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My Cross Country Ski Training
Fall Training
Week 28 (Think Snow!)

fall training

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is Week 28 of my training year, which started last May. It's the second week of November. This week, it snowed! Finally! After starting the week with lots of cold rain and blowing wind hypothermia weather, that sort of took the fun out of training for me. But, the forecast promised snow, so I kept the faith and persevered with not-so-dry dryland training.

After taking advantage of the low volume week last week, I started out refreshed mentally and physically, and my sorta-sore feet were glad to be finished with several weeks of 3 intensity sessions and 2 plyometric sessions per week. Instead, the number of intensity sessions has dropped to 2. Also, this week's L4 VO2Max session was a nice light pyramid. See my log below for that workout and all the others

fall 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. In the other photos, I am taking a break from the roller board to show my love for Pickles.

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 28...

Week 28 AM/PM
Workouts description: Goal hrs.~12:45 This week: 2 intensity workouts, 2 strength Hours
Mon AM Run Ran twice today: Warmup 10min then run uphill from the lake (AM), Then prior to Roller Skiing Run 30min (PM) 1:00

PM RSSK Roller Ski with lots of Double Poling and 8x20sec accels 1:19
Tue AM Run Warmup 10min EZ then run uphill from the lake 0:30

PM RdB L1 road and gravel cycling 2:05
Wed AM Run intensity: VO2Max L4 intervals on steep uphill dirt road pyramid 1-2-3-3-2-1minON w.rests1-1-3-3-2-1minOFFs(L1) after usual race warmup: 10min EZ-L1, 15minL1, 3minL2, 3minL3, 4x20sec accelerations 1:18

PM WT RM strength: do all exercises quickly as can go
* 10 min cycling
CORE 2 sets of 1 min ON/ 30 sec OFF
* Front Plank
* Side Planks R then L (with 10 lb weight)
* Russian Twists with 15 lb weight
* Side Leg Lifts with Resistance Band
* Bench Dips 20 reps
* Pullups 8 reps
Then 2 sets x 20 reps
* Pulldowns both arms, R then L
* Dips on Dip Bar (10 then 15)
* Inverted Row
* Mountain Climbers with Resistance Band
Thu AM Other Hiking the cross country ski trails 2:15


Fri AM RSSK L1 Roller Skiing 0:58


Sat AM
OFF - snowstorm today - yippee!


Sun AM SW/SS intensity Threshold L3 Intervals Running on Soft Lightly Packed 5-6” of snow. Snowy all day. Usual race warmup: Running 5 minEZ, 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4 accels, then 3x(10minL3/5minOFF) cooldown EZ-L1. 1:20

PM WT RM strength: core and upper body
* 15 min cycling
CORE 2 sets of 1 min ON/ 30 sec OFF:
* Front Plank
* Side Planks R then L (with 10 lb weight)
* Russian Twists with 15 lb weight
* Push Off Fly Up Pushups
UPPER BODY 3 sets:
* Bench Dips 15 reps
* Pullups 8 reps twice
Then 4 reps of hands-toward-me pullups
Then 3 sets x 15 reps:
* Pulldowns R then L high-to-waist
* Pulldowns Both Arms low-to-thighs with more weight
* Dips on Dip Bar
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.)

Shopping for cross country ski gloves...

"There is no penalty for warm hands," is what I always told student athletes when I was helping out with coaching at our local ski club. My favorite ski gloves for roller skiing and snow are by Toko. This fall, after noticing that Tom's hands were cold for many hours after roller skiing, I noticed that he had been wearing his work gloves instead of Toko's, which are made specifically for cross country skiing and roller skiing especially when the weather gets snotty in the fall. So, I went online, and now he has a complete set of Toko gloves of various thickness to suit any day. Guess what? Tom's hands are not cold now! And, Tom is way cool! Here are some Amazon shopping links...

shop cross country ski gloves

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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