Monday, November 10, 2014

Opening day on a 6" base. I couldnt resist. My skis paid the price though. I think I hit a rock every run and one was a doozie. The skinning was a lot of fun and it was good to get up high and slog around with skins on. Not much time to get in ski shape for the Wolf Creek Skimo Race but no one else will be in much better shape!

Every year this race is tweaked with improvements and this year it is only $35 if you have a season pass. Not much time to get some more snow but it is Wolf Creek we are talking about so who knows?

Miles from Pine Needle Mountaineering is as psyched as usual and if the snow gods provide a hook up this will yet again be a great way to get psyched for the season.

I ran into Scott Simmons from Durango who had the same idea I had and we did a lap before he stepped on the gas and left me in the dust. It is kind of comical, me gasping for breath while he is chatting on his cell, breaking trail. I keep saying that such experiences will only make me stronger!

Its all about attitude, right?

Well, training too! I did 3 laps and pushed a bit higher than my threshold that first lap, held it at a bit below on the second and the third lap barely kept it 10 bpm below that. Once again, the lesson is that too much output up front will hose you in the long run. I am going to once again really really (no really) try and hold back a little on the first climb to see if it makes a long term difference. We will see.

The downhill part was a good reminder as well. Mainly that maybe lifting wouldnt be such a bad part of my training??? This thought goes through my head a lot but rarely gets acted on as it is hard to squeeze in. However, as Scott said at the bottom, "I dont remember that run being so long- my legs are burning!" Amen, brother. And, dont forget pilates for your core and back!

At least Im doing that regularly. Ive rediscovered a book I really enjoyed on that subject which is Pilates for the Outdoor Athlete which has 15 min workouts targeted at different sports I enjoy like running, climbing and skiing. There is the usual fluff to the book but the workouts are easy to inegrate into the end of a run or return from the mountains and after routinely doing them for a few weeks to a month you will feel a difference in how you carry yourself and move. Im not such a big fan of yoga compared to pilates as far as an effective core stability and strength routine but Im sure no expert on the subject.

One other thing Im changing this year- more speed work. This is one of my takeaways from previous posts and Ive been thinking what that looks like in execution. I have been somewhat influenced by the blog posts of Steve Magnuss, The Science of Running which is a great endurance runner's blog to follow. He had a number of articles over the last 6 months or so on training methodologies and one thing it got me thinking about was what what type of running race a skimo race most closely resembled. Im thinking that for most 5k vert foot courses, it is like a really steep 1/2 marathon. A look through my data from the last 2 season's races shows Race length courses to be 10-17 miles long. Im still thinking about what this means but definitely doing multi hour long slow distance on my weekend ski outings is out. I think that time is better spent in threshold intervals of 20 min or so. Even if the time spent is less, I think the payoff will be higher.

I think this shift will be something Ill be geeking out on for a while. Ill keep you posted!

Anyway, back to opening day- yup, skinning through grass. Rocks on every descent. Maybe I was a dumbass to put my only pair of skis through that- I have a lot of repairs to do tonight...

Anyway, I couldnt resist, I mean I LOVE snow! Who knows, maybe Ill get lucky and win a pair this year in a swag raffle at a race? Not holding my breath. Anyway, the season is upon us and I hope you are getting out soon and doing so safely with fewer rocks than I got to bump into!


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