Back in my mid-twenties, I spent a week at Telemark Resort
leading up to my first Birkebeiner. It just so happened that the National Masters Championship
was in town the same week. A number of people I raced against were racing in the National
Masters. I remember thinking as I watched the races, "Wow, I can't wait until I'm 30 so I
can race at National Masters, too!"
Well, I turned 30 quite awhile ago and I still haven't been to
National Masters. But that's going to change! The Subaru National Masters for 2004 will be in my
backyard (if you consider a 10 hour drive my backyard) - Marquette, Michigan. It seems my duty to
support the first every championship held in Michigan. So this year's training is to prepare for
the National Masters.
The challenges are different from past seasons. Last year, I
raced once or twice a weekend; at Nationals, I'll could be racing five races in seven days,
including a marathon. My recovery skills will be put to the test.
Training goals for the season
What are my plans for the training season? I have some
- Build my training plan around quality high intensity
intervals. I need to increase my maximal aerobic capacity, and intervals are the way to do
it. But they have to be quality intervals - I need to be fresh for each interval session in
order to maximally stress my system.
- Build up! I plan to continue Torbjorn Karlsen's strategy
of increasing the difficulty of my intervals or pace training both within a particular
day's training session and with each month. During a session, the first interval will be
relatively easy and each subsequent interval will be harder than the one before it. Over the
training season, the number and length of intervals will increase. One issue to deal with this
is determining what's too much: Last year, I may have overdone the intervals - too many
sessions in too short a time toward the end of the training season. I wasn't feeling fresh at
the beginning of each session, but was forcing myself to do intervals because I had them in my
training schedule. No more. This year, it's even more about quality over quantity.
- The rest of my aerobic training should be easy distance
- and I mean EASY! Looking at my training log from last year, I noticed that my heart rate for
most of my Zone 1 training was near the top of the zone instead of spread throughout. Ditto
for Zone 2 training. I think I trained at too high a heart rate. This year I need to ease up
in order to get maximal training benefits and increase my VO2 max. This has the added benefit
of ensuring that I'm not overstressed going into my interval sessions.
- Even more focus on strength training. If hit the gym
about twice a week last year. This year, I'm going to add additional specific strength
training particularly long doublepole and skating-without-poles sessions. Although I'll record
these in my log as distance sessions, they will provide strength benefits as well.
- Add more speed work. These are very short (10-15
seconds) speed bursts that teach the muscles to snap! In the Hired
Gun series last year, I never really talked about my speed work, but I found it very
valuable, especially the speed work I did in the gym. I need to do more when I'm on my
rollerskis or running. Maybe I'll talk about it more this year...
I'm not planning on adding more hours to my training season -
about 8 hours a week is all I'll be able to do.
April's Training Plan
April is fun month. I'm focusing mostly on easy running and
biking, and throwing in a little inline skating and rollerskiing. I also plan to do a 5-mile
trail running race at the end of the month for variety.
I do have one specific goal for the month: get make in the
weight room and start a progressive strength program. I'm trying to get to the gym at least twice
week a month.
April's plan is pretty unstructured. It follows three basic
- Do a least 4 aerobic sessions per week, each at least 30
minutes long and at 70% of max heart rate or higher.
- Do two strength sessions per week.
- Have some fun.
Hey, it's all about having fun!