by Chelsea Holmes
Fight the urge! Don’t over train the week of the BMT! Often, in the beginning of the year we have an idealized plan of how many hours we are going to do, the specific workouts that are going to put us in prime shape to race at our best. For the majority of us, though, training will fall second to family life and work. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can cram it all in when we have a few extra hours the week prior.
It is better to be slightly undertrained (more rested) and ready to rip, than slightly overtrained (fatigued physically and mentally)! With that said, the focus for the last week should be to spend a bit of time getting to know the BMT course, doing some intensity and then resting! Tuesday (4 days prior): Intensity day!
If you’re in Nordic Town USA then do this workout somewhere on the BMT course south of Prairie Creek. After a good warm-up of easy skiing, do 3x 6minutes of Level 3 (L3). L3 is about 80% of your maximum heart rate, your breathing will be harder but it is a pace you could comfortably continue for 30km.
Between your intervals take about 3 minutes of rest. This does not mean stand in one place, but very easy skiing. After the last L3 interval, rest again for 3 minutes and then do 2 x 2 minutes of Level 4 (L4) skiing. L4 is generally around 90% of your maximum heart rate, around a 5km race pace.
Wednesday (3 days prior): get out for a leisurely easy distance ski! Enjoy the scenery! Thursday (2 days prior): off day! Sleep in, have a pancake breakfast! Relax-rest is very important. Friday (day before race): Pick a portion of the course, on the second half, somewhere between Cathedral Pines and the finish (SNRA).
This workout is only meant to get your engine primed and race ready, you aren’t going to see VO2 Max improvements over night! Total ski should be 1-1:15 hrs. After an easy warm-up prep your body with 2 minutes of L3. After about 5 minutes of easy skiing do 5-6 speeds. A speed is generally between 10-15 seconds of your maximal effort. Remember-speed is not always about tempo, but power!
Do these on different portions of the course, with plenty of rest in between.
Saturday (Race Day!): Have a good breakfast about 3 hours prior. Use the routine that you are comfortable with. The breakfast that gets you through some of your harder training days.
Don’t overeat just because you are worried about bonking-it won’t do anything other than cause you some serious discomfort. Have a snack about 45 minutes prior, such as a bar or banana. Warm up: Ski the early portion of the BMT course. Ski about 15 minutes very easy, before doing a few minutes of L3, get that buffer system going! After a few minutes of rest do a few maximal speeds (so your body is ready for the fast start!)
Finish your warm-up about 15 minutes prior to the start so that you have plenty of time to stand in the eternal port-a-potty line, down a clif-shot gel (last minute sugar!) and have a calm, collected walk to the start line where you can take a few deep breaths before the gun is off. Race: Remember to relax and enjoy yourself. Focus on yourself and your own race!