One of the things that this time of the year is really good to do is do a check. What does that mean? Do a baseline check whether you do an uphill run or an uphill roller ski time trial as well as maybe some double pole test or a general strength test.
But the question you always have to ask yourself, “Is the training making you better?” If not, then you need to think about how I’m going to personalize my training to do so.
So don’t just follow the training blindly. Every four to eight weeks, do some sort of a check to see if you’re actually improving in your ski training. So this is a great time of the year to first start with a baseline test to see if you’re improving in your strength, improving in your technique as well as your aerobic fitness whether an uphill run or a roller ski time trial uphill.
One of the main transitions we do is in strength. In strength, we move from general resistance strength into what we call more of a max strength type of training. What we want to do is keep the load low and the actual resistance high. What does that mean? It’s that we’re thinking about repetitions so we’re in the very low numbers. Usually below 10 for sure but usually around 5 reps. But adding a little bit more weight. Why is that important? Because what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to actually increase our strength without increasing the hypertrophy per se.
We might get a little bigger if that is a goal of yours. What you want to do is target repetitions between 8 to 15 with resistive loads that actually are to failure but if we’re actually looking at increasing strength and max strength, we’re going to keep it below that for the lower body. Maybe we’re doing squats for six – five or six reps, relatively high weight with full recovery. And we’re not going to failure. Same with the upper body. So relatively high weight but low in volume.
Intensity, we start to focus a little bit more on adding in some what we call level four or max VO2 intensity. It is something that you can sustain for about 12 minutes. So it’s pretty hard and maybe think about as you introduce level four training, that it’s more of like a 10-kilometer distance pace. It’s little bit more conservative than just going all out what you would pace for a 15 or 12 or 15-minute time trial.
As it comes to distance training, over distance type training becomes more and more important. What does that mean? It depends on what your level of training is. That could be anywhere from two hours all the way up to six hours in duration for a single event. Think about doing these primarily on foot, meaning running or roller skiing. So maybe do one-third run, one-third classic, one-third skate. That’s a good opportunity to really build into moving, into a trend of more ski-specific activities.
Volume increases. As volume increases, be really conservative on the amount of intensity that you’re doing. Recovery is extremely important. Sleep well. Eat well and think about eating well before you train because that’s the first step in your training. Eat to train, not the other way around.
Most important at this time of the year also is to remain hydrated. Build fluids into every single workout that you’re doing. If it’s under an hour to an hour and a half, water is sufficient. But make sure you’re getting a sport drink if you’re doing anything longer. Make sure you’re getting in electrolytes, salts, so that you can replace and replenish.