Short Report from the US Ski Team
Including some training info
Group training has begun in Park City, Utah for the 03-04 season. We have high goals including podium and top 10 finishes on the world cup this season and at the World Championships next season. We aim to win medals at the 2006 games in Italy.
We have a large and very strong training group in town for all of July. The current crew includes Andrew Johnson A-team, Wendy Wagner A-team, Torin Koos A-team, Carl Swenson (training in town on his bike) A-team, Andrew Newell D-team, Lindsay Weier D-team, Aubrey Smith D-team, Melissa Oram D-team, Leif Zimmerman D-team, Kristina Trygstad-Saari Dartmouth, Erinn Whitmer UAF, Casey Ward Aspen, Rebecca Dousault Gunnison, and coaches Trond Nystad A-team, Chris Grover D-team, and Pete Vordenberg assistant. The remainder of the National and D-team will be here by the end of the week. The A-team goes to New Zealand in early August, the D-team and some guests will go in Mid-August. All will return to Park City in September. We will hold our open camp in September for all racers with international success as a goal or coaches with athletes who have that goal. Please let me know if you want to come out, <firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a sample training week from July.
Tuesday: AM bounding 10km trail at Soldier Hollow (Level 3). PM maximum strength.
Wednesday: AM distance skate. PM distance bike and soccer.
Thursday: AM dist skate 10x10second speed at 95% effort. PM spenst and max strength.
Friday: AM distance double-pole. PM distance bike.
Saturday: AM 2sets of 7x400m running on track at 5km pace (level 3). PM core strength.
Sunday: 3hr run.
Our distance sessions on rollerskis are done in level one using crisp, correct motions. Skiers who cannot accomplish correct technique in level one are permitted to bump into level 2 as the terrain dictates in order to use good technique, but they must train a bit shorter. It is important while rollerskiing to use good technique, which means not only being in the correct position and using effective, efficient motions but also a snappy, quick application of power. You teach yourself to ski when you are out skiing — so do it right.
Our max strength sessions include a warm-up run, a warm-up for the whole body in the weight room, a bout of core strength and finally 3sets of 3 to 4 max exercises. In max strength the skier has to max out at about five reps on all three sets. An example is dips with weight. Wendy can do 3sets of 5 dips with almost 40lbs on a weight belt around her waist. Pull-ups with weight, squats, steep rollerboard etc are also used. Max strength should be done using fairly ski specific muscle groups.
Core strength is vital to ski performance. Our top skiers are extremely strong in the stomach, back and hips. Please see back issues of The Master Skier for Chris Grover’s in-depth articles on this topic.
Intensity sessions are done in the prescribed level or zone. Level 3 workouts are a failure if done in level 4. Our skiers do short, medium and long level 3 work throughout the year with short periods (a week to two weeks with 2 to 3 sessions a week) of Level 4 sessions spaced throughout the summer and fall. Level 4 sessions are like: 4x5mins at 5km pace. Level 3 sessions are like: 2sets of 7×400 at 5km pace (short), 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2min ladder at 10-15km pace (medium), and 3x8min at 30km pace (long).
Speed training is a focus. Speed must be done on skis or rollerskis to make any true gains. Technique is a major focus of speed training. It is done all year once to 3 times a week.
As you can see there is nothing fancy here. We train smart and simple and with week-to-week, year-to-year consistency. Technique is always a focus. Doing the work with passion and attention is vital — anything else is just going through the motions.
Enjoy the work,
US Cross Country Assistant Coach
Author of Momentum: Chasing the Olympic Dream