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Training Log: Slow steady progress
By:  Craig Storey   (2008/06/19)

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Last week Karl wrote the first installment of the new "Training Log" article series wherein he humourously laid out a few guidelines for us to follow. Namely, it should be a series of articles where XC Ottawa athletes attempt to look at training details, rather than just brag about the latest Rambo-style training session or abuse superlatives in an attempt to describe our fitness, training or progress towards a goal.

With that in mind I'll just say that last season's training was bad and this season's has been good thus far. Not enough details? Ok, a bit of background. At the end of last season I made a rather smooth transition to running, riding and weights after skiing into mid-April. This was aided by mixing riding and running in the last few weeks of skiing and I successfully avoided the dreaded DOMS usually associated with May. I did take a week or two completely off before marking May 1st as the official start to a new season of training. Heck, I even roller skied a few times in preparation for our June 4th baseline time trial. I was being a good skier!

Training was progressing quite nicely and I was starting to get into a groove right up until the night before that first TT when I somehow managed to drop a very large knife on my foot while BBQing birthday dinner for my fiancee Edith and a few friends. The stitches required to patch up my foot prevented me from training (and walking) for about a week. But that little injury was followed by a series of injuries; foot, achiles tendon, hamstring and finally my back. The last one would prevent me from classic skiing most of the season and force me to skip a lot of racing as a result. (Thankfully we had a lot of snow this winter so that by the time I recovered there was still good classic skiing to be had!) It seemed like I would just get back into "regular" training mode after weeks of reduced or modified training but not reduced volume, and then the next injury would creep up on me.

Why all the injuries? The knife in the foot was just bad luck and maybe the other were just a chain reaction. I would ponder that point most of the winter. After much thought I came to the conclusion that I was likely trying to cram too much into a week of training - especially when I felt I needed to play catch-up after missing a few weeks due to minor injury. Or in other words - overtraining. This wasn't overtraining to the point of physical exhaustion, but rather I was likely not giving my body enough recovery time, either from the previous injury or from regular training, and that lead to further problems.

So, I've taken a different approach to training this spring. I've been in no rush to get everything done. I have all summer to get in shape, and all fall to get in "skiing shape". In other words, I'll try to regain general fitness throughout the summer and then more specific fitness in the fall. I'm looking for slow steady progress, hopefully continous and without injury.

A typical training week from last season at this time..

Mon: Strength 0.75 + Run 1.0
Tue: Soccer 1.0 + Team Training 2.0
Wed: RsCL 1-2 or Weight 0.75 + Run 1.0
Thu: RsSk 1-2 + Soccer 1.0
Fri: Weight 0.75 + Bike 1-2
Sat: LSD 2-4 (Run/Bike/RsSk)
Sun: RS Sprints + RsLSD 2-3

Thus far this season...

Mon: Rest
Tue: Team Training 2.0
Wed: Easy Run 0.5-1.0 or Bike 1-2
Thu: Soccer 1.0 + Bike 1.5-2 (2x0.75-1)
Fri: Weight 0.5 + RsSk/Bike 0.75
Sat: LSD 2-3 (Run/Bike)
Sun: Rs 2-3

Thus far the signs are good. I've made a slow transition to running, riding and most recently weights. And I've made slow progress towards "good shape" in all, but best of all I am injury free. My early season rollerski time trial was a bit slower than the ones I did last fall, but at least I made it to the start line and I can look forward to improving thorughout the summer.

 
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