Boulder, CO — Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) is excited to welcome former Super Tour champion, David Chamberlain, to its staff. Chamberlain recently signed on as Race Service Director for BNS after moving to Boulder from Maine where he was coaching the Junior Development Team at the Maine Winter Sports Center.
A Maine native, Chamberlain skied for Bates College from 1994-1998, earning All-American honors twice during his collegiate career. After college, David continued to race, skiing for the Subaru Factory Team and Fischer. During his professional career, he represented the United States at three World Championships and won the overall Super Tour twice.
If you’re a fan of World Cup biathlon, you have most likely seen David’s wife, BethAnn. Chamberlain married the Minnesotan back in 2006, but due to major international skiing competition, they just finally had their honeymoon this year. Keep an eye out for BethAnn on the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) website www.biathalonworld.com and check out her blog at http://bambambiathlon.blogspot.com/view/classic.
David will be heading up the Race Service Department at BNS headquarters in Boulder this fall and will be hitting the road with the BNS Mobile trailer for the race season. He will also be contributing some thoughts on training and technique through the new feature “Chambo Chat” in BNS e-mail newsletters. See below for the first edition of Chambo Chat.
Chambo Chat—Specific Strength Ideas and the Transition to Snow
For cross country skiers, the majority of preparation time before the season is unfortunately done off the snow and using modes of training that do not exactly mirror the technique and motions used on snow. As a result, the transition to snow in the late fall/early winter often can be slow and awkward. Specific-strength workouts target the muscles and motions we use in skiing techniques and can be a great way to make this transition as smooth as possible. As an athlete training for my winter season, I would use specific-strength workouts on a weekly basis throughout the summer and fall.
The best specific strength workouts are those carried out on rollerskis for varying lengths and duration.
Double-pole workouts work very well for upper body and core strength. It is important to choose terrain that has rolling terrain with grades steep enough to stress the body but not so steep as to compromise technique. This will allow for maintaining concentration on keeping the hips up and forward as well as keeping the head and neck relaxed. These workouts can be continuous and carried out for up to an hour.
Single-stick workouts are also very good training for poling muscles. For these workouts, use slight uphills and keep the core stable and engaged. As for skating, technique and muscle strength can also be enhanced by using no-pole workouts, both V1 and V2.
Whatever the specific-strength rollerski workout, keep your pole tips sharp and rollerskis clean and in good condition. Rollerski ferrules are well worth the extra cost as they are made from a harder material than regular ski pole tips and stand up much better against hard pavement. A helmet is also a must when rollerskiing.
As we make the transition to snow, it can be helpful to spend a few workouts in the first weeks on snow doing some no pole work. As an elite athlete I would spend a little time each day at my first on-snow training camp skiing both classic and skate without poles. This gave me time to focus on correct body position and balance without relying on the advantage of poles.
As a last thought, specific-strength workouts can be a great diversion on a long workout in the winter, a chance to break up the kilometers of a long distance ski. On-snow specific-strength workouts can be done in the same way as rollerski workouts, and are a good way to keep the body tuned and ready for whatever the next event might be.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.