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Training for XC Skiing in October: What I did last week. . .
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2009/10/25)

At this point of the cross country ski season, my training gets pretty specific, with more time on rollerskis, ski striding, and more high speed interval workouts. Most XC Ottawa athletes are on 3-week cycles for the Fall, meaning there's a gradual build in volume weeks 1 and 2, and week 3 is easier. We typically train more hours in the summer, but at this time of year we drop the volume so that our intensity workouts can be effective.

Here's what a recent week of my ski training looks like. This was a 12-hour training week that I just completed, (high-volume for this time of year).

Monday: Easy day. 20-min spin on indoor bike trainer, and 30 mins of core strength.

Tuesday: AM: XC Ottawa team workout - Penguin intervals. 5 mins on/5 mins off� X 5. This workout went surprisingly well for me. I was worried about only 5-min rest to get down the hill and recover, but this wasn't a problem. I'm going further in 5 minutes than I was last year with less effort - a combination of better pacing and better fitness, I think.

PM: Recovery workout - easy 30-min swim with Carleton University Masters swim team, sauna, and stretch. (My son Evan swims at the same time so this is a very convenient workout. I have the option of swimming a more intense 60-70 min workout, but instead slack off in the pool and get out early - the sauna routine is new, and I'm liking it!)

Wednesday: AM: Skate rollerski on Rideau River bike path - including 40 minutes of 5 secs fast/10 secs easy. This is a great workout that lets you work the systems you need to be sharp and fast without taxing yourself (my heart rate stays in Zone 1).

PM: Easy run to Mooney's Bay to help coach Nakkertok Racing Rabbits in a variety of dryland activities. I have a lot of fun with this great and motivated group of kids.

Thursday: Easy recovery day.
PM - easy 30 min swim with Carleton U Masters, sauna, stretch.

Friday:� Early AM - strength. Easy warm up run to Carleton U including some plyometrics outside, then weight room strength routine (power combination training) that combines weights and plyometrics.

Double pole workout. 30 minutes of double poling (4 X 7-8 minute double pole with 4 minutes rest in between). I did these in the arboretum on off-road rollerskis: I really like the soft surface for double poling since it feels a lot more like snow and so much better than pavement!

Saturday: XC Ottawa team workout - Gatineau Park - skate rollerski. 2-minute intervals (starting on flat near P8, gradual downhill, gradual up) with 4-min rest, 7 times.� I found this workout extra challenging technically because of the wet roads and slippy leaves, but this is probably great practice for those days when you need to balance in sketchy ski conditions.� We followed this with 1-skate technique work. The video below captures the first part of this workout.

Sunday: XC Ottawa team workout - Gatineau Park - classic rollerski with 10-second sprints on varied terrain. We used four different techniques (legs only gradual uphill, double pole flat, uphill stride, kick double pole at high speed). I warmed up for this workout with an easy run and some plyometric jumps.

Overall, this was a good week of training for me. This coming week is a rest week with half the volume (6-7 hours), so I'll take 1-2 days off, work a bit more on flexibility and technique, and catch up/work ahead with all the other fun things that keep me busy.

The first part of our Saturday workout was captured on video by John Langstone, coach of the Carleton University Nordic Ski team.

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