Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sisu Year-Round Group 1: Bounding, Mostly

I was lured in by SISU Skiers’ copy from their flyer available on their website:

ST. PAUL YEAR-ROUND-TUESDAY NIGHT 5.10.11 – 2.14.12 (41 sessions)
The Year-Round Sisu Training program is ideal for the citizen racer or outdoor enthusiast who will benefit from the extensive ski experience of our coaches, as well as the opportunity to meet other skiers with similar interests. By breaking into smaller groups of comparable experience and ability for each training session, we are able to customize the instruction to the needs of our participants. Regardless of your level of condition at the beginning of the program, or your area of interest – racing, cross training, or recreational skiing – you will learn how to increase your proficiency and fitness as a skier. Roller skis required. Summer/fall sessions will alternate between dryland training and rollerskiing, with snow skiing come winter.
A little more intensity focused, training oriented, very high quality workout, still some technique. Workouts completed in a smaller confined area so different levels of skiers can be accommodated. Work on technique at speed.
FOCUS: Fitness, Training Periodization, Ski specific Intensity/Power workouts (ski, rollerski & foot)
COACHES: Ben Popp, Mike Nightingale
TIME/LOCATION: Tuesday, 6:30am, Battle Creek

I think I have a decent base level of fitness and I try to inject a weekly high intensity workout which is too easy to drop this when I am feeling not up to par. Hence, I see this group as an opportunity to follow a program led by experienced coaches that will improve my overall fitness and help me to improve my ski-specific condition and skill set.

To prove the point: during the first session Battle Creek Park on May 10, I was recovering from a cold. On this first hot day of the year (30C/86F), I would have probably decided to take a rest day but I felt this was not an option. I did not regret it, as the workout and the group dynamic was great.

The workout consisted of series of hill runs and lunges, focusing on an explosive kick movement to simulate the kick in cross-country skiing. The exercises consisted of

• 6 series uphill stepping, focusing on kicking motions, returning downhill by making long steps backwards
• "double bump" run focusing on kicking push in the uphill segments
• 6 series of two-leg jumps, trying to land and balance on one foot
• 2 series of backward lunges
• 3 series of two-leg backward skips, 10-15 each.

All segments were separated by jogging or fast walking.

GarminConnect elevation profile and heart rate graphs speak for themselves.
I added the labels for the segments
I did not perceive the workout as too hard during the session but I had seriously sore calf muscles on the following two four to five days, pointing out that the explosive nature of the drills was an item lacking from my own exercise routine.

I did an easy version of my normal 6 km jog on Thursday which helped get rid of the lactic acid in my calves. I am looking very much forward to the next session!

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