Period Five of Training for Cross-Country Skiing

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

Period 5 and Period 6 will be our biggest volume months of the year. This is the hard work we are putting in to be successful come winter. So hang in there.

With that being said, it’s very easy both in periods five and six to train too hard on our Level 1 type training, our easy training, and leave our whole season far too fatigued for the rest of the competition season.

We’re also working on technique. Everything must complement one another. So making sure that, for example, our strength complements our intensity training is vital as we move forward.

So as we discussed – the endurance, intensity, and strength type of training in this period, first and foremost, it’s high in volume. Because of that, we want to ensure our easy work is very easy, and it’s also becoming more and more specific to cross-country skiing.

Again, more roller skiing and a little fewer biking-type activities. Intensity, there’s a bit of a balance between the threshold and Level 4 training. We can get a little bit creative here. If you’ve trained over the years, you can blend the two. Maybe what you do is you do a Level 3 workout or a threshold and add five minutes on of Level 3 and then one minute of Level 4 at the end. Another thing to do is ensure we have accelerations in our distance training followed by full recovery.

STRENGTH TRAINING:

Last period the training plan introduced a strength routine focused on lower load (weights lifted) and higher velocity (more dynamic, speedy movements). This period is a continuation of that concept. In addition, the plan emphasizes different muscle groups via several new exercises.

Completing each repetition with quality movements and initial explosive power is essential. This is an integral part of plyometric-based strength because it teaches the muscle proprioceptors to fire quickly – a trait you will want to have during ski races, particularly at the start and in the final stretch to the finish line!

At this point of the training, you should feel improved strength in your movements, which should translate to more robust, faster sessions on the road.

***

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

As you plan your weeks and evaluate 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, it 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. It may be best to hold off on the third week and swap it with Week 4 – our easy week to recover, and then maybe make a slight adjustment in Week 1 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.

– Cheers, see you next month

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