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The (revised) Plan

Kris Freeman

Tue, Sep  11, 2007 - By Zach Caldwell

I hope everybody understands how momentous it is that Kris has weighed in on the site . He’s generally quite successful at avoiding any exposure to computer-bourn pathogens. He usually doesn’t even answer e-mail. Kris prefers the phone. In typical fashion, Kris laid out all the information with no embellishment. It’s been pointed out that this may be a more effective means of passing along the information than my usual selective reporting with commentary. However, I can’t resist the temptation to weigh-in.

This past training block is the biggest Kris has ever done. He’s been in the territory before, but 92 hours in 20 days (4.6 hours per day) is the largest average training volume he’s got on record. But that’s pretty tame compared to the last two weeks of the block which totalled 69 hours - an average of about 4.93 hours per day.

The interesting thing about these numbers is that, as advertised, the focus during this time frame was on the quality of the two sustained intensity sessions. In a couple of cases the volume was backed down to ensure high quality efforts in the intensity sessions. The other focus was on a high level of specificity. Kris had four paddling sessions totalling 5.5 hours, and two mountain bike sessions totalling 4.25 hours. The paddling is strictly secondary-session training with good upper-body stimulus. The first mountain bike session was a way for Kris and I to go out for a two hour session together. There’s no good way for me to train with him while he’s running or skiing, unless I ride a bike alongside which is a little lame. So we went for a mountain bike ride after Kris’s first sustained intensity session, and it seemed to be a very effective means of recovery, so Kris decided to do it again after the second intensity session. Anyway, the focus on specificity yielded a period of 82.25 hours of running and roller-skiing and only 9.75 hours of anything else.

At the conclusion of this past block Kris reported that he was numb. This is familiar. Six hours is a long time to be doing something - anything. Six hours of double-poling is - you guessed it - numbing. Kris scheduled his final back to back ODs with a one-day buffer following prior to the start of the recovery week in order to “ramp-down” the training load. He ramped down with a 4.5 hour classic ski. It could have been an 8 hour classic ski. By the end of the block he was not reaching a clear point of depletion, even after back to back six hour sessions. His caloric intake was massive, but he could train for as long as he was asked to train.

As advertised (in the title of the post), there is a revision to the plan that I outlined a couple of posts ago. Because of a scheduling snafu (Kris didn’t remember to coordinate his USST camp schedule with Julie’s available time off, and double-booked himself) the upcoming block will be 20 days instead of 16 days. Kris will arrive in Lake Placid four days after the start of the camp. The upcoming block will still feature an intensity focus. The first week of the block will be the easiest week of training Kris has had since May, and the second two weeks will be roughly what we originally scheduled for the 16 day block. The buffer at the front end of this upcoming block will simply contribute to the quality of the intensity focus, as Kris will have a chance to ramp-up into training mode. Recovery is necessary, but it can be hard to crank things back up again!

Kris is looking forward to some lower hours. He’ll probably have two five or six hour sessions in the next few weeks (as opposed to six in the last period). Those six hour sessions require extensive preparation - lots of eating, and equipment maintenance - not to mention pretty intensive post-session recovery. A six hour training day is an overtime work day. Kris is looking forward to a little bit of free time.


Reprinted with permission from the Kris Freeman website at http://www.krisfreeman.net/. Copyright © Zach Caldwell and Kris Freeman

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