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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 7 (June)

enjoying summer training

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and here we are in Week 7 of this training year. My workouts are not yet ski specific, except for a few of the strength exercises that build tricep and pulldown arm strength for poling. As the weeks go by, the ski specificity of all my training will increase more and more.

Think Zen kayaking

First, before getting into this week's training, here's a bit about the photos. The round photo features me and my super great husband and favorite training racing partner Tom, who encourages and accompanies me on all my adventures. The surfski photo is me racing my way to a first-lady overall win in the kayak portion of a kayak-and-bike event. Kayaking is a passion of mine, even though roller skiing and hill bounding are more ski specific for cross country ski training. As for the top-of-page image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm at the Yellowstone Rendezvous Cross Country Ski Marathon.

Since I am still recovering from a challenging 2-hour long race last week, the focus this week is on recovery and volume, rather than intensity. Therefore, before launching back into intensity, I wait to feel the soreness in my legs replaced by happy skippy zippy-ness. This week, it took until Thursday to get that feeling again, but that's not bad at all, I think.

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.

So off we go with Week 7...

Week 7 AM/PM Mode 3rd of a 4-Week Block: 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. Originally 10* (of 40 for the 4-week period) *However, I adjusted my hrs. up a bit, to allow for tapering for a race coming up next week at end of Week 4 Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM Run L1 FastWalk 15min then running for 1 hr continuous then 15min L1 uphill FastWalk (My goal for running this summer is 2 hr. continuous, so my duration will increase about 15 min. each week.) 1:30

PM WT RM Strength for cross country ski racers during Week #7 of the training year.: 5 min. cycling then a circuit. 1 min. per exercise with 30 sec. breaks between exercises. Using a 10 lb weight for some exercises.
1.Short step hop running R-L-R-L for 10-15 ft;
2.Hop scotch short step hop L-R in, L-R out etc for 10-15 ft;
3.Hop scotch both feet in, both feet straddle for 10-15 ft;
4.Moving sideways hopping scissor legs for 10-15 ft. to R. then L.;
5.Russian twists v-sit w. weight;
6.Weighted situps cross arms weight on chest;
7.Dumbbell Romanian deadlift, handweight travels hips to knees;
8.Goblet squat: all the way down, knees wide, goblet at chest;
9.Leg extensions on weight machine;
10.Pulldowns on weight machine;
11.Tricep pushups;
12.Front plank;
13.R & L planks
Wed AM Other Hiking hilly roads and trails 1:51


Thu AM Run Tempo Intervals: flat mostly asphalt: warmup; 15min. L1, 3min. L2, 3min. L3; then 3x (12minL3/5minL1) Keep L3! Can rise to L4 in last few min of last interval. (36min.of ON time); cooldown walk back up the hill 1:45

Fri AM
OFF - Take a walk in the morning.


Sat AM RdB Overdistance #1 of 2 this week: L1 Gravel Bike Riding (Did not do intervals today and opted for 2 overdistance workouts this week to ensure recovery continues.) 2:18

PM WT RM Strength: 10 mi.n trail running then circuit (1 min. ON and 30 sec. rests)
1.Short step hop running R-L-R-L for 10-15 ft;
2.Hop scotch short step hop L-R in, L-R out etc for 10-15 ft;
3.Hop scotch both feet in, both feet straddle for 10-15 ft;
4.Dumbbell Romanian deadlift: handweight travels hips to knees;
5.Step ups onto knee high rock, lift knee up in front;
6.Standing curl, weight behind head up&down,both triceps!
7.Tricep bench dips;
8.Tricep pushup;
9.Front plank;
10.R plank;
11.Pulldowns R&L from high on weight machine;
12.Leg extensions on weight machine;
13.2-arm pulldowns from waist to thighs on weight machine
Sun AM Run Overdistance #2 of 2 this week: L1 Trail Running warmup 15min.FastHiking, then Run/FastHike toggle 30-40min.Run/10min.FastHike; at 3 hrs. cooldown FastHiking 3:35


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.)

Show your love for cross country skiing...

Even though it's summer, I can still share my love of cross country skiing with a t-shirt that lets everybody know, "I'd rather be skiing!" Wearing my favorite cross country t-shirts helps to get me through the long summer's wait. Here are Amazon links to some fun t-shirts for skiers.

cross country ski t-shirts

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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