Merry Christmas! On the rare chance that you can sneak out for a workout during the busy holiday season, try the following 45-60 minute workout from Sam Tarling of the Maine Winter Sports Center.
4×4 Zone 4 Intervals
By Sam Tarling
“This is one of the simplest workouts anyone could think up, but it’s also one of the best for dialing in your top-end race pace.”
The holidays can be a stressful time for the North American ski racer. With US Nationals and Canadian trials races coming up in the beginning of January, it’s not easy to sneak away from the holiday parties and family gatherings. But if you have a spare hour between last-minute gift shopping and baking another batch of cookies, you have enough time to squeeze in a very effective intensity session!
This is one of the simplest workouts anyone could think up, but it’s also one of the best for dialing in your top-end race pace. It’s a great workout for anytime of year, but very useful in the busy holiday season, because it takes only one hour and you can do it on foot or on snow.
Start with a 15-minute warm-up. Don’t be afraid to push out of Zone 1 for a minute here, or 30-seconds there, but the majority of the warm-up should be easy.
After 15 minutes, it’s time to get things rolling! The first 4-minute interval should be about 5km race pace, but you shouldn’t yet be hitting your maximum. Take 3 minutes of easy recovery before starting the second interval. The second, third, and fourth intervals should be maximum effort, with 3 minutes recovery in between each.
By the end of the intervals you should be approaching 45 minutes of total workout time. It is important to have a dry shirt, hat, and even some warmer gloves for the cool-down. Your body will be pretty depleted at this point and quite vulnerable. Dry clothes are a good way to prevent the development of any holiday head colds.
After quickly changing, continue skiing easy for another 15 minutes. Even though you are tired it is important to focus on skiing with good technique.
Be sure to eat an energy bar or quick snack within 10-15 minutes of finishing the workout, and try to have a meal within an hour. This will help stimulate quick recovery. Don’t forget to shower and change again as soon as you’re home!