4 Workouts to Start the New Training Year

Audrey ManganMay 1, 20131
Snow biking across Eklutna Lake in Alaska. Photo: Jim Jager.
Snow biking across Eklutna Lake in Alaska. Photo: Jim Jager.


Whether there’s still two feet of snow out your front door or it’s 70 degrees and sunny, chances are your new year of training begins on or around May 1. To help motivate you to get out and start working hard again, four skiers share how they’re mentally and physically gearing up for the 2013-2014 season.


Kikkan Randall (USA) logs a few training laps. Photo: Federico Modica/Fiemme 2013.
Kikkan Randall. Photo: Federico Modica/Fiemme 2013.

Kikkan Randall (Alaska Pacific University/U.S. Ski Team)

Since the season essentially ran two weeks later this year, I’ve pushed my official start to the new training year back a couple weeks to start around May 13th.

I like to approach the new training season with a fresh mental approach. Over the last several years we’ve kicked off the first week of the training year with a start-up camp. The camp included double sessions most days, some crust skiing, some intervals and the start back into the weight room.

While this was a fun way to really kick off the new year, I’m taking a different approach this season. I plan to gradually build back into the training routine over the next two weeks and then make that first official week less like a camp and more of a normal training week. Because of the injuries I had last year, I am going to be more cautious about jumping right into activities that I haven’t done for a while.

So, I anticipate that first training session to be an easy distance workout in the a.m. and probably a slightly shorter easy distance session in the p.m.

Probably biking or trail running. Goals for the session are just to reacquaint the body with a moderate training duration, monitor the body and just be excited to be on the path for a new season!

I am usually excited and feel pretty good those first few sessions. I’m always amazed with how quickly into my recovery break post-season that I start getting excited to train!


Freeman powering through the penultimate leg of the Pole Pedal Paddle.
Kris Freeman kayaking in last year’s Pole Pedal Paddle.

Kris Freeman (Maine Winter Sports Center):

Depending on the amount of remaining snow at Waterville I will either skin and tele for a few hours in the a.m. with an hour kayak in the afternoon or go for one sixty mile bike ride. I plan to keep specificity very low initially.






Holly Brooks (Alaska Pacific University/USST):

Since I didn’t go to Super Tour Finals I’m feeling rested and ready to go. I know that some other people are taking another week or two since the season went so late. I’ve had a good month of “following my body” and doing whatever I feel like.

Holly Brooks with her husband, Rob Whitney. Courtesy photo.
Holly Brooks glacier touring with her husband, Rob Whitney. Courtesy photo.

Ironically enough, in Alaska that means a fair amount of skiing. Luckily I’ve been out on touring fish scales, back country ski, downhill skis, and crust skis for the most part. We aren’t quite in the “planting the garden and road biking phase” here in Alaska! Yesterday I got back in the weight room for the first time in about six weeks. In the afternoon I went running on the Turnagain Arm Trail – one of the first places in AK to “dry out.” This morning (April 30) I’m taking my rock skis out to the Hillside trails — NSAA is still grooming! This afternoon I’m either going to take my mountain bike on the dusty streets or might opt to hop on my trainer. For the first couple of weeks I’m going to continue cross training and ease into the season.

Historically I like to hit the training a bit too hard, too early. I’m trying to be okay with not being in incredible shape. One of my goals for the season is to train really hard at the right times rather than all the time. I’m going to be more serious about my recovery weeks, more aggressive with my rest, and more periodized with my plan. It’s easy to get into a “more is better” mindset but I think that we witnessed (with Kikkan) that that’s not always true. I don’t depart for Bend, Ore., until May 19th so I’ll train here at home until then. I still have a couple of adventure ski trips that I want to get in. I would also really like to ride my road bike from Girdwood to Seward and then take the train home.


Sylvan Ellefson (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail/Team HomeGrown):

Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team HomeGrown) working to catch Graham Nishikawa (AWCA/CNST) in the final stretch of Saturday's 7.5 k Spray Drag road race in Canmore, Alberta. (SMS courtesy photo)
Sylvan Ellefson running in Canmore, Alberta, last fall. (SMS courtesy photo)

It still feels like I just left Truckee and here I am starting my “training season” tomorrow.

My plan tomorrow is to start it off easy with an hour run with an after school program I started at my old elementary school called “Fit’N’Fast Boys.”

We will talk about how running and being active can also benefit your stress level and overall happiness, stretch, and then hopefully crush a four-mile run. We’ll see how it goes!





Audrey Mangan

Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.

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One comment

  • Martin Hall

    May 2, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Audrey—your comment about finding your HRM is so right on—make sure you use it to start every day—it doesn’t lie about the physiological you that is going to undertake your training regimen for the day—yes. you do it every day. Also, learn to wear it in everything you do–trng, RACING, lifting etc—you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
    Holly, riding from Seward to Anchorage is tougher—head wind—did it in the early 60s when I was in the Fort Rich Biathlon unit, the day after the Seward Mtn marathon. My longest bike ride ever—-not a biking enthusiast. Have fun.

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