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Season of David - Part II
By:  David Zylberberg   (2003/05/06)


The followingis the first in a series of weekly articles by the "infamous" David Zylberberg, one of the original members of XC Ottawa. He is the writer of numerous amusing and sometimes controversial articles which have been the subject of much discussion within the Canadian cross-country racing community over the last 8 months. While David does not possess an advanced degree in physiology or sports science, hopefully the articles will be the source of much entertainment while you are putting off work, school, or chores. David's articles will be candid and will not be censored by the editors of XC Ottawa. (At least not usually) Please address your comments and questions directly to David.

At some point the Season of David was going to start discussing my activites as a skier and lessons to be learned from them. Unfortunately, I have yet to do anything that interesting so I decided to talk about a general topic that applies to May.

All skiers, except maybe Matthias Fredreickson or Bente Skari, have a physiological or technical aspect that is limiting performance. As well as being generally less fit than Red Group skiers, most of us have some particular problems that need working on. It is important to identify these weaknesses and solve them in order to improve and keep them from impeding performance.

>P> One problem I currently have is Sprint Racing. In order to ski faster I need to address this problem. I hope to improve at it by doing more work on skating technique, since technical weaknesses are a major disadvantage in sprinting. As well, I will adress the problem by placing a greater emphasis on speed and plyometrics in my training. This is the solution I have proposed to my weakness and am beginning to implement.

It is important to identify weaknesses at the beginning of the training year in order to plan proper solutions and have the time to deal with them in training. May is also a good month to train weaknesses since it is early and nothing else requires major attention. I remember that 3 years ago I lacked Upper Body Strength and was able to correct it by doing hard strength workouts (Pullies 10 x 3 min/arm for those familiar with Kahkonen training methods) every other day for a few weeks. This became the emphasis of my May training and ceased to be a weakness.

Another reason that May is a good time to focus on weaknesses relates to it being a bit of an unusual month for training. May is generally the first month of the training year and most skiers like to avoid rollerskiing or overly-specific training. Some elite skiers, including the Canadian National Team, travel in order to ski for a few weeks on the last snow of the year and train many hours of low intensity for the month. Otherwise, the only necessity in May is to do some low intensity training and to re-adjust to normal training routines after a winter of racing and a break in April. Some people also like to emphasize strength this time of year since it is better trained when the overall training volume is lower. May being a month dominated by general training and lacking being low in both intensity and hours, makes it a very good time to pay special attention to weaknesses and deal with them before the high volume periods of the summer.

I hope you are doing something productive while I am sprinting and hopping during the next few weeks.

Interesting Reading. . .
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