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My Cross Country Ski Training
Week 50
The Finish

cross country skier

This series shares my cross country ski training and racing, and this is Week 50 of my training and racing year, which started last May. It's the last week of the training year, and that means my training is now complete! The finish! The grand finale! A happy ending of this chapter for me.

cross country skiers

First, about this week's images. Since we are supposed to be taking a break from training, Tom and I look for ways to keep in contact with other racers. So, we volunteered to sweep the course for a local 5K running race! That's us picking up the final signage at the finish line. I also took photos of the racers, many of whom entered the costume contest. The racers were great fun, and you can enjoy their antics by viewing my photos of the Angry Bear 5K. As for the top-of-page header image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm during the Yellowstone Rendezvous cross country ski marathon.

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 50...

Week 50 AM/PM Mode Workouts description: Goal hrs. 7:15 hrs. Easy Base - Week 46-50 goal is to RECOVER and then SKI OUT THE SNOW. I am going to follow my coach's advice, "Just get out there and continue to ski if it is available! All exercise is L1 unless noted! Enjoy the outdoors! Ski if it is available and transition into other sports/mode of exercise when you feel you would like to! This time is for enjoying training and just doing what is possible with the weather!"

This week's plan in a nutshell:
1. two easy running workouts, increasing the min. of running each time,
3. an easy bike ride,
4. every morning: stretching exercises from my physical therapist (~30min followed by walking 15min to 30min),
5. two strength workouts, per my PT plan.
Mon AM
OFF - Physical Therapy (PT) exercises, including a short walk afterwards. Done every day this week. You can view my PT exercises on Weeks 44, 45 and 47, where I posted images of the exercises. Just use one of the navigation links below.

Tue AM Run Run/Walk Toggle. Gradually increasing the duration of running: 10min walk, 20min run, 5 min walk, 30 min run, 5 min. walk, 20 min. run then walk back up the hill to home. Done on hard surface asphalt & soft dirt grass edge of bike path. This totalled to 1:10 of running & :20 of walking. 1:30

PM WT RM Strength/Core A selection of my physical therapy strengthening exercises with Child's Pose stretch/relaxation between exercises:
1. Sit Stand and Thrust with band above knees 3 x 10 reps
2. Clamshells with band 3 x 10 reps
3. Hamstring Bridge on Chair raising a leg 10 reps per leg
4. Hip Flexor Stretches
5. Bridge w. Hamstring Curl on Swill Ball 2 x 10 reps per leg
6. Spine Flex. from hands & knee leg lift w. 7 x 3” raises
7. Superman 3 reps
8. Ab. Press Up 5 reps.
Wed AM RdB First bike ride of Spring! Felt good! 1:00


Thu AM Run Run/Walk Toggle. 10min walk, 20min run, 10 min walk, 20 min run. Easy road running mostly hard surface asphalt. 1:00

PM WT RM Strength/Core A selection of my physical therapy strengthening exercises:
1. B-Skip with Band 3 x 10 reps per leg. View this exercise on the video site of Jessica Yeaton, PT and cross country ski Olympian.
2.Hamstring Curls with band 3 x 10 reps per leg
3. Clamshells with band 3 x 10 reps per leg
4. Hip Flexor Stretches
5. Nordic Hamstring Curl With Swiss ball 5 reps
6. Nordic Hamstring Curl With Ab Wheel 2 x 5 reps
7. Side Walking Squats w. band (3 right & 3 left) x 5 reps
8. Supermans from prone 3 reps
Fri AM Run Super easy Run-Up the hill to home after walking down to the lake (done directly after morning PT stretches). 0:15

PM RdB Cycling Keep focus on hammy top crunches. 1:00
Sat AM Run Super easy Run-Up the hill to home after walking down to the lake (done directly after morning PT stretches). 0:15

PM Other Course sweep for running race. I don't think I have ever done so much fast walking in a stretch. A fun event. 1:00
Sun AM Run Run/Walk Toggle. 10min walk, 20min run, 5 min walk, 30 min run. Easy road running. 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.)

Show your love for cross country skiing...

Already missing on-snow cross country skiing? Me too! "I'd rather be skiing" is for sure! Wearing my favorite cross country t-shirt helps to get me through the long summer's wait. I have found many really fun t-shirts for skiers on Amazon.

cross country ski t-shirts

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...

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