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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 17 (End of August)

On the podium yay!

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is my blog for Week 17 of this training year.

This week, I taper off the hours and do a few peaking workouts, in order to to enjoy a super fun and challenging paddle-bike-run triathlon on Saturday. Then, finish up with a long Sunday, knowing that next week it is definitely time to get on my roller skis and do the workouts that will make cross country ski racing fast and fun when the snow falls in a few months. Therefore, this week provides an example of tapering and racing. And, next week look toward a transition to ski specificity.

This week's paddle-bike-run triathlon is one of the most fun things I do every summer. It's a substantial race, with a 3 mile paddle, 13.5 mile bicycle and 5 kilometer run. It's the biggest and most fun race of my off-season training, and I always have the audacity to hope to land on the podium. I have won First Lady Overall a couple of times in this race. So, how did my race go? The answer is, "Yay! Celebrate my win with me!"

MISH Paddle Bike Run Triathlon winning ladies

I have a history of hopping onto the podium at this race, and have won it before. The local TV station even celebrated my prior year (due to the kind words of my friend who aced me out that year). In the video below, I am the podium girl in the multi-colored hippie style bike jersey. What fun to get on the podium with these fast and dedicated athletes! (If you can't see the video, turn on javascript, or set Microsoft Edge Privacy to Balanced instead of Strict. Still can't see or hear it? Click here to view on facebook...)

About the photos and video: Never did I expect so much attention and praise for doing that fun triathlon. They said I was an inspiration! How wonderful, and all I can say is that I love racing with those athletes, and the inspiration goes two ways!

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 17...

Week 17 AM/PM Mode 1st of a 4-Week Block: Goal 8:30 OR LESS of 50:30 hr. High-Vol. Block: Go Ez & Recover then TAPER & RACE Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM Run
Run&Kayak Morning: L1 trail run ~1 hr. w. 4x20sec.accels then L1 kayaking ~45min 1:47

Wed AM Run Peaking Intervals: SUPER light intensity to wake the body up for race week. Usual warmup 20-30 min (did 30), 3min. L2, 3min. L3, (did not do the 4x20 sec. accels) then 6 x 1:00 min ON/OFF L4. cool down 20 min. My coach advised, "These should be hard but feel good! Do not end this workout leaving it all out there, that is what the race weekend is for! Make sure you end this workout feeling like you could definitely do a few more & have more in the tank!" 1:15

Thu AM
OFF - 2 days before race

Fri AM RdB L1 cycling road biking w. 5x20sec.accels Last one uphill. 0:35


Sat AM KYK Race Day! Paddle Bike Run Triathlon Go! Warmup run 10minL1 3minL2 3minL3 4x20sec accels paddle some then race! 2:34


Sun AM RSSK Roller Ski 1st Time this year! Now I get into ski specificity. 1:05

PM WT RM Strength: 10min warmup cycling w. light resistance then Week 4 - Workout 4 modified due to sore feet after yesterday's race. Used bands for resistance, and did not do the jumping plyometrics.

10 min cycling with light resistance to warmup

* 2 x 20 Rotational weight 15lb one leg (no slam)
* 3 sets x 1min Russian Twist 1 min. 15 lbs. fast
* 2 sets x 1min leg flutter fast
* 2 x 10 reps straight back situps SLOW to Vertical

Lower Body - do without jumping to recover feet:
* 3 x 6 reps per leg Band on Feet, 1-Legged Knee Ups
* 3 x 6 reps per leg Band on Ankles, 1-Legged Kick Forward & Hold
* 3 x 6 Squat Knees Out Band on Knees stand up quickly 15lb. weight
* 3 x 6 Squat Knees Fwd 2-Arm Throw Up Weight as Stand Up Quickly
* 3 x 6 Telemark position with Band on Knees stand up quickly
* 3 x 6 Weighted One-Legged Squats 15lb. Right then Left

Upper Body
* 3 x 6 Pressup Popup to Vertical Body Pushups from knees
* 3 x 6 Dumbbell Swing One Arm between legs w. squat 10lb.
* 3 x 6 Dumbbell Ts up then out then in then down
* 3 x 6 Tricep Pushups
* 3 x 6 Full Pullups
* 3 x 10 Triceps Bench Dips
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.)

Compression Socks & Sleeves...

If you have been following my training blog, you know that I don't do a whole lot of running. And when I run, it is mostly on trails. But, I also do some high intensity running workouts, including plyometrics and bounding in my running shoes. Therefore, I'm always looking for ways to prevent or alleviate soreness due to running, especially in my feet and calves. That's why you'll see me wearing compression socks and sleeves. Someone asked me what's the use of compression socks, so I pointed them to the research that states that compression helps the vascular system to return fluids back up the legs, instead of pooling as inflammation. Lots of folks have told me that they have experienced that this research is true. So, I gave compression socks a try, and now I can report that I really like them.

compression socks and sleeves for runners

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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