How to include weeknight races in training?

  • Creator
  • #3283

    (put this post in the ski mountaineering category because there is no “general” category, and it’s certainly not about climbing)

    How do I, or can I, incorporate weekly race series into my training regimen?

    I compete in amateur week-night race series throughout most of the year: cyclocross in the fall, xc ski in the winter, and mtn bike in the summer. All of these races are pretty similar, about an hour of peak-intensity output, VT2 for sure, collapse at the finish line intensities. It’s really fun and keeps me motivated.
    But, I *train* for ski mountaineering. That is my real passion, and why I am trying to follow the guidelines of TFTNA -> to build an engine that can get beyond my usual close-to-the-road backcountry ski descents.

    So, if I’m only supposed to spend about 5% of my training time at VT2+, then that would mean a Base load of at least 20 hours/week. This is WAY beyond my level of fitness. If I’m only doing Base Load training of 10-15 hours/week, does this mean that including a “Wednesday Night World Championship” is detrimental to my training? Do I need to cut the fun races? Or, is there a sane way to incorporate this into a Base Training program for an otherwise untrained Wednesday Night Warrior?

Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

  • Participant
    Max McKee on #3286

    That’s a hard one. I would for sure follow that day with rest or maybe a light recovery workout and limit the strength training to once a week instead of twice. I’m sure there are better options that I am not aware of, but that’s just what I would do with my limited, unprofessional knowledge. I’m sure someone with more knowledge will chime in soon. Good luck!!!

    Anonymous on #3297


    Max is on the right track with his answer. Basically, something has to give in your schedule to allow you have one of these sorts of races a week for a good chunk of the year. That’s no big deal and if these races are what keeps you motivated to train then that is what you should do. As you have already figured out this will not allow you to do conventional base building program with the typical periodization we normally see in top level athletes. But they usually focus on one race season a year in one sport. With your 3 sports and three seasons you might consider using the spring after the XC season is done to spend as many weeks as you can in doing a conventional aerobic and basic strength building period. Depending on where you live most of the XC races are over by April so you might be able to squeeze in a 6-8 week “base” period. For the in season training it is going to be pretty darned hard to be putting money in the bank. Building work capacity which is what athletes do in the base period makes you tired. If you try to build capacity while racing your race results will suffer. I’d suggest using that weekly race as your ONLY high intensity (VT2+) during these periods. I’d do workouts mainly below VT1 and a strength workout or 2 tossed in if you can handle it. These low intensity workouts will help mitigate the deleterious effects that the races have on your aerobic. This is a very general prescription of course and depends on your rate of recovery from the races. A younger person with many years of training could recover in 24-36 hours and thus may be able to handle some work in the range between VT1 and VT2 mid week. A master skier may take several more days to be able to handle much intensity.
    Have fun sounds like you love what you are doing.

    Peter on #3315

    Thanks for the help guys. I will have to think hard about how important xc ski races are to me this winter, they’re certainly not as important to me as my ability to get big vert days in March and April. Then maybe I can take a break in late spring before starting bike racing season, which I’ll quit in October in order to get ready for skiing.

    The good news is, I don’t really care what why finishing times/places are in any of these races. They’re purely fun.

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