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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 15 (Mid August)

what me winter?

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is my blog for Week 15 of this training year.

cycling group taking a break

Before getting into this week's training schedule, here's a note about the photos on this page. I do a lot of bicycle riding as cross training for cross country ski racing. It's fun to ride with a group, especially when there are refreshments and donuts at the destination. Thanks to Josh Brindle for this memento of a fun ride. As for the image on the top-of-page header, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm at the Yellowstone Cross Country Ski Marathon.

With summer in full swing and fall not quite ready to arrive, cross country skiers are in the midst of their highest volume training periods of the year. Now is the season for perseverance. After last week's 12:30 hours, this week features about 14 1/2 hours that are designed to increase endurance, speed and strength. It feels like an accomplishment to finish up each training week, with Sundays marking the completion of: lots of long easy distance, more ski specificity, 2 strength workouts with plyometrics, and two intensity workouts during the long week. Yay me! I did it! (About the photo: It's only August and I am already longing for the upcoming season of cross country ski racing! That's me finishing a snowy half-marathon.)

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 15...

Week 15 AM/PM Mode 3rd of a 4-Week Block: Goal hrs. 14:30 of 51 hrs. Highest Volime 4-Week Block of the Year Hours
Mon AM

Run&Kayak Day L1 trail run 1:15 w. 4x20sec.accelerations then L1 kayaking 45min w.4x40 stroke accelerations 2:00

PM WT RM Strength:15min.warmup cycling then 45min strength/core/plyos Move Quickly for all exercises
*10 min cycling
*5 min Jump Rope hops
PLYOS 2 sets (1minON/30secOFF)
* Two-Ins fwd HIGH KNEES
* Two-Ins side travel HIGH KNEES
* In-Out Hopping fwd
CORE 2 sets (1minON/30secOFF)
* Rotational Overhead Slam Hopping 1 leg
* Russian Twists 15 lb
* 10 Straight Back Situps Slowly
* Plank front,R,L w. 8 lb weight R&L
LOWER BODY 2 sets (1minON/30secOFF)
* 2 Leg Box Jumpup/Jumpoffs
* Leg Squats 15lb weight
* Telemark Jumps
* Depth Jumps
* Leg Extensions (10)
UPPER BODY 3 sets of 6
* Press Up Pushups
* Dumbbell Swing - one-arm
* Dumbbell T's
* Pushups
* Pullups 10 full, 10 top
* Pulldowns R,L&both arms
* Tricep Dips on dip bar & bench
Wed AM RdB Intensity Tempo Day: Working toward a 45min road cycling race. Warmup ~30min: 15min L1, 3minL2, 3minL3, 4x20sec accelerations fast legs, then 3x15min L3/5 min L1, 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. L2-L3 there. 1:40


Thu AM RdB L1 cycling 1:06

PM Other Trail hiking directly after cycling, to get acclimated to hopping off the bike and onto my feet. 0:35
Fri AM Run Intensity: L3-L4 intervals: Working toward 27 min road run race in the upcoming triathlon: Warmup fastwalk 15min, 15min.L1, 3min.L2, 3min.L3, 4x20sec.accelerations w.40sec.OFFs. Then 5x6minL3-L4 building into L4 sooner in last 2 intervals/3min active rests,cooldown L1 1:45


Sat AM Run Overdistance: Trail run toggle 10min fasthike/20min running with 6 x 20 sec accelerations 2:25

PM WT RM Strength:15min. Cycling warmup, all upper body and no plyos due to high volume week, lots of running & feel the need for legs to recover.
15 min cycling warmup
All exercises 1 min. ON/30 sec REST
CORE 3 sets:
* Front Plank
* Right and Left Plank with twists
* Russian Twist with 15 Lb.
* Straight Back Situps slowly
UPPER BODY 2 sets:
* Tricep extensions w. 15 & 10 lb.
* Pushoff Pushups
* Tricep Pushups
* Dumbbell Ts with 10 lb & 8 lb.
* 3 sets of 6 pullups per set
Sun AM KYK Overdistance: L1 Kayak followed by cycling... 1:11

PM RdB ...easy L1 road riding 2:00
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.)

Stay Hydrated: Shop Hydration Drink Mix...

When training in the summer heat, hydration is important. That's why i'm a big fan of Skratch Labs and other hydration drink mixes, especially for the Level 1 long easy distance workouts that are so essential to cross country ski trainin and other endurance sports. Skratch Labs is constantly introducing new flavors and special treats for making hydration tasty and easy. Here's a handy link to the Skratch Labs store on Amazon.

Skratch hydration

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:

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