Training Levels

Posted by David Kask on Jan 29 2004 at 04:00PM PST
From Andrew Gerlach's news letter and Dear Subaru Factory Team, I read your booklet about ski training. I am confused when and how much L3 and L4 training to do. I have heard different things. H, Hi, I was forwarded your question from SkiPost. I am a long-time member of the Subaru Factory Team and director of our Coaching and Academies Program. Level 3 and 4 training are important part of any training regimen, but like a lot of things, how much you should do and when you should do it depends on many factors including your fitness, age, training schedule, and fitness goals. In general, Level 3 training is done through the summer and Fall to build endurance and increase the anaerobic threshold. Level 3 training consists of longer, “easier” interval sessions (6+ minute intervals) and builds endurance at steady state – allowing us to increase the pace at which we can maintain a hard effort. Level 3 training sessions will usually have 20-60 minutes of work at level 3. You can do level 3 training 1-3 times per week. Level 4 training is more intense and used to increase VO2 Max, which is top-end speed. This training usually begins late in the Fall and consists of shorter, more intense intervals. While level 3 intervals should feel fast but generally pretty comfortable, level 4 work will make your tongue hang out and definitely cause you some pain and suffering. Level 4 intervals are generally between 2 and 5 minutes in length, and a workout will consist of 10-30 minutes of work. Use these to build up race fitness and build toward a peak during the race season. Level 4 training sessions can be done 1-3 times per week, but they need to be treated cautiously as too much or too much too early can fry a whole season. Short races (5-10km, 15-30 min) are considered level 4, while level 3 pace is more like what one can maintain in a 20km or longer race (50 minutes +). Again, these are general guidelines. People react differently to intensity, and while some people may be flying after doing a month of level 4 work, others might be overtrained and worthless from the same schedule. Make sure that you build general fitness before tackling intensity, and that you have a good base of level 3 work before level 4 training begins. If you have doubts about what you should be doing, write down a plan based on what you think will work for you and have a knowledgeable person (coach, physiologist, etc) review it. They may be able to make some simple suggestions that will help. Good luck and ski fast! Nathan Schultz Subaru Factory Team Academies and Coaching 303.413.0562 877.764.4338 toll free **********************************************************


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