HomeTag Training

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At some point in the past seven months you signed up for the American Birkebeiner.  Maybe you’ve done it before, maybe you haven’t. Either way, you’re now committed to skiing the American Birkebeiner, excited to experience “Birkie Fever,” whether for the first time or the 20th time.  No matter your level of skiing or your goals for the Birkie, tackling a 50-kilometer ski race is no small feat.  Realistically, for many people who participate, training...

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It is well known that XC ski racers have to be incredibly “fit” to be competitive. But how do we measure “fitness”? For decades, we’ve known that a high VO2max is necessary to be a competitive ski racer. Training to improve VO2max involves a large volume of training at a low intensity and a comparatively smaller volume of training at a very high intensity. Over the past 20 years, changes in equipment technology, course preparation,...

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Endurance junkies can be data nerds. The market for smart watches and wearable fitness devices has boomed, trending toward a $29 billion dollar market with 243 million units sold by 2022 according to an industry analyst’s estimates. In the world of endurance sport, professional athletes and weekend warriors alike are recording their workouts and analyzing the results using platforms like Strava, Polar Global, or Garmin Connect in search of optimal training to achieve personal bests. ...

Øyvind Sandbakk. If you are new to his name, he is one of the key reasons Norway has remained ahead of the sport-performance curve in nordic sport. If there’s an interesting question to answer with regards to things like double-poling efficiency, Sandbakk or one his students is on it. Yes, Norway has strength in numbers when it comes to cross-country athletes, but they also have a Sandbakk and a cadre of graduate students who keep...

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Kikkan Randall has had to take a cautious step back from traditional workouts this spring in Bend, Ore. She's dealing with a recurring issue with her left Achilles and is taking proactive steps to heal it in order to return to full training in a few weeks. "All is good, just trying to be smarter this time around and not push through potential injuries to the point I did last summer," she says.

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There are few things in skiing more important than knowing physical limits of one’s own body. Just ask Patrick Weaver, head coach of the 2012 NCAA Champions at the University of Vermont. “More often than not, we find when we get to a race people don’t know how to listen to their body and go out at the right pace,” he said. “The common mistake is they go out too hard and then the second...

With the 2012 Paralympics starting in London in roughly a month, adaptive athletes who compete in summer sports are putting the finishing touches on their trainings. And winter athletes, too, are hard at work, training just as intensely as their able-bodied counterparts, if a little bit differently. This spring in Bend, Oregon, FasterSkier chatted with Sean Halsted, a veteran member of the U.S. national team who finished seventh, ninth, and tenth in the sit-ski races...

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When Mother Nature fails to deliver bountiful snow, races are often held on a surface that resembles a dirty ice rink.  Artificial snow, old snow, dirt, ice and moisture stick together in a weird conglomerate that can be very challenging for wax technicians. Athletes are forced to train in less than optimal conditions, stressing them physically and mentally. Given the dearth of snow in North America this season and the very likely chance that the...

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They’ve been on four-hour runs through marshes, braved ‘mystery testing’ with the national team, and been featured in a Swedish newspaper.  But when asked to describe their favorite aspect of their trip to Sweden, Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen are in complete agreement: the people. For the two veterans of the US Ski Team, the trip was a unique chance to actually get to know the people they compete against all winter.  “When you see...