Like any school, in the school of skiing we undergo periodic testing to gauge the effectiveness of our training. There are as many different protocols for testing fitness as there are ski teams and training groups. Everything from the most basic time trial to the the most sophisticated physiological testing is used. With my APU training group we opt for simpler testing. Over two days and three workouts we run through a series of time trials and intervals over set courses. We’ll look at our times, heart rates, and blood lactate levels at the end of each effort.
This morning we did two max efforts, both about 90 seconds, one an uphill skate and the other a flat double pole on rollerskis. This gives us a chance to see how our high end speed and fitness is developing. This afternoon we’ll do a 30min threshold workout skate rollerskiing to measure our aerobic fitness. Finally, tomorrow we’ll do a L4, or 5k race pace, interval set of uphill bounding with poles. Using a combination of skate rollerskiing, classic rollerskiing, and bounding gives us a good overview of how our ski-specific fitness is developing. Although many of us do some running and other races over the summer, we don’t use those as an official gauge of how our ski preparation is going since the ski and run systems are different.
So far I’m about par for the summer in our tests, but I feel good about my training and my fitness and sometimes when all the official testing is done that’s the best indication of how your preparation for the season is going.