Advice – Ski touring how to train tempo

While doing some Google-research for my own training, I ran into three interesting blogs with some info on that matter.

Two canadian blogs started looking into this in more detail: Skitheory with the category Inside the Pain Cave and Skintrack where training advice is sorted in tips & tricks. Skimo Life currently presents 25 posts in the Skimo Training section.

All of them present some basic knowledge on how to structure your training (e.g. 3 days on, 1 off). Skimo life also looks into intervals in more detail, discussing the pros and cons of their structure. Personally, I kinda miss some coaching advice as I had back in my cycling days. Problem is: this is not easily going to happen. There is a scarcity of coaches specialized on ski mountaineering and I assume most of them do not work with recreational athletes (really just an assumption).

Why is this so? I spoke with Peter Schlickenrieder at the „Osttirol Skitourenfestival„. Basically, Peter says, this was the case because ski touring still is a small sport. And since quite a few of the athletes had a background in cross-country skiing, the know how to train.

Well, when they know how to train, this does not logically make a cyclist better off. I tried to some more detailed information. Running was the best thing to do during the week, the silver-medalist added, as long as you always bring your ski poles. This ensures that even fatigued, the technique is programmed so deep into the muscles that the keep pushing no matter what.

On the weekends the time is right to train on the mountain. A slope that takes about 10 minutes to go up can be tackled in a tempo that will bring up your lactate to 4-6 mmol. There is one important aspect on which Peter insists: Control the time. If you start too fast your time will worsen on the second interval. Instead the time should slightly decrease while the perceived effort remains the same. This ensures you are not pushing yourself above your anaerobic threshold.

When you are slowing down on your second run while the perceived effort remains the same, take a 20-30 minute rest. You pushed above your threshold and lactic acid cannot be processed, builds up and you have to slow down.

As the headline says, think of these intervals as tempo rather then speed. Maintaining the pace is key and lets your body adapt over time. In the next post I’ll cover the question „when to train what“ again (although there is a lot to be found on the web on this already).

Did you find this helpful? Do you need more info on how to train tempo? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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