I was making plans to go climbing with my friend Sue. I mentioned that I'd rather do some alpine climbing rather than sport cragging as it would be better training for randonee racing. She asked a lot of questions about racing and seemed really interested. Then she said maybe we ought to do a workout together and explained that she essentially lives for nordic racing. Turns out that she is a world class competitor at the masters level. She trains six days a week- often multiple times a day. We both realized on the phone that there was going to be a partnership formed here.
We blew off climbing and decided to go roller skiing. I was pretty sure I was going to be awesome at it in no time. I was the opposite of awesome. I looked like a new-born giraffe learning to walk. I fell when there was no reason to fall. I'm surprised Sue was willing to roller ski with me a second time. Teaching me to roller ski is a task requiring so much patience that it should be reserved for people with no employment, no friends or personal commitments and mastery of advanced meditative practices. I'll write more about our roller skiing workouts, nay- adventures soon.
I've been doing some light intensity trail runs to ease myself back into cardio workouts. I like them long and slow. And scenic. Without me telling Sue this she said to me, "You'll never get fast trail running." Hmm. That's disappointing because that's what I like. That's what I did last summer and fall to train for racing. That's what I planned to do this year as well. Trying to win some points for my program I told Sue about my big, long days spent running and scrambling up peaks. She informed me that those workouts lasted so far over what my races take that most of those long days were detrimental to my race performances.
So today I realized I'll probably be doing a lot of shorter, higher intensity workouts and I'm not really psyched about it. All modern sports science supports what Sue says so I'll be following her advice, but I don't plan on liking it. What I do plan is a lot of long trail runs on days where Sue's schedule doesn't line up with mine.
Today Sue showed me some ski walking techniques. She showed me a trail that she likes to use for ski walking workouts as it has a nice moderate pitch to work against. I thought I would be better at ski walking than roller skiing because last year I spent a lot of time power hiking and trail running with nordic poles. I was wrong. I suck at ski walking too. Here's Sue doing it correctly.
To better understand what I'm doing wrong I took some video and still shots of Sue ski walking and asked her to take video and stills of me. It's an awesome tool. I haven't even sat down with Sue to have her point things out and already I see a lot of things I can correct. Here's me ski walking like a goober.
We have a time set tomorrow for her to kick my ass on a ski walking "time trial." Sue said it takes her between 34 and 43 minutes. Hopefully I'll keep it under an hour.