Wednesday Workout: Matching Attacks with Astrid Jacobsen

August 30, 2017Cross Country Skiing Standard

On July 28, we released our podcast interview with Norwegian national team skier Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen. Not simply satisfied with the quotidian — Jacobsen is a multitasker, she’s studying to become a physician along with her World Cup training.

In this Wednesday Workout, we’ll focus on the non-academic side of Jacobsen’s calculus: her quest for endurance and her stick-with-attacks speed.

Jacobsen share6s an idea for athletes training for this upcoming winter’s Masters World Cup in Minneapolis or other hallmark races like Sun Valley’s Boulder Mountain Tour. In fact, if any mass-start race where there’s a pulse of pace when the leaders try to gap the field is on your calendar, this workout could keep you in the hunt. It works for Jacobsen, it might just work for you.

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla leads Norway’s Therese Johaug and Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in the final kilometers of the 15 k skiathlon at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. (Photo: Flyingpointroad.com)

“The sessions I feel develops me the most at the time are level 3 intervals with short sprints in the middle or to finish the interval,” Jacobsen wrote in an email. “It helps me work on my ability to follow attacks in sprint — or mass start competitions … To make this interval with good quality you need to be sure to not race faster than level 3, with is similar to the speed you keep in a 30km. Then you are able to hit your max speed for the sprints. If you start out too hard the sprints will be slower and the whole session more like a level 4. Takes discipline to make this training with high quality, But it has made me a better mass start skier.”

The Workout

Jacobsen explained that her usual session when completing this workout involves 6 x 8 minutes on a rollerski track or rollerski treadmill.

“To make this interval with good quality you need to be sure to not race faster than level 3, with is similar to the speed you keep in a 30km,” Jacobsen explained. “Then you are able to hit your max speed for the sprints. If you start out too hard, the sprints will be slower and the whole session more like a level 4. It takes discipline to make this training with high quality, But it has made me a better mass-start skier.”

About midway through the interval, Jacobsen puts in a burst of sprint-worthy speed.

“After 4 minutes, I will do a 10-second sprint, then go back to level 3 speed for almost 4 minutes and finish the interval with a new sprint,” Jacobsen wrote. “I break until my heart rate is below 100, 1-2 min.”

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