The countdown has begun. My first skimo race is in 2 days. After months of training and 4 months with no significant races I can’t help but be just a tad anxious about my fitness and race readiness. Yet I do know that my fitness is good and possibly the best it’s ever been. It’s at times like these that you’ve got to trust in the plan.
Canada has a tremendous resource in sport physiologist, David Smith. Dr Smith states that one cannot have maximal performance without the long, long workouts. The shorter intense efforts simply bring out the best of your fitness base. Kind of like topping off the tank.
The long ones broaden the base of the pyramid and the hard ones make its pinnacle go higher.
In previous years I did well in the summer months with the long ones. Long days of sunlight coupled with an Ironman goal make the 3 hour runs, and 5 hour rides easy. However as winter approaches, days shorten and family weekend sport commitments increase it gets harder and harder for me to get those lengthy efforts done.
Short, hard interval sessions, while testing your drive, are easier time wise to fit in. Sometimes all it takes is an hour of hammering and you’re done.
Last year it seemed like my performance dived a little at the end of the season. After a great summer of Ironman training (& fastest Ironman for me), my long ones tailed off as winter approached. I had a good season with a couple podiums, but by the end of March I felt like a gear was missing.
So far, my interval intensity training has been steady, strength training still being maintained...I just need to keep at least one 4-5 hour ski per week.