With three World Cup sprint podiums last season, two of which were at the very top, Kikkan Randall is known for her speed. But even though her forte is in races under three minutes long, one of her favorite workouts to do in the fall is a 50 k rollerski double-pole session. In addition to being a solid level one effort, the U.S. Ski Team (USST) veteran also uses the workout as an opportunity to work on her double pole form.
“The goal is to get a lot of repetition in the double-pole movement, going long enough that you tire out the easy-to-use muscles and really find the most efficient positions, timing and impulse,” said Randall.
Randall has a favorite point-to-point route in Anchorage that usually takes her about three hours to cover. She recruits a family member to drive her outside of town, and then she skis home.
“It includes rolling terrain, but most importantly long, flat sections where I can get into a rhythm in my double-pole technique and really ingrain correct movement patterns,” she explained. Randall makes sure to keep her heart rate under control for the duration of the workout, at about 60-70% of her max.
Between September and when the snow flies in Anchorage at the end of October, Randall will head out for a long double-pole every other week. Sometimes she has company for the three-hour workout, but she also enjoys taking in the fall colors when it’s just her and her iPod.
During such a long, sustained effort, Randall is careful to keep herself hydrated, drinking about 30 oz throughout the workout, and more after she returns home to continue replenishing lost fluid.
“You lose more water than you think on a long ski like this!” she said.
Randall also emphasizes getting recovery food into her system directly after the workout, and will usually go for a smoothie packed with carbohydrates and protein: 1 cup Greek non-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup juice and 1 Tbsp honey.
As she usually starts the workout when the air is still crisp, she follows the effort up with a hearty breakfast and a nap.
Randall is currently in Park City, UT for a two-and-a-half-week USST camp, where she’s ramping up her intensity and getting some testing in to see how her aerobic capacity and strength have come along since the beginning of the summer. From there she’ll return to Anchorage for three weeks for her last block of sea-level training before the World Cup season gets going in mid-November.
Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.