TrainingPart 4 – Two Birds With One Stone

FasterSkierMay 27, 2004

Technical training combined with physical conditioning in cross country skiing

Technique and fitness go together

Interval 1: Skate without poles from flat into steep terrain — “Keep the wheel spinning” — the ski glides on during the push-off.
Interval 2: Same as 1 and with an additional rhythmic task to enhance the difficulty: Alternate two easy push-offs (two short gliding phases) with one powerful push-off (long gliding phase)…
Interval 3: Same as 1 and with additional weight (e.g. 10 kg free weight) held closely to your chest. Keep your upper body upright.
Interval 4: Same as 2 and with additional weight
Interval 5: Same as 4 and in tandem with a partner in synchronized movements (variation: in tandem asynchronous)

Terrain and workload:
Terrain: the transition should go from flat to uphill with constantly increasing steepness; length of about 100 to 150 meters.
Repetitions per Interval: ~ 60 cycles
Number of intervals: ~5 (the combination of intervals can be varied, e.g. 2 x I 1, 2 x I 2, 2 x I 3… controlled increase of difficulty is recommended)
Break between intervals: ~ 3 to 4 min. of relaxed skating (reduce lactate)

Model B — Improving pole-stroke endurance combined with coordinative tasks:

Pole-stroke exercises with elevated resistance have long been practiced in cross country skiing. To combine this method with coordinative elements, however, increases the effect of the training session, is more fun, and a greater challenge for the skier, all of which lead to high quality training. If the polestroke is combined with gliding on one leg (put off or lift one ski), you can even kill three birds with one stone:

1 Working on endurance strength for the pole-stroke – 2 developing the muscles for the stabilization of hip and torso and — 3 improving the balance skills specific to cross country skiing

Single-pole twice on the outside for each leg push-off (push-off left — pole — pole — push-off right — pole — pole – …)


Shift your weight completely over the ski and on your pole.
Stabilize your hip and shoulder.


Initiate the weight shift to the other side (drop to push-off position) during the second polestroke.
Complete the second pole-stroke and initiate push-off and weight shift (edge your ski) after completion.
Practice in easy terrain first.
Tip your pole instead of a full pole-stroke.
Vary your V-angle (the angle between your skis)

Terrain and workload: Terrain: medium steepness (practice coordination in flat terrain first!); length about 100 to 150 meters
Repetitions per interval: ~ 60 cycles
Number of intervals: ~ 5 to 6; practice with different variations
Break between intervals: ~ 3 to 4 min. of relaxed skating (reduce lactate)

Model D — Endurance loop combined with coordinative tasks and specific strength elements:

According to the motto — no endurance or strength training without technical training — a 3 to 4 kilometer loop should be run on and coordinative tasks are performed on appropriate parts of the loop. The additional exercises pose high demands on specific muscular endurance thereby developing endurance strength to a higher level. Movement tasks presented in models A to C and others can be integrated so that endurance and strength work turn into challenging and joyful movements. Skate 2 to 3 loops with varying movement tasks. The speed in between the 4 intervals should be on the level of slow endurance work to allow for appropriate recovery. Continue on right side…

The authors:

Dr. Stefan Lindinger: Sports scientist at the Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg / Austria with the main fields advanced biomechanics / kinesiology / science of training in cross-country skiing; special focus on new methods in technical training; state-certified cross-country skiing coach; responsible in trainers’ education in Austria; technique analysis projects with the Norwegian Ski Association 1997-1999 (Coaches: Ulf Morten Aune (now sprint coach); Erik R?ste (this time’s chief coach)) for Ph.D.; cooperation (teaching in trainers’ education, training projects, research) with the ski associations of Sweden and Switzerland since 2002 and 1999, respectively.

Dr. Walter Minatti: Director of Cross Country Skiing at STAMS Skiing High School / Tyrol / Austria; Sports scientist and psychologist; main responsible for trainers’ education in Austria. Both published the CD-Rom `Perfect Skating

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