Summer training is in full swing and I’m nearing the end of my biggest volume block so far. I often find August to be one of the harder training months of the year– big hours mixed with the toll of the last three months means my body is hovering around the threshold of what it can handle.
It might sound crazy, but in many ways I love this feeling of being tired from training. It’s pretty cool to see just how far I can push my body both mentally and physically.
The past month has been fairly steady with some harder intensity building up to this volume block. Most of our team intervals have been some form of Zone 3 increasing to Zone 4, and we’ve also started incorporating plyometrics into strength training. I’ve been trying to set a few small process goals before key workouts, which has really improved my focus and confidence.
I’ve also been able to spend some time in Athabasca with my family. We have a lake right in front of our house, so summer trips home feel like a tropical holiday. The trip also coincided with the Alberta Development Team camp in Tawatinaw, which was awesome because I got to jump in on some of their workouts.
One of the great things about summer training is that it’s a perfect time to start working on those ski-specific things you want to have sorted out by the winter. Because everyone has different goals, I think it’s really important to be curious during summer training.
For me, curiosity often means questioning my coaches and thinking critically about the training plan. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to disagree with them– I just think it’s important to think for myself and make informed decisions. To be fair, the put-your-head-down-and-follow-along approach might work for some people, but I gain a lot more confidence if I understand the physiological and psychological reasons behind training. Fortunately, coaches are usually more than happy to explain and discuss the reasons behind workouts!
For example, my coach and I meet every Monday to sort out the details of the week’s training. I usually go into meetings with a rough draft of what I’d like to do for training that week and the reasons why. I also like looking at what other athletes and teams are doing and experiment with incorporating new things into my plan.
I’ve got a rest week soon, which means a camping trip and lots of studying. Looking forward to some well-earned rest!