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There is really only one way to become a faster skier. Train. We will keep you inspired with training reports from the best around, as well as articles on specific workouts and suggestions on how to improve your own training. Use the links below to view articles in a specific sub-category, or srcoll down to view all Training articles.
Go Sideways for Strong Skating Hips

One of the beauties of skate skiing for the recreational athlete is that it gets us out of the straight line, sagittal plane motion that is so common with walking, running, and cycling. But this also poses a challenge for those of us who don’t rollerski in the summer: How do we stay conditioned for skate skiing’s lateral motion when there’s no snow on the ground? Fortunately, there’s a long list of exercises that will...

Spring Forward: Part II

Ask most endurance athletes what quality they’d like to develop in their sport, and many would say “I want to be stronger.” Ironic, then, because “stronger” means different things to different athletes. To one, it means durable: able to withstand continued stresses and discomforts. To another, it means powerful: able to generate greater force in less time. To still another, it means actually stronger: able to move a heavier weight (regardless of the speed of the movement)....

Summer Training: Purposeful, Productive, and a Little Fun

Returning to training after a spring hiatus means laying out a plan for the upcoming training season. In making such a plan, there are a couple of questions that will help to define how the season should go: – Early season dryland training: what should early season training prioritize? And how much of a “break” do you advise taking after the ski season concluded? – Early season roller skiing: how early is too early? What...

Spring Forward: Part I

Spring is nice, spring is fun, spring is a relief after a long, cold winter. But, for diehard skiers, spring is also the new season in which we begin imagining ourselves as next year’s skiers. The snow is barely gone, but already we’re imagining futures in which we glide through snowy meadows, double pole across the flats, charge confidently up homologated uphills, and V2 boldly across finish lines. Our heads are already in next season....

How the Heck Do You Actually Get Better?

You’ve plateaued? What’s the deal? Is it insufficient rest; is it that you peaked too early; is it that you need to train harder? There is an article, Facebook post, podcast, YouTube video, and probably a thousand other forms of media dedicated to figuring out just about every component of training. So, with all this information available, why do so many athletes face such an uphill battle to reach their goals? From amateur to elite,...

An Ode to the Big Toe

  The big toe is called the big toe because it’s bigger than the other toes. It has bigger bone and muscle structure because it takes more load. When we walk and run, we are programmed to get the big toe on the ground. But how and when we get the big toe to the ground can cause problems. Too much, too soon, too late, or too fast and efficiency suffers. When efficiency decreases, loads...

Aker Daehlie: A Measured Approach

Sophia Laukli’s dominant win in the final stage of the Tour de Ski catapulted her into the spotlight. She has been racing fast for a while, but this result was on another level from her past performances. As the world gets to know her better, it’s interesting to look at the training philosophy of her club, Aker Daehlie. Training is sometimes secretive, but Aker Daehlie puts their training philosophy online for all to see. This...

Learning From the World’s Best

It’s fun to watch athletes who are the best in the world at what they do. Whether it’s Jakob Ingebrigsten floating his way to a sub 3:30 1500m, Jessie Diggins soloing 20km for an Olympic medal, or Jonas Vingegaard riding away from the best cyclists in the world, we can’t help but be captivated by what these superstars are capable of doing. We hear stories about the grueling work that elite athletes put in day...

In Good Standing—Fundamental Elements of Ski Stance

“Big motor, lousy suspension.” That’s how I often describe the endurance athletes I see in physical therapy. They have the physiology to go fast but are lacking the stability and/or coordination for efficient movement. Decreased efficiency equals increased load. And excessive load has led to injury and a visit to their friendly, neighborhood PT.  I used the same description while Greta Anderson, the US Cross Country Development Coach, and I stood trackside last August watching...

Strong Skiers—Skiing and Resistance Training

Cross country ski trails—and the grooming strategies that prepare those trails for race events—have changed dramatically in recent seasons, especially since artificial snow became commonplace at Nordic venues. Commensurately, skiing speeds have increased, and so has the reliance on upper body power for propulsion. This has been most visible in classic skiing where technique zones are put in place down to the junior level to ensure that striding remains part of the sport. These changes...

Injuries are Inevitable

Injuries are inevitable . . . As a physical therapist, I am often preaching prevention through maintenance exercises and training strategies; however, despite very well intended plans, injuries can still happen. Some of these will be short term, quite manageable, and maybe just a product of bad luck. Other injuries are longer lasting, will likely require some medical management, and are certain to impact training, whether from an acute trauma or from symptoms that have...

Training When There’s Nothing to Train For

Most conversations regarding training for endurance sports center on competition: the training schedule is built around the races. But what if you don’t compete? What if you’re out there on the ski trails, bike trails, and hiking trails without a race number? What if your objective is not to podium but to simply enjoy the opportunity to push your body? Is there still a reason to “train” when there isn’t a competition to train for?...

Smoke in the Sky—Air Quality Guidelines for Training

Author’s disclaimer: I am not a chemist nor atmospheric scientist, but as a physical therapist who tries to think of the body holistically (and as an endurance athlete living and training in a region prone to bad air quality), I have done my best to research this topic. For greater detail, please consult a true expert in the field. The air we breathe is precious. Whether simply sustaining life functions or powering the aerobic metabolism...

Join the National Coaches’ Ed. Symposium

Dear Cross Country Community, The staff from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Cross Country Team will host a 2022 Cross Country National Coaches’ Symposium this next week on October 28th and 29th. Please click on the previous link to register. The Symposium will take place via Zoom to keep costs low and facilitate greater participation by our community. Here is a link to the Presentation Schedule and Presenter Bios. The Symposium will count towards 8 Continuing Education Credits for...

U18 NTG Camp Wraps up in Whistler B.C.

After an untold number of bear sightings and many hours of quality training, the U18 National Training Group (NTG) camp wrapped up in Whistler, B.C. the third week of June. The first of the National Nordic Foundations (NNF) Summer Series, the goals of the camp were twofold: the first was to give these athletes a chance to meet and train together, particularly since the annual U18 Nordic Nations Cup trip was canceled in January due...

How to Go Easy (and Why): An Introduction to the Polarized Training Model

I grew up playing soccer. Every practice was hard. “No pain, no gain,” and all of that. By tenth grade, I was burned out and quit.  I started rock climbing. Every day at the crag was about pushing your limits. This was before indoor gyms or any concept of training other than doing as many pull ups as possible. I plateaued, got frustrated, and quit.  Then I had a go at running. I read some...

Reaping Mountain Biking Benefits for Cross-Country Ski Training with Jessica Yeaton

Cross-country skiers are notorious for training high volumes during the off season in order to be in peak racing form in the winter. There is a common mantra used by coaches to help motivate athletes to train hard even though the racing season is months away: “skiers are made in the summer”.  From my experience working with different coaches, the large bulk of the summer’s volume is intended to be on roller skis or foot...

Spring skiing: Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center hosts annual U.S. Ski Team camp

Believe it or not, it is mid-May. For those following a traditional cross-country calendar, this means the start of a new training year, building toward the 2022/2023 competition season. And, for many of the top American athletes, this means it’s time to make an annual pilgrimage to Bend, Oregon for the on-snow camp of the season at the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center. The weather gods were kind to the camp attendees, with nearly a foot...

On Pregnancy, Postpartum Recovery, and NCAA Ski Coaching: Eliška Albrigtsen (Part 1)

While skimming through the extensive photo albums shared by Tobias Albrigtsen during the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow this past January, one head coach caught my attention. University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) head coach Eliška Albrigtsen (Tobias’ wife) had an extra member of the team in tow: her then 11-month-old son, Viggo.  As most ski coaches know all too well, the demands of the job are multifactorial, and can make it challenging...

Hannah Halvorsen Studies Eating Disorders in Cross-Country Skiing from the Coaches’ Perspective

At 24-years-old, Hannah Halvorsen recently announced that she is ending the pro-skier chapter of her life, but it’s not the only transition she has on deck. This past weekend, Halvorsen also graduated from Alaska Pacific University (APU) with degrees in cognitive psychology and business administration. As a senior capstone project, focused on the psychology side of her studies, Halvorsen chose to research a topic she has been invested in throughout her time as a student-athlete:...