February 2003 – Getting ready for upcoming events

FasterSkierFebruary 17, 2003

Excerpts from the training log

It’s Monday February 10th, 2003 and I’m just back from skiing classic up Mill Creek Canyon just above Salt Lake City with John Aalberg.

38F, lots of snow, super, double classic tracks, one set on each side of this wide road that is closed during the winter and groomed for XC skiers.

We waxed with Rode Multi Grade covered with Red Extra —OK, but slippery at the start but it got better and better as we got higher up and the snow got drier.

Six miles of steady uphill — not the fastest day, and our time was 47 minutes to the top – intensity 3 for me and 2 for John.

My PR is around 36 or so — which John has a tough time believing — maybe that was skating on a fast day – I guess I have to look it up in my old log — the log doesn’t lie — you always write the truth!

Gordon and I have done this workout numerous times — and it’s never easy when we ski together. We might slow down about halfway up but not before one of us have had to admit that “this is too hard for me today”!

Yesterday was the day after a local 10K classic race at the Olympic course at Soldier Hollow and I had the day off so I skied easy in the morning with my two daughters and added about 15K skating to that.

In the evening I did a 1.5 hour solid weight room session that also included some good stretching.  That might very well be the biggest volume day for awhile!

Some times you need to make changes in your training.

If you have followed this column for a while you have seen that Gordon and I have good rivalry going in our weekly racing. It’s a great motivational tool for booth of us and this year I can boost that he hasn’t beaten me inUtah — 4 straight age group wins in the local race series while he beat me handily when we went to Colorado for the pursuit championship a couple weeks ago. He also beat me at the Boulder Mountain tour.

I decided that some training changes were needed!

You might also know that I coach skiers including master skiers over the internet.

On Sunday they got a little “special report” from me as an added bonus and I will share this one with our readers at FasterSkier to give you an idea of what communication from “your coach” can be like. Please note that this is more on “the lighter side” of what my coaching group typically receives. It’s also a little modified… Also realize that I know what this group has done for training for the last six to nine month and are giving them advice based upon that. They can also call or e-mail me to find out how this can be fitted in to their training program. It might not be appropriate for everyone.

February Training and Racing —Moore Tricks from the Bag

From Your Coach Torbjorn Karlsen — Sunday 9th, 2003

As I have mentioned before, many of you are reporting better than ever races results like finally reaching the podium in your age group in certain races, finally beating people that you have always wanted to beat, getting closer to the fitness level you want to be at and so on.

Some of you might however still be a little sluggish and feel that you can’t quite push as hard as you would like to in races or recover quick enough after a tough uphill.

I have been in that category myself lately and would like to share with you a few changes I did that might help you as well.

Sometimes a little change in your routines is all it takes to start feeling good and I felt that despite training and racing well I wasn’t doing quite as good as I know I can. Getting beaten a few times by you main competition also makes you “see things clear”

This is what I did:

Intervals: I have stayed with the long intervals up until now and switched to short and very hard intervals this week.

All I did was 1-2-1.5 minutes as hard as I could go in a gradual uphill – once — three total intervals.

The reason I did this was – feeling a need for being able to tolerate more lactate acid in a race and to work on speed/turnover.

This training method affects the anaerobic endurance system and can’t be done far in advance from the big races since the effect is pretty short lived.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have seen many times how small things like this can change things in the right direction – try it for 2-4 weeks if you want to try something a little different.

Max twice in one week and only if you feel good and are not trying to recover from a recent Marathon.

Next week I’ll do something like: .45-1.15-1.30-1.15-.45 — That might be on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Distance: slowed down and skied in easier terrain

Strength: Did two sessions this week (Sunday and Tuesday) where I for a change went with many reps — 30-50 and fast speed. Light loads.

Other: stretched a little more this week

The result

This weekend we raced a 10K classic at Soldier Hollow under perfect condition.

10F when we arrived, 22F at the start, sunny, no wind, mostly man-made snow, rock hard double tracks!

Six skiers that beat me in last weeks Boulder race was there. Mass start!

On the way out — I was driving by myself — I played  loud “Lets Get ready to Rumble” by Boxing announcer Michael Buffer and I feel good – by James Brown — I was pumped up at ready to Rock!

Isn’t this exciting…

Well, sure enough I did feel a lot better.

Ended up second overall, 21 seconds behind last weeks 11 place finisher at The Boulder — Berry Makerewicz, 19 seconds ahead of Gordon Lange and a long way ahead of the other skiers that beat me last weekend. That felt good!

How old am I again?

Next weekend I’m doing a 30K skate race and hope to feel even better!

Tomorrow (Sunday) I’ll ski for 1.5 hour — easy and do a weight session in the evening for about 1 hour – same as described above.

End of report.



Peaking for the Birkie or other upcoming events.

Be careful adding lots of hard training to your racing in an attempt to get ready for “the big race” of the year.

Very often such hard efforts will simply get you tired especially if it’s added to weekly long weekend races like 30-50K’s.

The most important thing for skiers that are racing such events is to make sure they are rested and feeling good.

The last hard effort before a race should be 3-5 days before. A few short lighter “wake-up” intervals can be done 1-3 days before the race but has more of a psychological effect than a performance booster.


Example of training the last week before a big race.

Saturday — 10 K race ore time-trial

Sunday — easy distance 1-1.40

Monday — off or easy distance 1 hour

Tuesday — medium hard interval like 1-2-3-1-2 or hard intervals like 45 seconds — 1 minute x 2-3

Wednesday — short and easy distance

Thursday —off

Friday — easy distance and ski testing — 1 hour

Saturday — Big race! 


For information about my coaching contact me at <info@torbjornsport.com

For more training ideas and videos that can help you improve your technique see our books and videos on <www.torbjornsport.com

Have fun,

Torbjorn Karlsen

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