Ushering In September with Alayna! Training Update & Tips on Time Management

Posted by Karmen M. Whitham on Sep 11th 2020

Ushering In September with Alayna! Training Update & Tips on Time Management

(PC: Getty Images) 

I can't believe it's already September! I typically view the beginning of September as the turning point between summer training and fall training. My SMS T2 teammates and I have just about wrapped up the dog days of summer volume hours with lots of adventure mountain running, long, threshold roller ski intervals, and plenty of time in the weight room getting stronger. 

In the last month, I was able to sneak away during our team's "mid-summer break" for a family vacation in Colorado where most of my grandparents, aunts/uncles and cousins live. I was sure to follow all Covid travel/safety guidelines and restrictions pre/during/post travel so I could safely enjoy time hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my family.

The perfect getaway with family, hiking in Colorado.

My trip out west was over an easy week so I left my roller skis in Vermont and mostly did long easy hikes, a few runs and one mountain bike ride. It was so nice to switch things up! I was feeling fully rejuvenated by the time I made it back to southern Vermont where I quarantined, and then jumped back into training with my speedy teammates.

We've been ramping up the intensity in the last few weeks and are starting to incorporate more L4 intervals and time trials. It's always a challenge to make this adjustment because the intervals start to hurt more, but we also get to ski faster, which is always more fun! Looking forward, we will continue to ramp up intensity and start to back off on our volume. There may be fewer running adventures and more ski specific workouts, but we'll still be enjoying every second of it.



We made it to the finish line of the App Gap roller ski race, a great (safe) event put on by NENSA! (PC: Matt Whitcomb)

Not only will our ski intervals get more specific, but our strength workouts will as well. This year, I'm pretty excited to be working with Gear West Ski and Bike Shop, located just a few miles from my hometown in Minnesota. Gear West and I are looking forward to hosting an event together on Monday, September 14th from 6-8 pm at the store or virtually. All ages and ability levels are welcome to join physically or on Gear West's Facebook live event, as I take everyone through a 30-minute backyard strength routine that only requires running shoes and a medicine ball (or a rock that weighs 5-10 lbs). I'll then chat more about training and staying motivated/focused during the time of Covid, and answer any questions. Hope to see you there!


Getting stronger doesn't necessarily require all the fancy weights. (PC: Getty Images)

As many of you are heading back to school or a regular work schedule this fall, it's important to remind ourselves how to get back into a healthy routine. We all want to be able to successfully balance athletics and academics/work, however, this can create a hectic schedule and easily get stressful. As a Biochemistry student at the University of Vermont, my days were packed from 6 am to 10:00 pm with very little free time during the week. I think the best way I was able to stay productive and efficient with my time was by separating work time, from training time, from social time, etc. I did my best to prepare by looking ahead at my schedule and staying organized. That way, when it came time to being in a cellular biology lab or an interval session with the ski team, I could be present with the task in front of me and really focus. Some would call this time-management! I was also always sure to bring lots of snacks and water! Fueling throughout the day and staying hydrated can often get overlooked, but without enough energy to study a textbook or work on your ski technique, this time could just become wasteful. So, think ahead and bring snacks!


Fueling the long training hours with snacks- the same way I would fuel for big study days in the library or focused time during labs and lectures.