HomeTag Pro Workout

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In this revived Pro Workout, Caitlin Gregg (formerly Caitlin Compton) explains how to deal with challenging and unexpected circumstances, especially before race day. “You need to have the ability to be flexible and to understand that there are some things you can’t control,” she said back in 2010. “But there are tons of options. The beauty of cross-country skiing is that we do lots of cross-training in the offseason.”

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This gem comes from Matt Gelso, which he wrote three years ago after taking fourth in two distance races in West Yellowstone. Gelso, now 26, made the podium at this year's SuperTour opener with a 15 k skate victory in West last Friday. "I require a longer and very substantial warm-up, some simply need a few minutes to move around," Gelso explained. "It is important that you find your own unique methods and progression that gets you perfectly warmed up before a race."

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Good workouts never get old. This week, we bring back a Pro Workout of the past, which Devon Kershaw wrote almost exactly four years ago, just before leaving for Europe in early November. "A great workout this time of year – especially if you are coming off some volume (at altitude or not) and feel your body needs that lactate tolerance work to 'shock' the system," Kershaw writes.

  For this Pro Workout series, we went for something a little different, as previous installments pretty much have intervals and over-distance covered. This time, we asked Matt Gelso (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) to run us through his pre-race routine—as crucial a part of race day as the main event itself.  When race morning rolls around, it is important to know what you need to do in order to maximize your effort on the...

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Note: This is the first of  a “quick workout” series, which will break down one ski-specific exercise at a time in a how-to format. We start with Canadian national team member Perianne Jones, who demonstrated a double-pole technique in her hometown fitness center.) *** If you woke up this morning hoping to see several inches of white stuff and instead met a blanket of balmy air, you’re not alone. Skiers around the world are scratching...

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At this time of year, Noah Hoffman is focused on one thing; getting as ready as he possibly can for the first races of the season. FasterSkier caught up with the USST B-team member, who has been training in the ski tunnel in Torsby, Sweden in preparation for the start of the World Cup season on November 19th and 20th in Sjusjøen, Norway. Hoffman set up the time trial so he’d have to treat the entire day...

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When it comes to skiing, there are generally two choices—the real deal on snow, and the simulation on roller-skis. But there is a third option that pops up every now and again, usually as a gimmick or diversion—skiing on sand. Bill Koch, the only American to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing, experimented wth sand skiing while living in Hawaii after his racing career ended. You may remeber the classic Rossignol poster of Koch,...

For a long time, Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess has known he was fast. He won a junior national championship in the sprint, won carnival races while representing Dartmouth College, qualified for a World Cup in Canada, and then transitioned into being a full-time, post-collegiate racer. But it wasn’t until this past January that the Bend Endurance Academy racer had his breakthrough, finishing fifth in the freestyle sprint at U.S. Nationals in Rumford, Maine. While Blackhorse-von Jess...

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With three World Cup sprint podiums last season, two of which were at the very top, Kikkan Randall is known for her speed. But even though her forte is in races under three minutes long, one of her favorite workouts to do in the fall is a 50 k rollerski double-pole session. In addition to being a solid level one effort, the U.S. Ski Team (USST) veteran also uses the workout as an opportunity to...

Canadian Stefan Kuhn has made a rapid transition from elite skiing to elite coaching. The former Canadian National Ski Team (CNST) member and Vancouver Olympian announced his retirement less than six months ago, and was immediately snapped up in a coaching capacity by the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA), one of Canada’s premiere training centers. During his career, Kuhn was primarily a sprinter – as is evidenced by his 15th place finish in Vancouver, the best...

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As both an elite team member and coach at Alaska Pacific University (APU), Holly Brooks knows that in today’s racing environments, the ability to ski well with the breakaway is essential. “You have to hang in the pack but also have some speed in your legs for when the pace picks up,” said the 2010 Olympian. To practice the high speed tactics of mass starts and sprints, Brooks and her teammates at APU will do...

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For Central Cross Country’s Jennie Bender, summer is for both building strength and taking time out for unstructured workouts. The winner of the classic race at last year’s Birkie tries to balance the exact focus of specific strength training with free form over distance.  By losing track of time on a long run or canoe paddle, she gets inspired to challenge herself with a grueling intensity session. Her go-to intervals, usually done on classic skis,...

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It is mid July and do you know where your rollerskis are?  If you are Team Homegrown’s Sylvan Ellefson, they will likely be found heading up the valley from the town of Vail, Colorado to the top of Vail pass, cranking out some long level three intervals. Ellefson, a graduate of Bates College, native of Vail, and one of the founding member’s of the Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail Team Homegrown, likes to put...

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In the past, our “Pro Workout” series has featured a single training session from an elite North American skier, but this week CXC’s Caitlin Compton gives us a slightly different take. Instead of detailing a favorite workout, Compton addresses an oft-ignored aspect of race preparation – the ability to respond to challenging and unexpected circumstances. Over the past several years, major North American events have been disrupted by everything from volcanic eruptions to frigid temperatures...

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It may sound trite, but in cross-country ski racing, you can never have too much speed. If you want proof, ask any of Emil Joensson’s opponents in recent World Cup sprints. The ability to accelerate quickly and reach high maximum speeds, be it in a sprint or during a surge in a mass start race, is critical to racing success. For Brian Gregg, a member of CXC’s elite team, his favorite workout focuses on just...

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This week’s Pro Workout is a first-person affair, with guest writer/athlete Devon Kershaw of the Canadian National Ski Team.  Kershaw wrote this just before leaving for Europe earlier in November. It’s getting close to the racing season – crazy close. My first race is on the 13th of November in Bruksvallarna, Sweden – a season opener/tune up race ahead of the World Cup opener a week later in Gallivare – way up there (latitude-wise) in...