Once again I’m
a little late getting this report out – sorry about that!
I’m writing this on November 9, right after having finished one of my best
workouts of the year; a 4 x 6 minutes skate rollerski interval session. The road
we used is perfect for rollerskiing -six kilometer of straight forward, 2-5% grade
uphill, superb pavement and hardly any cars. I skied with two friends, John Aalberg
and Dave Knoop. It was raining and snow was coming down higher up, but the PRO-SKI
S2 skis sticks like glue on wet pavement and offers super kicks – end of
advertisement (avoid leaves and freshly painted road markings).
The first two intervals were done at a medium hard effort and we pushed it up
considerably the second half of each of the last two intervals. On the last effort
I was 2-4 beats from max for 3 minutes without blowing up. It felt great!
I doubt that I have ever felt better in an interval session this year. For the
first time ever John didn’t leave me in the dust – in fact I stayed with
him to the end, and no he was not on the slower S3’s this time but on S2’s
After the interval John grinned and said: “Torbjorn, not bad for an
Well, today I felt more like 18!
This is the type of workouts that makes everything worth it. This is as fun as
any memorable race I will ever do and I keep memories like this for a long time
– they keep me going.
After the workout we discussed good racing memories. We concluded that no one
can appreciate good “war” stories from summer and winter racing if
they haven’t raced or trained hard themselves. You can't teach appreciation
for the preparation that went into training, or for starting way too hard and
“hitting the wall”, or for overdoing it with hard training, or for
crashing hard in races, and so on. You have to earn that appreciation with your
own experience. The stories are always getting better with age, and the old saying
“the older I get the faster I was” describes it all.
I have to disappoint those of you that were waiting to hear how Gordon and I did
in the 5K running time-trial at Soldier Hollow in October. It didn’t happen.
Gordon got a cold a few days before we had it scheduled, and the next attempt
was prevented by a snow storm! We might try next week.
Despite that, we trained well, did most of our planned rollerski and running interval
sessions and both feel ready for the last month of dryland training and some ski
training before we carefully starts the race season in December.
Training volume last month:
About 42 hours for Torbjorn and a little less for Gordon.
By the way John Aalberg
(Former National Champion and two-time Olympian) is as hard core or worse than
we are. He has started to do some work for TorbjornSport and that involves showing
up for two weekly “company interval sessions”. He does those in addition
to the two interval session he does with the local master group – TUNA.
His advantage and the reason he can survive this is his running capacity. He still
runs Agony Hill in 14.30 and that means that he is almost resting when doing running
intervals at our pace – lucky guy.
See www.torbjornsport.com for some
good technique and training videos and books. It’s inspirational and you
can learn a lot from watching good drills and good skiers in racing action. Torbjorn
also offers a coaching service through that site and you can request info about
it. But he is advising that you wait until the spring to join him, if you are
interested in being a part of his coaching program.
November Training Suggestions.
Continue to use the rollerskis in every other workout. Don’t skip classic
double pole and double pole w/kick sessions even if you are a “skate only”
skier. The strength gained from these sessions comes in handy in all skate techniques.
Two weekly interval sessions is good for most people while some might be able
to benefit from three such workouts.
Example of interval/quality sessions for November:
4 x 4-6 minutes
1-2 pace or time-trials lasting from 15-30 minutes. One as running and one as
Example Week for Dryland Training
Monday – Distance roll or run 50 minutes to 1.40.
Tuesday -Rollerski intervals: 2-3-4-2-3-4 minutes
Wednesday – Weights 45 minutes
Thursday – Off
Friday – Distance 50 minutes – 2 hours
Saturday – Roll or running intervals: 4 x 4-6 minutes
Sunday – Long distance workout
A second weight session can be added during the weekend as a PM session.
Transition to snow
Ski 3-4 distance sessions before doing intervals on snow.
Limit the length of the first sessions on snow to 2 hours. I don’t recommend
skiing twice per day if you suddenly are in a training camp situation for more
than 3-4 days.
In such cases, ski in the morning and jog or do weights in the afternoon for the
first 3-4 days. The reason for this is that only those who have rollerskied a
lot in the fall can handle this type of transition without getting very tired
the following week. One double ski session is OK. Ski short distance sessions
if you want to ski twice per day in the beginning. Include some skiing without
poles for 10-15 minutes every other day. I like best the diagonal arms style drill
showed in my
recent article about rollerskiing in California – 4th photo. This is
a great balance and coordination exercise. Work on stretching the kick leg. Kick
yourself “forward and over” in one motion. Move one arm far forward
and the other one far back. Help the kicks with the arm motions!
Join us for our December
on snow camp if you need help with your technique or a kick in the butt –
we’ll do both!
Enjoy the training,