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My Cross Country Ski Training
Summer Training
Week 20 (Mid September)

roller skiing along lakeshore

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and Wow! It's Week 20 and my highest volume training week of the year. If over 16 hours of training seems excessive; well, that's because it is excessive by design. In the overall scheme of my training plan for the year, this is when I stress my body and stretch my abilities with my highest volume of training.

As for this week, following the coaching advice that when the volume goes up, the intensity should drop, this week features just one intensity workout. For that workout, it's my first time this year doing the routine called Cross Country Ski Specific Strength. Another feature of this long training week is that I am doing more ski specific workouts by roller skiing 3 times. Also note that my week includes 2 strength workouts, and lots of easy running and cycling (including some short bursts of speed play in order to keep sharp).

Since this week marks the peak training volume of my year, this seems like a good time for taking an overall look at my training volumes thus far. Here's an interesting graph that shows how my training volume per week has progressed during the past 20 weeks.

actual hours trained per week

More about the graph: It shows my actual hours trained, which follow a stair-stepping progression from week-to-week.The training volume stair-steps up, and then drops for recovery, and then stair-steps up again to higher heights. And voila! This progression is referred to as Periodization of Training. You can find out more about periodization of training for cross country skiing at CXC Academy.

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 20...

Week 20 AM/PM Mode 4th Week/4-Week Block: Goal hrs. HIGHEST 16 - 16:30 to get to 50 hr. for this 4-Week Block Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM Run trail running run/hike toggle big grades and technical trails with rocks/roots as well as soft/smooth dirt. 2:27

PM WT RM strength: WARMUP 10 min cycling
All exercises done quickly, because strength plus speed equals power. 30 sec. rest between exercises

5 min jump rope
Ladders (2 x 10 boxes):
Icky Shuffle
Icky Shuffle Cross Over
V2 Simulation

2 x 20 Side Plank with twist & 10 lb.
3 x 1 min. Russian Twist with 15 lb.
2 x 1 min. Super Chickens
2 x 30 sec. Leg Flutter
2 x 10 Straight Back Situps to Vertical

LOWER BODY (all 3 x 6 reps.):
Single Leg Box Jumps
Tuck Jumps
Telemark Jumps
Double Leg Box Jumps
Step up Hop up with Front High Front Leg
Leg extensions on weight machine

UPPER BODY (most all 3 x 6 reps.):
Press Up Pushups from knees pop up to vertical
Push Press with 10 lb. & 15 lb.
Dumbbell Ts with 10 lb. & 15 lb.
One Arm Pull Downs on weight machine
Two Arm Pull Downs
3 x 15 Tricep dips on bench with elevated legs
Tricep dips on dip bar

Wed AM RSSK specific strength: Roller Skiing Specific Strength: Warmup R.S. L1 then 4x(1min.* ON/2min.OFF) per 3 techniques: Single Stick, Short Stroke Double Poling, Full Double Poling; Cooldown R.S. L1 *These intervals are 45 sec. - 1 min. on steep uphill grade that presents difficulty for these techniques 1:45


Thu AM MtB Cycling then Roller Skiing immediately afterward: Level FUN Fartlek Trail riding directly before Roller Skiing. Ride Technical Trails with focus on turns and technique 2:20

PM RSSK Roller Ski L1 half DP only & half Sngl.Stiking 0:37
Fri AM Run overdistance: trail run/fasthike toggle (fasthike 10min / run 20min) 2:00

PM RdB overdistance: road and gravel riding 2:02
Sat AM RSSK Roller Ski L1 with 10min Single Sticking and V2ing as long as can do with stability 1:32

PM WT RM strength: warmup 10min trail running then rotate until reach 40min All exercises: 1 min ON/ 30 sec OFF: Side Plank with 10 lbs, Russian Twist with 15 lbs, Straight Back Situps, Tricep Pushups Flyups, Pullups, Tricep Dips on rock /bench with elevated legs, Pulldowns on weight machine R, L and Both Arms 0:40
Sun AM RdB Road Riding 1:42 workout time 2:03 1:42


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.)

Insoles for Happy Feet...

Running is a big part of my training for cross country skiing, and I try to keep running all year long even during winter. My feet are a lot happier when I replace the insoles with orthopedic insoles that are designed to address my particular foot shape and running needs. Here are some super choices for runners insoles.

shop insoles for running shoes

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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