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My Cross Country Ski Training
Week 52
Looking Forward

cross country ski training accomplished

This series shares my cross country ski training and racing, and this is Week 52 of my training and racing year, which started last May. During the last two weeks of the training year, it's time to look forward to next year's training and racing.

cross country ski trail maintenance

First, about this week's images. Since Week 52 is the final week of the training year, and it's a week OFF without any structured training, this is a great time to fit in some other activities, such as Revenge! And that is what I did. Our post Vendetta Accomplished speaks for itself! After chopping up the root that sent me crashing on my bike, which trashed my shoulder last spring, I am now looking forward to happy trail riding without that slimy root lurking in my path! As for the top-of-page header image, that's me racing in a raging snowstorm during the Yellowstone Rendezvous cross country ski marathon.

More Looking Forward: Did I Do Good or What?

During this last week before training starts up again, I like to take a little look back at my cross country ski training and racing year, and also look forward to the coming year.

Was this a textbook performance of a training year? The answer to that question is always dependent on personal preference. As far as assessing my time allocation, I faithfully followed the training plan pretty close to what coaches recommend. That's probably because I really like the flow of the recommended training volumes and intensities, which make for a lot of variety that keeps training and racing interesting.

Was it fun? Yes!

Did I reach my goals? At the start of this year, I wanted to make sure to keep up with some running during the winter, and am happy to see that the percentage of time spent on running has been enough to get a good start on running season, which comes up fast after cross country skin season. I also wanted to keep doing some weight bearing exercise on my feet, rather than all sliding on snow or cycling, and am glad to be able to look back and see that I did that. (For my blog post that tallies up last year's training, just use the navigation links below to go to last week's post for Week 51.)

Now that I look back, I would have liked to have done more classic ski racing and classic skiing. In prior years my races were split about 50/50 classic and skating. So, next year I'll plan a more equal racing and training schedule.

Looking Forward

Even though I skated a lot more than classic skiing this year, the focus on so much skating really panned out! It allowed me to improve my skating technique immensely! Therefore, I am excited for next year, since my skating style discoveries and improvements all came together at the very end of this race season. Now that's something great to look forward to!

As far as the training plan, I'll keep it to 500 hours per year. During fall, I could add more roller skiing on steep uphills, and more running during the summer. Also, I will explore a 6-week series of hypertrophy building weight lifting, just to see what happens with the added weight workouts.

It's Been Fun and Thanks!

It's been fun to create this blog and share a full year of cross country ski training with you. Thanks for following, and best wishes as you pursue your own cross country ski adventures!

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 52:

Week 52 AM/PM Mode Workouts description: Goal hrs. 0 Spring Recovery all easy-to-L1. My coach's instructions: "It is really important to let your body REST after an entire year of training! Please really consider taking these two weeks completely OFF to let your body recuperate. If you have to get out, go for walks/hikes. This is also a great time to practice self recovery by stretching/yoga and deep tissue work with foam rollers, lacrosse balls etc." Therefore, I am taking that advice and doing my physical therapy exercises on a daily basis. Also, I will be doing hiking, super easy running and easy cycling, but for only easy outings of about an hour at a time. Hours
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.)

Amazing recovery sandals...

In my quest for recovery from last summer's bout of plantar fasciitis, and desire to prevent it from now on, I discovered the magic of OOFOS recovery sandals. Thanks to a friend who told me he had been getting great relief from wearing his "squishy sandals" that he got at the local running store, I tried out a pair, and can now report that OOFOS recovery sandals have truly given me relief from sore feet after running! You can also find a variety of similar recovery sandals on Amazon. But, my fav. OOFOS are the slides, since I can pop these on and off easily, and now I wear my OOFOS all the time at home.

OOFOS sandals

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.


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