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 May 6, 2010: Volume 11, Number 1
Dear SkiPost,
Very frequently one sees article in the newspaper or other media about research being done on exercise before and after workouts, races and simply recreational skiing. Everyone you talk with seems to have a different take on what is appropriate for stretching before and after and which exercises to use. Some say no stretching before but just after, some say both times, others say warm up for the first 1k and then stretch, then we hear don't bother just go out and ski slower first.
So my question is. Where is the truth and the research that gives us some direction on what we should recommend as a coach or an instructor?   BT
Dear BT,

I know that over the years the research says one of three things: stretching is good, it is not good, or it is insignificant.  Most athletes and coaches go through a trial and error process to find which stretching exercises are best for them.

It is true that static stretching can decrease the neural drive to those muscles being stretched.  So, static stretches could be saved for a separate workout or training session.  Recently, I have not seen any research on the effects of post-workout static stretching.

The sport performance research seems to favor an active warm up before training and racing.  Most of the research looks at the performance of strength training and power-related exercises.  Although, there are some studies that include endurance related sports.  Like I said above, the majority is in favor of an active warm up versus static stretches.  I would concur with their research.

I usually tell me athletes/clients to generally warm up 10 - 15 minutes, then proceed with dynamic (active) stretches.  The type of stretches they perform depends on their activity and potentially what needs to "open up" more.  Then, ease into their workout.

If the workout is in a fitness center/training room, athletes could use the foam roller as well on major muscle groups followed up with some static stretching and/or movement in between sets of "rolling it out".  Foam rolls are good for decreasing the density of the muscle mass, perhaps allowing more flow and lengthening of the muscles.

If at a race, or outdoor workout, self-massage protocols can be administered.  Usually some shaking and light kneading.

For those athletes that insist on performing static stretches before a workout, they always follow it up with the more dynamic warm up as well.

Brent, the research shows that active warm ups are better than static stretching.  Other methods include passive warm up, where the athlete just sits there with some sort of heating device over them.  Not very practical, hence the dynamic warm up.  I would encourage you, as a coach, to instruct your athletes in a dynamic warm up.  Save the static stretches for post-workout or an additional recovery bout later on (same day).

I hope this helps, I can send you over some research articles if you would like.

Matthew Parks

Performance Coaching
Therapeutic Massage
USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coach
NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist

406 580 7987
Check out the blog at

Turn the clock to zero! 

May is a time to reset your goals and annual training program. Some of us are still  lucky enough to ski a few times a week.

Yet it is also a time of transition and cross training into biking, hiking, running,rock climbing, etc.. Personally I can't just jump into something like running full on as this old race horse needs to ease into it over weeks and months.

Never the less, I look down at the toll at what an unrestricted/ unstructured  diet has done in a few short weeks and with little to no training and yup it's time. Unrestricted and unstructured you say? Definitely, the rest was good! 

In so doing May is a month in which to lay the base work for the incrementally harder and higher volume training months to come. Each season will build on another until it's once again time to ski and ski race with renewed spirit and full of ELAN and PANACHE!

Meanwhile back in the month of May, it's time to say to yourself..."self" let's get going...

It's a bit early for me to think about roller skiing because by November I am ready to scream from many months of roller skiing. However cross country skiing is a quadrupedal activity, or full body sport. Keeping that in mind, blending in weight lifting, hillbounding with poles and swimming are great activities to work into your training plan. The hill bounding with poles also takes weight off my sore calf muscles as my upper body takes on some of the work load which then helps me have better subsequent
uptempo running days. Swimming can also be a great way to recover from a hard day of training as my body is a lot more relaxed after I get out of the pool.

Core strength is a huge advantage to have over those focused solely on heart rate and distance over the summer. As we age, typically it is easier to log miles yet core strength is what we really need as it is the first thing we lose and sometimes hardest to bring back. Imagine having explosive power late in a ski race. That would be having what I call "Elan and Panache". The 41k point, a.k.a "Bitch Hill", at the Birkie comes to mind in this scenario. Those at their limit falter as you ski on with renewed strength.

Putting a plan together and phasing into it now through summer and fall will surely garner looks of surprise from your fellow competitors and friends next winter.

Setting some mid term goals like summer triathlons, mtn races, etc... will help you stay focused in the months ahead as well as having fun, yet keep in mind the eye on the prize is how you have become better prepared for next winter!

Skiers are definitely made in the summer!

Nordic Dave 


Rudy RX Direct

In recent years, more and more athletes needing prescription performance eyewear have discovered and embraced Rudy Rx Solutions making Rudy Project one of the fastest growing Rx Sport solutions companies in the world. Rudy Project has certainly shaken things up lately offering a wide array of Performance and Casual sunglasses that can easily be Rxed. And starting this year, Rudy offers a wide array of ophthalmic frames for stylish casual wear. Each solution has different benefits to meet the needs for a wide array of athletes and activities. Click hear to examine the Rudy RX solutions and get yoru great SkiPost Discount.

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Why is Spring the best time for Stonegrinding?


Spring is perhaps the best time to get your skis services and stoneground for two reasons.
1) You do not need your skis now, and the stonegrinders and not rushed, so both can be patient and get the grinding done right.
2) By getting your skis ground and then prepped for summer storage your skis can have soft wax penetrate their bases all summer. Keep soft wax on your fresh bases all summer and your skis will be saturated with wax next fall.

Below we feature some of the most respected names in Nordic Stone Grinding and Ski Service in both US and Canada. 


Andy at SkiPost


FinnSisu offers presision stonegrinding on our Wintersteiger Micro 1
Stonegrinder. We do stonegrinding year-round. Some of our customers
include members of the U.S. Olympic Nordic and Biathlon teams, members from all of the major trade teams, many of the top collegiate XC ski programs around the country, as well as many high school teams in
Minnesota and Wisconsin. Bring or ship in your skis today and see what a difference FinnSisu stonegrinding can make. FinnSisu is located in St. Paul, MN but we service skis from throughout the country.
For more information: call 651-645-2443 email 
or visit our web page  Finn Sisu
Wisdom, Value, Selection
Wisdom: We know our product, we know our skiers. We can suggest the best ski and the right grind for your ski and your needs...
WorldCup skiers and Weekend Warriors, National Champions and High School Captains, Birkie Champions and Barnebirkie Moms. 
Value: We have offered ski base services over the lifetime of our store, over 20 years. Before grinding, Brian Knutson hand peeled ski bases until his fingers were blistered. Our Montana Stone Grinds make skis fast, for us the owners and for our employees and for YOU, all at a fair price.
Selection: We offer the best selection of ski equipment and services. Just visit us!  You not only get what you need but as importantly,  you need what you get. 
Need More info?  Visit our Mlps, MN Store
email or call 877-472-4327
or our web site GearWest Ski Services 
Boulder Nordic Sport stone grinds bring World Cup Service to everyone. The biggest upgrade you can make to skis is the appropriate stone grind, and BNS grinds dominate the competition. BNS's proprietary structures, knowledge of racing conditions across North America, experience working with athletes, and cross-country specific Tazzari stone grinding machines produce skis that are fast right off of the grinder. Zach Caldwell and BNS have developed structure patterns specifically for North American snow which differs dramatically from European and Scandinavian snow where most grind patterns are developed. There is a reason that almost every elite skier in the US chooses BNS grinds; see for yourself what an amazing difference they can make. Details on the stone grinding process, simplified BNS grind menus, work order forms and instructions on preparing skis for grinding are available at: Boulder Nordic Sport 
BNS Boulder, CO 720-227-9400
BNS East Portland, ME 207-541-7438
Gatineau Nordique Sport
Gatineau Nordique Sport is located in Old Chelsea, Quebec, Canada near the Gatineau Park, the site of the Gatineau Loppet (formerly Keskinada). Seeing that the park experiences all types of snow conditions over the course of a year that are encountered in Canada (except manmade snow), it makes for an ideal location to test grinds that work well across Canada. My business includes stone grinding, heatbox treatment and ski testing. I use the Tazzari RP-23 machine for all the stone grinding. The retail of ski products is left to the very well established stores in the Ottawa, Gatineau area. I am open for business, on demand, year around.
Call me 819-483-1623
email me 
Check out the grind menu, etc. at Gatineau Nordique Sport
Trail Sports
Trail Sports is situated at the Canmore Nordic Centre and has a specialized in grinding cross country skis since 1996. We have ground skis for the Canadian Cross Country and Biathlon teams and our long experience with our Wintersteiger machine has allowed us to developed the expertise to offer the best possible grinds. By never grinding metal edge skis we have ensured there are no metal filings to tear the base of your racing skis. Please let us help you and your skis
email us call at 403.678.6764 
or visit our web site at Trail Sports 
CXC Camps and Academy
CXC Camps 
Central Regional Elite Grop (REG) Camp (July 3rd - July 9th)
 Birkie Junior Technique Camp (July 26th - July 29th)
Birkie One-Day Junior Technique Camp - NEW! (July 26th)
Birkie Masters Open Camp (July 30th - August 1st)
CXC Woman's Camp (August 13th - August 15th)
CXC Academy
This season Matt Liebsch (the winner of the 2009 American Birkebeiner and Top 30 World Cup finisher) will provide a duplicate of his training log, comments, and notes that corresponds with one week of each training period.  This, along with running tips, bike workouts, and narratives by other top-level Elite athletes makes the third installment of CXC Academy better than ever!

As you might imagine, there are many different applications for this type of open-ended coaching tool.  Some people who used CXC Academy include: 32 coaches from all different levels, 31 High School skiers, 44 Citizen Racers, 5 members of the US Adaptive Ski Team, 5 Elite Skate Wave Birkie Skiers, 15 Wave 1 Skate Birkie Skiers, 43 Wave 2 Skiers, 24 Wave 3 Skiers, 25 Wave 4 Skiers, 15 Wave 5 Skiers, 12 Wave 6 Skiers, 3 Wave 7 Skiers, 1 Wave 8 Skier, and 3 Wave 9 Skiers.  As the numbers indicate, there is something for everyone in CXC Academy, and we will be posting new information throughout the entire 2010/2011 season to help you get the most out of year-round ski training. CXC Academy Info

Mountain Bike Biathlon
 West Yellowstone

The West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation (WYSEF) invites all mountain bikers and biathetes to register for the Mountain Bike Biathlon held at the Rendezvous Ski Trails on June 26, 2010. Everyone is welcome and no shooting experience is required.  A safety clinic, practice session, and loaner equipment is available for novices.  Prizes, fresh air, and lots of fun await. More information can be found at

About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see or email us at

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director - SkiPost

Justin Easter
Editor - SkiPost
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