Fasterskier.com has posted several articles this spring talking about how the training season official started May 1, (give or take a little) for elite level skiers. In case you didn’t get the point, this was meant to get everyone else like masters and juniors going as well. Gordon Lange and I didn’t stop training this spring either. For information on the training with Torbjorn and Gorden column go to: www.fasterskier.com/feature.php?series_id=2
Personally I used April to test out a large number of interval sessions that we are planning on using in our personal coaching service later this summer and fall: (See www.torbjornsport.com/tbksports/030707coaching.html)
Gordon got a kick out of this and enjoyed asking me (daily) two, three times per day, if I wasn’t going to leave and do my intervals soon. In May I backed-off while Gordon got going again, after a (for him) very casual April.
We hardly trained together in May, but both of us did mostly shorter distance sessions and some interval training. I did more weight room training and intervals than Gordon, while he got in some medium long (1.5-2 hours) mountain bike rides in Moab and road bike rides in the Park City area with the Nordic combined team skiers he is coaching. He was now also bragging about how fast he was riding (without even trying) up our old time-trial stretch from Park City to the top of Deer Valley. At the end of May we both felt it was time to start getting in some longer distance sessions as well, and decided on doing a long road bike ride that “we could feel” afterwards on Thursday June 3.
Note that we consider long workouts something that lasts longer than two hours. We view workouts lasting longer than 4 hours as a type of distance as well but we only occasionally go that long (4+ hours)
Our choice for our first 3+ hour session was from Kamas to the top of Mirror Lake Highway/Bald Mountain and Back. This ride is on great pavement and takes you from roughly 5000 feet elevation up to 10000 feet in about two hours of rolling, then gradual up and finally steep uphill.
“Lets do the photos after we have reached the top” was my response. I was feeling great and didn’t want to stop now (or let him get the photo he wanted). We were both pushing hard when we were in the lead and all thoughts about “long and easy” was gone (it must have been the altitude that made us careless). With the last 3 miles approaching I suddenly sprinted away from Gordon. Full of lactate and with a 100-meter lead I yelled, “I was just kidding” when I saw that Gordon was standing up and chasing me down. “I’m not”, was his comment when he blew by me. Some may understand that this it what makes (some) workouts fun (even at our age), while other again don’t get the point.
I was wiped out the rest of that afternoon but felt great about having been able to pick it up as it got steeper and harder and to be able to stay with Gordon on the main climbs. He is very good in the uphills and won a race over the top of the same mountain a couple years ago. The best junior rider was more than 15 minutes behind him.
This was obviously not a typical distance session but a good one for the memory book. We’ll try to do some rollerski and running reports next.