Earlier this summer FasterSkier ran an article describing an increased Norwegian focus on running and bounding. That article focussed on an interval workout. The strategy has been expanded to include distance training as well, as part of an effort to regain their dominance of the 1990’s, the Norwegian National Team has increased the amount of running they are doing.
NORWAY – The national elite skiers have changed their training approach after a mediocre 2009-10 season.
Vegard Ulvang has entered all of his training data on his computer. ”There is a lot of collective experience tucked away in Norwegian homes regarding how to train to perform as good as possible,” Ulvang says to Norwegian television station NRK.
Now, the Norwegian national team wants to take advantage of this experience after the entire team, aside from Petter Northug, had a cruddy season on the distance circuit last year. The second best Norwegian in the overall World Cup was Eldar Rønning in 15th place, while Tord Asle Gjerdalen was the third best in 39th place.
Vegard Ulvang has digitized the training logs and documentation from his entire career.
Now he is making the material available to the Norwegian elite racers. Ulvang also recalls that he learned a lot from older, more experienced skiers during his racing career. “It’s a good thing to look back, maybe there are some points to pick up for today’s racers. There certainly was during my active career, when I looked back at how Norwegian skiers were training during the 1970s and 80s,” Ulvang says.
Currently, the Norwegian national team is at an altitude camp in Seisers Alm, northern Italy. Friday, they did a 21-kilometer roller ski workout with almost 5,000 feet elevation gain.
Petter Northug even did the workout twice on Friday, which translates to nearly 10,000 feet elevation gain in one day. Even though the workout was roller skiing, the team has learned a few things from the old heroes from the 1990s. “We’ve run a lot more than we’ve done in the past. Running is one of the things we know they did more of in the 90s, and that’s a tradition we want to revive,” says Morten Aa Djupvik, head coach for the Norwegian national team.
Eldar Rønning has not been on the podium in a World Cup distance race since 2007, but he believes in the new direction the team is taking on training. “When it comes to capacity, I think we’ve got more to offer. I think it’s a good idea to look back and see what they used to do earlier, because they were incredibly strong,” Rønning says to NRK.
Would like some company
“I really hope that many of the skiers on the team will succeed this season,” Petter Northug says to NRK, explaining that he’d love company on the podium. “It’s a lot of fun when things go your way, but you can’t help but thinking that the other boys who train just as much as you do should get a little more return on their investment,” Northug says.
The first indication on whether the new program is working and if the team has picked up anything useful from Ulvang & co will be evident when the World Cup gets underway on November 21. This year’s season opener is a 15K classic event in Gällivare, Sweden.
From NRK.no, August 29, 2010 By Kristian Elster and Morten Stenberg, translation by Inge Scheve