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Workout of the Week: Simulated Sprints - Zone 3 Intervals
By: Andrew Wynd (2006/09/12)
Workout Type: Intervals
Exertion Level: Hard
Skier Level: Any
Technique: Skate
Season: Pre-competitive
Terrain: Varied

Suggested Trails: Anything with corners, uphills, downhills and safe!

Equipment: Normal rollerski equipment and some cones


A select group of athletes from XCOttawa (those not away on a paddling trip) decided to spice up their interval session last Saturday morning. Instead of the boring, grinding, zone 3 intervals up any chosen hill, Tom had the brilliant idea of using the on and off ramps to the parkway nearby P5 in what turned out to be one of the most enjoyable sessions I have had in a long time.

On the schedule were short zone 3 intervals, meaning we didn't want to go above our anaerobic thresholds. Rest periods were designed to be 1:2 or slghtly less.

The course started underneath the overpass on the parkway, took a sharp uphill right hand (turn 1), then a sharp left hand (turn 2) onto a straight and slightly uphill section. This was followed by a gradual left (turn 3) into a small downhill, providing some welcome respite before climbing moderately into a 180 degree turn around a drinkbelt (turn 4). The course then heads downhill, through very tight corners (turns 5, 6 and 7) then into a final, high speed right hand bend into the finish straight.

The time to do this course was abut 1:45, and we went off every 5 minutes to complete a total of 7 repeats.


The goals of this course were twofold, namely to mix up the training, but also to develop skills such as: acceleration, power, speed, cornering and head-to-head racing skills. We had no incidents to speak of, but came close to a few mishaps on the sharp turns which is a warning to younger players of this game. Pavement hurts, so take it easy and watch out for yourself and others.

The team members all found this an enjoyable workout, highly specific and perfect for either zone 3 or 4 short intervals.

A final note, watch out for other pathway users and enjoy this workout.

Ed McCarthy and Karl Saidla duking it out.

Ironman Wayne Dustin changing gears to the short fast distances.

Sheila Kealey powering up the hill with strong leg bend.

It's workouts like this one that helped Tom McCarthy win the 2006 Keskinada Sprints.

More Workout Suggestions . . .
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