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Don't collapse on your poles!
By:  Zoe Braul   (2008/11/24)


Oh what a difference a day makes! This was yesterday's dread..

Last Saturday, we did (hopefully) our last Penguin hill interval workout. However, we've been telling ourselves that for the past 3 Penguin workouts. At this point in the year, you just don't know if it'll be your last so the best advice is to not think about it. As a skier, I find November the hardest month to stay motivated, especially if there is no snow. Lately horrid thoughts of been entering my head such as "the dryland season is way too long, I bet it's not making me any faster." But these thoughts are irrational and will go away as soon as the race season starts. Racing will surely remind me why I've been dryland training for the past 6 months.

Back to the Penguin workout. There was just enough snow to make rollerskiing treacherous but not enough to ski. So instead we graced the Penguin hill, again. John has cleverly thought up a particularly gruelling workout that is new this year: 3 minutes in high zone 4 (pretty much hard as you possibly can) with a long 9 minute rest. Depending on our training programs, we each did 4 or 5 intervals. The 9 minute rest was to ensure we were fully recovered before each interval. This is important because the race season is almost here. The rest allows you to do hard intervals without feeling burnt out after. Megan was right when she said they feel like sprint qualifiers: lots of rest then ski hard for 3 minutes.

The key to these intervals is to walk down the hill as soon as you finish the three minutes. However, I try to sneak in a little lean-over-the-poles for recovery, just to catch my breath enough so I don't feel so nauseous. Except John is smart, and purposefully stands just where we are expected to finish the three minutes and yells "don't collapse on your poles! Walk straight down the hill." It makes it way harder if you don't take that 10 second break and walk straight down again! I think following his advice is more mentally tough than physically tough, just like November training. The intervals aren't getting any easier, but the hardest part is staying focussed and not forgetting just how close racing is!

Karl hanging on his poles...just for show of course!

Sheila, Megan, and the others after hard intervals on skis this morning. Even in tricky conditions it was better than another day on Penguin at this point!

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