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My Cross Country Ski Training
Winter Training
Week 29 (Snow!)

cross country skiing

This series shares my cross country ski training activities, and this is Week 29 of my training year, which started last May. What a fun week, with lots of new cold snow to ski on!

cross country skiing

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. As for the other photos, it's Time to Celebrate! Goody Goody! First Time out on the snow this year! Wearing orange for deer hunting season.

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 29...

Week 29 AM/PM Mode Workouts: Goal hrs~13:30 This week: 2 intensity workouts, 2 strength, as much easy skiing on-snow as possible Hours
Mon AM

Tue AM SCL Ski! Trails are rolled and nice! Yellow 32deg wax and VR50 with 45 over it 1:56


Wed AM SSK intensity: VO2Max L4 intervals Warmup extra 30 min of L1 skating and double poling before starting with usual warmup of 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4 accels, then then 4x1min.ON/2min.OFF) per 3 techniques: Single Stick, Short Stroke Double Poling, Full Double Poling; Cooldown L1 These intervals are usually done from 45 sec. - 1 min. on steep uphill grade that presents difficulty for these techniques. Go farther ea. time. 1:41

PM WT RM strength: core and lower body
WARMUP 15min cycling with varied RPM every 3 cycles, then 4, then 10, then 20 cycles
CORE - 1min ON/30sec OFF 3 sets:
* Front Plank
* Right then Left Planks with 10lb hand weight raises, cycle through 3reps w. 10 lb / 3reps w. 0 lb
* L plank as above
* Russian Twists with 15lb weight
LEGS - 1min ON/30sec OFF 2 sets:
* Right then Left Step Ups with 25lb hand weights, rising opposite knee in front
* Right then Left Pull Up front knee to 45degrees with blue resistance band on forefeet
* Right then Left Lateral Leg Lifts, Standing, with blue band on ankles
* Goblet Squats with 15lb weight and blue band above knees
Thu AM Run Ez-L1 light running down to the lake then run up the hill 0:33

PM SCL L1 classic ski new snow 30degF skiied-in tracks and some rolled but not tracked 1:36
Fri AM Run Ez-L1 light running down to the lake then run up the hill 0:33

PM SCL L1 classic ski new snow 30degF skiied-in tracks and some rolled but not tracked 1:50
Sat AM SCL intensity Threshold L3 Intervals Classic skiing, since I have been doing mostly classic this week. Usual race warmup: 5 minEZ, 15min L1, 3min L2, 3min L3, 4 accels, then 3x(10minL3/5minOFF) cooldown EZ-L1. 1:40

PM WT RM strength:
WARMUP 10min cycling with 5min ez then fast/less fast RPM every 30 cycles
CORE - 1min ON/30sec, OFF 2 sets:
* Front Plank
* Right then Left Planks with 10lb hand weight raises, cycle through 3reps w. 10 lb / 3reps w. 0 lb
* L plank as above
* Russian Twists with 15lb weight
* Leg Flutter
* Sit Ups rising to arms and body vertical
UPPER BODY - 3 sets:
* Pullups 8 reps
* Bench Dips 15 reps
Then 15 reps of each exercise, 2 sets:
* Tricep pulldowns on weight machine waist to thigh level
* R then L arm pulldowns high to waist
* Dips on dip bar
Sun AM SCL overdistance classic skiing with focus on technique and good weight transfer (Overdistance duration is usually 125 percent the time it takes to finish one's longest race.) 2:38


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 resistance bands...

This week I changed up the strength workout, to include more use of resistance bands. My coach recommended that I get a set of the Perform Better Mini Bands, and these have been good for doing a workout anywhere, in my case at home, since I am not a big fan of going to the gym. Using mini bands allows me to add some difficulty to strength training, and the bands allow for training quickness as well as providing resistance. The bands also work great when the weather is too inclement to enjoy doing strength training outside. Here are some Amazon shopping links to explore mini bands...

shop resistance bands for strength

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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