OtherRacingSki Your Fastest Ever Long Race

FasterSkierFebruary 1, 2005

The Boulder Mountain Tour (ID), Tug Hill Tourathon (NY), City of Lakes (MN) Frisco Gold Rush (CO), Alley Loop (CO) are all long races coming up this weekend, February 5 and 6, while the American Birkie is February 26. Here are some advice and suggestions regarding what to do and what to avoid in order to having your fastest ever long race.


The Training:

These suggestions are meant to be a guideline. Make smart decisions and adjustments based upon how you feel and previous training background and experience:

You are out of time as far as being able to improving your endurance if your main race is coming up in 4-6 days, so you need to work on getting rested and feeling good. You can however still improve a great deal if your main race is for example the Birkie on February 26.

Still 3-4 weeks before the big race:

A high oxygen uptake is what will help you the most and it’s still time left to improve your MaxVO2 a great deal. Try to get in roughly three weekly “O2” sessions. Races counts as O2 sessions. I prefer shorter races in a build-up period since anything longer than 25-kilometer requires more recovery and makes it harder to be ready for frequent intervals session. The best interval type is 4-6 x 4-6 minutes at 90% of max heart rate (up to 95% if you are very experienced).

Don’t go too hard. Ski in control and feel that you could have skied one more minute without slowing down when you are done with each interval and that you could have added one more interval at the same pace when you are done. Harder intervals than this will wear you down instead of building you up. Don’t do intervals if you are sick or tired.

Feel good in two easy distance sessions before you do interval training after you have been sick. One weekly or bi-weekly 1.45 hour or longer easy distance session is a good for improving your “fat-burning” capacity.

Example week:

Saturday: race

Sunday: easy distance or off

Monday: intervals: 5 x 4 minutes

Tuesday: easy distance or off

Wednesday: off

Thursday: intervals: 4 x 6 minutes

Friday: off

Saturday Distance or off

Sunday: Race or intervals: 5 x 5 minutes

Last week before the main race: see above

Here is an article that we posted before last years Birkie: Preparing For The American Birkebeiner http://www.fasterskier.com/racing910.html

You might find some useful information here as well. We’ll post more updated Birkie stuff as we get closer to race time.

Torbjorn in front of the leading age-group pack in a local Utah race

The warm-up

Check this article by John Aalberg: Why warm up? – Improve your race performance by proper warm-up http://www.fasterskier.com/training810.html

Weather Forecast and Clothing:

Pay attention to the weather forecast. Protect all body part if it’s cold. Read last year’s article called:

Advice For Cold Weather Racing http://www.fasterskier.com/racing837.html

Don’t ski without good warm, protective clothing and protective sport underwear, good gloves and warm hat if it’s warm but raining or snowing. Not being dressed well when everything gets soaking wet can easily lead to hypothermia and A DNF (did not finish)


Make it simple. Every wax company has several good simple glide waxes that cover just about every temperature and snow type possible. Focus on those if you don’t have lots of waxing experience.

From our brand SOLDA Glide wax available from TorbjornSport http://www.torbjornsport.com/index.php those are:

Warm and/or warm or moist snow at any temperature: SOLDA PowerJet 1 or 2

Medium cold snow at medium to low humidity or moisture content: SOLDA UF7 Universal or F-15 Violet and PowerJet 4 http://www.torbjornsport.com/store/powerjet.html

Cold dry snow:

SOLDA F-15 Blue or S-30

http://www.torbjornsport.com/store/f15.html and http://www.torbjornsport.com/store/s20s30.html

Most expensive powder waxes from SOLDA: Warm Fluor and HPO5 Fluor

The Wax Maestro

Also check SOLDA and TorbjornSport's unique Wax Maestro for recommendations:


You can get the perfect wax suggestion in a few seconds for free.

www.weather.com or similar for the latest weather forecast and updates. Bring a few Cray-on waxes like PowerJets or spray-on glide waxes to the start area for quick and easy adjustment if necessary. Err toward waxing a little too cold rather than too warm. Don’t be afraid of adding structure/rills especially if it’s going to be warmer than 32 Fahrenheit.

Consider adding 2 mm linear rills if its old snow and 32-40 Fahrenheit and 3mm if it’s even warmer.

Consider adding 2 and 3mm rills if it very wet new snow and warmer than 32 Fahrenheit.

Staggered/cross rills can be added as well in combination with linear rills.

Call TorbjornSport at 435-645-8181 to order wax or log on to http://www.torbjornsport.com/index.php and order on-line. Next-day and 2-day air available.

Check www.torbjornsport.com for wax suggestions as well.

Some of last season’s marathon reports:

Boulder Mountain Tour: Highlights, The Day After and Wax Report http://www.fasterskier.com/racing889.html

Boulder Mountain Tour – pack skiing at its best http://www.fasterskier.com/racing888.html

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