Roll with the best
Junior World Champion Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) shares her favorite roller ski workout.
Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior Nordic World Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, in February, and is the Norwegian national champion in the 5km skate.
The 20-year-old loves interval sessions at home in Toten, Norway. This is her favorite roller ski workout.
Like most elite skiers, Marte spends a lot of her training volume on roller skis, although she also loves running. In June, she ran the Birkebeiner half marathon trail run for the first time, and won the elite women’s category, a workout that she categorized as an intensity workout sandwiched between finals at school and a training camp in Greece.
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I love intervals
Marte’s training program consists of a healthy balance of distance and intensity, running and roller skiing, strength, speed and plyomterics. But when Marte gets to pick her favorite workout, it’s medium long roller ski intervals.
“If I have to pick my favorite workout, it’s an intensity session that starts at my door in Toten. I open with a few controlled intervals on my way from home to the roller ski arena at Karidalen. Usually, I do two 10-minute intervals on my way there. Once I get to the venue, I do the rest of my intervals on the ski course, for instance another three times 10 minutes,” Marte says.
Big bang for the buck
Marte explains that this workout covers a lot: You build capacity, technique and tactics, as well as being a very flexible format that allows for endless variations.
“With this workout, I start out working at a moderate intensity on my way to the venue, while the last intervals are done on the ski course and are more like a race. So if I feel good, I often crank up the intensity a bit on the intervals I do at the venue, which makes it feel even more like a race,” Marte says.
“You can also vary this workout in a lot of ways. You can do it classic or skate, and you can increase or decrease the duration of the intervals. I like to start my workouts with longer intervals at a moderate intensity as a part of the warm-up, but often decrease the duration of the intervals later in the workout. And sometimes I make all of the intervals the same duration,” she says, adding that using the venue she gets the added benefit of tactics.
“First, I get to work on technique at a fairly high speed before I get to the venue. Then when I’m on the course, I switch to focus more on tactical elements, such as carrying my speed over the top of the hills, accelerate out of the turns and so on,” Marte says.