cross country ski training page 1

My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 12 (Mid July)

my duathlon race

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is my log for Week 12 of this training year. This is the last week of a 4-week block of training, and I tapered for a race at the end of the week.

What's tapering? My neighbor used to tease me by saying, "Rest before you get tired," and that's tapering in a nutshell. It involves a lower volume of training, some light intervals toward the start of the week, no overdistance workout, and taking a day off 2 days prior to the event. Easy! You will see all of these elements in my training log below. Tapering works great! I enjoyed the race at the end of the week, having trained enough to feel happy to keep up a good race pace effort, and I took home a nice Second Woman Overall plaque! A look through my prior several weeks of training will show you that I kayaked and cycled enough, including intervals, to enjoy racing with friends. (About the pics: happily on my way to Second Woman Overall in the race. Also, ever since the year I broke the Women's course record, my cartwheel has become a tradition at the awards ceremony. Thank you Indian River Biathlon.)

The Cartwheel

If you tuned into this series just now, and want to know what it's about, click here to go to the start. It's 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.

To see prior training weeks, just scroll down and use the navigation buttons.

So let's check out Week 12...

Week 12 AM/PM Mode 4th of a 4-Week Block: Goal hrs. 8 of 47 hr. 4-week Block (For info. About this block of 4 weeks, go to Week 9 and see the note at top of Week 9) TAPER & RACE WEEK Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM Run Race prep peaking intervals (my first purely L4 intervals this year): warmup 15-20min.L1,3min.L2,3min.L4,4x20sec.accels w.40sec.OFFs. Workout: 1 x through (1min, 2min, 3min, 2min, 1min pyramid) with 2 min recovery between intervals. My coach said, "You want to end this interval session knowing you could easy do a few more intervals!" Therefore, I decided beforehand on 7/19/22 that 1x12321 would be good. 1:06


Wed AM Run L1 trail running. (Saving my bikie legs for the race on Sunday.) 1:25

PM WT RM Strength: warmup 15min. Cycling then mostly core exercises (see last week for the exercises) and a few triceps exercises. Saving my legs for Sunday's race. 0:45
Thu AM KYK L1 kayak w. some fartlek light sprint style efforts due to wind and waves 0:45


Fri AM
OFF - Taper for race

Sat AM Run Trail run on soft trails a bit this day prior to the race. (Traveling today and camping tonight before the race.) 1:00


Sun AM Run,
Race! Kayak and Gravel Ride multi-sport event. Warmup running and core (planking and some pushups) for 45min. Then race 4.5mi.kayak and 14 mi. gravel cycling. Cooldown riding a little. 2:00


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 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.

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