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How-to-type articles, technique videos and more
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Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, which celebrates “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” Simultaneously, International Women’s Day is a call to action, recognizing the disparity and challenges women face for a variety of reasons in different realms of society, and seeking change. While the American women’s team has put together an ever-growing highlight reel on the race course, cross country skiing, like most sports, remains male dominated when it comes...

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We’re excited to share our first edition of the “Ask the PT” series, where Ned Dowling does his best to support our readers in staying healthy and strong to get the most out of the ski season, and beyond. To submit a question, email: askthept@fasterskier.com. *** Hi Ned, I have been dealing with bilateral Achilles tendon soreness (midsubstance, several cm proximal to insertion) since an over-zealous hill bounding session in October.  When ski season arrived...

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A team of familiar faces is soon headed to the American Birkebeiner, and rumor has it, their race suits will be something to behold.  Spearheaded by brand ambassador Simi Hamilton, the team of Sophie Hamilton (Caldwell), Sadie Maubet-Bjornsen, Liz Stephen, Matt Gelso, Sylvan Ellefson, and Erik Bjornsen will be racing as members of the mountainFLOW Eco Wax team. Based in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, where Hamilton grew up, mountainFLOW Eco Wax is the...

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The Canadian Prep Camp in Sovereign Lake and SilverStar, BC prior to the 2022 Beijing Olympics sounds like a nordic skier’s heaven. A two-week ski vacation with 100 kilometres of perfectly groomed snow. A private room above a great coffee shop (pain au chocolate!) and next door to some great beer. January weather just below freezing with enough falling snow to make every day a hardwax day. Two weeks of what locals call superhero snow. A...

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All the athletes are all stripped down to their race suits and zooming around the course with laser focus.  They are breathing hard; in fact, some of them seem to be skiing at max effort. If it weren’t for the lack of announcements, race bibs, and cheering from the crowd (pre-COVID, of course) you might actually think it’s race day – but it’s not. It’s actually the day before the race, and many of the...

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Last year, in an effort to create a standardized workout that could be easily replicated and repeated, national team coaches presented the concept of the “U.S. Pace Project.” The concept is straightforward: a shift away from time-based intervals to distance-based, centered around repeated laps of a 5-kilometer course. This familiar distance is key. In a call in July, Matt Whitcomb, U.S. Ski Team Head Coach, and one of the creators of the project explained that:...

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As endurance athletes, and especially as cross country skiers, we like to suffer. We enjoy a sport that takes place in the coldest months of the year and requires both strength and endurance to climb big hills and descend on skinny skis with no edges. We like to breathe hard. Most of us are in it for the suffering and the healthy dose of chemicals that our bodies release when the heart rate goes up...

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At the end of October, Team Birkie headed west for three-weeks. Leaving the midwest in search of a higher altitude training venue and snow, they headed first to Park City, UT, then north to Canmore, Alberta, where winter has already settled in. Coach Caitlin Gregg had several objectives for the camp, primarily related to training time above sea-level. Her first goal for the team was to get in a three-week altitude block, in order to...

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Fans of ski-mountaineering, mountain-running, or ultra events will likely have heard of Emelie Forsberg. A Swedish athlete representing Salomon, Forsberg has an impressive racing resume including, numerous ski-mo World Cup victories, World Championships titles from the Sky running ultra distance series and the women’s Fastest-Known-Time (FKT) on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Grand Teton, and more. Her partner, Kilian Jornet, is a world-renown athlete whose many feats are too numerous to list here. The two...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It is the season of darkness.  When I first thought of this piece, on November 1, Anchorage had 8 hours, 27 minutes, and 57 seconds of daylight. That’s a moving target, however, as we’re losing roughly 5.5 minutes a day. Another week has gone by, and we’ve moved an additional 38 minutes to the darkness side of the ledger.  You can do the math on your own, but at some point sunset...

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This article builds upon the four-part “Building a Better Skier” series, which explores how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. Please feel free to email the author with any questions: ned.dowling@hsc.utah.edu. Recently, I overheard one of my Physical Therapy colleagues tell a patient, “We’ve got to get you jumping. If you want to get back to running, you’ll need to do...

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If you follow road running, the buzz around carbon-plated shoes is not new to you. Nike led the way with its Alphafly and Next% series, which sparked rapid innovation throughout the industry to quickly ensure their top racing shoes could compete. In 2021, “super shoes” have quickly transitioned from controversial to nearly ubiquitous, permeating the elite and recreational fields alike.  But what about off-road? Is there a place for the carbon-plate in trail and ultra...

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Spinning past the autumnal equinox into fall, the West looks back on a summer marred by wildfire smoke. Here in Colorado, the Aspens have dropped their golden leaves, snow encrusts the high peaks, and I’m struck by the beauty of my backyard, which spent the majority of June, July, and August muted by smoke that — thankfully — blew in from elsewhere.  Over the last six weeks, checking AirNow before training has been phased out...

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In fall 2021, following last-minute revelations that a long-promised fluoro-detecting device did not, actually, work as efficiently as planned, FasterSkier previewed an upcoming domestic race season in which U.S. Ski & Snowboard-sanctioned races would ban the use of fluorocarbon waxes, but anything would be fair game at FIS races. (For an overview of the difference between the sanctioning bodies and the rankings lists they generate, see...

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Over the last six months, an increasing number of athletes have posted photos and videos from their training sessions that include a small circular pod attached to the back of their arms, near the triceps. As it turns out, the pod is a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), specifically the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor which partnered with a new company, Supersapiens, to design an interface that allows athletes to monitor and optimize their blood...

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This is Part 4 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility, and Part 3 on single limb stability. ——————————————– Upper body power is a major contributor and perhaps even a determinant of cross country skiing performance. Poling accounts for up to 60%...

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This is Part 3 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, and Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility. The ability to balance and be stable on one leg is where the rubber meets the road (or ski hits the snow). True, we generate propulsion with strength and endurance,...

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*This is the last piece of a multi-piece series on photographing skiing, ranging from capturing skiing on your smartphone to taking a deep dive into how professionals capture skiing on the World Cup. Take a look at the last three pieces in case you missed them. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.  From making the most of your smartphone in your pocket to picking the right camera for your photography goals, and to experimenting with...

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This is Part 2 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction and Part 1, which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture. There are many ways to conceptualize biomechanics, but they all need a starting place. If we think about ski technique, where do we want to start? On the glide leg? With the poles? At the hips? For this...