The Wave One Project (#4): On The Edge


I wrote in an earlier episode of Wave One Project about how things would look at the end of 2016 if I stuck with the plan built by Jason Kask at Superior Performance. My goal involves having a good Birkie in February. My training started in June. So, reviewing a calendar year doesn’t exactly say the whole story of skiing prep. But it’s fun, so let’s dig in. In summary, I didn’t do as much as I planned but I still had a lot of “firsts” and “mosts.” I’ll use my list of fitness goals as a framework.

“1) Get skinny. 174 = BMI normal.”

I talked earlier about the myFitnessPal app I use to count calories. Fantastic. But the part when I said I could keep drinking beer was BS. I stopped drinking beer around two months ago and finally made some progress in weight loss. Beer calories weren’t the problem. When I have a beer, one drop of alcohol, my brain stem tells me that I deserve anything I want. Then I might as well sit a chair in front of the pantry so I can shovel the snacks into my face. I’m down to 185 pounds since I’m off the sauce. 185 is the line I draw between Fat Shmo and Skinny Shmo when I analyze my Birkies. Teetering on the edge. Five weeks to go and we’ll see if I can get solidly on the Skinny Shmo side. Skinny Shmo skied the fastest two Birkies, so I’m hoping the trend continues. Down from 193 in the summer of 2016. The last time I weighed 185 was in October of 2015.

“2) Ski a lot. Equal or exceed Ski and Total Volume from this year.”

I put in a total volume of training of 313 hours in 2016. This was ten hours more than the most I’ve ever done in my life. Victory.

Also, I skied 55 times for a total of 68 hours of skiing. This was more than 2015. Victory. Distance wise it was 773k. I read somewhere once that 800k was a “good year” so I’m in the neighborhood.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the most ever. In 2013, I did a “streaking” experiment and skied 79 times for 78 hours. More times in 2013, but less volume per outing that year.

This was a banner year for rollerskiing. I essentially doubled last year’s numbers by rollerskiing 43 times for 53 hours. This was even better than my best year ever in 2000 when I rollerskied 27 times for 36 hours.

“3) Go fast. Do more ski races of any length. Add more ski intervals than this year.”

I haven’t raced yet this year, but I plan on a few test races before the big one.

The ski intervals are good news, though. I did rollerski intervals 6 times for 9 hours for the most ever. Victory. I did more ski intervals in 2003, but the rest of the story will be told in the first part of 2017 on that topic.

“4) Do strength and core work. Should be easy to exceed this year’s amount.”

This is the most dramatic improvement. Jason’s strength training has really made a difference. When he showed me the plan and it had me doing 3-minute-long wall chairs, I thought it was a typo. But I can do them now. I can do three minute planks…four times. So, we’ll see if it will help but I know these strength exercises would’ve been impossible for me 7 months ago. I put in over 22 hours of strength training compared to the nearly zero hours that was my previous record. I also did 14,000 sit-ups as part of this strength training, which beat my record of 12,500 in 2003.

Things are going well! That post-race beer is going to taste pretty good.


About Eric Chandler

Husband. Father. Pilot. Cross Country Skier. Writer. Author of Outside Duluth and Down In It.
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