Thanks! I’m glad it’s helpful.
1. I’ve been meaning to write an e-book on just this question, but I’ll try and briefly summarize it here.
For that season, I was training for ISMF-format skimo races. That includes 4-6′ sprints, 30-45′ verticals, and 90-120′ individual races. In order to do that, I wanted to give myself more “gears” to work with. So using a Canova-esque approach, I used speeds between 70% and 130% of aerobic threshold plus sprints. The fastest and slowest paces were emphasized in the beginning of the cycle and then both ends of the spectrum moved toward race pace as I got closer to race season.
* Sprints: 6x 8″ progressing to 8x 10″ or 4x 15″ with 2-3′ passive rests
* 130%: 30-30s with the recovery interval at 65%. Starting with (2) 10x progressing to (1) 24x
* 117%/110%: Work intervals at 117% with the “recovery” interval at 110%. Durations starting at 1’/3′ and progressing to 3’/1′. Very hard! And very good prep for short sprint format events.
* 105-107%: Typical AnT work
* 97-103%: Aerobic threshold work alternating above and below, starting at 4′ and progressing to 12′. (Note: My AnT and AeT thresholds are just under 5% apart, so these are almost as tiring as AnT work.)
* 90-97%: Long intervals at the beginning of long sessions or on their own for shorter sessions.
* 80-90%: Medium length sessions at a constant intensity
* 70-80%: Super easy. Most of my volume was in this range.
* < 70%: Super duper easy. The second biggest chunk of volume.
2. This is the 117%/110% of AeT range, ideally dialed in with an event-specific time trial. Then the work interval is about 92-93% of TT pace and the recovery interval is 85-88% of TT pace. The typical format is five alternations, lactate sample, five more, then another sample.
Note that the “recovery” interval is about AnT intensity, so these are very stressful. If there’s a big gap between AnT and AeT, these intervals will likely erode a base fairly quickly (a la Crossfit or worse).
3. I used max sessions early on and tried to maintain them throughout the year. I think it’s best to use max before ME work.
For ME, I used the first of the two progressions that are described in Verkhoshansky’s Block Training System. It took me two summers to get strong enough to get through the progression.
The progression uses 35-45% of max squat for weight, half-squat jumps and split-squat jumps, high volume reps, short rest intervals and long recovery intervals. After the progression, my legs felt much, much stronger.
4. The UA progressions are very similar to the Verkhoshansky protocol, but with less weight and higher cadence to make them more run- and skimo-specific.
I never used weighted carries because they’re too slow and the cadence is too low. They would be appropriate for mountaineering objectives, but not for running or skimo.
As I mentioned, it’s on my to-do list to write a longer description of this process. Hopefully I get around to it!