HomeCategory Health

We aren’t doctors, and we try not to play one on the internet. But if we find health information that we feel affects cross-country skiers as a group, we do our best to pass it along.
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Do you know what a Growth Mindset is? How would you rate your growth mindset? Do you use it in all the areas in which you’re trying to grow? The more I coach, the more I think that a lot of our problems as athletes and humans begins with how much we believe we can change, and whether or not we believe we have power over those changes. The belief that you can change is...

Here we are in late August, halfway between the start of the training year in early May and the beginning of the competition season in late November. Volume is the name of the game during the summer and at this time of year, it is not uncommon for top athletes to train 20 to 30 hours per week. Typically, the training logs prescribe athletes to head out on long runs, rides, and rollerskis at a...

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Whether they are traveling through Europe to compete on the World Cup or racing recreationally in local events, skiers are met with the challenge of surviving a race season that takes place during the cold and flu ridden winter months. Registered sports dietitian Kylee Van Horn of FlyNutrition, LLC shares suggestions on how to stay healthy as race day approaches. The scenario is all too familiar. You’ve managed to stay healthy while logging countless kilometers...

  The “First Tracks” series highlights the pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting experiences of noteworthy athletes in cross-country skiing in various stages of their professional careers. The sharing of these experiences can benefit athletes in any stage of their career, whether they are an elite or recreational skier, by demonstrating that it is very possible to return to skiing, competition, and an active lifestyle with a growing family. The series will include the physical challenges of...

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The “First Tracks” series highlights the pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting experiences of noteworthy athletes in cross-country skiing in various stages of their professional careers. The sharing of these experiences can benefit athletes in any stage of their career, whether they are an elite or recreational skier, by demonstrating that it is very possible to return to skiing, competition, and an active lifestyle with a growing family. The series will include the physical challenges of being...

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  As FasterSkier staff stroll into an upcoming weekend with no cross-country World Cups, it’s time to scramble and score some holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. Christmas is around the corner. It’s never too late for Hanukkah  (Hanukkah ended on December 10). In this third book idea for the gift-giving season, Harald Zimmer, German-based FS contributor, highlights Andre Agassi’s gem. *** 2018 Gift Guide – Open: An Autobiography The autobiography of a star tennis...

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  As FasterSkier staff stroll into an upcoming weekend with no cross-country World Cups, it’s time to scramble and score some holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. Christmas is around the corner. It’s never too late for Hanukkah  (Hanukkah ended on December 10). In this first gift idea for the season, Anchorage, Alaska’s supple leopard Gavin Kentch brings limberness to our lives.   *** 2018 gift guide – Supple Leopard What’s one book that Crossfit...

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Day by day. That’s how Kikkan Randall is approaching her battle with breast cancer after being diagnosed about three months ago. Now more than 50 days into her treatment — with six rounds of chemotherapy over an 18-week span — Randall, 35, is becoming more familiar with the ugly side effects and adjusting to her new normal. While beating what is believed to be announcing her diagnosis on social media, Randall has been promoting AKTIV...

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The following Wednesday Workout comes from Dr. Zuzana Rogers, PT, ScD, SCS, COMT, of Anchorage, Alaska. Rogers has been the go-to physical therapist for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team since 2013 and Alaska Pacific University (APU) Nordic team since 2011.  *** You are probably training hard…but is your recovery optimal? As you transition from summer to fall training and the intensity increases, you may start noticing certain tweaks that are happening to your body...

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Jessie Diggins is having a big month. Nominated for an ESPY Award (along with Kikkan Randall for “Best Male and Female Athlete With A Disability”), Diggins recently posed ESPN The Magazine’s annual “The Body Issue”, which features various famous athletes sans clothes. In a “The Body Issue 2018” came out, Diggins, 26, explained her reasons for agreeing to the “tastefully nude shoot that shows off athlete’s muscles”. The post, titled “Body Issue(s)” (which she called...

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Editor’s Note: The following is part of a series proposed by Maks Zechel, a 20-year-old Canadian cross-country skier embarking on his first season training abroad. In August, he made the big move to Norway, where he’ll be training and racing with Team Asker for the entire winter. Through these updates, Maks hopes to share his personal “observations, stories and lessons learned” to help close the gap between North American and Scandinavian nordic skiing. Previous posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. ...

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Coming off ajetted to a victory in the first SuperTour race of 2017/2018 — the freestyle sprint in West Yellowstone, Montana. “I haven’t straight out won a highly competitive race in two years, so winning on my arch nemesis course of West Yellowstone was huge,” Hart, 25, wrote in an email last week about her Dec. 2 sprint win. “I know that the period one altitude is not my best friend, and am really working...

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Athletes engaging in big volumes of endurance exercise are at some increased risk of heart problems – compared to those who do moderate exercise. The level of that risk is under debate. At the same time, recreational athletes using heart rate monitors during their training will sometimes see numbers go up as high as 220 or 225 beats per minute (bpm). Such racing heartbeats are called tachycardia, and some of the possible underlying causes can...

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Part I of this interview discussed findings about general health and exercise habits of American Birkebeiner participants compared to the general public. You can catch up on that piece said at the time. Researchers Paul Anderson and Ralph Bovard received survey responses from more than 5,000 people who had participated in the American Birkebeiner, a cross-country ski marathon held every year in Wisconsin. While the survey asked about exercise, general health status, and behavior, it...

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Back in 2014, Paul Anderson and his colleague, Ralph Bovard, set out to study the health habits of cross-country skiers by surveying those who participated in the American Birkebeiner (“the Birkie”), a cross-country ski marathon in Wisconsin. “We wanted to understand and characterize the role of social support for exercise among Birkie skiers,” Anderson explained in an email this month. “Dr. Bovard and myself are both Birkie skiers and we have both experienced how the...

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Swiss-Canadian skier Heidi Widmer found herself on a tough stretch of road, she recently ended up taking several weeks off training. “When I had a concussion (both in the fall of 2010 and again in 2013), I listened to mindfulness videos on YouTube,” Widmer wrote in an email. “Those were stressful and uncertain times for me, because I didn’t know what was causing my symptoms nor how to get better. The videos helped guide a...

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When I heard that there was a new book coming out about heart arrhythmias in endurance athletes, I was interested. Several years ago, I read some of the research papers that the book’s authors refer to. One was a cohort study on participants in the Vasaloppet, the 90-kilometer ski marathon in Sweden. Those researchers found that skiers who competed in more Vasaloppets had more heart arrhythmias – as did those who finished the race the...

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Two-and-half months into her summer training last year, Kristen Bourne woke up in a cold sweat. Her temperature read higher than normal and no amount of lozenges could soothe her sore throat. The Central Collegiate Ski Association (CSSA) Distance Championships and also qualified for NCAA Skiing Championships. There in Jackson, N.H., she finished 17th in the 5 k classic and was the top NMU woman in the 15 k freestyle mass start two days later, placing 13th and 

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If you follow U.S. skiing closely, you’ve probably heard of Paul Everett. After three years on US Biathlon’s development team, Everett, 20, is currently a Montana State University sophomore and member of the Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman, Mont. He is studying exercise science and psychology, and wrote the following letter for an assignment. It’s about depression and anxiety in athletes, “more specifically ski racing about what it is like for those competing with these disorders and...