With a few weeks of longer distance training in the books last week was my first hit of some harder intensity training. This year I’m not training any more intensity necessarily, but a lot of the intervals I do will come in the form of intensity weeks. Call it an interval block, call it whatever you like but it’s basically just trying to fit in many different varieties of intervals and hard efforts into one week and keep it completely separate from all the longer distance training and volume. The goal is to feel good for all the sessions and allow your body to absorb the interval sessions well instead of jamming them in between lots of other distance workouts.
It’s still the summertime however so it’s important to keep things fun. In an effort to push myself and try something completely different I jumped in my first triathlon at Lake Dunmore and it turned out to be much more fun than I anticipated.
Although I was a very competitive swimmer when I was young. (and I’m talking young… like 12 years old) these days it feels like I have one pace in the water, slow and strenuous. I was able to get in the water for a swim workout once before jumping in the race but it was still a bit of a shocker once the race started. Luckily it was a sprint triathlon so the swim portion for me was only 600 meters. Once on the bike I hammered out 14 miles on my rickety old Cannondale road bike… which was much more fun than the swim. I don’t get the opportunity to go fast on road bikes very often so it was a fun change ripping up and down hills and around corners. Once onto the run things felt a little more familiar and I was stoked to feel good on the 5k rolling road run and was able to hammer to the finish with the fastest run time, finishing 7th overall. It was a cool way to jump into the intensity and get back into the feel of racing. A slight side note…. my mom did beat me in the swim by at least 30 seconds!
mamma Newell finishing up her triathlon at the VT Sun. She’s pretty hard core
With the Tri out of the way it was time to get back into some more ski specific intervals to finish out the intensity block. My coaches and I basically set up the week so that I was doing intervals every other day starting with some L4 double pole. After a distance day Thursday was a double interval day with L3 ski bounding in the morning and L4 skate intervals in the afternoon. For those who have done double interval days before you know… it can be tough to rally and motivate for that afternoon session especially in this summer heat. It was a sweaty day to say the least.
Sophie and I nearing the top of Stratton on a perfect summer day in VT!
Birds eye view from the water tower. nordies being nordies on top of stratton.
After the double interval day I had one more day of easy distance training before having the final hard session of the week.. L4 building to max striding. It was definitely the hardest workout of the week doing 5×4 minutes up some of the steepest terrain I could find on the roads around here. By the end I was posting lactates over 14 and definitely feeling the burn and breathing as hard as I could.
With the intervals over Erika and I jumped in the truck and drove up to GMVS to join Fish and the rest of the REG at the New England US Ski Team junior camp. I really like to make an appearance at the REG camps whenever possible because it’s a great way to meet some of the younger skiers in the country and see who is on the up and up. Without racing too much domestically I don’t get much face time with the new talent. It just so happened to be my personal favorite (the agility course) on Sunday morning so it worked out perfectly.
It was about a 2 minute course full of slalom, jumping obstacles, backwards skiing, barrel turning, one ski balancing, curb hopping fun. And it’s actually a pretty tough workout to rip it as fast as you can a few times.
After a morning of roller skiing Erika and I weren’t afraid of the 80+ degree temps and continued training by going for a long run hike up Camels Hump. It had been a while since I’ve been up there and it was a rad way to finish a tough training week with a summit and a cold swim in the river afterward!