Skorstad’s New Profession: Marathon Skier

FasterSkierJuly 30, 2004

Havard Skorstad (31), Norway has found new challenges in his skiing career. He is now focusing 100% on the FIS Marathon Cup.

Havard has for a long time been a very promising cross country skier. He captured a medal at the Norwegian nationals already in 1998. He has however struggled the last few years reaching the results he hat set. Havard has now said goodbye to competing in regular races. He is no longer trying to make the national team and race World Cup races. His target is now the FIS Marathon Cup. His goal is not the overall Cup, but the classic races like Marcialonga and Vasaloppet. These races are on his mind when he is double poling kilometer after kilometer on rollerskis during the build-up period for the upcoming ski season. It’s double poling that counts. It’s not good enough being good at double poling, you have to be exceptional at double poling for hours.

Isn’t it boring to double pole all the time?

 – No, it’s not boring. We work on technique and are focusing on strength training. We have a system for developing max strength, which I believe will improve my double poling. Speed is also an important factor for us, says Havard.
Long workouts are key elements in the training for the marathon skiers, but speed is very important for success.

– It’s not fun to be a part of the lead pack for the entire race and up in 10th place because you are not fast enough. This is my big challenge, to be able to accelerate, create a gap and sprint at the end of the race. I hope to join Jens Arne Svartedal for some speed workouts this summer and fall.

 It’s not enough for the marathon skiers to be good at sprinting when they are rested. The races are decided after three — four hours
– I have changed my training toward longer workouts. I’m frequently doing one long daily workout instead of two short ones.

It’s mostly about classic training. Not much energy is used on skating.

– I have done one skate rollerski session this summer. It will probably be more during the fall since I’m planning on doing the skate races in the Marathon Cup as well.

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