Period Seven of Training for Cross-Country Skiing

Welcome to period seven of training for cross-country skiing.

(October – November ’20)

First off to follow up on last period’s note about this coming season. Yes, let’s try to keep as much normalcy as we can with our training during the pandemic.

However, there are likely to be adjustments to the race calendar as a result of COVID-19. Each of the Race Organizers from the events you would like to do or would normally do are doing their best to cope with the challenges hosting a ski event this winter will bring. Some races may go off without a hitch. Others may have already looked at what they could offer this winter and have decided to cancel early so all can prepare to make other plans. Still others may have to adjust very close to race day based upon health and safety of all involved. At this point we cannot expect this season to be much like any other we have had in the past.

We will all be well advised to be flexible and focus on enjoying the process of working on our overall fitness this season rather than stressing about being on your best form for a top performance at any one event that may or may not happen or may not look like what you expected when you registered. Starting the season with a realistic approach will have us feeling better about the season as it progresses, rather than feeling frustrated week in and week out. This season more than any other, savor every good day and be prepared to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak when you have the chance.

Now that we have addressed the cold hard truth, let’s get back to talking training for the period.

This period we are cutting back some from our past 2 periods of working hard for the winter. While we cut back some, we are still training quite hard. Keep up the good work you have been putting in.

We are also approaching the “shoulder season”. The “shoulder season” is that time of year where we may be switching back and forth between dryland and on snow, and also may have to adjust to times where neither method of training is good (think not enough snow to ski on, but icy roads and trails so running and roller skiing are also poor). When it appears is different the world over. In the shoulder season, it is important to be flexible with your training. Adjust to the weather and make your training safe. Roller skiing in icy conditions is not safe. This may be a good time to go for a pole hike or run/hike with poles. As we switch to snow, for the first few weeks while we are still getting our snow legs, we should also consider continuing to do our intensity on foot, as we often can have more productive work outs than if we try to do intensity one of our first days on snow, especially if snow is thin and we have to be cautious avoiding dirt or rocks. Your first days on snow should be more focused on remembering your good technique on snow and building good skiing habits.

Let’s hope for a winter of many bluebird days of great skiing!!!

***

Each period, we will end with this advice since it is so important:

As you are planning your weeks and evaluating your training, also give some thought to how you are using the training plan. It is written to be a blueprint and a guide for your training and is not written knowing in advance what conflicts you may have with training in any given week.

Many weeks can be done as scheduled. However, if you have to swap days or weeks out on account of your non training life, with good planning that can be done with great success provided you are giving thought to the swapping. For example, let’s say you have a week at work where you are going to have heavy time demands and stress and the schedule says it is the third week of the period, which is our big week, you may be best holding off on the third week and swapping it with week 4 our easy week to recover, and then also maybe make a small adjustment in week one of the following period. You can also swap out days on account of life outside of your training plan, just remember as you do that it is ideal to follow a pattern of hard followed by easy for the pattern of days.

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