My Cross Country Ski Training
This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is Week 22 of my training year, which started last May. This week wraps up September, with 12:45 hours of training that is increasingly more ski specific and more intense, because racing season is only a couple of months away.
Wondering how the hours fluctuate week-to-week throughout my training year? Here's a fun graphical image that shows my hours per week, and where I am this week.
New activities this week include 3 intensity workouts, instead of the usual 2-per-week. (If you missed last week's explanation of intensity zones and workouts, just use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page to view it on the previous week's page.)
By looking at my training log in the spreadsheet below, you will notice that I am now an intensity workout from each of the 3 zones: Level 3 Threshold, Level 4 VO2max, and Level 5 Speed. Also during the week, I do three sessions on my roller skis. Plus, 2 strength workouts. And Surprise! My new strength workout was actually enjoyable! Perhaps I liked it because the instructions included moving fast and bouncing around a lot.
While reviewing the week's activities, I want to note that each week has one workout that is titled Overdistance. This is a long easy workout that I do all year long, in order to maintain endurance. It's mostly L1 and the duration is at least 125 percent of my longest race. Therefore, since my longest race is 2 hours or more, that means my overdistance workout lasts over 2:30.
About the picture: That's me doing pullups in the back yard. If only I could do them infinitely like this animation!
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 22...
|Week 22||AM/PM||Mode||Workouts description: Goal hrs. 12:45 of 35 for this 3-Week Cycle. This week: 3 intensity workouts, 3 roller ski workouts, 2 strength, and run more than last week||Hours|
|Tue||AM||Run||intensity: L3 Threshold Intervals Warmup: mosey along for 10 minutes, then go 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, and 4x20sec accelerations, then 6x(7min L3 / 2min OFF) Keep it to L3 for no excess lactate||1:40|
|Wed||AM||RdB||L1 easy road riding||1:41|
* 10 min trail run
* 5 min jump rope
* Icky Shuffle Moving Backwards
* Switch Legs/Front Leg Whip Moving Sideways
* V2 Simulation with Stop Action
CORE (all 40 reps.):
* Front Plank on knees and hands, lift opposite arm and leg with 2 sec Stop Action
* Russian Twists with 15 lb weight
* Goblet Squat 20 reps w. 15 lb weight & Squat Jumps 10 reps no weight
* Front Lunge 20 reps w. 18 lb weight & Scissor Jumps 10 reps no weight
* Goblet Side Squat 20 reps w. 15 lb weight & V2 Simulation 10 reps no weight
UPPER BODY 3 sets:
* Pullups 8 reps
* Bench Dips 20 reps
* Pulldowns R then L 10 reps each arm
|Thu||AM||RSSK||intensity: VO2Max L4 intervals RS Warmup 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L4, 4 accels, then 4x(4min L4 / 4min OFF or recovery back down to starting point). On uphill. Nearly all V2. Start in the same spot each time and plan your intensity so that you gradually increase in pace and get past your marker each time. cool down 10-20 min easy. One coach said, "Once you've built a base of VO2max intervals, you can increase the number or duration of intervals to 5 x 4 min, then 5 x 5 minutes."||1:44|
|Fri||AM||Run||Trail Run w. hills then Roller Ski immediately afterward||1:05|
|PM||RSSK||roller ski with 10 min. each DP, single stick, and V2 only with focus on stability and technique||1:00|
|Sat||AM||RdB||overdistance: Road, gravel and then technical trails with turns and long grades. Keep it easy L1, but technical trail riding during last hour required some fartlek.||3:02|
|Sun||AM||RSCL||specific strength L5 intervals/ Speeds: Roller Skiing Specific Strength: Warmup 15Min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4x20sec accels then 4x(1min. ON/2min.OFF) per 3 techniques: Single Stick, Short Stroke Double Poling, Full Double Poling; Cooldown L1. These intervals are on steep uphill grade that presents difficulty for these techniques||1:10|
|PM||WT RM||strength: same as Wed. above, except the pulldowns, since I did those in my intensity workout earlier today||0:41|
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 versatile tool that I really like for my weight training workouts is neoprene hand weights like these. The neoprene cover makes them easy to grip, and all the different weights allow for changing resistance as the training year progresses.
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: Kneissel Rendezvous Marathon, President's Cup Marathon, Ridge to River Iron Woman, and Muskoka Loppet
- Three-Time First Woman and First Mixed Team wins at Ski to Sea and Ridge to River relay races
- Second Woman at the Gatineau 25K Classic, Superior Ski Classic Marathon, Grand Marnier Cup Marathon, Yellowstone Rendezvous 25K and Pepsi Challenge 10K
- Third Woman at Payette Lakes Ski Marathon
- *U.S Nationals 26th of 41 Women All Age Classes in 20K Freestyle
- *U.S. Nationals 32nd Overall of 86 Women All Age Classes (3rd in Class F30-39) 25K Freestyle at Royal Gorge
- *U.S. Nationals 51st Woman All Age Classes 15K Classic at Lake Placid
- *U.S. Nationals (Masters-only race: ages 30 and up) 2nd Woman Overall (First in Class F 30-34) in 20K Classic at Royal Gorge .
- U.S. Masters Ski Association Nationals (30 and up) First Woman Overall 25K Freestyle race
- U.S. Masters Ski Association Nationals (30 and up) 6th Woman Overall in both the 10K and 20K Freestyle races
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. She won Top Gun at the Washington State Biathlon Championships, out scoring all men and women. After moving to Marquette, Michigan she found that her two Birkebeiner finishes were also something to be proud of. These were 22nd and 29th Woman Overall (5th F35-39 both years). Currently Mary Kay is a member of Ishpeming Ski Club and frequent competitor in cross country ski races.