I'm pretty lucky that I was able to have that twelve-year stretch when the boundaries of daily life stretched enough to allow me to travel to Norway or Sweden almost every year and race a ski marathon. I got to know those two countries intimately, learned a lot about my physical abilities, and had a lot of fun. I hope those days will come back again, but right now, they're just a beautiful dream.
Fortunately, the American Birkebeiner is a more than adequate substitute for now: it's closer, so the trip is shorter and cheaper, and I can do it in a long weekend, instead of a week or more for a European trip. That makes it a lot easier to squeeze into a busy work schedule. And the course is more than challenging enough to be worthy of structuring a training year around. Someday I'll got back to Norway and Sweden, or Italy, or Finland, or Germany, but not this year; this year it's going to be all about ... Wisconsin!
My work schedule, so frantic all winter and spring, is sliding back toward normal. The heat spells of July, that just squashed my cold Arctic heart like a bug and left me lazy on the couch, will soon enough turn into the crisp days of September and training will become more enjoyable again. Life is looking up -- I think I'm going to survive! But I'm woefully behind on training, again, so I look to the interwebs for inspiration.
First, this, from Ski Post. All you need to know in a few pithy sentences:
Dear SkiPost,Can you please remind me to do intervals? Otherwise I just go out and do the same medium hard run every day.
signed, no progress
Dear no progress, You are reminded that if you go medium hard every day you will only be able to go medium hard in your next race and your friend who has very easy days and very hard days will beat you. Even if he eats Ice Cream every night.
Andy at SkiPost
And for specifics, we turn again to Team Leaseplan Go, courtesy of Google Translate:
Summer continues and attached is a training program for August. Vary happy to drag the length and location of the interval from session to session. Sometimes it's fun to test themselves. Then a test run or a fixed interval be good to implement. Also try to post a real long session between. When I think of a duration of three hours.
1 Distance / fast road trip 50min Half Hard / I 3 Roller or bike
2 Road Trip 2-5hours Quiet / In 1.2 Roller, bike or hike
3 Interval + strength 30 min Hard / I 4.5 Running or s-ski. Strength after 7 4min *, 6 * 5min 2-4 min
4 Road Trip 1-2 hours Quiet / In 1.2 Running or roller
5 Strength Hard
If you've been training all summer, good for you -- keep it up! If, like me, you have fallen behind, let's get back on the wagon together and make good use of what's left of this summer. See you on the trail!