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Season of David - Part IV
By:  David Zylberberg   (2003/05/20)


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.

This week I ended up not training very much. Early in the week I pulled a muscle in my chest and decided not to do any workouts that involved my upper body for the rest of the week in order to let it heal. These things happen and I am pretty much recovered and ready to fully resume normal training. Also, some things came up that kept me from doing much for a few days. They were one-time occurances and if it was becoming a regular occurance I would find ways to train around it but for this week I thought it better to avoid over stressing myself. Initially, I had planned a 3-day hiking trip in Killarney Provincial Park (1 hour south west of Sudbury) in honor of my brother's high school graduation. The events that arose caused this trip to be cancelled though I did manage to go for a very nice 3 hour run on Sunday in Killarney. It is a very nice area with the limestone hills, cliffs and small lakes and has become my favorite place to run. For this run I was joined by longtime XC OTTAWA rival and friend Kerry "Iron Stud" Abols. Kerry is a former nationally competitve skier and coach who can still give many of our skiers a good challenge and trains in extreme manners. On this day, I thought it would be a good workout to do a 3 hour run in challenging terrain but Kerry decided to bike the 100km to Killarney and then meet me and run. Running with the Iron Stud is often a major challenge as he likes to run fast, but because his legs were a little dulled from the bike we were able to run at a fast Zone 1 pace and nothing more.

This week was dominated by different training methods. Sometimes it can be a very good idea to do something different from the running, strength and rollerskiing that dominates training during most of the year. A hiking or canoe trip is a good way to add variety as well as being an enjoyable experience. These activites also provide some excercise and can help make you fitter. If you prioritize your physical activity around skiing faster, it is important to be intelligent about using these activities. Hiking 6-8 hours/day with a 20kg pack in rugged terrain is good for building leg strength and base aerobic fitness but is not good as a dominant form of training because it does not adress the development of speed, high-end fitness and the upper body. For this reason it is good to plan trips into a training plan so as to do something different and enjoyable while not sacrificing racing priorities. Also, I like to use an alternative method of training for my weekly long workout about once/month. Generally I go for at least 3 hours in a workout once a week, with the usual methods being skiwalking with poles or a 90 minute rollerski followed immediately by a 90 minute run. To add variety though I will occasionally go for a long canoe or bike ride and like to go run in new interesting areas (like Killarney). These are all good workouts and enjoyable activities but they must be used in moderation since they lack the specificity and speed that is essential to properly training for skiing.

I hope you have all enjoyed the long weekend and found something interesting to do, like my run. Best of luck for the next week, while I return to normal training.

Interesting Reading. . .
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