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My Cross Country Ski Training
Spring Training
May Week 3

me on the race poster

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 circle photo, 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 at Indian River. So fun!

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...

Week 3 AM/PM Mode 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) Hours
Mon AM
Tue AM RdB Tempo L3 Bike 15min warmup, 3x (10min L3/3min L1) Do not go into L4 01:10

Wed AM Run L1 with 6x20sec accels. Always walk 10-15min warmup before starting the running workouts. 01:00
PM WT RM 5min cycle warmup then various of core & arms w. 10lb weight 1min ON/30sec OFF (Rests) 1.Front plank 2.Side planks 3.Russian twists v-sit 4.Side squats 5.Stepups w.high knee 6.Calf raises 7.Pullups 8.Pushups 9.Russian deadlift 00:20
Thu AM RdB Overdistance: road, gravel and trail bicycling 40mi. 03:20

Fri AM Run L1 gravel road w. 6x (20sec accels-pickups/2min L1) 00:58

Sat AM Run Hill Intervals: warmup 15min L1 then 6x (2min reach L3 by 1 min then/2min L1) Do not go into L4 01:05

Sun AM MtB Ride trails 10mi. 01:07
PM WT RM 10min Trail jogging warmup then various of core & arms w. 10lb weight 1min ON/30sec OFF (Rests) 1.Front plank 2.Side planks 3.Russian twists v-sit 4.Side squats 5.Stepups w.high knee 6.Calf raises 7.Pullups 8.Pushups 9.Russian deadlift 00:20
Total Hours


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.)

Shopping for a Garmin heart rate monitor...

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: Kneissel Rendezvous Marathon, President's Cup Marathon, Ridge to River Iron Woman, and Muskoka Loppet
  • Three-Time First Woman and First Mixed Team wins at Ski to Sea and Ridge to River relay races
  • Second Woman at the Gatineau 25K Classic, Superior Ski Classic Marathon, Grand Marnier Cup Marathon, Yellowstone Rendezvous 25K and Pepsi Challenge 10K
  • Third Woman at Payette Lakes Ski Marathon
  • *U.S Nationals 26th of 41 Women All Age Classes in 20K Freestyle
  • *U.S. Nationals 32nd Overall of 86 Women All Age Classes (3rd in Class F30-39) 25K Freestyle at Royal Gorge
  • *U.S. Nationals 51st Woman All Age Classes 15K Classic at Lake Placid
  • *U.S. Nationals (Masters-only race: ages 30 and up) 2nd Woman Overall (First in Class F 30-34) in 20K Classic at Royal Gorge .
  • U.S. Masters Ski Association Nationals (30 and up) First Woman Overall 25K Freestyle race
  • U.S. Masters Ski Association Nationals (30 and up) 6th Woman Overall in both the 10K and 20K Freestyle races

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. She won Top Gun at the Washington State Biathlon Championships, out scoring all men and women. After moving to Marquette, Michigan she found that her two Birkebeiner finishes were also something to be proud of. These were 22nd and 29th Woman Overall (5th F35-39 both years). Currently Mary Kay is a member of Ishpeming Ski Club and frequent competitor in cross country ski races.

View more of my training log...

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