Q&A: Efficient Interval Training and Boot Width

BrainspiralFebruary 14, 20131

Welcome to another installment of FasterSkier’s Question and Answer series. In this edition we offer advice on interval training for skiers short on time, and Nathan Schultz of Boulder Nordic Sport provides information on boot width.

What type, and how to do intervals for the time crunched skier?

— Dave

It is easy to get a robust intensity workout in 45 minutes (or even less) with some focus. It matters less what specific interval session you do, and more how you approach it.

They key is to be efficient. Warm up as little as you can get away with safely. Often, treating the first part of the first interval as a part of the warm-up is a good idea. Work into the interval, increasing intensity as your body gets going.

Stephen Randall thumb
Liz Stephen and Kikkan Randall banging out some intervals

Don’t waste time fussing with equipment or clothing. If you know you will have a short window, prepare the evening before. Have your gear ready to go, know what you are going to do, and get after it.

One great option is the oft-used 4×4 level 4 workout. Four intervals, four minutes in duration with three or four minutes rest. Ten minute warm-up, 24 minutes of intervals (with rest) and five minute warm down = 39 minutes.

In a more relaxed situation, you might do some speed or strength as part of warm-up, but when you are pressed for time, you need to keep your eye on the prize – cranking the engine. So don’t bother with any bells and whistles.

It may not be a perfect workout, but it is much better to get out and do something.

Another option is to do a single interval — a 30 minute pace, gradually increasing effort is a good choice. This way you eliminate rest and maximize active time.

Again, the exact combination of minutes on and minutes of doesn’t matter much. Get out quickly, go hard, and wrap it up.

— Topher Sabot, FasterSkier


Do any of the boot manufactures produce a high performance boot in widths? Wide feet and bunions come with master skiers. If not, which boot has the widest toe box?

— Bigfoot

All of the companies offer different lasts that vary the width/volume, they just do it in different ways.  Most companies’ 2nd or 3rd tier boots will be wider and have more of a “comfort” fit than the top of the line boots which tend toward a narrower/lower volume last for the “performance” fit.  Rossignol actually offers their top-end X-ium World Cup boot in a Low-Volume Fit (LVF) and regular fit.  All other companies only change the last per model.


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One comment

  • freeheels

    February 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Nathan you are incorrect. I’m surprised given you sell the stuff.
    Salomon offers two widths in their SLab Skate and Classic boots as well as the Vitane. The standard boots are based off a 100mm last but there is a racer fit offered at 98mm in both Skate and Classic. Additionally, for the wide feet, Atomic offers their worldcup level boot in a 102mm last on SNS platform that essentially is a wide boot. Next year they will have a racer fit as well. Good luck Bigfoot.

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