Reese’s thoughts about training this month:
Woodski Blog October 2015
October is kind of like getting called up to give that class presentation you’ve been working on for a while. Or, at least you were supposed to be working on it. Everyone is going to find out shortly if you really did your homework.
.This is the time of the training year when the intensity ramps up. Ideally, the summer would have been full of big hours and lots of threshold training; building a wicked base of aerobic development. But this kind of training doesn’t exactly make you fast; it makes you resilient. It makes you able to handle a lot of the training that does make you fast.
.This month is where we want to start focusing on the intensity workouts. The goal is to start practicing race specific speeds and terrain. Depending on the races that you are targeting, this could mean different things. Training for the Birkie or other long marathon races probably means lots of longer intervals above threshold. Sprints and 5ks? Better be stacking in those shorter, muscle-searing L4 intervals and powerful speeds. If youre targeting mid-distance races, then a healthy mix of those.
.Here are a couple things I like to keep in mind this time of year… These are very general, and are based on the assumption that you did do some solid base training during the summer months. I should also note that they are pseudo-scientific, and based off thousands and thousands of hours of my own experience, guided by coaches and people who really do know the science.
- The focus should be on the intensity. No, you don’t want to cut out all the volume and distance training; but it should become secondary to the harder interval workouts.
- Do what you need to do in order to have the best interval session you can. Being able to do one or two more intervals with perfect technique and a faster pace is much more valuable than an extra 15 minutes of slow running at the end of your afternoon workout.
- If you are training only once a day, you are probably under time constraints. Don’t waste your time with junk hours. This is an often missed point by even very serious athletes… Get your intervals in, then do what you can to recover well. Then, the next day, get in one solid distance session. I would take a single, high-quality workout each day over two longer but less effective workouts, no question. Think about it; youll be in better shape, and have more time for life. You’ll ski faster, and your family, your spouse, your boss… will all thank you.
- Take care of yourself. This time of year, the weather is colder and there are classes to rush off to, jobs to be at, yards to take care of, and all kinds of things to be done before the snow flies.
- Change your clothes right after working out, no exceptions. Eat some simple carbs and a little bit of protein right after working out, no exceptions. This will help your body start the recovery process. If your body is exhausted, stressed out, cold, damp, dehydrated, and/or malnourished, good luck; you’ll be sick before you know it.
Looking towards the start of the race season, it’s important to know that you’ve spent the summer hardening the steel. Now, we want to take that hardened steel and hone it to a razor edge. It will take quite a bit of honing, and it wont be easy; that’s why we want to give ourselves every advantage that we can.