By: randosteve|Posted on: January 30, 2008|Posted in: Broken Link to Photo/Video, Gear, Gear Reviews | 3 comments

Total Time
Monday’s workout. Short…and kinda sweet!

Now that I’ve committed to going to Europe to race, I really need to focus on staying in shape and improving my fitness over the next few weeks. This mean increasing the frequency of my shorter interval and race-pace type workouts, as well as throwing in some long and slow days to boot.

I usually like to do my interval and race-pace type workouts on Snow King in the morning, before the lifts open. I like training on the King because it has relatively consistent conditions and is also very convenient. I managed to get up early both Sun and Monday to hammer out an hour of skinning (and skiing) before having to be at work at 9am. On Monday they were hammering the mountain with explosives, which kept me on the lower mountain. I always track my heart-rate for these intensity workouts and I used my Suunto T6 both days.

I like the T6 as a combination altimeter/barometer/heart-rate watch, because it combines features like real-time feet/min on ascent and descent, as well as time in and out of my pre-set heart-rate zones. It also is compatible with all of the POD’s (which add speed and distance features) that Suunto has to offer. I have mostly used the POD’s for trail-running in the summer, but a GPS POD might be fun to play with on skis. And now that the current T6’s come with the Training Effect software…it really can’t be beat for both a mountain AND training watch.

Time inside Zones
I really like being able to see how much time
I spend above, below and in between my pre-set heart-rate zones.
It’s often how I gauge the effectiveness of my workout.

Time over zoneI like gauge my workouts in relation to my heart-rate and try to extend my rando intervals to 5 minutes…give or take a minute…depending on how I’m feeling. I know I’m going hard when I’m steadily over 170 bpm. Race-pace workouts are longer and tend to be more in the mid to high 60’s with the occasionally short spurt into the 170’s…simulating passing a racer. It is amazing to see how things fluctuate though, relative to my energy level. To maximize your training, you really want to do intensity workouts when you are well rested. After a Total and avg rate of ascentdecent day of training on the King on Sunday, and a 2:20 CTC (race-pace type workout) on Wimpy’s with my Verdicts on Saturday, by Monday I wasn’t feeling as strong and my workout wasn’t as good as I would have liked. Oh well.

When rando racing, it’s not unheard of to hear stories of the Euro’s climbing 90-100 ft/min. That’s close to 6000′ an hour…truly crazy. A lot of it depends on the terrain and skin track, but I play around more in the 60-80 ft/min range…and the T6 tracks it all.


Average heartrateLap timeMin and Max Heart zonesT6 current and Avg Heartrate

For those that don’t like to deal with downloading information onto a PC to see what happened in your workout or in the mountains that day, know that the T6 has 13 screens of information to choose from…and that’s without using the POD or newer, training effect information. I got a few emails after a post a couple days ago when I mentioned the T6 and the answer is yes…the older models can be upgraded with the new software. Contact me for details.


Time at highpointTotal ascent and descentTime at low pointTime below 150 bpmTotal descent and feet per minute

Anyway, just a little blurb on training and the T6. I’m coming up on some days off and with the backcountry conditions the way they are right now, it looks like more powder skiing! Shucks! I can feel an 10,000′ day coming on. Lapping the pass today.