Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - Athlete Perspective
Krazy Kates' Korner: Haig Glacier Part II

By: Adam Kates

I am currently in the middle of what is absolutely the most difficult training period of my season. The four week training block of which the month of July is comprised will consist of approximately 85 hours (an average of over 20 hours each week) and will include four days of 6 hours continuous training (mostly on snow at the Haig glacier) as well as six or seven days of maximum effort intensity sessions.

As week number three of four draws to a close I am feeling extremely positive about how I have handled the physical challenges that has been placed before me. It is extremely important to maintain focus during this period, as effects of such an intense training regimen are potentially dangerous if not dealt with cautiously. I have found that training effectively is a fine balance between knowing when to push oneself and knowing when to back off. It is during periods like the one in which I am currently embedded that this balance is most evident. Thus far, having completed almost 75% of the cycle, I have been fortunate to not have had to put on the brakes and have been able to attack my training with vigor and enthusiasm. The six-hour glacier skiing days are over and, in spite of the brutal tan lines that cover my body in the most bizarre places, by all accounts have been handled well. I slept much better on my second trip to the Haig, making recovery much easier than my previous visit where I suffered from insomnia and paid for it during the following two or three training sessions. My intensity efforts have been extremely positive, as I have felt strong and have been able to maintain good speed and energy throughout. These sessions are even more valuable because most are done in the company of teammates who push me to the brink of my limits every day. In week #1 I was hanging on for dear life as teammate Dan Roycroft put the hammer down on a 5 x 4 minute uphill double poll interval workout. Last week it was continuous running and ski bounding; again with Dan as well as teammates Devon Kershaw, George Grey, Drew Goldsack and today Gordon Jewett, Dan and I were engaged in an epic 4 x 6 minute skate rollerski battle. One of the keys to racing fast is having those around to push you to new limits and I assure you that there is no lack of this factor here.

Kates... pretending to be a cat??

Many things come into play when it comes to handling a large load of training: nutrition, rest and recovery, stress management, stretching, monitoring techniques such as Rusko and Omega Wave tests and of course the training itself. It is easy to become overzealous during intense periods of training and thereby diminish your chances of reaching your potential in the race season. Sometimes, as hard as it is to do, it is best to just, as one of my esteemed colleagues often says, “take a day” (off). Anyone who is in decent shape can do the work, complete the hours and grind through the intensity sessions, however athletes who are able to maintain focus, do the above properly and recover fully will get the most benefit out of the work they have put in.

The Haig Glacier viewed from the camp, about 500m below.

Thus far I am confident that the training I have completed has been right along these lines. I am tired from the large amounts of training thus far, but am not too tired. I am fit, but am not yet close to peak form. I am confident that I have done a good job, but know that there is a lot of work ahead. And as always, I am having a great time doing what I love to do… And I had better be loving it because while retirement usually means white shoes, Florida, beaches and martinis by the pool, for me it is going to mean getting a job and doing some real world work!

Train hard, be smart and love it all the way…


You can read more journal entries (sometimes twice a day!) from Adam Kates at www.adamkates.com.

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