Training with the Best
Pål Golberg (NOR) roller skis through the winter and plays golf as much as he can.
The 26-year-old Norwegian had his international breakthrough at the Lillehammer World Cup in December 2013, when he won the 15km classic race. This year, Golberg did a repeat when he won the opening sprint in the World Cup mini-tour at Lillehammer.
While Lillehammer is home turf for Golberg, who knows the trails like the back of his hand, he says there is nothing special about this venue. It’s simply a matter of racing well.
“There is nothing magic about Lillehammer. I like these trails, I’ve trained a lot here and I know the courses well, but it’s all about nailing the tactics and having the best skis,” Golberg explains.
Furthermore, success at the World Cup level is the result of thousands of training hours over years. Golberg believes in having a plan with every workout, and performing every session with dedication and purpose.
“The most important is to have a plan for every workout. Don’t just go out there to train. You need to know what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and why you’re doing it,” Golberg says.
For him, these training goals vary from making sure he’s staying in specific training zones throughout the workout to more specific technique assignments.
“Sometimes it’s just sticking to a specific heart rate, other times I tell myself that for 10 minutes every hour, I will have 100 percent focus on technique,” he says.
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The secret to better technique
Leading up to this past season, which was one of his best Golberg put extra effort into skate technique.
“I worked a lot on skating in the fall, because I feel that this is an area where I still have a lot to gain. I feel that my skating is more efficient now, so the effort is paying off,” Golberg says, and happily shares his best training advice for those who want to improve their skating.
“Skating, just like classic skiing, is fundamentally all about balance and coordination. So doing a lot of no-pole skiing and working on gliding as long as you can on one ski fully committed with all of your body weight are good exercises for everyone, whether you are at the World Cup level or just getting into skiing,” Golberg says.
Golberg has several workouts he likes a lot. In the winter, he loves long distance workouts in the mountains near his home in Gol.
“You can ski really far at Golsfjellet – all the way from Hemsedal to Nesbyen, which is a long ways. Maybe it’s because its home, and I don’t get to be home all that often, but I really think Golsfjellet is quite unique,” he says with passion.
Through the summer and fall, Golberg is fond of moosehoofing and bounding.
“Those moosehufing anf bounding workouts are really good for building capacity and technique at the same time. I put a lot of effort into this during the dryland season,” Golberg says.
Roller skiing in January
And Golberg’s final key to success? Roller skiing – even in the dead of winter!
“I try to do at least one roller ski workout on the treadmill every week, all winter long. My favorite strength session consists of 1-hour uphill double-poling on roller skis on the treadmill, followed by a general strength workout in the gym. The double-poling delivers specific endurance strength, while the weights and core strength works makes it a very well-rounded workout,” Golberg says.
So where does the golf come in? Before focusing 100 percent on skiing, Golberg used to be an active golf player. These days, he plays as often as he can. During the race season, that’s not very often, if at all, but in the summer he likes to get onto the green at least often enough to maintain his skills.
“I’m not sure if the skills are directly transferable to skiing, but golf does require a fair amount of coordination and technique as well,” he says.
“I also like to have something else to think about than just skiing and training, especially during times when things aren’t going as smoothly,” says Golberg, who has put his business degree on hold for a while.