I knew Holly has been super busy this month and I was afraid she wouldn't have time to put together a training report, but she didn't let us down! Here are her excellent suggestions for July -- thanks, Holly!
Oh July. This is the month where we should start to see a shift in training. The volume is still high, but in addition, more emphasis is put on intensity. July is the month where it's still summer, but winter and choices about race schedules, etc creep closer and closer. July is definitely summer in the lower forty-eight but here in the Alaska, the coldest July on record and occasional termination dust in the mountains reminds us that winter is never really that far away. I find that the older I get, the more the more I train, the shorter the training/preparation period is until the next World Cup season sneaks up on me!
Hence, in July, I would really recommend that you look at your goals (i.e., what you want to accomplish) for the upcoming winter and look specifically at workouts that you may or may not have planned for the next four-week period. Basically - do you have workouts planned that will help you reach your goals for the winter? For example, if you want to become a better climber (on skis) and plan to spend the next three weeks on your TT road bike, your training is incongruent with your goals.
One of my goals is always to improve my double pole. This has been especially hard for me this spring/early summer because I suffered a rib injury in May. Thus, I haven't really been able to double pole, do pull ups, dips, or bench press until last week. While I've been able to focus on other aspects of training and improve in those areas, this has left me feeling a bit weak - and behind in this arena. While it would be easy to sit back and follow the team plan, I am instead being proactive about making individual tweaks that will allow me to focus on my upper body ski strength. Of course you want to continue with workouts that are fun & you are good at - strengths are always good - but I think that many people shy away from the aspects of training that are the hardest for them. Be it your subconscious or otherwise, it's easy to think, "I'm really bad at pull ups..... how about we go run uphill instead!"
So, a couple goals and/or things to focus on for the next couple of weeks:
• The emphasis of June was to build your base. Continue base training but it's time to add some intervals if you haven't done so already!
• One of my favorite interval formulas is to do 1x speed, 1x race or tt, and 1x L3/threshold session per week! Speed can be something as easy as integrating 8-10 10-20 second picks up in a distance workout. The race or TT can be a fun, local event, & my personal favorite threshold workout is ski walking/bounding uphill with poles continuously for 30-60 minutes.
• With the sustained high volumes and increased intensity, recovery becomes even more important!!!! No matter how busy you are, take 10 minutes to get horizontal and put your feet up in the middle of the day - this will help!
• Emphasize nutrition! Carbs pre workout, protein afterwards. My favorite is CLIF bar and/or banana pre-training and a single serving of greek yogurt afterwards! Utilize that 20-minute window post-training and eat something right away. This will give you the best bang for your buck in terms of giving you the proper energy for your next workout - or next office meeting!
• Write down your goals and design 2-5 workouts per week that specifically TARGET those goals. What you want to accomplish and what you're willing to do to accomplish the goals should MATCH!
What's next for me? I have another week of dryland training here in Anchorage, then it's back up to Eagle Glacier for the second time this summer. Then, I have two recovery days in town before hoping on FOUR planes (yep, the crappy, cheap flights!) to participate in a joint US Ski Team/Swedish National Team Girls’ Camp! I'm really looking forward to some huge volumes, great intensity sessions, improving my upper body strength, and making some new friends!