Please see our archives (in the right column) for last season’s (detailed) monthly postings in order to really understand what this column is about. We are trying to share some of our training ideas, how we experience workouts (good as well as bad ones), our goals and why we do what we do. Stories from some of our fall and winter workouts as well as race experiences will appear occasionally on FasterSkier.com
We think it’s great when we receive comments and suggestions from you — our readers.
Reading our stories will make you realize that we are not always dead serious about what we say or do. We might occasionally try to say something funny, or simply make a joke about what we do. We’ll let you decide how to interpret.
â€œWeâ€ were originally Torbjorn Karlsen and Gordon Lange, two former National Team coaches in their forties — still active as coaches and now also participating in Masters Nationals, citizen races and other similar type ski races all over the USA.
John Aalberg, former National Champion and two-time Olympian has also joined us for more and more workouts in the last year. We might have to start including him in the title Training with Gordon, John and Torbjorn or something.
The only problem including John is that despite having turned 40+, he is still skiing very fast – close to the best in the country on a good day (Freeman and Swenson not included). So yes, age-wise he is a master skier , but fitness-wise he is too good — an elite! John has 5% body fat and an abdominal six-pack. He still beats most college runners and skiers in running events and ..Oh well, I guess we just have to accept that and work a little harder ourselves.
We are using modern training principles and doing well – age, family commitments and everything else considered. We think about ourselves as â€œamong the fittest of our generationâ€. Training as a lifestyle means that things other than training often get higher priorities, however we are trying hard to get in a daily workout. Occasionally we do two in a day, while some days we end up with zippo.
Our goal is to enjoy every workout, do things we want to do and be as fit as possible without training more than what’s enjoyable. We are too old to â€œchase dreamsâ€ about being the best. However, we feel good when we have a good race or when we are the one that feels the best at the end of a long workout. And we can give each other a hard time in interval sessions.
On the training philosophy side, we want to show that master skiers from thirty to eighty can benefit tremendously by doing real workouts like intervals, speed, strength, weights and time-trials, pretty much year round. Always going one pace, with no variety and no plan is not the thing to do. Come and join us!
And now on to the secrets of planning your training and knowing when to do what’s right for you .
Torbjorn’s Summer Training — OK but can’t keep up with Gordon in Intervals
My last training report was posted July 25th titled â€œVacation and Training with Torbjornâ€ written while in Norway on summer vacation.
Several friends read the article and commented that I was doing a lot and should be in good shape doing two workouts per day. Well, the truth was that I started out well and actually did several days in a row with two daily sessions. But then I caught a two week long lasting nasty cold and had a big drop in planned hours and intensity.
Kayaking can’t quite make up for rollerskiing either.
Once back in the States I got a little calf injury and could not run much. I got into a routine with a little too much weight training and not enough distance. Quite a bit of biking, but not enough rollerskiing.
The end result, when getting together with Gordon and John in the weight room, was that I was stronger than ever lifting weights and felt very good in speed sessions on flat surface. My obvious weakness was, of course, when doing intervals on rollerskis.
Gordon and Torbjorn
He was feeling sore, tired and his back was aching so I asked him ,â€œWhy in the world are you doing that?â€ Pause ..
â€œWell, since you are asking… I don’t know. I was asking myself the same question halfway down again. Just felt for it!â€
That’s Gordon, my competitor and friend, especially hard to beat in long uphills for most masters, me included.
His motivational and physical advantage these days comes from doing three weekly training sessions with his junior Nordic Combined group. These sessions give him plenty of specific rollerski and running sessions like intervals and time-trials.
1-2 monthly test races keep Gordon race-ready at all times. Gordon also seemed to have got added inspiration from several long hiking trips, running for 9 hours with a friend doing the Wasatch 100 mile foot races, and participating in a few local 5K races.
He currently looks good in interval training, is a little slow in speed sessions and can’t match Torbjorn in the weight room. In other words he has trained more toward ski racing than me, and it shows. Gordon’s weekly total is between 6 and 12 hours.
John is occasionally doing as much interval training as Gordon and I combined. This happens when he does morning interval sessions with us, then does afternoon intervals with his TUNA (The Utah Nordic Alliance) masters group. This happened a lot last year and it looked like it paid off. After several years of hardly competing (due to his job as the organizer of the Nordic events at the Olympics), John was back racing with the best.