Appropriate Use of our stock 16 Week Skimo training plan

  • Creator
  • #3357

    Here is an inquiry we recently received from a very high level Skimo racer in France. The name is withheld. In bold below is my response. I hope this clarifies any confusion surrounding the best use of these stock plans we produce.

    Message Body:
    Hi Steve and Scott,

    I just bout (sic) your book (waiting for it to be delivered) and the TraininPeaks 16 weeks plan for skimo racing. I am already well trained from couple of years trail running and skimo racing and was looking to find a more structured training to progress to next level. To give you an idea of my level I am currently ranking in top 10 on trail running races (20 to 50 km) in France and Switzerland.

    I am wondering about 2 points/observation on the training plan:
    – why is there a lot of hike and not running uphill?
    – Coming from trail running, I can easily run up more than 2000 meters on a 30 km run. Why is there no such longer training planned?
    – Why is there no skimo session planned?

    Your clarifications would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Thanks a lot for the great work on this website and looking forward to read the book!
    Many thanks and best regards

    Dear XXXXXX
    Thanks for contacting us with your questions.

    This program is designed for the off season preparation for Skimo so would start in the summer and go through the fall when there is no snow. That is why the workouts are running and hiking based.

    Secondly, and most importantly, this plan is for someone who is looking to be race and be competitive at a regional or national level. From your rankings in both running and Skimo you are far above that level. You are at near the top at an international level. France and CH have the most top competitors in Skimo and if you are ranking in the top ten then you will need a much more personalized training program if you hope to improve.

    I also coach several World Cup Ski du Fond racers and and down to the level of good juniors in that sport. There is a big difference between the training programs and the way I coach a 16 year old (or would coach a 35 year old amateur racer) than the way coach someone on the World Cup. At the top level training must be individualized.

    The younger or less accomplished skier needs much more basic training. He can not just do the same kinds of workout that you need to do to become better. The workouts that are easy for you and that you need to do will destroy a skier at a lower level. When we wrote this plan we had to direct it towards a lower level athlete than what you are. People at your level who are trying to improve NEED coaching to make their best gains. You and a coach need to make a careful assessment of your strengths and weaknesses and then direct training that targets them in very specific ways. You are far beyond the level at which a generalized plan designed to intermediate level Skimo competitors will do anything for you. There are many good coaches in Europe for Skimo and I suggest you contact one of them for a more individualized coaching program.


Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

  • Participant
    yesisaidyes on #7678

    Is this true for the advanced 16 week training program too? It seems to end with a race? But still no on-snow training? (I have just been using skiing in lieu of running for workouts when I can, particularly striding.) This seems like a very important but maybe not clear point?

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