Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Terrible Fartlek

I hate ski racing. Yesterday was the second week of Nordic Meisters, and I got absolutely slaughtered.

Ski racing is the most painful fartlek ever. Fartlek is a running term. It's Swedish meaning "speed play." It's fun to say and a great workout. Essentially, you incorporate a series of pick ups of varying lengths into your run mixing hard effort with rest. This is ski racing. Go down a hill-rest. Climb a hill-hard effort. Except when ski racing it's closer to hammer until your heart explodes then try to find oxygen on a downhill. At one point in the race yesterday I thought: "It's a good thing you're no wearing a heart rate monitor right now because the 'You're About To Die Alarm' would be going off." That's what I thought. Apparently, I'm still funny when there's no oxygen in my brain.

To make matters worse, I'm not a good skier. Sure, on a nice quiet day, I glide along looking like I know what I'm doing. But, when you need to motor, I flat out suck. Maneuvering around the corners at speed was not pleasant. There was a great deal of flailing. And, I couldn't make the wax work. %!$@^#!!!!. I couldn't get grip on any of the hills. All this added up to me getting thrashed by fat, old men. OK, OK they're not fat, but they are significantly older than me. This is why the age adjustment in the series is a crock. The longer you've skied, the better you are at it. Simple as that. Better balance, better technique, more efficient, smoother and all around faster. Sure, fitness is important, but the greatest motor in the world can't make up for skiing ability.

Yes, I'm whining. But that's ski racing. It's the terrible fartlek. You hammer but you're not putting the energy in the right place. Instead of using all that energy and 312bpms to move forward, you spend that time pushing to get wax to work, when that fails herring-boning like a maniac, or you struggle to stay upright. It ain't easy. Running makes so much more sense.

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