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Over the past few years, FasterSkier has reported on per-fluorinated waxes, powders, liquids, and pastes. Entities like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Europe’s equivalent, the European Environment Agency, are phasing out eight-chain fluorocarbons. We know, after diving into the scientific literature, the evidence suggests these compounds are not good for your health, and they persist in the environment as they do not readily breakdown into inert substances. We also know that skiers love fluoros....

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As the World Cup season winds down, FasterSkier caught up with two U.S. Ski Team athletes who’ve been living on the road all winter to learn about their strength routines during COVID. Even without a global pandemic, on-the-go strength training can be a challenge. Julia Kern and Katharine Ogden shared their approaches in the following interview:  FasterSkier: In a typical week how many times are you doing strength? What does this look like? KO:  I...

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I am a woman of many jackets, combine my down jacket and exercise jacket collection and you could fill a respectably sized closet. In the months since the lofoten hiloflex200 jacket by Norrøna entered my wardrobe, it has risen through the jacket ranks to become one of my favorite options. That being said, I tend to run warm and since the number of cold days seems to be decreasing here in south-eastern France, the opportunities...

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Are you a well-trained endurance athlete? Do you know your resting heart rate, maximal heart rate, average weekly training hours, and – tough one here – age? If you’re reading this website, the answer to all four of those is probably “yes.” If you have a moment to spare, Stephen Seiler would like your help. Seiler is a longtime professor of sports science, currently at the University of Adger in Kristiansand, Norway. We’ve spoken with...

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Starting with a quick disclaimer, I’ve been a fan of Emma Coburn, Olympic Bronze Medalist and World Champion steeplechaser, for most of her career. Spending this winter in her hometown of Crested Butte, Colorado has, if anything, amplified my appreciation for her as both an athlete and role model for other female runners. As such, I was very excited this fall when she announced the release of her cookbook, “The Runner’s Kitchen”, and immediately pre-ordered. I’m...

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Covering the basics with Lina Hutlin. With the growth of cross-country skiing, we decided to literally get back to the basics. We understand not all coming to the sport arrive with an encyclopedic knowledge of how and where to start. That’s where this series comes in: It’s for those new to cross-country skiing or those looking for an easy entry point for ideas on how to wax, what skis to buy, and literally placing one...

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Residing in “dry” climates the past two decades — I’ve eschewed heavy-duty Gore-Tex products. Even after spending considerable time in high alpine snowstorms, and mid-summer rain, I’ve functioned perfectly fine. My only go-to rule for inclement weather gear is this – if the weather looks anything other than high-pressure and bluebird – no down. I’ve kept it basic when the sky spits precip. I rely on synthetic insulation topped with a feather-light windbreaker. (Essentially a...

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This article is part of a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. To get started, you can find a primer on this topic here, and listen to this podcast on Nordic Nation discussing female athlete specific nutrition with registered dietician and professional runner Maddie Alm. Readers who have followed cross-country skiing for several decades may be familiar with the name Guro Strøm Solli. Now 37-years-old, Solli was a member of...

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  Swiss athletes ski testing in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: NordicFocus) Much has already been written about snow. There are countless pictures of perfectly grown snow crystals, but very little about snow found on the slopes or in the cross-country skiing tracks. The newest article in our science series provides a vivid picture of snow in its many forms. With a cell phone and a mini microscope, you get fantastic pictures of snow grains. You can...

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You’ve likely heard lots of  different ideas about fueling and feeding on race day. When to eat, what to eat, and how to eat it – there are hundreds of opinions. Ultimately, it comes down to what you find works best for you; the gut can actually be trained to adapt to different diets and eating habits. However, current research does suggest some strategies that will optimize performance on race day. I’ll provide some  answers...

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This article provides an introduction to a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. Results from a survey regarding how elite US cross-country skiers and biathletes use insight into their cycles in their own training will also be analyzed and shared.  An arguably essential component of developing as an athlete is learning how to listen to the signals one’s body sends. Am I skiing easy enough on my recovery days to...

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If you follow Julia Kern on social media or her blog, you have probably gotten the sense that outdoor recreation is more than just part of her job as a professional cross country skier. A quick scroll highlights a multitude of activities that extend far beyond rollerskiing and World Cup travel. Kern seems to do it all: open water swimming, backcountry skiing, paddle boarding, camping, trail running, rock climbing, and mountain biking. And always with...

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(Photo: NordicFocus) What: Fluoros, aka perfluorinated waxes, aka ski waxes containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka the really expensive waxes that you put on for big races, in some or all of block, liquid, or powder form. What they do: Make your skis go really, really fast, particularly in the wet or dirty snow conditions that sadly characterize more and more high-end races in an era of artificial snow and climate change. What else...

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The video presents several dynamic stretches as you begin to develop your own routine using slower, coordinated movements to move the joint through the desired motion. Striving for flexibility is ingrained from a young age. The sit-and-reach test was a key component of the presidential fitness test which was administered to elementary-aged school children until recently. Middle and high school athletes often go through a routine of static stretches before starting practice. Acro-yoga masters now fill...

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With Para Nordic athletes scattered around the country, making the best of sub-optimal proximity to athletes has been a challenge. Coaches of the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team turned an eye towards utilizing virtual meetings for check-ins and a substitute for in-person coaching.  According to Eileen Carey, Director of the Paralympic Nordic Ski Team, the team’s development athletes made use of the virtual sessions several times each week. Virtual meetings included “training sessions, camps, education...

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There are many kinds of virtual events, and many ways to run them. Look here for context and alternatives. This is a simple and free solution to running a temporally distanced event on a fixed course. Summary: Create an invitation-only club on Strava. Create a segment. When the event concludes, select the club from the segment leaderboard options to view results. Advantages: Free. Low effort for OC. Strava provides tools to detect groups skiing together...

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This is part of the Virtual Event Hosting series. With all the ideas and potential solutions out there, here are some things that might help you narrow down your choice. Safety Issues And Compliance There are many things to consider when hosting an event and health restriction rules related to COVID differ for every community. These rules also tend to change weekly, which may be awkward for a series of events.  Some of the safety topics...

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What a year. In the spirit of optimism, we want to highlight a few non-profits worthy of your consideration when thinking of buying gifts this holiday season. We know the wonder cross-country skiing provides. Gliding through the woods, no noise, totally connected. Silent sports fuel us. Why not support organizations lifting kids up and sharing the wealth that is skiing.    Spirit North: Canada based and supporting Indigenous youth. Founded by Beckie Scott, a former...

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We’ve reached mid-December. With any luck, your local trail system is beginning to fill in, you’ve scraped off your storage wax, and you’ve put in at least a handful of easy days getting reacquainted with your boards. Whether or not you rollerski during the summer, skiing on snow has its own jive and it’s normal to feel a little like Bambi your first few sessions.  In my experience as a coach and masters athlete, I...

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  If you’ve found your way here, you are likely familiar with the three tenets of cross country skiing: push off, weight transfer, and glide. Whether it’s diagonal stride in the track or V2 on the corduroy, your ability to experience a complete weight transfer, ride a flat ski, and carry momentum is heavily dependent on the stability of your standing leg.  Why is developing that balance and stability a challenge? For those who choose...