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 October 7, 2010: Volume 11, Number 23

 Rollerski Elbow Pain
Dear SkiPost,
I've noticed some strain in my elbows that I believe is being caused from the double poling workouts that I have been doing on my rollerskis.  I've been looking at the Excel suspension and rubberized tips for rollerski poles to see if this would help reduce the pole to asphalt impact.  Do you have any experience with these specialized rollerski tips?  Any advice that you can share on minimizing the elbow strain during a double poling workout?
Thank you in advance for your insight and feedback.  Carpe Ski'em!
Dear BW
personally have no experience with these rubber tips, but I have heard that some people have used them and are pretty happy.  It is for sure a pretty low expense solution that is worth trying.  Other ways of resolving this issue would be to decrease the amount of pure double poling done on rollerskis and do more striding.  Choosing a little hillier terrain would be helpful.  If the strain has been there for a while and it has gotten inflamed, it would be beneficial to stay away from double polling for a while and get treatment from a PT.  After the pain is gone it would be advisable to start up slowly getting into double poling again.  Doing strength work in the weight room to get stronger could be a way to eliminate the pain/rehab option (dips, triceps exercises/medicine ball exercises etc)

To sum up:
1. Try the tips - if they work great.
2. Choose hillier terrain to change workout from double poling to striding
3. See a PT to see what the issue is with your elbow - and receive treatment/do reahab.
4. Do strength exercises in the weight room to address strength deficiencies and to gain strength without the impact of double poling on rollerskis.

Hope this helps...Trond Nystad 
(Swiss WorldCup Team Sprint Coach 2008-2010)
Race Pace Heart Rate? 
Dear SkiPost,
 This spring I purchased a heart rate monitor and have been using it religiously in my training.  I've found a lot of good information regarding using a heart rate monitor for training but have found little in the way of heart rate in race situations.  Are there guidelines for ideal heart rates for various distances 5K, 10K, 50K etc.  I realize that terrain plays a big role in every ski race, but so does distance I would imagine.  What are your thoughts on the matter???


Dear Bob, 

You raise a good yet very complex question.  As you point out, terrain plays a big role, so does the snow and other ambient conditions.  Also, as in any endurance sport, a well trained athlete can maintain a higher output and ditto heart rate over longer time periods than the less conditioned.  Cross-country skiing is very interval oriented due to the glide effects in up- and downhill sections, and the heart rate graph will be all over the board during racing.  We will find very high peak heart rates in tough portion of all distances, along with corresponding recovery in easy course sections.  How long a skier can keep up the repeated upper level output points back to the conditioning and operating efficiency.  Race pace vs. distance in foot running is quite predictable.  
Skiing is weight bearing, but without the constant pounding of the legs as in running and with substantially more intermittent recovery.  That will likely skew the peak race heart rates upward compared to those on foot.  Elite 5K runners cover that distance at about 109% of their lactate threshold intensity, which indicates operation in the 90- something percentile of max heart rate.  The corresponding numbers for 10K are 104 and still 90+ percent, while 50K 
would likely yield around 90 and below 80 percentiles.  (Raw data per "Lactate Threshold Training," Peter Janssen, MD.)  The numbers for the interval oriented cross-country skiing will not be too far off; we will in the 5K see very high and close to maximum heart rates over good portions of the race in a skier with high lactate tolerance, and slightly less output in the 10K.   
The fully aerobic 50K will yield considerably lower top output relative to maximum and the whole undertaking will be subject to more variables.  Keep in mind that bursts of output above the aerobic/anaerobic threshold have limited lifespan, and the nonlinear relationship of heart rate vs. lactate production/accumulation makes this dicey ground to be on to say the least.  However, the heart rate response vs. utilization of your VOmax is linear and much more predictable; the higher heart rate relative to your max you can maintain, the higher is your operating capacity.  

 In summary, your heart rate monitor is a much better training tool than a race performance gage.  But, it may well help you adjust your pace as it tells  you when you are working within or above your limits.  The instrument would be much better suited in racing if the courses were on flat lakes or in situations with constant resistance.  Cross-country is cross-country and that's what makes it challenging.  

This is a "Tarzan" discussion of a very complex set of relationships, but I hope it helps. 

The best of luck!      - jon engen

Jon Engen - 3 Time Olympian and  Masters Coach


Dear SkiPost,
We are having solomon pilot equipe bindings put on our new atomic race skis and had skied the demos last winter with wedges. Should we get some wedges? Are they all the same?



Yes we like SNS Wedges under all skate bindings. The wedges allow the skis to continue slip forward on hills when normally with the incline of the hill plus your foot positioning the ski would start dying. But with the wedges the skis slip forward more
easily. (Like a wet bar of soap in your hands.)

There are officially 2 types, the Wedge (40 mm wide and flush with the ski) and the Wedge 60 (that is 20 mm wider and hangs over the ski). We suggest the Wedge. If you gave good boots with stiff soles the wide wings never come into play and just appear visually to offer support. 
Wide wings only matter of your boots soles are not stiff enough. So yes get the SNS Wedges since you skied on them an liked them. 

Andy at SkiPost
 Nordic Team Apparel Custom

Mt. Borah

has been manufacturing technical Nordic apparel from our headquarters in Wisconsin for more than 8 years for other brands.  We have outfitted some of the countries top race teams and developed our product line with input from some of the nation's top skiers.  Now due to popular demand, and as we they have done in cycling, Mt. Borah is making its cutting edge custom apparel available to you direct.  


With Nordic team suits, jackets, vests, warm up pants, tassel hats and more you can get your team outfitted in your colors and designs within 5 weeks. Custom suits made in Wisconsin with the highest quality Swiss and Italian breathable lycra.  


In 10 minutes you can have a design and in 5 weeks you can be skiing in your colors.


a) If you or your graphic designer can dream it up, Mt. Borah can create it.

 Visit the Full Custom Nordic Page 

b) If you are not sure where to start with design visit our NordicDesignCenter Start with one of our 8 online predesign templates, select your team colors, upload your team or sponsor logos and you can have your very own design and quickly share it with your team 10 minutes from now. Yep in 10 minutes your team could be well on its way to having custom suits. 



Best of all, Mt. Borah owns its factory, so the entire process from artwork to sewing is done in-house, guaranteeing an on time delivery of your clubs apparel. 


Better yet Mt. Borah is offering a 10% discount on all orders placed by December 1st.

Please call 800-354-2825 Monday through Friday, 9-5 CST or visit mtborah.comWe look forward to outfitting your team or club with Mt Borah custom Nordic apparel. 

Share with your Team and Friends


8th Annual Steamboat Nordic Camp
Dec 11 - 12th, 2010 

Kick off your ski season with area's top coaches helping you improve your skills. A remarkable collection of coaching talent including former Nordic Olympian Sarah Konrad and top area coaches will assemble for the 2-day instructional camp to take place Friday evening at Ski Haus, and Saturday at The Lake Catamount Touring Center and Sunday at Steamboat Ski Touring Center 

The Camp caters to all ability levels: true beginner to advanced and race oriented. Clinic groups are divided by ability and group size is small so that participants can get the most from their coach. Thanks to Ski Haus, 10/11 Nordic ski equipment will be available to demo at the "try before you buy" demo tents: Fischer, Salomon, Rossignol, Atomic, SWIX, Toko, Madshus representatives will be on hand with equipment and information to assist you. Last but not least, hearty lunches, happy hour, great prizes and fun camaraderie add to this "not to be missed" Nordic event. For more information and to register:
Early registration fees are $165 for two days and $100 for one day through Dec. 4th. Register online at or in person at Ski Haus. Sign up early, this camp will fill up.  Early registration fees are $165 for two days and $100 for one day through Dec. 4th. Register online at or in person at Ski Haus. Sign up early, this camp will fill up.  
Three More CXC Masters Team Camps to Look Forward To Before the End of 2010

CXC Masters Team Members still have three exciting camps to look forward to before the end of 2010. We will meet in Hayward on Friday, October 15th and train until Sunday October 17th. This camp is a chance to get together with other Masters Team Members for some great training. The Yellowstone Ski Festival will be available to Masters Team Members with a great hotel rate and meal plan available to members, and the New Year camp will also be on the schedule. 

Our membership spots are limited at this point for the CXC Masters Team, but please contact us to learn more about the program and its benefits. Email Yuriy Gusev at

 MN Nordic Ski Expo


November 23 - 27, 2010


Join thousands of skinny skis in West Yellowstone, Montana for a week-long celebration of cross-country skiing.  Olympic athletes to first timers descend on this small, mountain town to make their first tracks of the season over the Thanksgiving holiday on perfectly groomed corduroy.  With the fourth Thursday in November falling late in the month, another successful snow packed festival is anticipated.

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When in West Yellowstone stay at the Holiday Inn Resort.

It is the host of the nightly Ski Industry Expo and daily Ski Clinics. 
For rates and reservations 406-646-7365 
 Holiday Inn West Yellowstone
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/Editor- SkiPost

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