Getting ready to race this season:
This is a critical time of year to do a high percentage of your workouts as specific training and to include weekly interval workouts in your training routine.
Specific training for cross country skiers means to train in ski terrain using ski motions involving both arm and leg muscles. Training speed and heart rates also need to meet the demands of what you find in ski racing.
It’s a fact that choosing ski similar terrain including rolling terrain and uphills is a must in order to develop a good oxygen uptake (O2) needed for ski racing. It’s also a must to do the training at different speeds to get good O2 benefits. Doing distance training at one speed of for example at 60-85% of max heart rate and interval training at 85-95% of max heart rate will develop a better O2 than what those skiers never reaching the interval zones will achieve.
I’m suggesting that you include two or more (one is a bare minimum) weekly interval sessions using an interval length from 3-7 minutes and 3-6 repetitions. The recovery time should roughly be 3 minutes.
4 x 4 minutes with three minutes recovery, 4-5 x 3-6 minutes with 3-4 minutes recovery.
The most common interval methods are:
Running or running with poles in uphills (also called moose-hoofs or bounding with poles). You get extra upper body and O2 benefits from using your poles in this interval session, but it’s easy to go too hard. Hold back and make sure that you really use your arms as in diagonal skiing by moving your elbow and hands past your hip. Your heart rates will typically be plenty high enough even when you are holding back. You’ll learn that 4-minutes can be very long (!) and pacing yourself is important. A milestone is reached when you can do 4 x 4 minutes of these without slowing down or blowing up.
Skating on rollerskis in uphills using a mix of V2, V2 alternate and V1.
I’ll discuss proper interval pacing in an upcoming article.
Note: Check out our personal coaching service if you are looking for specific and detailed training suggestions involving, distance, intervals, speed and strength training: