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Feb 9, 2012: Volume 12, Number 44


What was Jessie On?
I know you guys are hooked into Salomon and CXC can you tell us what skis/wax etc ... Jessie was on on Russia. She was on rockets. JD fan in MN. P.S.  Where can we get a Jessie poster?


Yes Jessie appeared to be on Salomon rockets in Russia. But Jessie is a rocket all by herself as the rest of the World Cup has just discovered. Full disclosure, we at SkiPost work closely with Salomon. 

But here is what her coach Jason Cork posted, "Caught up with Jessie Diggins about the Salomon Nordic skis she won the Moscow FS sprint qualifier by 2.5 sec. on. They were a pair of 182cm Soft Ground skis with a Caldwell Sport S1-0X grind (50.7 flex, 1.46 camber height). This is a pair that came out of the Ogden, Utah warehouse right here in the good old U.S. of A. JC"
But I suggest you read more from the Rocket herself at Jessie Diggens blog http://jessiediggins.com/ 

For those of you who do know the 20 year old Jessie Diggins (USST/CXC) shocked the World Cup establishment when she posted the best qualifier in Moscow World Cup by 2.5 seconds last Thursday. She made the A final and finished 6th. She then backed that up over the weekend with 5th and 12th places in the next two Russian World Cups. They are still in shock across the pond shocked but no longer recalibrating their stopwatches.




 Interval  Training  Question


First, what's the real difference between doing "natural intervals" &  repeat intervals other than being able to see if you are fatiguing too much if you see yourself slowing down? Like, the difference between doing 5K that has 3 nice hills that all take about 3 min. each, verses  going up & down the same hill that takes about 3 min.


Second, how should one decide between doing 9, 1 min. intervals, verses 3, 3 min. intervals, or some other combination? And, let's say my questions have to do mainly with a casual master trainer - who doesn't follow a strict schedule like a college athlete might, but one who has a rough plan to do intervals 1-2 times per week for 45-60 min. 


From intervals  in Ironwood, MI


I don't think that there really isn't too much difference between doing intervals naturally vs. in a specific location. The team I coach (CXC Team) sort of does a mix of these two approaches. For some sessions, we use a specific section of trail just because it lends itself well to the workout (e.g., hill bounding on Telemark Resort's alpine hill), and others through varied terrain because ... well, because doing the same section is a) boring and b) doesn't force you to change make the technique and pacing you need to practice for racing.


For "a casual master trainer," if you are talking doing "natural intervals" (keeping a steady pace despite terrain), I don't think it's a big deal. When we have athletes who are tracking training loads and working on certain intensities/speeds, it's nice to break things down to specifics. Ultimately, if you're getting appropriate intensity accomplished and enjoying yourself, that's what's important.


Your second question lends itself to the first. We meet with athletes and try to figure out where they need to improve the most, and build training from there.* If someone can hang with the group for the majority of the race but consistently gets out-kicked, we work more on speed (so maybe those 9 X 1 min. @ L4-5 with 3-4 min. recovery). If general racing fitness is looking pretty good, 5 X 3 min. @ L4 with 3 min. recovery is a fairly common workout. In general, you need to figure that the more intense the workout, the less the total time "on"

needs to be. My rule of thumb is that 20-40 min. of L3 will elicit a training response, as will 10-20 min. of L4, as will 2-4 min. of L5.

We will do more than that from time to time, but generally, this is enough. How you break that total time depends on what you need to improve on. For example:


+ 8 X 5 min. @ L3 if you have trouble starting races too fast and

blowing up vs. 2 X 20 min. @ L3 if you need to work on being comfortable skiing fast


+ 5 X 3 min. @ L4/15km pace as a mid-week workout in race season if

you are racing well and want to keep the system primed vs. 10 X 1:30 @ L4/5km pace if you are trying to generate more speed endurance


+ 6 X 30 sec. @ L5 pace with 1 min. recovery if you are working on finishing speed and lactate tolerance vs. 12 X 15 sec. @ L5 pace scattered throughout an OD session with complete recovery for general speed development;


*Note: We're talking about structured intensity here, but sometimes skiers -- especially juniors -- need to learn how to ski and build a base before getting too focused.


Hope that helps


Jason Cork- CXC Team more at more or comment here



Ski Pole Length?

More input and opinions!


Last week a reader asked. What are the recommended length for skate and classic racing poles?  And why are classic poles shorter than skate poles?  I do not see why classic poles are shorter than skate poles and I do not believe the pole recommendations are based on any true biomechanic study but rather just this coach said, or so in so uses this length...? GH


Dear GH

Start, who SkiPost works with, recommends skate poles to be at 90% of the skier height and classic poles to be at 83% of skier height. 


From Trond Nystad: Head Coach Team Norway

The rule of thumb is to find a classic pole that fits underneath your armpit and a skate pole that is about 10cm longer than your classic pole.  A flatter course will generally call for a little longer pole.  Some, but not all, use a pole that is about 2.5 cm longer if the course is flat.  This would be the pole to use in a loppet race as well if one is just double poling.  Since double poling a long race is relatively new, it is important to first try this in training and then decide on what length pole to use...there is not hard and fast rule here.  In general world cup skiers are stronger and have better technique, hence they tend to use a little longer poles than a normal citizen racer but just a little.  


Follow the main rule and then try a little longer and shorter to find what fits you the best.  Most ski centers have rental poles that one can test before one goes out to buy expensive poles.  If in doubt it is better to buy the poles a little longer as it is easy to cut down poles later....impossible to make them longer :-).. But this is not rocket science ...long poles is for sure not good as then people just hang behind the poles.  important to have a pole where one can use the upper body strength and be "over" the pole.  We follow the KISS principle...keep it simple stupid....have people try in a rental shop and then buy what feels the best.  


From Galanes Sports Lab Institute  www.jimgalanes.com


As with all aspects of ski technique it is not possible to discuss and isolated issue because all of the movements in skiing are integrated. Modifications in one area can have an effect in other areas and the same applies to the poling movements and pole length. Having said that, I think the typical pole length recommendation of 83% and 90% of individual body height is a good range to maintain good balance between all movement patterns.  I use poles at 85% for classic and 90% for skating. These lengths feel about right for me at this time and I would caution against going more than a two to two an d a half centimeter longer or shorter as it may have both technical and physical impacts on other aspects of ski technique.

There are multiple factors to consider when determining pole length. The primary considerations should include the whole body muscle activation patterns, the ski terrain, individual strength, technique, and the body height and position. There is most certainly a range of pole length that may work for an individual. But there is also a length that will be too long or too short that will limit the ability of the poling forces to produce power. Also remember, too long or too short a pole length can alter body position and technique in a way that may alter muscle activation patterns and other aspects of technique.  


There are many interesting studies on poling forces and pole length that analyze muscle EMG activity and horizontal, propulsive and vertical poling forces. These studies are too complex to summarize in a short response but they can be captured in what we have experienced and feel on skis.  Both the vertical and horizontal reactive forces play a role in the poling movements. So I believe there are good reasons to maintain a nearly vertical pole plant to load the poles and carry the body weight.  Long poles may require a greater angle at pole plant!  When skating first came along there was a significant push to use far longer poles thinking it would increase poling and gliding time. This did increase both the poling and glide time but did not increase the power output or the speed.

I believe we need to think in terms of the efficient production of power, fast force production, from the poling movements. A longer pole may make you feel strong in the poling movements but there is a big difference between exerting force on the poles and producing power efficiently. To increase speed we need to think about decreasing poling time. In short, the longer the poles, the longer the poling time. 

Many more reader comments at SkiPost blog



Start Spoil Your Ski and Yourself  

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to Spoil your Skis and Yourself


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Saturday Jan 18th Elm Creek contact Gear West for race details. Visit GearWest after the race for great deals on Start Products and special raffle prizes and to ask nerdy wax geek questions to Start Race Service.


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Galanes Sports Lab Institute


Three time Olympian and former U.S. Ski Team coach, Jim Galanes, has opened a new business based in Ketchum, Idaho.  The Galanes Sports Lab Institute is providing coaching services on a local and regional level in addition to web based services for athletes outside the area. Jim's coaching services will consist of training planning and monitoring and on the ground training and technique time for all levels of athletes. Jim utilizes the new and scientifically validated First Beat Technology's heart rate assessment system that provides specific information on training load and recovery.


Galanes Sports Lab Institute will also provide specific training camps based in the Sun Valley area, or in the home towns of its clients   to focus on training and technical development. Training camps will be custom designed to meet the needs of each group and focus on the specific aspects of skiing and training to maximize training time. The Sun Valley area has exceptional skiing conditions and facilities, great weather, varied skiing terrain, and an ideal altitude to maximize both endurance and high intensity training.


Jim Galanes has over 20 years of experience as a coach, and competed at the highest levels of the sport for almost 15 years.  Jim brings a great ability to instruct and teach the basics and the fine points of all skiing techniques.  He also brings broad-based knowledge of training theory, exercise physiology, equipment and technology to individual athlete training.  Galanes Sports Lab Institute is ready  to assist you in reaching your goals, enjoy training, and be more productive with your training time. Jim can provide you with the optimal training programs for cross country skiing, cycling, running, and other endurance sports. 


Learn More and Reach Galanes Sports Lab Institute at www.jimgalanes.com or email Jim at jimgalanes@clearwire.net



Feb News

Gallatin Glissade
Lone Mountain Ranch 
Big Sky, Montana
February 25, 20K, 10K, 2K  
Registration contact Gallatin Alpine Sports
(888) 325-7463 


33rd Annual Rendezvous  

March 3, 2012

Great Skiing in West Yellowstone!   

For more information, please visit: www.rendezvousrace.com.  

and when you are there stay at the Holiday Inn




Valentines Rudy Special Offer

Share with your Team and Friends


Check out the 23rd annual POLE PEDAL PANT winter triathlon at Elm Creek Park Reserve  MN on March 10, 2012.  ww.polepedalpant.com.


SkiTrax 2011/12 - DON'T MISS an ISSUE - SUBSCRIBE

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MARTY HALL Exclusive Interview - The Man, The Myth in SkiTrax Feb/Mar 2012 issue.  PLUS visit www.skitrax.com  for the latest news, FIS Fantasy Contests, Kikkan Randall's Daily Training Rap and much more.... DON'T MISS an ISSUE - take advantage of SkiPost's special discount and subscribe today...http://www.skitrax.com/skipost  


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 www.SkiPost.com or email us at weanswer@skipost.com

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost

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