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My Cross Country Ski Training
Fall Training
Week 25 (Mid October)

XC Ski Training

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is Week 25 of my training year, which started last May. Now, it's Mid October and this is another intense week that includes over 12 hours of training and 3 intensity sessions. That's just about one intensity session every-other-day, and the reason for all these intense workouts is that ski racing season is just around the corner. This pattern of 3 intensity sessions per week will go on for just 2 more weeks, this week and the next week. Since my plan goes according to the recommendations of cross country ski coaches of U.S. Ski Association (U.S. Ski and Snowboard), I am hoping to feel spunky enough to complete all the workouts. It's a super fun experiment to see how this training plan will pan out when the racing starts this winter.

Since the weather has been growing increasingly inclement, it looks as if I may get my wish for an early snow season! We have already had our first snowstorm! White flakes and colorful leaves have been flying all around us, as we train for the upcoming ski season.

Fall XC Ski Training

About the images: At the top of the page, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm during the Yellowstone Rendezvous cross country ski marathon. And above, let's hear it for cross country ski training! Tom and I are ready for some intense but fun hill bounding amidst the beauty of the fall leaves!

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 25...


Week 25 AM/PM Mode Workouts description: Goal hrs. 12:45 12:20 This week: Med. volume, 3 intensity workouts, 2 strength, 2 roller skiing/moose hoofing Hours
Mon AM
OFF

PM
OFF
Tue AM Other L1 easy recovery day: Hiking in a Snowstorm 1:30

PM


Wed AM Run intensity: VO2Max L4 intervals on super steep dirt road to require power. Usual warmup Trail Running 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4 accels, then 4x(4min L4 / 4min OFF or recovery back down to starting point). On uphill. 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. Active cooldown until you reach 1:50. 1:50

PM WT RM strength: do all exercises quickly as can go
WARMUP:
* 10 min cycling
* 5 min jump rope
CORE
* Fly up pushups/pushoffs 20 reps
* Russian Twists with 15 lb. 40 reps
UPPER BODY
* Bench Dips 3x 20 reps
* Pullups 3x8 reps
* Pulldowns One-Arm R then L 20 per arm
* Pulldowns 2-Arms low chest to thighs 20 reps
* Dips on Dip Bar
LOWER BODY 20 reps
* Double Leg Box Jumps
* Single Leg Box Jumps
* Tuck Jumps
* Telemark Jumps
0:45
Thu AM RSSK easy recovery day: Roller Skiing and Bicycling Today: Roller Ski and periodically do V2 Progression Drill: 4 Double Poling, 4 light V2 with no pressure leg pushing but just transferring weight and getting legs back together into DP center position, then 4 full V2 complete with leg swing and full leg pressure, then start over and do this progression over and over once in awhile. Focus on making yur V2 poling just like DP poling, and getting your legs centered back under you instead of wide-stance straddling. 0:47

PM RdB Cycling L1 gravel easy. 1:13
Fri AM RSCL intensity VO2Max L5 intervals/speeds: Roller Skiing Specific Strength: Warmup on IOHT R.S. 15Min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4x20sec accels, then 4x(45sec.ON/1:15sec.OFF) per 3 techniques: Single Stick, Short Stroke Double Poling, Full Double Poling; Cooldown R.S. & walking L1 These intervals are on steep uphill grade that presents difficulty for these techniques. Active cooldown 1:20

PM WT RM strength: do all exercises quickly as can go
WARMUP:
* 10 min trail running
* 5 min jump rope
CORE
* Side Planks R then L with 10 lb weight 20 reps each side
* Russian Twists with 15 lb. 40 reps
LOWER BODY 20 reps
* Double Leg Box Jumps
* Single Leg Box Jumps
* Telemark Jumps
UPPER BODY
* Bench Dips 3x 20 reps
* Pullups 3x8 reps
* Pulldowns One-Arm R then L 2x15 reps each arm
* Pulldowns 2-Arms low (waist to thighs) 2x15 reps
* Dips on Dip Bar 2x5 full dips from 45deg arm angle
0:47
Sat AM RdB overdistance: easy Gravel ride cycling 2:18

PM


Sun AM RSSK intensity: L3 Threshold Pace: Double Poling Steep Uphill Grade Usual Warmup durations doing Moose Hoofing and Running 10min mosey nearly L1, 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4x20sec accels; then all DP 3x(10minON L3/5minOFF L1); then; Active Cooldown until 1:45 1:45

PM

Week Summary

12:15

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.)


Shopping for ski and boot bags...

Since the snow is starting to fly, I am shopping for ski and boot bags by High Sierra, Athletico and other makers. Perhaps you will find something you like at these Amazon shopping links...


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.


View more of my training log...

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