Hello! Hannah Rudd here, checking in from Marquette, MI where we are finishing up our last day of training camp. As many of you know, I am currently on the BSF Pro team which is located in Bozeman, Montana. The town of Bozeman sits at around 4,800 feet above sea level, so our team likes to do a low altitude camp at some point during the summer. Having grown up and gone to college at Sea level, the idea of doing a low altitude camp was a bit foreign to me when I started with BSF. However, throughout the past few years, I have learned that there are some huge benefits to doing a training block with some extra O2!
During our camp, we focused on power, speed, snappiness, and increasing our aerobic capacity. Over the last 10 days, we incorporated a lot of intensity to work on these things. If you are looking to increase your aerobic capacity and become a faster skier, doing an intensity block is a great place to start. Whether you’re a high school athlete, a World Cup skier, or a master, periodizing your training and including an intensity block in an important part of increasing your aerobic capacity.
(Image by mqtphoto)
Interested in trying out an intensity block but not sure where to start? Below is a detailed outline from my team’s intensity camp in Marquette. The schedule will give you instructions on terrain, speeds, and durations so you can recreate our
camp at home! I have listed each of our intensity workouts, but be sure to alternate them with one day of easy distance training (easy run, rollerski, ride, swim, etc) . The general format that our team followed during the camp was: intensity day, easy distance day, intensity day, easy distance day…. and so on. When doing this much intensity, it is crucial to take your easy days very easy. This means no L2 skiing when you should be skiing in your zone 1. This will allow your body to absorb the hard work from the day before and
recover before you strain yourself again.
Intensity Outline: Building Skate Speeds- After your warmup, begin with a 7-minute L3 interval. Find yourself a loop or out-and back that takes around 4 minutes to ski in at a threshold pace. Ski the loop in your L3 level, but each time you do it, pick out a different section to ski L4+. During your first 3 laps, have the L4 session be around 20 seconds, then for the next 2 laps have the hard section be 1 minute. Then have a lap with a 90 second L4 section and then back down the ladder. Change the location of these speeds on the loop you are using (be sure to put them at the start, in the middle, at the end, etc.).
Threshold classic intervals with “sprint preems”- Find a long hill or rolling loop that take around 10-13 minute to ski in L3. Do one interval in your threshold zone. For the next 4 intervals, pick 2 spots on the hill that you will do a 15 second sprint. The goal of this workout is to get in quality L3 while training your
body do flush out lactate after you sprint and resume a threshold pace.
12k Classic time trial- Find a route or loop that is around 10-15k. Ski it as fast as you can, preferably with friends! Repeat this same time trial later in the fall to see your improvements.
Classic Speed Session- This workout is broken up into three sections: striding, gradual terrain, and flat/fast terrain. Find yourself a big uphill and do seven, 15-second max effort striding speeds. Ski easy for 5 minutes, then go to a gradual uphill and do seven more speeds. Ski easy for another 5 minutes and then find a flat or downhill. Do seven more double pole speeds and then cool down.
Skate sprint simulation TT- This workout is best when done with a group of people but can be simulated by yourself as well. Whether you do sprint racing our not, this L4 intensity session is sure to build your fitness and increase your aerobic capacity. Find a 1-1.5k loop and mark out your start and finish line. Warm up as if you are warming up for a race (some easy skiing some threshold, and some fast efforts).
(Image by Marquette Photo & Enjoy Winter)
Time yourself (or have someone time you) and ski a “qualifier” round. Take a ~20-minute break skiing easy and then ski the loop again at race pace. Take a 10-minute break and do it again. Then another 10-minute break and ski your final round. Try to get faster with each time you ski the course!
I find that doing these hard intensity blocks is made a lot easier with my teammates by my side. So, if you’re looking to get some of the workouts in, find some friends so you can push one another. As for now, we are heading back to Bozeman for some recover and will then jump into some more volume focused training.
Thanks for reading, and happy training!