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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 10 (Start of July)

mid summer training

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and here we are in Week 10 of this training year, which started last May.

Prijon kayak deer and me

Before getting into this week's training schedule, here's a note about the photos. I absolutely love kayaking and kayak racing, and it's great training for cross country skiing. My love for kayaking shows in the circle image, celebrating my first place result at a paddle bike and trail run. As for the large image: Isn't it Lovely! Thanks to Ian Barnes for capturing me in my Prijon totally unaware of that beautiful little Bambi in my midst! As for the top-of-page header image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm in the Yellowstone Cross Country Ski Marathon.

The schedule for this week includes two intensity workouts each week. I am increasing the time spent in intensity efforts, a little at a time. My workouts are emphasizing more upper body, core and plyometrics. I'm getting into the kayak more, taking out my fast tippy boat for core and balance and fun. However, I am still preparing to go at it with roller skiing, hill bounding and more ski specific workouts. This is a little different from prior years, and I think I am benefitting more now by working on other ski complementary activities first.

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 10...

Week 10 AM/PM Mode 2nd of a 4-Week Block: Goal hrs. 13:15 of 47 hr. 4-week Block Hours
Mon AM
Run&Kayak Day L1 trail run 1:10min w. 6x20sec.accelerations then L1 kayaking 45min w.4x40stroke accels 1:55
PM WT RM Strength:15min.warmup cycling then 35min strength/core/plyos w. lots of triceps & 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 going R then L;
5.Step-up hop-up on box w. lift knee in front then same but lift leg in back;
6.Partial pllups top, bottom and middle;
7.Pulldowns on weight machine R then L then both together;
8.Leg extensions on weight machine
10.Front plank;
11.R and L plank;
12.One legged squats, one foot on box behind, weight in hand on standing leg side;
13.Tricep bench dips;
14.Tricep pushups
Wed AM Run Tempo Intervals: RUN on flat firm surface this time flat for fast turnover, mostly asphalt/gravel. Usual pre-race warmup: 15min.L1, 3min.L2, 3min.L3,(didn't do accels); then 3x(14minL3/5minOFF) Keep L3! (42min.of ON); cooldown 1:45
Thu AM RdB Ez fun cycling with varied grades rolling hills gravel and asphalt 2:03
Fri AM RdB Intensity Short L3-L4: Friday is Hill Day: 30min total warmup: L1 15min, L2 3min, L3 3min, 4x20sec accels fast legs, L1 until , then L3-L4 uphill intensity. Try to go farther ea. Interval. Went into L4 all intervals. 4X4min hill repeats with ez return to starting spot recoveries. Good hard workout. Rode bike path flat and ez afterwards. 2:14
Run&Kayak Day L1 trail run 45min (fastwalk 10min beforehand) then L1 kayaking 45min w.4x40stroke accels 1:35
PM WT RM Strength: emphasis on triceps - 10min.warmup cycling then strength/core/plyos w. lots of triceps & weight 15 lb. 1minON/30secOFF for circuit until done
1.Short step hop running R-L-R-L uphill;
2.Hop scotch short step hops in-outs L-R in, L-R out uphill;
3.Hop scotch hops both feet in, both feet straddle uphill;
4.Sideways hopping scissor legs going R then L;
5.Step-up hop-up on box w. lift knee lift in front then same with lifts leg in back;
6.4 Full pullups. Partial pullups top, bottom and middle;
7.Pulldowns on weight machine R then L then both together;
8.Leg extensions on weight machine;
10.Front plank;
11.Tricep pushups;
12.One legged squats, one foot on box behind, weight in hand on standing leg side;
13.Tricep bench dips
Sun AM KYK Overdistance: kayak 45min then immediately afterward. . . 0:45
PM RdB cycling gravel & road ~1:30 1:35
Week Summary


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 sports watch with GPS...

shop sports watch with GPS

A heart rate monitor is an essential tool for cross country ski training, at Lake Tahoe and anywhere! My personal choices have been Garmin and Polar, and each brand has offered me useful features. I really like knowing what level of effort I am expending, and being able to glance at my wrist to see what's up, literally!

Any athlete who has trained all year at sea level, and then traveled to where the air is thin above Lake Tahoe, can attest that it's difficult to "go by feel" when training at such a difference in altitude. Additionally, it's really helpful for staying on your training plan, when you can view your data after each workout, such as heart rates, distances, pace, duration of workout, map of route, and more. Those are features of a sports watch with GPS like I have.

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.


Navigation Links:

View more of my training log...

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