cross country ski training page 1
You are here: Home Page > Activities > Skiing > XC Ski Training > Week 45

My Cross Country Ski Training
Week 45
Final Race of the Season

cross country ski racer

This series shares my cross country ski training and racing, and this is Week 45 of my training and racing year, which started last May. This week features my final race of this season.

cross country ski racers

First, about this week's images. That's me in my final race of the season, and also celebrating afterwards with fellow racer friends. As for the top-of-page header image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm during the Yellowstone Rendezvous cross country ski marathon.

cross country ski race awards

My Final Race of the Season

Approaching the final race with a bit of trepidation, hoping to have an exciting experience even though my physical therapy has been super uncomfortable (even though my instructions have been not to do anything to the point of pain). So, I went off to the race, and how did it work out? Good!

What did I do best in my last race of the season? I was happy with my racing on the hills.

What could I do better next time? I think that improved technique on the flat terrain could yield faster speed. Therefore, improving my skating on gradual terrain is something to explore when training for next year's race 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. When all weekly posts are complete, this blog shows an entire training year, based on US Ski Association and professional coaching plans for middle distance cross country ski racers. It's the kind of detailed information I wish I had early on in my ski racing. So enjoy! You can view more of my training log by clicking on one of the navigation links below.

So let's check out Week 45...

Week 45 AM/PM Mode Workouts description: Goal 6 hrs. Final Race of the Season: Taper & enjoy it! Only one intensity this week (the race) and no strength workout. OFF on Mon. and 2 days prior to the race. Hours
Mon AM WT RM OFF - Physical therapy exercises and hamstring stretching strengthening rehab routine 2x/day (15 min) and every-morning balancing and strength routine (10 min.) and weight bearing hike. 0:30

Tue AM WT RM Physical therapy exercises and hamstring stretching strengthening rehab routine 2x/day (15 min) 0:15

PM Run Light and easy run down to the lake and along the lakeshore. 10 min. warmup hike then 35 min. running L1 0:45
Wed AM SSK Choose really flat terrain and do a lot of double poling. Use that upper body to give your legs more rest for the upcoming race. 0:45

PM WT RM Physical therapy exercises and hamstring stretching strengthening rehab routine 2x/day (15 min) 0:15
Thu AM
OFF - Physical therapy exercises and hamstring stretching strengthening rehab routine 2x/day (15 min) then took an easy walk for an hour. My physical therapist added the following exercises to my routine. (To see the other exercises I am doing, use the navigation links below to go to last week's log for Week #44)...

cross country skier exercises for piriformis and lumbar

Fri AM SSK Pre-race day. Skate ski course easy w. 4-6 10-20sec. accelerations 0:45


Sat AM SSK 25K Skate Race: Usual warmup 15min.L1, 3min.L2, 3min.L3, 4x20sec.accels. 2:45


Sun AM WT RM Physical therapy exercises focusing on hamstring, upper torso, piriformis and gluteus minimi stretching strengthening rehab routine 2x/day (15 min). An easy walk is part of this rehab plan, and also important for keeping up with weight bearing exercise. Below is the upper torso exercise I am doing...

cross country skier exercises for upper torso rotation

PM SCL Easy recovery classic skiing in new cold fluffy snow. 1:00
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 links: heat pads

My doctor mentioned that getting rid of the soreness from proximal hamstring tendinopathy requires some heat to increase blood flow to the area, which is at the top of the hamstrings. So, I decided to find a heat pad to sit on. However, I found that many heat pads warn against sitting on them, because of overheating risk. After purchasing a heat pad that is rated for sitting on, I want to share that the heating pad that I really like is Kingleting Heated Seat Cushion. This heated seat cushion includes a controller that allows me to choose the temperature and set a shut-off timer. It also has plug-ins for the cigarette lighter in our vehicles, as well as wall outlets in our house. Kingleting makes a variety of heated seat cushions.

shop heat pads you can sit on

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...

< previous
Go to Week
> next