|As a racer I think timed runs are great. If you are working on something specific you can see from run to run if it is faster or not, depending on how well you executed the specific task (whether it is line, technique, mental, start, etc). We don't do it all the time, but when we do run the wireless timer it is very helpful, and fun. As a racer you live for getting your time, so there is some bit of satisfaction in getting instant results after every run - even if it is only one night a week.
True, and I think you underlined the main point I was trying to make: timed runs are a tool, an indicator of if you're faster, and should not be used everytime (this might seem paradoxal, but in my opinion, gate training isn't about always going faster and faster, especially when you're practicing new stuff). The same way technical elements should be gradually included in all of your freeskiing runs (even the most difficult), tactical elements should be gradualy included (go 60% on the course, then 80% then 100% with a new line).
|As a side note, when I am running for time in practice, I usually treat my first run like a "race" run. You are skiing the course completely fresh at that point, versus having time to run it and get used to it. It is (for me) the best indicator of how I will perform in an actual race. The rest of the time is spent changing tactics to make that first run faster.
Very interesting approach, I'll try it this week: instead of going all-out and trying to get faster, I'll try to not overski the course (something I do a lot in gs) and ski faster with my head instead of with my guts.