perfect "build up" interval
session that I had done all fall: the two first "intervals"(like
the first 2 kilometers) were comfortable and then you start pushing it
from there and that’s what I did.
The 5K classic part of the pursuit was good but I should have been on
hard wax and not on klister. My skis were little to stiff for the conditions
and that made me a little "spastic". Tightened up. Still won
the age group (by one second over Gordon).
The following 5K skate of the pursuit was maybe my best skate race of
the season. Skied tactically well and felt strong the whole way. Had something
left at the end. The relay was also solid. Felt good and had lots of fun.
The 30K Skate was interesting since I felt good for 4-5 K’s then
had a sluggish next 10Kand then felt very good again and not very tired
at the end!
I made a detailed report after each race at masters that can be found
on our Masters Nationals
page.

Gordon Lange’s Racing
Last year Gordon dominated our age group at Masters Nationals in Maine
while I took over this year. He did, however, have some impressive results.
The highlights were:
1st place in the Local 10K in December. Fastest time age 30 and over.
1st place Age Group at the Boulder Mountain tour.
1st place Overall, 25K Classic at The West Yellowstone Rendezvous.

Torbjorn's Peak Plan.
I did not make a formal peak plan two months before Masters Nationals,
but I had a very clear idea for what I wanted to do. This included a drop
in hours when I got close to Masters and to incorporate some "peak
interval sessions" that work well for Beckie and Justin and that
I seem to respond positively to as well. In short, I wanted rested legs
while still having hammered hard enough to be able to tolerate lactate
and race several races back to back. Some of these ideas I used can be
found in the "How to, When to, Why to…" book available
from Nordic Equipment. In the training section on this site there is also
a very good little article about peaking
by the Norwegian Biathlon coach
. It’s absolutely worth reading.
We posted it before the Olympics and it reflects very much what I have
believed in for years and am trying to teach skiers I’m coaching.

My training volume the last seven weeks before Masters looked like this:

Hours: 10,7,13,12,9,8,6(last week before Masters)

The last 3 weeks included three interval sessions, the Great Race and
two pace/time-trials. I leave the detail of these sessions to the lucky
participants coming to one of our upcoming training
camps in Park City
. We need to be able to offer some "secrets"!

Plans for Next season.
Three years ago I decided to gradually become fitter. I did not want training
to dominate my lifestyle, but let it be fun and low-key. I was aiming
for efficient quality training. In short, what I’m trying to do in
my own training is use workouts that are working for skiers I’m coaching
like Beckie Scott, Justin Wadsworth and the 2002 American Birkie champion
Jeannie Wall – but fit it to my own age and needs. My goal is more
to be fit despite the age and to race fast, however the racing aspect
is a big motivational factor that helps by pushing me and gives me short
term goals that are motivating and inspiring.

The approach is paying off. I feel stronger and fitter than ever and think
that the improvements can continue. I also feel that only a lack of racing
during six weeks of coaching duties when I couldn’t compete prevented
me from skiing another 15-30 seconds faster per 5 kilometers at Masters.
I’m convinced that this training style will work for other skiers
regardless of age. I would like to help you improve your results as well.
Try to attend one of our upcoming camps to try these ideas in practice.
If that isn’t possible, keep on checking this site to see what we
recommend for the upcoming month.
As far as my own plans go, I’m aiming for a slight increase in hours–very
similar to my summer and fall training from this past season. Perhaps
I will try a little more racing this summer and fall. I’m thinking
of doing a few foot races if I’m injury free. I’ll continue
doing my monthly training column here on FasterSkier.com. The first one
is actually already up: Spring Training.

Enjoy your training.
Torbjørn

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