Volume week at SMS

Andy walks us through a big week of training

Last week was a volume-training week for me here at Stratton and it felt great to get in some bigger big hours and cover a lot of miles on the roller skis. It’s easy to see that skiers and athletes use the term ‘big volume’ pretty often this time of year but what does it really mean?

Rollerskiing DP (Pat Photo)
Rollerskiing DP (Pat Photo)

For skiers doing volume training, it means laying the foundation for all the training and racing we are going to do from now through the entire race season. We all took time off to rest in April and now skiers will use May and June to get in a lot of easy distance training. Sometimes we call it base training because we are working on building that base fitness that will allow us to get the most out of the harder interval training and racing later on in the Fall and winter.


The basic jist is that in order to get the most out of intervals you gotta put in the time now! Which is why over the past two weeks I’ve been putting in over 20 hour weeks with a lot of over distance training and not much intensity. Last week I started things off with some skate threshold intervals with the rest of my teammates but from Tuesday on I really focused on longer workouts.

Our Stratton Paradise
Our Stratton Paradise

So what does over distance mean? For me it means any easy distance workout that is over 2.5 hours in length and kept for the most part in Level 1.  I do this because as these easy distance workouts stretch out in length we learn to ski more efficiently and at a faster easy distance pace, essentially teaching out bodies to better use it’s energy and fat stores instead of burning glucose. In the end we train ourselves to go longer without bonking, a very important piece of the ski racing puzzle.


During this past week I had at least 5 workouts that were in the 2.5 – 3.5 hour range and got the distance in by doing a variety of double poling, skate skiing, and a few long runs. Erika and I have moved into our condo here at the base of Stratton so it really cuts down on travel time. Even with the short commute to SMS every day, training 23 hours in a week still takes up a good chunk of my time so it was a pretty busy week. By Sunday’s long 3.5 hour classic ski and run combo I was starting to feel the fatigue in my elbows and knees from pounding the pavement but feeling good about getting in this important base training!


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