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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Fart Louderdale

    Interval Training

    Like, running normal for a while, then running really fast for a few quick bouts between sessions of normality.

    Ever done it? How'd it go? Words of advice?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    The Leper Colony
    Best interval training I've found for skiing/touring prep is hill intervals. Find yourself a steep hill about 3 or 4 blocks long. Run up it fast. Shuffle/jog back down to starting point. Repeat 20 times. The key is pacing. Figure out what your pace is and work to maintain it for all 20 intervals. It's not worth nearly as much if you bust ass for 4-intervals and then dog it for the last 16.

    If you have a track nearby try running 400m intervals. Do a dozen with about 90 seconds rest between each interval. Again, pacing is key. Set a time for each 400m run and work to maintain that time for all 12 intervals. Shuffle/jog during your 90 second rest.

    Make sure you do a light warm-up/cool-down run (~1 mile) with stretching before and after any interval work-out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Dirty Jerzy
    Didn't someone at the other BB say they had a great leg work out that wasn't so hard on the knees? Was it ever posted?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    It seems like there's a Catch-22 here (paging Yossarian )

    You want to stregthen the muscles that support the knee without using your knee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Originally posted by jstead
    Didn't someone at the other BB say they had a great leg work out that wasn't so hard on the knees? Was it ever posted?
    Sure did...


    As promised before the apocalypse, this is the workout my PT and I devised after suffering a partial tear of the ACL last March. She is a maggot at heart and helped me get back on skis (Retallack 2002 was already booked and paid for) in 8 weeks after rupturing a disk, knowing full well that I’d be barely walking by the end of the week. She’s cool and gets “it”, the need to slide on snow or whatever your fix may be. So I have to give Laura Cooper at Healthsouth credit here. In addition to this routine I also train with weights but that is too much to go into. This combined with some good core work will get you into good ski shape.

    Cardio – 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a week

    Given my current spinal and knee injuries, running is not an option for me anymore. I miss it dearly as it was the only outdoor cardio that was remotely pleasurable hear in Chicago. I use only my Spinner and elliptical machines now (though I should swim), but feel free to modify this with whatever your choice of motion may be. I always train with a heart rate monitor as it allows me to efficiently use my time and to accurately assess my fitness. I break my cardio into 3 sections.

    The first 10 minutes I consider a warm up. For the first 3 minutes I try and just “spin” lightly getting into the groove and trying to be as fluid and smoove as possible in my motions while seated in the saddle with very low resistance. My heart rate is usually in the 130’s. I then slightly increase the resistance for bit of gentle climbing and get out of the saddle a few times to get ready for the hard stuff to come.

    At 10 minutes I begin my first interval. I begin by cranking the resistance up so that when I am out of the saddle I am working hard but still able smoothly turn the pedals over. This is not an all out climb up Alp ‘Duez. I go at it out of the saddle until my HR hits 175. At that point I sit down and drop the resistance so that I am able to spin comfortably, grab the bottle for some water and spin until my HR is back to 140. As soon as I see 140 I crank it back up and repeat until the 25 minute mark.

    At 25 minutes in I sit my tired ass down (you should be tired) and spin comfortably for the last 5 minutes focusing on smooth fluid pedal strokes, adjusting the resistance to keep my HR near 150.

    * the HR numbers are for me, a 30 year old has been and you may need to adjust them according to your age and fitness.

    Balance / Weight Free Leg Work

    This is the hard stuff. It takes some practice to get good at and you will feel a bit retardo at first but it works. With all these movements it is VERY IMPORTANT to maintain proper core form. Do not break at the waist, I like to use the analogy of preparing to be punched in the stomach as a way to get my core firing. Flex the abs and pucker your butt like you’re holding in a fart on a first date. Between sets rest for 1 minute, between exercises rest for 2 minutes.

    Stretch Lunges w/ fly

    Starting form a standing position with your hands at your sides step forward into a deep lunge, keeping your back leg as straight as possible. As you descend bring your hands forward with your arms fairly straight like a pec fly until your hands are about nipple high I front of you. Then return to the starting position pressing with your front leg. Your arms should follow the same arc as they had on the way forward. Switch legs and repeat for a set of 15 per leg or 30 total, your choice. Do 2 sets. As you progress you can add light weights, but I never use more than 12 pounds.

    Single Leg Reaching Squats (lame name but I had to call it something)

    Pay attention…this could get confusing. Starting by standing on one leg (your choice) slowly lower yourself down (maintain that tight core) and reach with the opposite arm (if your standing on your left leg reach with the right) and touch the ground on the outside of your planted foot. As you lower yourself down, the “free” leg extends back for balance but DOES NOT touch the ground. Slowly rise back up and repeat for a set of 15 (or as many as you can do in one set). Switch legs and repeat. Do two sets per leg. This is all about balance and will be tricky at first. If you do dab, regroup and keep going.

    Single Leg Dabs

    For this I like to use those cardio step things that you can stack the bases to reach the desired height. If at home any sort of box or ledge will do. I even do these on those parking lot curd deals when I’m waiting for the dog to do his thing at the park. Anything that you can lower yourself from will work so don’t be afraid to get creative. The starting height should be at least 6 inches and increase the height as you gain strength. To begin, stand with both feet on the “step” with your toes facing the edge (like your dropping in parallel). Move one foot forward out into space so that it is just clear of the edge with your toes pointed slightly up and your leg straight. Slowly lower yourself until your heel LIGHTLY dabs the ground. Slowly return to the starting position. Do 15 reps, for 2 sets per leg. Then turn 90 degrees and with one foot along the edge of the “step” repeat the drill lowering yourself off to one side. Same reps, same sets.

    Leg up Squats

    At this point you should be feeling it pretty good. This is just your basic squat without weight but with a slight twist. Using a length of surgical tubing (about 5 feet) with handles attached to either end (available at most gyms, or for a small $$$ at any fitness store, my PT actually hooks me up with them for nada) stand with the tubing running beneath both feet, arms down at your sides holding the handles. Pull up on the tubing so that it’s got some tension, you control the resistance here by how tight you pull the tubing. Then squat down using classic squat form, back straight ass out. When you reach the low point of your squat and begin to rise up, raise one leg up and out to your side slowly, returning to the starting position and lowering your leg. Repeat for 20 reps total, alternating which leg gets raised on each rep.

    Get on the floor and stretch, take a shower, drink a beer, whatever…yer done. The beauty of this is that you can really do it anywhere, at hoem, on the road, in a park, at a bar...just go, you'll see.
    Last edited by truth; 10-06-2003 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    all the interval training i've ever done was xc skiing, but i would imagine it's about the same as running and the like. there are several things you can do. first off, always make sure you're warmed up as slim said. what type of intervals you do depend largely on where you are (going on a course, hills around, distance, etc.). there are two types we did: for time and hill intervals.

    hill intervals are pretty self explanatory. ski (or run or bike) a course with hills in it at level 1 or so (assuming you know areobic intensity levels for workouts - 1 is very easy, you should be able to easily talk with whoever you're working out with, 4 is race pace, as fast as you could go sustained for a 5-10k or something, 5 is an all out sprint). when you reach the bottom of a hill, run it at level 4-5 (depending on how long you're working out and what shape you're in) up and over the top, then ease back into level 1. this is an easy workout to vary depending on the course or trail you select. we usually did these for about 30-40min (after warmups) i recall.

    time intervals require a watch. several ways to plan these, but it's important in all of them to keep moving. one is a build up 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 (min) workout. go at level 4 for 1 min, level 1 for 1 min, level 4 for 2 min, level 1 for 2 min, etc. it's important to get back to a mellow level of activity, if you're still wheezing after your rest (slow pace) then take another minute. vary your rest times accordingly. you can also do simple intervals with no varying the times, ie 2-8 min on (level 3-4), 2-8 min off (level 1-2). you can also do level 5 intervals, 1min, with 2min level 1 in between (or similar).

    this should be a way to get started at least. remember you can do all of these in any type of areobic activity: biking, running, xc skiing, etc. some may serve your needs better than others...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In the moment
    Get yourself a heart rate monitor. It will help you maintain tyhe right levels of intensity during interval workouts.
    "There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
    Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I've worked in the training industry and done a bit of coaching (t&f, cc). What Slim, Truth, and BigAK said is pretty much right on.

    Intervals are the key to just about every sport, especially resort skiing. I've done them my whole life and wouldn't have it any other way. Funny thing is I am waiting for the rain to let up so I can do 300m repeats at the local track.

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