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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. However, we will be getting into ski specificity in a couple of weeks, with roller skiing, dryland ski bounding and the like.

Since I am still recovering from a hard race last week, the focus this week was on recovery and volume, rather than intensity. So, I looked for lessening of the soreness in my legs and an overall feeling of happy skippy zippy-ness before launching back into intensity. It took until Thursday to get that feeling again, but that's not bad at all after last week's 2-hour long run-bike-run race! (About the round photo: That's me with my super great husband and training racing partner-in-fun Tom. And the group photo shows our running friends from all over the United States, celebrating after the Pictured Rocks Road Race.)

Pictured Rocks Road Race

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: 5min cycling then circuit of 1 min. per exercise with 30 sec. breaks, using a 10 lb weight for some of these...
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 min 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.)

Great Training Advice by Stacy Sims

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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