By: randosteve|Posted on: September 2, 2008|Posted in: Races | 15 comments

Hi Steve.

I have finally got my life situated enough that I can dedicate serious time to randonee racing. I plan to race quite a bit this year and want to train accordingly. I was hoping you could share with me some training ideas, whether they be specific exercises, workouts or even a general outline, anything would be appreciated. Also, if you know anyone else who would be willing to share their workouts I would be grateful for their contact info.


Jon Crowley

Well Jon, these days I feel like I should be asking myself the same question, since most of the summer all I’ve been able to muster up are maintenance workouts, with the occasional fartlek thrown in without any structure to it.  But fear not young randonneer, there is still time to whip yourself in shape for a successful rando racing season.

Like most all highly aerobic sports, one should definitely have a good fitness base before going into interval or high-intensity type training (ie, high heart-rate) for rando racing.  Luckily, trail running, mountain biking and other activities keep us from falling too far behind during the summer months and we can usually hold our own for a long day in the backcountry by the time winter arrives.  I feel that when training for rando racing, one really needs to mostly focus on higher intensity workouts, since we generally get our endurance during our play days when we are truly backcountry skiing.

I like to train in the same spot (or couple spots) for consistency, so that way I can compare results from one workout to the next and see if things are improving. Training with your race gear is imperative, so you can experience how flimsy and non-supportive it actually is.  And if you don’t have a race specific set-up yet, get one…and make sure it is super-light, because weight definitely matters.  Unlike Black Diamond’s slogan “it’s all about the down“, with rando racing, it’s all about the up and the uphill sections are mostly where the races are won or lost.  Transition training is a must because it’s a lot easier to gain time on a competitor by putting you skins on than by chasing him down on the skin track as your heart jumps out of your chest.

There are many different types of interval based workouts out there, but one workout the seems to do the trick for me and doesn’t take up too much time is the 30-30.  Pick an uphill slope, one that you can do this entire exercise on without having to descend is preferred.  After a warm up and for a total of 30 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds…and then cool down for 30 seconds…repeat.  Very simple really and a great way to boost your fitness.

Got any rando race tips of your own for Jon?
Feel free to leave them in the comments section.