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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 9 (June-July)

wearing my race cap

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and here we are in Week 9 of this training year (which started the first week of May). It's fun to be starting out this new 4-Week Block of mid summer training, Weeks 9 to 12. My workouts are going to become more ski specific, with more and more strength exercises that build tricep and pulldown arm strength for poling, more speedy boundy plyometric type activities, kayaking for core and arm work, and dryland training such as hill bounding to simulate skiing with ski poles, plus roller skiing.

Traverse City Track Club

But first, here's wishing you a Happy Fourth! We are at last week's race, celebrating with our running friends from the Traverse City Track Club, plus a few others such as the runner from Arkansas who smoked the course won the race that day. Also notable is the guy who did the entire race with his American flag held high! That's the super patriotic runner Dan Lantis. As for the top-of-page image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm at the Yellowstone Rendezvous Cross Country Ski Marathon.

This week's training schedule includes two intensity workouts each week. One of these features short-duration intervals that become speedy and intense sprint-like but lasting only a few minutes (Yay! Level 4!). Then, the other workout features longer duration and at sorta marathon or half-marathon pace.

Training wisdom states that my hours-per-week are supposed to ratchet up each week for 4 weeks, such as from 9-hours during Week 1, then increase each week such as following hours: 10:30, 13:15, 14:15 per week. However, as for me, I have decided to flip the schedule a little, and put my lower-hours week at the end of the period. That's because there's a super fun kayak-and-bike duathlon race at the end, and I want to really do well and enjoy it! So, the sequence of hours-per-week will be more like: 11:30, 13:15, 14:15, then 8 hours and 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 let's check out Week 9...

Week 9 AM/PM Mode 1st of a 4-Week Block: Goal 11:30 hrs. this week (of 47 for the 4-Week Block) Hours
Mon AM
OFF - recovery - ez walking & weed whipping the yard

Tue AM Run
L1 trail run 45min then Ez kayaking 45min 1:30

PM WT RM Strength: 15min.warmup cycling then 45min strength adding lots more triceps & leg plyos and weight 15 lb. 1minON/30secOFF for
1.Short step hop running R-L-R-L;
2.Hop scotch short step hop L-R in, L-R out;
3.Hop scotch both feet in, both feet straddle;
4.Sideways hopping scissor legs move R then L;
5.Russian Twists V-sit;
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 legged squats, one leg on box behind, weight in hand on standing leg side;
10.Hop ups onto rock, two weights in hands, lift back leg behind, then also w. lift knee up to front;
11.Standing curl, weight behind head, up and down;
12.Tricep bench dips;
13.Tricep pushups;
14.Partial pullups (middle);
15.Front plank;
16.R and L plank;
17.Pulldowns on weight machine R then L, then both together;
18.Leg extensions on weight machine
Wed AM Run L1 15min uphill running after my morning walk down to the lake 0:15

AM RdB Intensity Wed Tempo Day: working toward a 30min gravel race. Warmup 20min. 3minL2, 3minL3, 4x20sec accels fast legs, then 3x15min L3 / 5min L1, I feel like it, can go into L4 in last 2 min of last 1-2, cooldown L1 1:30
Thu AM Run L1 trail run 1:30 continuous running after 15min warmup walk 1:30


Fri AM Run Intensity Short L3-L4 – Fri is Hill Day: Warmup 15min L1,3min L2, 3min L3, 4x20 sec accels, then L3-L4 uphill. Mark your first distance and go farther ea. interval. Go L4 during last few intervals. 6 x 4min hill repeats w/ walk-jog back to starting spot recovery. Cooldown L1. 1:53


Overdistance COMBO: 45min kayak then 2:13 gravel riding 3:01

PM WT RM Strength: 10min.warmup run then 41min strength/core as on Tue. adding dip bar and upright rows 0:53
Sun AM
OFF - Happy 4th of July Weekend


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 great running cap

shop for a running cap

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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