Summer is here! The past few weeks of training have been a bit different from the smooth buildup throughout May and June, with two weeks of Canmore-based volume. In keeping with this year’s theme of consistency, it wasn’t a big change hours-wise, but even just the shift in mental focus was a refreshing way to start the summer.
The first half of my volume block was during the Canmore NST camp, which was open for anyone! I joined as much as I could, and it was great to have a big group to train with on the long days and push hard with during intensities.
One of the highlights of the camp was the rollerski sprint. The race was king’s court style, which meant I got to race some of the guys. It was great for practicing new tactics, and I definitely think there would be benefits to hopping on fast rollerskis and training more with guys in the future.
Last month I wrote about how getting faster is a bit like putting together a big puzzle that fits together just in time for race season. Volume training, like the Canmore camp, is one of those puzzle pieces.
A base amount of volume is important for skiers – putting in hours on rollerskis, for example, can be a great way to reinforce technique patterns and build efficiency. Properly comparing hours to other athletes, however, takes some critical thinking. Just because the world’s best skiers train 800+ hours/year doesn’t mean if you do that many hours you’ll be as fast as them. What goes into these hours – the quality and content – that’s where the fastest skiers are made.
On top of that, everyone counts training a bit differently. For example, a 720-hour year for me might be logged as a 700-hour year for someone else. Because of that, I think comparing hours with other athletes is best for general stuff, not for details. Comparing to yourself, though, can be an awesome tool year-to-year. Bottom line is though, it’s not about the number in your training diary, it’s about the training you actually did – something I try to keep in mind during big camps.
Up next I’ll be putting in a short intensity block, and then heading to BC in August for some volume training, time on the lake, and fresh peaches!