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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 5 (June)

riding dirt

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and here we are in Week 5 of this training year. It's the start of the Summer Period, a 4-week series during which I will drop my hours and build them up again to a total that is higher than the first 4-week period last May (40 hours this period vs. 32:15 last period).

after shore run

Before getting into this week's training, here's info. 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. More thanks to Jenifer Kilpela Race Director for catching Tom and I in the act of checking our results after her adventuresome trail run along the lakeshore!

So, here we go with two interval sessions per week, two strength/core workouts and an overdistance, with all of these increasing in volume. It's not time to increase intensity too much by pulling out the stops and putting the pedal to the metal though. But, at least I get to have some L4 fun now! Wondering what's L4? Scroll down for the KEY.

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 5...

Week 5 AM/PM Mode 1st of 4-Week Period: a variety of modes, bike, run, may kayak or roller ski if desire. 1-2 workouts/week @ L3. Can go into L4 gingerly. Add some weight, ski specificity & plyometrics. Goal hrs: 8:30 (of 40 for the 4-week period) Hours
Mon AM
Tue AM Run L1 trails w.6x20sec accel's/1min OFFs walk 15min Run 30min 00:30
  PM WT RM Strength for cross country ski racers during Training Week #5. Warmup with 5 min. cycling. Then:
1.Short step hop running R-L-R-L for 10 ft;
2.Hop scotch short step hop L-R in, L-R out etc for 10 ft;
3.Hop scotch both feet in, both feet straddle for 10 ft;
4.Sideways hopping scissor legs for 10 ft. to R. then L.;
5.Russian Twists v-sit w. 10lb. weight;
6.Weighted situps cross arms weight on chest;
7.Dumbbell Romanian deadlift - handweight travels hips to knees;
8.Goblet squat - feet shoulder width apart, feet forward, neutral spine when bending legs and squatting;
9.One leg on box behind, bend standing leg, weight in hand on standing leg side;
10.Step ups - onto box, two weights in hands, lift back leg
11.Standing curl - weight behind head - triceps up and down;
12.Tricep bench dips;
13.Tricep Pushups;
15.Front plank;
16.Right Side plank then Left Side plank;
17.One-arm pulldowns on the weight machine, with light weight.
Wed AM RdB Tempo Intervals: my pre-race warmup: 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4x20sec accelerations; then 2x (15minL3/5minL1) Keep it L3! Can rise to L4 in last few min of last interval.(Total for this workout is 30min of ON) 01:31

Thu AM Run L1 running on hard surface asphalt 15min warmup walk; 30min L1 w. 6x20sec accels; cooldown walk 00:30

Fri AM Run Hill Intervals: 10minL1, 2x3minL3, then 6x (2minON/2minOFF) Steep hill. Stay L3! Should not rise to L4 until end of last 2 intervals. 01:00

Sat AM RdB Overdistance: cycling gravel roads 32 miles 03:18

Sun AM Run L1 15min walk down to the lake, 45min run, 15min FastWalk back up steep hill 01:01
  PM WT RM Strength w. 5min cycle warmup core & arms w. 10lb.weight (same as last Tuesday above) 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.)

Resources for training with heart rate monitor...

how to train with a 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 Overall in the following races: Kneissel Rendezvous Marathon, President's Cup Marathon, Ridge to River Iron Woman, Pepsi Challenge 10K, two consecutive years: 10th Mountain Division Biathlon, 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 Loppet 27K Worldloppet Race, Superior Ski Classic Marathon, Grand Marnier Cup Marathon, Yellowstone Rendezvous Half-Marathon
  • 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 53K Worldloppet Race 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.


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