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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 14 (It's August!)

Mary Kay and physio ball

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is my blog for Week 14 of this training year.

So, here we go into the second week of this year's highest volume training block of 4 weeks. This is a 12:30 week. And, it's time for me to get going with more ski specific activities, such as running with poles, roller skiing and strength exercises that use the same muscles as classic skiing and skating.

my home gym

Before getting into this week's schedule, here's a bit about the images on this page. Here I am showing off my tiny home gym. It takes up just a 4 by 2 foot section of the family room, and I have it stocked with the tools I need to supplement any gym workouts: physio ball and roll out exercise wheel for core, Perfect Pushup handles to protect my wrists, PureWave for massaging trigger points and sore muscles, yoga mat, workout bench, neoprene hand weights, exercise bands and straps, and my little wicker basket full of exercise plans.

What about this week's training schedule? The two interval sessions I have been consistently doing each week are feeling better every time, and I look forward to each one of these intensity workouts. The plan is to do one set of long intervals at Level 3, such as 3 x 10 minutes with 4 minute active rests, plus one set of short more intense intervals that rise into Level 4, such as a time pyramid of 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, with 1 or 2 minute active rests between intervals. Due to consistently doing these two workouts every week, the experience of going hard is feeling better all the time! (About the photo: Hugs all around after winning last summer's triathlon! I'm hoping to win it again in a few weeks.)

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 14...

Week 14 AM/PM Mode 2nd of a 4-Week Block: Goal hrs. 12:30 of 51 hr. Highest Vol. Block of the Year. More cycling than running this wk Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM KYK Run&Kayak Day L1 trail run 1 hr. w. 6x20sec.accels then L1 kayaking 45min w.4x40stroke accels 1:45

PM WT RM Strength:15min.warmup cycling then 45min strength/core/plyos. Move Quickly for all exercises. All 1min.ON/1min.REST
10 min trail run warmup then
5 min jump rope
Short Stepping/Hopping High Knees Fast Bouncy Running:
Hop Scotch: OneIns moving forward in in out out straddle, TwoIns both feet hopping in then both out, Two ins moving sideways hopping right then left like moguls
2 x Core:
* Rotational overhead slam one leg hop
* Pull Downs quickly w. weight machine
* Tricep dips (bottom: waist to thighs
* Russian Twist 1 min. 15 lbs.
* Straight back situps SLOW to Vertical
3 x Lower Body:
* Single Leg Box Jumpdowns 1 foot always on box
switching legs
* Single leg box jumpups - all right then all l.
* Squat Jumps
* Telemark Jumps
* Depth Jumps - 2 rocks - hopdown then up/2 legs
3 x Upper Body:
* Press Up Pop Up Pushups from knees
* Dumbbell Swing One Arm between legs w. squat
* Dumbbell Ts up then out then in then down
* regular pushups
* Pullups
Wed AM RdB Intensity Tempo Day: Working toward a 45min road cycling race in the upcoming triathlon. Warmup ~30min: 15min L1, 3minL2, 3minL3, 4x20sec accels fast legs, then 2x30min L3/5 min L1 then 1x15min L3, SLOW DOWN FOR ROAD CROSSINGS THEN SPRINT OUT OF THEM Don't stay in L4 but low L4 OK and OK to go L4 in last two min, cooldown L1 but rode up our hill so can't avoid higher H.R. L3 there. 1:39


Thu AM RdB L1 cycling 1:30


Moose Hoof&Kayak Day: L1 kayak for an hour then Moose Hoof on the grass at the rope tow at the ski hill for 30min 1:30

PM WT RM Strength:10min. trail run warmup
5 min jump rope without rope 2 footed, 1 footed RL, mixing it up
5 min jump rope
Short Stepping High Knees Fast Bouncy Running:
One ins forward, Two ins in in outout straddle, Two ins moving sideways
Core 2 sets 1minON/30secOFF
* Front Plank
* Side Planks w. leg lifts then core twists
Upper Body 2 sets 1minON/30secOFF
* Press Up Pop Up Pushups from knees and from bench top
* Tricep dips off bench
* Full Pullups
* Pulldowns one arm then both
* Tricep dips on dip bar
Lower Body 2 sets 1minON/30secOFF
* Leg extensions
* Weighted one legged squats 15 lb
Sat AM Run Intensity: L3-L4 intervals: Working toward 30 min. road run race in upcoming triathlon: Warmup fastwalk 10min, 15min.L1, 3min.L2, 3min.L3, 4x20sec.accels w.40sec.OFFs. Then Multi-Pace workout: 2 x 7min L3building to L4/3min L1 then 3 x 2min L4/1minL1, cooldown run L1 1:30


Sun AM RdB Overdistance: A lot of L1 cycling w. 6 x 20sec accels 2:55


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.)

A really popular resource for cross country ski training at Lake Tahoe: USFS Tahoe Basin Maps. It's easy to understand why. When running, hiking or cycling in the mountains, a paper map provides freedom from the need for cell phone coverage or battery life! Additionally, an up-to-date map by the U.S. Forest Service is just as reliable as you're going to get. Therefore, in the case of finding your way around the trails, going old school and on paper is the way of choice for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Shop Tahoe Trail Maps...

Lake Tahoe USFS maps

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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