I’ll Try Again!

FasterSkierNovember 6, 2007

Big things have happened since last time! I became a father. My daughter’s name is Ellinor and she is a little girl who eats enough that she will soon have chubby cheeks and a spare tire. She also tends to make more noise than Mom and Dad might wish. In general though, it’s totally worth it and fully deserves all of the sappy clichés.

Meanwhile, the form that was so good when I last wrote has disappeared… I wonder where it went? I’m currently back in the hunt for good sensations and am trying to be more careful than last month when I had just gotten back to training after a period of illness and —much needed—rest. The motivation was high and as it turns out I might not have been as on top of things as I had hoped. I probably misjudged how much the respiratory infection had taken out of me. The plan was to not only increase the number of hard workouts but also increase the intensity. All my training was supposed be tougher and done at a higher intensity.

It went well for just about two weeks. After that period of time, my body normally starts to respond well to hard workouts and my form gets better. Instead I ended up tired and felt heavy in both the distance and the interval workouts. After getting totally dominated at an uphill running race, where Anders Aukland beat me to the top of the Tryvann climb by more than I would have imagined possible, I finally grasped that I had headed down a dead end. In this case there’s only one thing you can do: Put it in reverse!

After two days completely off, on the third I did a physiology test on Erland Hem’s treadmill. This confirmed that I wasn’t in peak condition, but also showed that I wasn’t totally knocked out either. With this in mind, I started to think forward. I decided to do ten days of easy training; no training harder than intensity zone 2; not even a hard strength workout; only a little easy speed work in addition to the easy tours.

I’m hoping that I’ve finally gotten through this tough period. After two hard rollerskiing and bounding workouts of 5 minute hill repeats, things are starting to look a little lighter. The training partners are finally within sight again—even in the heavy fog of Homenkollen. This is clearly a good sign!

It’s about time to be building the race form—without stressing to take back what I missed. I’m going to give myself plenty of time for recovery and, if possible, avoid taking any more breaks before the season starts. At this point, it will be important to avoid over-analyzing the results from day to day. The last month has been far from ideal and the first world cup races are coming fast. Then again, racing can be some of the best training, so I’m feeling positive and looking forward to getting into the action. The next weeks will be spent at the ski tunnel at Torsby (Sweden) and the goal is getting some good ski form into the legs. At any rate, those are my next goals.

Spending time with the sprint national team at Torsby will be really fun. The last two years they have really pushed the limits of the sport with their training experiments. I’m excited to see this training up close and to see if what they did this summer has helped them reach their goals. I still think there is plenty of time to develop my sprint capacity for later in the season. Hopefully this “all-rounder” will be able to learn a few things from the sprinters at Torsby.

Jens Arne

Answer’s from Last Month’s Questions:


How much do you think a 13 year old should train during a week?
When you’re thirteen it isn’t necessary to train more than you want. It’s still a few years until you need to introduce any systematic training. At that age I normally did 2-4 ski workouts each week.

You have an enormous ability to accelerate, especially in classic. Is this something you were born with, or have you had to work hard on it?
I am definitely lucky and was probably born with most of this ability. At the same time, I have consciously developed this quality and have undoubtedly spent significantly more time working on speed than many of my competitors. Particularly as an older junior and in the early years of being a senior racer. Now that sprint has become a vital part of the sport, there are probably a lot more people who are emphasizing this type of training.

What is the most effective way for a “middle of the pack” marathon ski racer to utilize rollerski training? I am still fairly new to the sport.
As a beginner I would only do long easy skis. It is important to fully grasp what roller skis are good for, before doing intervals or hard training. Rollerskis will be a very good training tool only when the movements are actually similar to skiing! My advice: Do some long workouts on rollerskis and do the intensity on foot.

I will be getting new skis this winter and am unsure about which skis to pick. Do you have any advice or tips? Are you satisfied with your Atomics?
I have used Atomic for almost 15 years at this point. If I wasn’t satisfied I would have changed companies! Most companies have good skis, but they often have different qualities and ski quite differently. Atomic is well known as a ski that makes it easy to get good kick. If you haven’t tried them I recommend them. Trying new skis is always fun and allows you find out what you like best. My best advice: Don’t buy skis that are too stiff, no matter what the brand is!

Jens Arne

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