January 17 – 30/20/15 Km free technique
The longest race of the week. Make sure that your nutrition and fluid intake is good the day before and at breakfast on race day. Don’t stuff yourself the day before so you can’t sleep, but eat well-balanced meals. If you have time to ski the racecourse the day before the race, do so, but go easy. Stretch a little extra in the evening to loosen up any travel related kinks.
Give yourself enough time before start, but don’t show up too early – 1:30 hours should be plenty. Walking around 2 – 3 hours before start will just burn up some of your energy. Eat something easily digestible, like a banana, 30 minutes before start. Also drink water or a weak (weak mix) energy drink 15 minutes before start in order to replace the fluid you have lost during ski testing and warm-up.
Don’t bring 10 pairs of skis to test on race day (test your skis the day before). Two (or even one) pairs are usually enough to choose from. Make a decision 30 minutes before start which pair to use.
Break a sweat during your 20 – 30 minute warm-up, and do 2 – 3 short accelerations (30 sec) to get your blood flowing.
This is your longest race – don’t start like it’s a sprint – it’s not. Relax, hold back and let the race come to you. You have plenty of time to use your energy – don’t use it all the first 2-3 k’s!
January 18 – Sprint Relay
Three skiers on each team – lots of fun. Remember that you are each going to ski three times one (1) km. Don’t go as hard as you can the first loop. You will not recover fast enough to enjoy the second and third time if you do. Here the warm-up is more critical. You need to do 2 – 3 longer accelerations (about 1 minute) at race pace during the last part of your warm-up (finish about 10 minutes before start).
Practice tagging with your teammates before start. You can loose lots of time if you’re not already moving when your teammate taps you on your back (proper tagging includes body to body – arm, back, legs etc, but not pole to pole).
January 20 – Duathlon 5 k classical technique followed by 7.5 k free technique
Practice switching from classic skis and poles to skate skis and skate poles the day before. It sounds easy but you can easily loose 30 seconds without a plan for this. If you do not have combi race-boots, decide what boots you prefer doing the whole race in – you loose more time changing boots than you loose by for example classic skiing in skate boots.
Decide first (and fast) which skate skis to use (if you come with more than one pair), and then get going on waxing you classic skis immediately upon arrival at the stadium. Time flies, and dealing with two types of skis takes longer time than you think – be organized.
Ski hard in the classic race but remember that you are not done after classic – you now have to skate. In other words, hold back a little!