Plan Like the Pros

Plan Like the Pros
Winter starts now. Photo: Inge Scheve
Winter starts now. Photo: Inge Scheve

Winter starts now: Where will 2017-18 take you? Make a plan today!

For a lot of World Cup and elite skiers, the 2017/18 season starts on May 1. Most of them spent the weeks prior to May 1 evaluating the 2016/17 season and determining new goals for the 2017/18 season.

But a goal without a plan is mostly wishful thinking. The top skiers put a lot of effort into their training plans. Based on the previous season, test results and dreams, they determine both overall season goals as well as smaller goals that are steps on the way to the main goal, and sketch a blue print for the upcoming season.

Here is how you can do the same
Start with an evaluation of the previous season.

“Determine what went well and what didn’t go so well. Did you meet your goals, those you set at the beginning of last season? Why or why not? Did you do the workouts you planned? Why or why not? Did you suffer a lot of injuries and illness? Are there other reasons you didn’t stick to your plan? These are important questions to ask yourself, and be honest with your answers,” says Sandra Alise Lyngtad, one of the coaches at the ski academy NTG Lillehammer (NOR).

“You have to dare to take a solid look at the season, the job you did and whether it was sufficient to reach your goals. You have to look at the quality of your workouts. Did you put in the effort every time?” she continues. “And finally, you have to drill down into the details. How much of the overall volume was intensity and easy distance, strength and

Based on what you find, you can draft a good plan for the next season.

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Vasaloppet already has more than 60,000 skiers signed up for the 2017 winter festival. Photo: Vasaloppet
Set a season goal: The Vasaloppet winter week offers nine different events including the legendary 90km classic race from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

Make a blue print for 2017/18
First, determine what you want to achieve, the overall goals. Then determine what you need to do to attain those goals. Start with a chart of all the areas you need to address in order to have progress: technique, plyometrics, speed, endurance, capacity and strength. In what areas do you need to put in more effort?

Once you have figured out this, you can move on to specifics. Determine your training goals and your performance goals.

Training goals are elements such as become better at double-poling, be a faster sprint finisher, work at strengthening your core muscles or take recovery more seriously. Performance goals are just that: results. It could be finishing among the top 10 in your age group, earn the pin in the Norwegian Birkebeinerrennet, make a team selection and so on.

“But whatever your goals are, make sure both your training goals and your performance goals are realistic, and have a specific plan for how you will achieve them. Without a plan, it’s hard to make a targeted training program. And also, be sure to include some smaller, partial goals that are part of the overall plan and steps to the main goals. Having attainable partial goals make the overall goal less daunting, and contribute to maintain motivation,” Lyngstad says.

Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus
Dream big: Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium! Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus