Well its January 2002, and unfortunately weather conditions across the country haven't been exactly fantastic, that is if your life is XC skiing! These horrific conditions have left several of us lacking an important step in our on snow training, Racing! Due to the cancellation of all continental cup races in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Telemark, Wisconsin almost all XCOttawa.ca athletes have merely 3-4 races under their belts, and most of these time trials. So how do we compensate for valuable missed races/training? Here is an intensity workout that I recommend you give a try.
- - Be sure and warm-up well and stretch lightly before your intensity.
- - Focus on what you are doing, think technique and be aggressive
- - Ski each interval as if it were a race
- - Ski RELAXED.
- - And most important HAVE FUN!
I recommend doing any interval/speed training with a friend who is generally faster or around the same speed as you. When training with someone else, it is much easier to push yourself harder. It's during these had efforts are when the most progress is made.
First find yourself a rolling loop of about 1km-1.5km, try and include some climbing in this loop along with several corners where you'll have to alternate techniques. Well be racing this loop 3-4 times @ race pace, taking approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on the loop you chose. Total time of workout shouldn't take any longer than 90 minutes. Warm-up for about 30-40 minutes and do some light stretching. The same as you would before a race. Then strap your skis on and I recommend doing about 5 minutes of Zone 2, this will give your body some notification that a hard speed work-out is coming and prevent your body from going into shock. Next step start your intervals, start at a below average race pace and slowly increase your speed as the interval training progresses. It's important after each interval to keep skiing at a slow Zone 1 pace and monitor your heart rate. DO NOT start the next interval until your heart rate has gone below 125 bpm. Once you've reached this heart rate then proceed to the next interval, this should give your body enough time to recovery before starting the next one. If your heart rate has not reached 125bpm after 8 minute of recovery, this is an indication that you shouldn't continue, your body isn't recovering properly and you will fry yourself trying to continue. Once you've finished your intervals cool down for another 20-30 minutes.
Good Luck and Happy Training!!