I read an article today from the NY TImes: "Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Olympian", which featured Marit Bjorgen. It was interesting, though it may be that was because I was struck by how much we have in common, and it only starts with the fact we both have names beginning with the letter "M".
Of course, amidst the many similarities, there are some differences as well. Bjorgen is a female Norwegian national team member, and I am not. Bjorgen has competed in several Olympics while I have only been to several Olympic venues. Bjorgen has biceps of steel that don't need to be photoshopped to look impressive, and nobody would consider my spaghetti biceps even remotely worthy of photoshopping. Bjorgen has won 15 Olympic medals and I once got a diploma from kindergarten for spelling, which is odd, because I can't spell worth a darn today.
But then there is the evolution of her basic training method over time, which became a model of very high volume done mostly at light intensity with relatively small amounts of high intensity training. The article didn't break the respective volumes down by percentage figures. That is about the same way I have trained almost the whole time I have been orienteering: at high or quite high volume, with a very high percentage of that at an easy or very easy intensity, and some regular amounts of high intensity training--typically 1-3 times a week (much dialed back during winter.) The main difference over time from when I was starting out was an improvement in the quality of the higher intensity training. I didn't start with much knowledge of how to train, and it took time to learn, or at least to learn what worked for me.
Nowadays I don't consider what I do so much as training as exercise, but I continue to exercise at volumes that most people would consider quite high. In part it's a lifestyle choice and a choice to be fit, but also in large part it's because I simply enjoy being outside and exercising. If I didn't enjoy it, I imagine I would spend much less time at it.
But today I out and enjoying the outdoors for quite a while. It was sunny and mild and very windy, so I started out by biking and testing the wind strength, which was formidable. For that reason I didn't dare take the Curtis St overpass (over the interstate), which is always busy, very narrow, and has guard rails only a few feet high. If you got bumped, you would end up down below on the interstate, and that probably wouldn't be good.
Then I headed up to ski. Given that it had been sunny all day and temps went into the lower 50s, I expected spring skiing conditions, and was not disappointed. When spring conditions set in, I usually just take a quick ski around, mostly to see who else might be out and to check to see how the trails are holding up.
Then I ran snow trails, south facing portions of which are now becoming ice trails, with more attention needed for foot placement. Trail markers were out for what I presume was a bike race, but either it took place earlier or was going to take place later, or else I just totally missed the bikers as they came through, because I didn't see any bikers.
All in all, a very nice early spring day.