The High Level Plan:
Training Phases for 2001-2002
July 10, 2001
My training season is broken into
phases, each phase focusing on a particular aspect of training. Part of the
"phasing" comes from information learned at the XC Oregon June 2001 Race Camp, part
from things learned long ago, part from books like "SERIOUS Training for Endurance
Athletes" (1996, Rob Sleamaker & Ray Browning, Human Kinetics).
chart at the left provides an overview of the phases. Each date indicates the first day of the week. My training week
begins on Saturday - the weekend sets the tone for the rest of the week for me. If I can get
my long workouts in during the beginning of my training week (i.e., Saturday & Sunday), I
feel less pressure during the rest of the week to put in hours when I know I'm tired.
notice that I've divided the year into 13 periods of 4 weeks each. For years, the advice has
been (and continues to be) to build up stress (longer, harder) over three weeks, then back off
on the fourth to give the body time to adapt.
Now, to be honest, just because I've identified periods
doesn't necessarily mean I'm following them - real life sometimes steps in to complicate
things. During much of the Spring/Summer period, I actually followed the "increase stress
over 3 weeks, relax on the fourth" mantra fairly closely. I haven't done so good since.
Consider this the "high-level plan" that I'm attempting to follow.
There are five phases to my plan:
Spring/Summer. Time to build up the aerobic base.
During this phase, I'm doing mostly long slow distance sessions on my roller skis. For
variety, I'll go for long rolls on my inline skate. I'm also doing some shorter intervals once
a week (no more) - from 1 to 6 minutes, maybe a ladder of 2, 4, 6, 4, 2 minute intervals
with half the interval time as rest. Some of the intervals are on roller skis, but this
year I'm trying to doing ski walking/ski bounding intervals as well.
Fall. Time to put away the inline skates.
Specificity is key here. My goal is to increase the interval sessions to 1.5 times per
week, and to increase the length of each interval. I'm also increasing the strength
training I'm doing, hitting the gym 2-3 times per week. And I'm still doing long slow
distance - I recently had a great running/ski walking (with poles) distance workout in the
I'm in the fall phase right now, and it hasn't quite worked out as planned. I've been so
tired or sore from the weights that I haven't had the power to do quality intervals. Part
of the issue also has been the I lost 4 lbs very rapidly - too rapidly - early in the
phase, and I think that hurt me. I've backed off and am starting to pick up again.
Power. In the power phase, I going to try to
maintain my distance and interval workouts from the fall phase, but put renewed interest
into strength, particularly upper body, and especially on the roller board. As J.D.
Downing said at the June Camp, "60-70% of the power comes from the upper body."
Transition. During the transition to race season,
I'll slowly backup some of the harder training so I'm fresh for the first week of racing.
I may try to do a few short Zone 4 intervals (above anaerobic threshold).
Race Season. My total training volume should come
way down. Weights maybe once a week. Maybe one interval session during the week, maybe
just on long slow distance workout. Racing on Saturday and Sunday.
We'll see how it goes...