My Cross Country Ski Training
This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and here is Week 3 of the new training year. Like all cross country ski racers, I am gradually increasing hours-per-week and adding some intensity to the workouts now. You will notice that my run-walk-toggle workouts are adding more continuous running and less toggling into walking, but I am still going gingerly into running, in order to prevent any injuries.
About the images: At the top of the page, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm during the Yellowstone Rendezvous cross country ski marathon. As for the other images, Look who is featured on this race poster! That's me and my fellow competitor Anne from Boston, after I won and Anne took second lady overall in a kayak and cycling duathlon! Like all other cross country ski racers, I participate in a variety of endurance sports during the off season.
This blog is based on my cross country ski training, and the info. is provided just for those who are curious about the kind of training cross country ski racers enjoy doing to get ready for winter fun at Lake Tahoe and beyond. You can view more of my training log by clicking on one of the navigation links below.
Here is my Week 3...
|3rd of a 4-Week Period: a variety of modes, bike, run, may kayak or roller ski if desire. 1-2 workouts/week @ L3. Strength workouts. Target hrs. 8:15 (of 32 for the 4-week period)
|Tempo L3 Bike 15min warmup, 3x (10min L3/3min L1) Do not go into L4
|L1 with 6x20sec accels. Always walk 10-15min warmup before starting the running workouts.
|Strength for cross country ski racers during training Week #3. First warmup 10 min cycling or running. This simple set of exercises can be done at home and
requires no special equipment. The aim is to develop basic conditioning
through a variety of core, upper and lower body exercises. No weights
yet. It is important to get personal instruction regarding how to do
these exercises, such as how to keep a flat back with no posterior or
anterior hip tilt. Done incorrectly, an athlete can do more harm than
good. All exercises 1 min. ON and 30 sec. OFF (resting)
1. Front plank (Alternately lift opposite arm and leg, like a yoga bird dog pose.)
2. Side planks (Raise upper arm vertical, then bring it down and reach under your torso with rotation, then return to vertical and repeat.)
3. Russian twists in v-sit position with knees bent, heels on floor, keeping neutral spine, and isolating the rotation to the thoracic spine (in order to prevent lumbar flexion and load on lumbar spine)
4. Side squats using a slilder on the non-supporting leg.
5. Reverse squats with bent leg sliding behind my back, done with slider or on vinyl floor with slipper on sliding foot
6. Stepups onto an elevated platform lifting knee high in front.
7. Romanian deadlifts (RDLs)
8. Hip rotations. Standing on one leg, lift other leg into marching position with horizontal thigh. Rotate that lifted leg to the right then back to the front
9. Calf letdowns with heels going below edge of platform I am standing on
11. Tricep pushups
12. Tricep dips on bench behind with legs horizontal and feet elevated on a platform
|Overdistance: road, gravel and trail bicycling 40mi.
|L1 gravel road w. 6x (20sec accels-pickups/2min L1)
|Hill Intervals: warmup 15min L1 then 6x (2min reach L3 by 1 min then/2min L1) Do not go into L4
|Ride trails 10mi.
|10min Trail jogging warmup then same strength exercises as last Wednesday (see above).
KEY: The references to L1, L2, L3 and L4 in the spreadsheet refer to heart rate zones, with L1 being lowest heart rate. A general way to think about these heart rate training zones is: L1 is Level 1 - very easy to talk, L2 is Level 2 - easy to talk, L3 is Level 3 - difficult to talk marathon race pace, L4 - cannot talk 5K race pace, L5 - WFO sprint pace maximum speed. Key to modes of training: Ski Walk/Bound SW/SS, Ski Skate SSK, Ski Classic SCL, Rollerski Skate RSSK, Rollerski Classic RSCL, Road Bike RdB, Mountain Bike MtB, Kayak or Row KYK, Double Poling DP, Weight Room/Strength WTRM. (For in-depth information about training plans, periodization of training and all the details that go into making up a training year, please look for CXC Academy or another training organization for that kind of detail.)
How do I know if I am in heart rate zone 1 or 2, as described in the above paragraph about heart rates zones? I can usually tell based the rate of my breathing, and a general perception of effort. However, when I'm recovering from a race or hard workout in the prior few days, it can be a bit difficult to tell if I am going too easy (such as walking pace instead of L1 Level One running), or if I am overly exuberant and training at too high a level of exertion for the workout I am supposed to be doing at the moment. That's why I like my heart rate monitor, mainly so I don't overdo it. That way, I can save my best efforts for race day. Here are some useful links to Garmin heart rate monitors that you can find on Amazon. I like shopping at Amazon because I can read the product details and verified customer reviews, before making my choice.
DISCLAIMER: All sports including Cross Country Skiing have inherent risks. This training page is provided as information only. It is not a prescription for training. It is provided without the benefit of assessing the reader's health, fitness or skill. It is not a substitute for qualified personal coaching. Obtain a doctor's medical assessment before engaging in strenuous exercise. By reading this page, you agree to indemnify the author and any associated entity from any harm you may incur if you decide to follow the training program, and you agree you are at your own risk and that you hold harmless the author and any other associated entity.
- First Woman Overall in the following races: Kneissel Rendezvous Marathon, President's Cup Marathon, Ridge to River Iron Woman, and Muskoka Loppet
- First Woman Overall and First Mixed Team wins for three consecutive years: Ski to Sea and Ridge to River multi-sport races
- Second Woman Overall in the following races: Ski Jeep Challenge Series, Gatineau 25K Classic, Superior Ski Classic Marathon, Grand Marnier Cup Marathon, Yellowstone Rendezvous 25K and Pepsi Challenge 10K
- Third Woman Overall: Payette Lakes Ski Marathon
- U.S. Ski Association Cross Country Ski Championships results:
- 26th Place Women All Age Classes in 20K Freestyle
- 32nd Place Women All Age Classes (3rd in Class F30-39) 25K Freestyle at Royal Gorge
- 51st Woman All Age Classes 15K Classic at Lake Placid
- 2nd Woman Overall in the Masters Category Age 30 and up (First in Class F30-34) 20K Classic at Royal Gorge
- U.S Ski Association Masters Nationals results:
- First Woman Overall 25K Freestyle race
- 6th Woman Overall 10K Freestyle race
- 6th Woman Overall 20K Freestyle race
- American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Marathon Elite Wave starter for two consecutive years finishing 22nd and 29th Woman Overall (5th in class F35-39 both years).
After moving to Lake Tahoe, Mary Kay won several Top 3 Woman finishes in Far West Cross Country Ski events. She joined U.S. Biathlon Association and won two consecutive years Overall Woman at the 10th Mountain Division Biathlon, and was runner-up in her third year. She won Top Gun at the Washington State Biathlon Championships, out scoring all men and women. Currently, Mary Kay is a member of Ishpeming Ski Club and frequent competitor in cross country skiing, bicycling and kayaking events.