HomeCategory Nordic Nation

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As far as teams go on the cross-country World Cup, Great Britain arrives at the show with perhaps the smallest team roster and staff. Somehow, they often roar when considering the results. We know British Nordic from the sharp end skiing of Andrew Musgrave, and sprinters Andrew Young and James Clugnet.  Like all teams on the circuit, the human capital behind the Lycra-clad skiers make the travel, training, and race grind happen. In this episode...

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  If you have the good fortune to spend time in the Gunnison Valley of Colorado, perhaps on Crested Butte Nordic’s extensive trail system, exploring the Elk Mountain backcountry on mountain bike or skis, or taking laps on Mount Crested Butte, you may cross paths with a friendly red-haired resident who is likely moving faster and breathing easier than you are. Known locally as an aerobic machine, 25-year-old Cam Smith embraces all mountain sports as training...

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This podcast is part of a series on female athlete specific physiology and sports nutrition. With the help of experts and novel research in this area, this series unpacks how the menstrual cycle might influence training adaptations and provides female athletes and coaches with the information to help optimize fueling and training schedules accordingly. You can find a primer on the menstrual cycle and training here. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Maddie Alm is the face...

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A lack of on-snow opportunities. Although a major first-world problem, that’s been on the mind of some this offseason. Here and there, we’ve published stories about a strict dryland diet for elite skiers this season. Meaning, no on-snow training. Mostly, that strict diet has applied to North Americans who normally access snow in late spring and summer at a variety of venues. The Haig Glacier and its Beckie Scott High Altitude Training Center have been...

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Something a bit different on the podcast today. In the spirit of high mountains and the autumn season which is often the time many seek any iteration of mountain film. During normal times, we flock to touring mountain film festivals to celebrate. You know, solid storytelling and vibrant images to help us dream a bit bigger. Some of you may have already watched LHOTSE, a film featuring ski mountaineers Hialree Nelson and Jim Morrison as...

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A few weeks back, we featured an excerpt from a new book titled Nordic Warrior? A Midlife Crisis in Biathlon. Written by Ithaca, New York, based biathlete, Craig Wiggers, the book explores his love affair with biathlon which began midlife. Wiggers’ path to biathlon is as circuitous as they come. Raised in the deep south, Wiggers attended school at Auburn University and spent a full career hopscotching around the globe as a U.S. Marine. He was deployed...

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In this episode, we hear from a familiar voice – someone, in fact, we’ve heard from recently on the podcast, former elite cross-country skier Noah Hoffman. Post-race career, Hoffman has been deeply involved in the anti-doping movement as an educator, lobbyist, and content creator. This conversation is from Hoffman’s content creation side. A few months back the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) posted a six-plus minute video interview between Hoffman and Dr. Edwin Moses –...

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Last fall, FasterSkier spoke with former Williams Ski Team member Jordan Fields after his impressive effort on the Presidential Traverse in the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire. This classic point-to-point route leads travelers over eight summits in roughly 18 miles, including Mt Washington, which tops out at 6,288 ft as the highest elevation peak in the Northeast. Over the years, many have raced the clock against the storied challenge of traversing the range as...

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  With a kowtow to Zach Caldwell and Noah Hoffman, we are repurposing their recent video conversation about anti-doping reform. On Nordic Nation, you’ll find just the audio. If you are more visual by nature, you can find the video here. Hoffman is a former longtime U.S. Ski Team member. Caldwell is Hoffman’s former coach and runs Vermont based Caldwell Sport. In this conversation, you’ll get solid details about anti-doping policy in the U.S. and abroad....

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Thirty two years old and wise as wise can be. Clare Egan brings a calm intellect to the sport of biathlon. Speaker of many languages and head of the International Biathlon Union’s athlete committee, Egan is respected by her peers for on-snow performances as well as her leadership in the IBU board room. We spoke to Egan earlier this month as she was training in Antholz, Italy with U.S. women’s head coach Armin Auchentaller. The...

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In this episode of Nordic Nation, we speak all things trail design with John Morton. Based in Vermont, and global in perspective, Morton provides insights into the literal ups and downs of trail design and how full-blown nordic centers and small scale trails can bring a modern vibe to an old-school sport. He runs Morton Trails locally but has a global reach with projects based in China. His most recent trail work at Paul Smith’s...

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Mid-Summer and mid-fishing session, we connected with Great Britain’s Andrew Musgrave near his home in Trondheim, Norway. Musgrave underwent surgery on both Achilles tendons recently and is on the mend. In this episode, we discuss his comparatively down season last year, his plans to remain healthy, and how excited he was during the interview to spot what he described as a weasel swim past. If you are new to the podcast, FasterSkier, or Musgrave…here’s some background....

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As we all know, the COVID-19 global pandemic has left the world scrambling to adapt to the many challenges of slowing the spread of the virus. In the world of Olympic sports, the ripple effect has disrupted the efforts of anti-doping agencies worldwide to conduct the athlete testing normally relied upon to hold athletes accountable to abiding by the rules surrounding banned and controlled substances. Most international antidoping agencies have halted testing since mid-March as...

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A slight reshuffling of positions at U.S. Ski and Snowboard and longtime coach Matt Whitcomb has a new title: Head Coach. Whitcomb held the title of World Cup Coach last season. As the pandemic took hold in mid-March here in the U.S., Whitcomb holed up at his cabin in rural Vermont for a two-week solo quarantine. We caught up with Whitcomb via phone on April 23 from his cabin. This was a broad ranging interview....

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If you’re an avid reader of The New York Times sports section, you’ve most likely read the work of writer-journalist Matt Futterman (50). Futterman is the Deputy Sports Editor at the NYT, a fan of nordic sports, and an avid runner who was slated to run the Boston Marathon this past Monday. Futterman’s love for endurance sports, running in particular, is evident as he peppers readers with in-depth running stories. He helped cover the recent...

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Many of the World Cup race photos featured on FasterSkier come from NordicFocus, a European bases photo agency. NordicFocus, as the name suggests, features images from the world of nordic sport: cross-country, biathlon, nordic combined, and ski jumping. If you have buzzed around the media center at any big cross-country event, it’s likely you have seen Federico Modica. Modica wears a mountain endurance-fit look as if he’s just descended from some alpine climb; there’s a veneer...

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We’ve all heard the phrase: “These are unprecedented times.” And it is true. What the world is facing during the Covid-19 pandemic is something that none of us have experienced before. We are all feeling it.  Uncertainty is ubiquitous and caused by a myriad of factors. We may be concerned about the health of ourselves and our families, or about the financial impacts of our country coming to a halt. We might be attempting to...

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This past fall, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) updated its wax use policy. The New England institution was one of the first and among the largest cross-country ski centers to implement a policy curbing the use of perfluorinated wax on its premises. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center supports values and practices that try to minimize its impact on the environment while still providing recreational opportunities for visitors. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center hopes to help lead the...

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Live, from Vermont, it was Ben Lustgarten of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project — we spoke to Ben about his recent retirement announcement from full-time training and racing at the elite level. Lustgarten’s name is synonymous with the SuperTour’s sharp end. He’s also known to throw down burly strength workouts. He qualified and raced in two World Championships and claimed a 30 k classic National Championship in 2017.   In this episode, we discuss the reasons...

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Independent of one another, Brian Gregg and Matt Liebsch are always to be feared as they line up for a ski race. Now in their mid-thirties, their lives have transitioned to other responsibilities that include partners, children, and full-time work. Yet, in the highly competitive world of elite-level ski racing, these two have maintained a healthy friendship and are fast and furious training partners. We could spend time noting their accomplishments on the ski tracks...