January 2003 Training

FasterSkierJanuary 13, 2003

December 2002 Training Report and January Training Suggestions

It’s Sunday morning and I just returned from a great skate workout up Mill Creek Canyon in Salt Lake City. I skied with two friends, Dave Knoop and Jim DiDomenico, that also both skied yesterday’s Potato Cup race in Pocatello, Idaho

I was sore and tired from the race but both Jim and Dave seemed to have lots of energy (too much?) in this 6-7 K of continuous solid uphill. Our friendly distance pace for the first 10 minutes was
suddenly turning into a decent race pace and I decided to back off and let them go. I felt that their extra energy was the result of some frustration due to a few tactical errors they both made in yesterday’s race when I was able to ski away from the pack with 2K to go.
I’m planning an interval session on Tuesday and a couple races next weekend, so I saw no reason to “compete” in training today. OK, the fact was that today I couldn’t keep up if I had to! And I predict that both Dave and Jim will ski very fast in upcoming races and be hard to beat in their age groups. Dave may race next weekend at The Pepsi Challenge, so watch out all you 45-50 year-olds!

The skiing was great with lots of snow including some new powder, sun and 30 degrees temperatures. The overnight temperature was 24 Fahrenheit.

When we reached the top we put on dry hats, turned around and got into a tuck for about 13-14 minutes of fun, fast downhill with speeds reaching up to 30 miles per hour in the steepest final decent.
Watch out, here come the Road-warriors!

The Faster Skier December On-snow camp

The FasterSkier On-snow camp was held December 11th to the 15th. This was our third camp this season – two previous dryland camps and now the on-snow camp.

Camp Participants at Soldier Hollow

The snow conditions were not the best, but the camp participants were highly motivated and we did find good places to ski, however the driving distances were a little longer than what is typical at that time of year. I guess we are spoiled.

We used three different locations for the skiing–Soldier Hollow with 3-4 K of man-made snow, Mill Creek Canyon, and Brighton Nordic Center/Solitude with 5K of good winter conditions. The temperatures were pleasant with a mixture of clouds and sun throughout the camp.

The goal for the camp was to do good workouts regardless of the conditions since that is what training for XC skiing comes down to: making the best out of any situation.

Workouts included two interval sessions, lots of technique work,
speed and strength training on skis, one weight room session, one rollerski workout, a run and a 10K classic race!

The goals for the workouts besides technique improvement were to improve everyone’s training routines – train better and more efficiently, and ski faster!

John Aalberg instructing at Camp

The goal for the race was to develop a plan for waxing, warm-up, and race strategy as well as ski faster due to better pre- and post-race

The race was held on Saturday, the camp's 4th day, and all the camp participants did great in the local competition with about 150-200 skiers. We took that as a sign that the coaches had done a good job preparing everyone! The race will definitely be a part of next year’s camp as well, however it may be a pursuit race.

Training talks/lectures included distance and interval training, peaking, as well as a very interesting Olympic overview by John Aalberg.

The next FasterSkier camp is in June. Dates to be decided. This is our “Let’s get started camp” where we focus on technique training on rollerskis, better training routines and training planning.

Tentatively, the coaches will include: Olympian John Aalberg, Olympic coaches Gordon Lange and T orbjorn Karlsen and former Nordic combined National Team member Jeff Graves. Sign up now!
December Training

Neither Gordon nor I had a particularly good training month. We were very busy at Torbjorn Sport, worked hard at the training camp and got sick on top of all this.

I raced two races in December including the 10K classic during the camp and a 3 x 5 K relay, where I skied the classic leg. I had the fastest time overall in all the age group classes in the classic race and skied okay but not fast in the relay. I felt a little sick in front of both races but not bad enough to not ski the races.

Gordon only raced the relay.

So far in January we have both skied two races. Last weekend I was first and Gordon was second in all age group categories in a local 15K skate race and this weekend I won overall in another 15K
skate race up in Pocatello, Idaho. Gordon was second overall in the Wasatch Overland Race this week.

This was the third year that he placed 2nd. I asked him after the race how he did and his comment was “I did great all the way until John Aalberg showed up.” John won in a new course record.

Our weekly training volume fell way below 10 hours per week this month and we hope that what we did this autumn gave us a strong enough base to ski a little faster than we did last year… We’ll see!
January Training Suggestions:

Getting ready for the most important competitions of the year and
hitting a peak often comes down to having a “good feel” for how much rest and how much training is “just right” for you.

Our book How To, When To, Why To- a Norwegian Model Training Guide (available from <www.torbjornsport.com) covers peaking in detail. We also posted some very good articles about peaking on FasterSkier last winter — look them up!

A few ideas that you can incorporate in a peak plan:

Shorten down the intervals and the number of repeats the last 2-4 weeks before important competitions.

Use easy terrain for long intervals and a little steeper terrain for
short intervals.

Reduce your training volume by 25-50%.

Avoid hard mid week intervals or don’t do intervals at all if you are doing long races every weekend.

Don’t train too hard the last 10 days before the big race. You want to have rested legs, a rested circulation system and feel good. That last really hard interval session close up to the big race is often a hinder to good results since it can make you too tired.   

January interval examples:

1. 4 x 3-6 minutes — gradual uphill
2. 5-8 x 1.5-2 minutes — easy uphill

Example week for someone racing one weekly short or medium long race:

Saturday — race 5-20K
Sunday distance or off
Monday distance and speed or distance and strength
Tuesday — intervals
Wednesday distance and/or strength
Thursday — off
Friday — distance
Saturday race

Check on Torbjorn Sport — <www.torbjornsport.com  for wax reports and wax suggestions!

Have fun in your races and good luck,

Torbjorn and Gordon


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