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Season of David - Part III
By:  David Zylberberg   (2003/05/13)

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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.

During the last few days I have finally started to feel good while training. It usually takes my body between 5 and 15 days to readjust to the training routine at the beginning of the year. The habit of doing a reasonable workout every day is very different from the recovery season that is April and even from the later part of the winter where the racing is so intense, and the body a little worn down, that you cannot train well every day. But now I have regained the training habit and have readjusted the mentality to building my body up every day rather then resting or trying to be at my best every weekend. Having readjusted to training, I am starting to feel normal running again and able to recover to feel good every workout.

One thing I have been doing the last few years is incorporating spints into my long workouts during the spring and summer (it sometimes falls off in the fall though this is not good). Whenever I do a long workout during this season, I will try to incorporate 10 x 10sec all out sprints every 3 minutes or so until they are complete. In between the easy distance continues. My old coach, Jonne Kahkonen, recommended this because he said it kept my speed from getting dulled by the long easy distance pace. Also, I believe this will work well towards my intention of increasing my speed generally. I generally do one long workout/week and this week I did a 3 hour skiwalk with poles. I incorporated the sprints running this time though on other occassions I have done some bounding depending on the terrain. I have found this to be a good way to add a little variety to long workouts and improve speed though it is not a substitute for proper speed training.

This week the National Ski Team was named and it has caused some controversy on Skifaster.net. The team selected appears to be a good one though it can never be perfect for everyone. Cross Country Canada also posted the ranking list used for selections which seems useful because it reminds people of why they were not named to these teams and reinforces the need to ski faster for those of us with national team ambitions. One thing ambitious racers should do when viewing the selection material is to figure out what the national team members are doing better than them. Since these people are skiing faster it is good to look at what they are doing well in order to figure out areas for improvement as well as methods of attaining that improvement. This process of looking to those who are beating you for ways to improve is also useful academically and in the business world. Some people will complain about an unfair selection criteria (it isn't perfect but few formulas are better) or about a Canmore bias. But those people skied faster this year and if I want to change that then there are things I can learn from them. (I am not suggesting anyone copy these people exactly but that we should try to learn things from them.)

 
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