Incorporating Sprint Bike Ride into Ski Training

Q: I do 30 miles with 4-5 sprints at level 3+ to level 4+. Since it is not a Level 1 two hour bike ride, – is the Level 1 bike still very important? Is this the same as the level 4 workout listed in the plan?

A: It is not uncommon for the athletes that I work with to do a workout once a week that incorporates sprints like you do. My question would be, what is the duration of the sprints that you do. If they are <30 seconds per sprint and you are taking at least 3 minutes between each sprint, there is no reason to alter the training plan at all. These sprints are really good to incorporate into your training regularly.

If the bike sprints are 1 minute or longer, I would suggest that you maybe take one or two of the repetitions off the Level 4 workout that is in the training plan. Another option would be to take a recovery week every once and a while (about every 4 weeks) and remove the Level 4 completely with this bike sprint workout. We want to be careful with the amount of L4/L5 we do because when we start going over a minute in length we really start to stress that anaerobic system more then if it was a short duration sprint. This excess of L4/L5 will break down the body quicker and overload us to the point of over training, so we need to be careful.

Practice Crits 021_edited-1-M

Photo Credit: Renee Callaway

Overall, I think having these sprint bike workouts is great and you should continue to do them. Although like always, we should continue to monitor how you are feeling and if you begin to feel rundown or not recovering well, start to cut hard workouts out and the duration of the workouts. The recovery portion of our training is just as important as the time we put in during training. This recovery time is when our body makes the adaptations we want and becomes stronger.

Andy Keller, CXC Academy Coach

Related Articles: Substituting Cycling for Skiing During Training and Competition

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