This is the minimal plan that we recommend for those who are at the early stages of Skimo racing and have a goal of competing in short-duration (sub 4 hour) SkiMo races. This 16 week pre season plan progresses gradually but will require considerable effort to complete. It is primarily a dry land based program so that you can hit the snow in good shape and for those who do not live close to snow. The endurance workouts can be done on snow if you have access.. It is not for a novice as it starts off with over 6 hours of required training per week and peaks at 10 hours per week. The program starts with a volume based plan of building basic endurance and general strength. After 8 weeks there is an increase in the aerobic intensity. Finally there will be a taper period leading into the first race.
To make the best use of this plan: Familiarize yourself with the training concepts and principles described in the book "Training for the New Alpinism". Pay particular attention to the notions of Continuity, Gradualness and Modulation. Tips: Rest when you are tired. If you miss a workout do not try to make it up. Just move on. If you miss more than 2 in a week then repeat that week. Do not increase the intensity and hope to gain more benefits or to squeeze a 1 hour workout into 30 minutes. There is no short cut when it comes to aerobic adaptation.
The plan starts with an Aerobic Threshold assessment test. From this you will establish the training intensity limit for most of the aerobic base training that will dominate in the overall plan but especially in the first 8 weeks. The first 8 weeks also includes a basic strength program to prepare you for the harder work to follow.
This plan has proven successful for beginner to intermediate SkiMo racers who used it properly to compete at regional levels. It is not designed for those already well trained in Skimo or mountain running. If you are winning local races or competitive in National or International level events this plan will be too basic for you.
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1x core routine and 1x general strength from Training for the New Alpinism book.
Run/hike on rolling terrain
Aerobic Threshold Run/hike. Run/jog/walk at a pace you can maintain while breathing through your nose (assuming your nose is clear)
Run/Hike on hilly terrain, vertical gain minimum of 1,000ft. This can be an approach/descent from a moderate alpine objective. Keep the intensity low on both the approach and climb in this early period.
1 hr run on flats at or below AeT with pick ups (4x 1min up to fun fast pace (NOT 100% sprint) with 3min recovery (easy running/hiking) between
Run/hike on hilly terrain or on steep treadmill or stair master if you don't have mountains or hill around.
Hike on hilly terrain, minimum gain of 2,000ft