Hello! Reid here, checking in for the first time this summer to talk about volume training. These summer months, especially once we get into July and August, are all about building base for our season. As cross country skiers, our training is designed to progress throughout the summer, building our efficiency. As we get into July and August, we are for the most part building a base for our season, but also building specific strength and technique work so we are skiing efficiently.
One of my biggest training philosophies is to not get so caught up with hitting my exact hours for a workout. I like to think of my training plan as an actual plan rather than a command, because plans can change, and you have to adapt. As a younger skier, I have gotten caught up with running or skiing around for a few extra minutes just to hit my exact hours on my training plan. Now I like to find a balance between hitting my hours while still getting quality training. Instead of skiing around pointlessly at the end of a workout, I ask myself if cutting it short or going longer makes the session more productive. I try not to get worried about these individual sessions and would rather make up time in another workout later, that will make my training higher quality.
Without sounding too cliché, one of the best things you can do during volume training is keep the easy workouts easy and hard workouts hard. The majority of training is in L1, and if you are training 700 hours a year, over 600 of those hours are in easy L1. One of the hardest part of training is making sure we take advantage of these hundreds of easy training hours. If two athletes train the exact same hours, but one skis lazily, never working on technique or skiing efficiently, and the other spends every second working on strength, technique, and quality training, than that can be the difference in results once the season comes around. Since the vast majority of our hours are in L1, this makes our technique work during this time so important. It can be easy to use decent technique while we are going very hard, but as soon as we get tired in a race, we revert back to what is comfortable and ski like we do for most of our training! As someone with far from perfect technique, I think about this a lot and try to spend every session skiing as well as I can, working on things, so that I never fall back into bad technique in a race.
As July comes to an end, the BSF Pro team and myself are ramping the training hours back up after a recovery week last week, so I will be thinking about efficient skiing a lot. Next up for myself is a rollerski and running race put on by Bridger Ski Foundation here in Bozeman, so check out results or sign up if you are in the area!