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Feb 16, 2012: Volume 12, Number 45



 Slideboard and Plyos


I have spent some time on a slide board and know that it has been used as a training exercise for XC skiing. I do not really have room for a slide board and would rather not spend money on one either. Therefore, I have been working on hopping laterally, alternately using one foot to push off while swinging my arms in a V2 type motion. I have been doing this at a tempo of about 1 second per hop which gives me time for a brief pause to load up and balance on the leg that I am going to step off. Do you think this is better, worse or no different than using a slide board? Thanks.


I do have some thoughts about the value of slideboard training as well as the importance or Plyometric training to help you meet your potential in nordic skiing.

First, the slideboard. There are a few different ways to use a slideboard, including long, endurance-focused workouts and shorter, more explosive workouts. They can be effective tools, especially for recovery from injury. That said, there are many workouts that are both more effective and more fun that can also help you to improve your plyometric power. Save your money and space. No need for a slideboard.

Plyometric Power can seem like a strange focus for nordic skiers. After all, for most masters skiers and citizen racers, our sport is about racing for long periods of time (30 minutes or more), mainly utilizing out aerobic metabolism to create energy. At race time, it's all about staying efficient, holding technique together and having enough aerobic training in the bank to maintain a good pace. It's rarely about explosive power out there, right? So why do we need to do plyometric training? How does it help us to ski a better Birkie or Boulder Mountain Tour?

Plyo training (sometimes referred to by the Norwegian word, "spenst") is all about increasing your maximum output, and thereby increasing efficiency. Think of it this way... Let's assume that, at the start of a training period, you can generate a maximum of 100 watts of energy in a single tuck jump or a single V1 jump stroke (we sometimes call this a "1-Rep Max"). Let's also assume that while skiing in a 30 km race, you work at about 60% of you maximum power output with each push. Therefore, you are generating about 60 watts (100 watts x 60%) of power with each stroke as you're skiing along down the trail. 

Now, let's assume that you jump in to a good training program with Plyo training included 1-2 times each week... after 6-8 weeks you see a solid gain of about 20%, up to 120 watts, in your maximal power output or 1-Rep Max. Again, let's assume that you are still working at about 60% of your maximum power output while racing (changing this 60% number is more about interval and endurance training than about plyometric training - a discussion for another day!), but when you do the math, (120 watts x 60%), you'll see that now you are able to generate 72 watts per stroke as opposed to 60 watts before the training period. That's a big difference!

The specific details of your plyometric program should be something that you put together with your coach or adviser, with consideration of your fitness level, overall health, and your strengths and weaknesses as a skier. The basics, however, remain the same... a combination of one and two-legged hops, some hops for height, others for distance, some lateral (side to side) others medial (straight ahead). As you progress and gain strength and power, you may move the workout from a flat surface to a grassy hill. A word of advice - start slow! I've seen some of this country's best skiers so sore after a hard summer plyo workout that they could barely walk down the stairs!

Plyometric training is an essential and often overlooked part of maximizing you performance out there on the ski trails. Plus it's fun! Get off the slideboard and head to the gym or outside...If you need help developing your specific program, don't hesitate to drop me a note!

All the best,

Travis Jones for SkiPost


Start Spoil Your Ski and Yourself  

Start's Weekend Racing Wax Recs

to Spoil your Skis and Yourself



This weekend we encourage you to try and trust the Start Wax Selector for your Start Waxing Guide.


Test it out for your local race and let us know how it works for you. It was created with over 12 years of race testing data. If you need additional help email us at Start@endurance-enterprises.com 


Our waxing selector is available at startskiwax.com  or better yet download our Start Android App, it's like having Start's Harri in your back pocket.


Next week SkiPost will have a special Tuesday edition for the American Birkebeiner. Start will offer preliminary wax recommendations for prepping your skis and will be on location testing and refining our wax report so that you can rest assured that you will have the fastest skis for the big race.


And Yes, since many of you have asked, Start will also have a booth at Birkie Expo where you can purchase the Birkie wax needs and get up-to-the-minute advice.




Start Special Events


Start's Starting Line Race Service at UN-SNOWFLAKE SKI RACE !

Start' s race service staff will spoil you with SFR Fluor wax treatment before the start. Saturday Jan 18th Elm Creek contact Gear West for race details. Visit GearWest after the race for 20% off select Start waxes for the Birkie,  or enter to win special raffle prizes  and ask nerdy wax geek questions to Start Race Service.


Start's Riverbrook Birkie Waxing Service-

go ahead spoil yourself, you know you deserve it!


Start at the Birkie Expo with Race Day Wax Sales



  Start's Answers to Waxing Questions 

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


Feb News

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Gallatin Glissade
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February 25, 20K, 10K, 2K  
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



The 33rd Annual Rendezvous Race will be held on March 3, 2012

Start off Your Spring Ski Racing with a Bang! 


There are just over two weeks until the cannon fires for the 33rd annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race, on March 3, 2012.  Make plans now to participate in this historic race, and experience some of the best skiing the world has to offer in West Yellowstone, Montana.  Race organizers are already busy marking the course and making final preparations for the event. If you have been to West Yellowstone at any time this season, you'll know that the Rendezvous Ski Trails are in outstanding shape!


The Yellowstone Rendezvous Race is part of the American Ski Marathon Series and is a cornerstone of cross-country skiing in West Yellowstone.  Once again, this year the race is proud to have Yellowstone National Park Lodges as its corporate sponsor. There are six different race divisions offered for skiers of all ages.  Marathoners can enter the 50 kilometer freestyle race, which consists of two laps around the perimeter of the Rendezvous Ski Trail system.  Racers can enter the 25 kilometer classic or freestyle events, and the 10 kilometer race is a great choice for those preferring a shorter distance. The 5k and 2k races are geared for kids... bring the whole family!


Camaraderie at the start line follows racers along the entire course.  To support racers in the 25 or 50k division, costumed volunteers staff feed stations along the trails and the theme this year is "Pirates".  Look for eye patches, hooks, hats, and of course, treasure!  Bragging rights are on the line, as racers get to vote for their favorite feed station and the winners gloat for the rest of the year.


For most, crossing the finish line is the goal... but the fastest skiers will be rewarded with medals and cash prizes at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening.  All racers are invited to treat themselves to the complimentary desert bar at the Holiday Inn after the race.

The Yellowstone Rendezvous Race is a fun, festive event in a unique location.  As the name implies, West Yellowstone sits at the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park, which is open to over-snow vehicles until March 15, 2012.  Inside the park, local snow coach companies offer ski tours around Old Faithful, Firehole Drive, Gibbon Falls, and many other spectacular spots. Alternatively, a short drive will find many trailheads for those interested in a light backcountry tour of Yellowstone National Park or the Gallatin National Forest. 


Visitors are encouraged to extend their stay and truly enjoy a winter wonderland that is unlike any other place.  Whether it is skiing or sight-seeing, West Yellowstone is the home base for winter fun.  There is no other place in the world where you can spend one day racing or skiing on 35 kilometers of professionally groomed trails and the next day see bison grazing next to hot springs or bald eagles soaring past geysers. 


There is still time to sign up for the Yellowstone Rendezvous Race.  Register before February 27th to save on entry. 


For more information please visit www.rendezvousrace.com   





The 6th Annual Equinox Snow Challenge will be
March 24th and 25th, 2012 

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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