We are just about to wrap up our 3rd week of official training and for most of us on the SMST2 team it’s been a welcomed return to the daily grind of being a skier. For some odd reason, which probably dates back to the Viking days, the official start of the training year begins on May 1st and marks the beginning of a new season and new goals. From here on out whatever happened last winter is all but forgotten and it’s time to start counting hours and preparing the best we can for the 2015-2016 season.
For me this is a really exciting time of year, it’s kind of like starting with a clean slate or better yet a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your artistic and athletic flair down however you see fit. The beginning of May really is a time of planning for most professional skiers when we look at the next 6 months of the training season and piece together the camps, the big weeks, the time trials, the epic OD’s, and the painful gym sessions into the best training plan possible to reach our goals.
A lot of the big changes a skier incorporates into a training plan will depend on their goals for the season. Everything from a big jump in hours, to more double poling, improving skate technique, or increasing speed are all challenges that need to be addressed in the off season before snow starts to fly. Even newcomers to the professional racing scene learn early on that skiers are made in the summer and if you do your homework and stick to a well though out plan it leads to fun, success, podiums, and more fun.
It’s fun to be fit, it’s fun to ski fast, and it’s fun to have big goals, which again adds to the excitement of May. After a long break from training we all start to realize how good it feels to be in shape and once we start getting out the door every day it feels amazing. I really look forward to that feeling of getting fitter each workout, each day, and stacking each week on top of one another, forming that pyramid of success.
May is the time of year to work on the base of that pyramid or the foundation. It can be easy for the excitement to get to you and start thinking too much about the top of the pyramid and get antsy pushing too hard in given workouts. It’s helpful to be patient and remind ourselves of the long haul and that big base training of May and June will provide the foundation for the hard L4 intervals and time trials of August, September, and October.
The longer I ski race the more I start to see how important these early training months can be. In a lot of ways the longer you ski the shorter the off-season becomes and you can really see the importance of each workout, even a patient, easy run in May. There are only so many days and so many opportunities between May 1st and November 1st to fill with bounding, lifting, running, and roller skiing you can bet for sure we’ll be making the most of them in the endless pursuit of fun… and podiums.