As most of you know, I got a bit of a late start on skimo training this season but have been committed to it since. The form has come around nicely. The one disagreeable aspect of the sport is that, outside of Colorado, races are few and far between. We are lucky to have two here near Jackson but then the next closest is a three hour drive and it just goes up from there. This fact leads to less testing of my training than I would like. At the same time, when I do get to race, a lot tends to be riding on it.
I have always maintained that the most rewarding mountain adventures were the ones filled with the most uncertainty along the way. Unknown route conditions, dodgy weather and equipment issues can all create uncertain outcomes. This kind of uncertainty creates a considerable amount of stress but, once overcome, also adds to the satisfaction of success.
There was plenty of uncertainty last week as I stepped up for an attempt to climb and ski the Grand Teton. It's been a few years since I last skied the Grand. That trip was blessed with perfect weather and powder conditions for a good portion of the descent. This time would be different. First, I was planning on going alone. Climbing and skiing solo creates its own set of issues. Add to that a less than ideal weather forecast and plenty of unknowns would weigh on the day.
I've been planning on skiing the Grand all season and I had a partner who was keen. Jared lives in Salt Lake so that adds an additional level of complexity to
A couple of years ago, Mark Twight from Gym Jones introduced me to the 30/30 interval workout. Go hard for 30 seconds, go easy for 30 seconds. Repeat. Or so I thought. Although I came to really like this workout, it turns out that I really did not understand the concept and performed them incorrectly. It's no wonder that I liked them as much as I did. Going really easy during the rest interval allows for decent recovery and makes you feel pretty damn strong during the work bouts. I don't think performing them in this fashion is a complete waste of time but, as you will see, performing them correctly is a different beast.
Not so long ago, I wrote a piece back-handedly dismissing heart rate-based training for all but the most novice athletes. I admitted the utility of the heart rate monitor (HRM) in this group of individuals, particularly those who are being coached remotely. But for the rest of us "experienced" competitors (ahem!) HRMs were unnecessary.