Should I Rollerski?
I' m a J1 this year for the first time for my high school and so and so on. This upcoming season I am hoping to do really good and qualify for JOs and you know just have an all-around good race season. I have just recently read your article/reply on junior training and my coach has put me on a very similar training schedule with the weekly, monthly, and yearly hours you had suggested.
I am at the moment training on my own despite wonderful programs provided by great knowledgeable coaches. The coaches have their groups rollerskiing a lot. Pretty much every other day or more. They practice technique and do time trials and so forth on rollerskis. I myself have strayed away from rollerskiing and have been doing a lot of mountain running, mountain biking, and strength training to stay in shape. To get to the point I am wondering if roller skiing is really worth all of the days that I know others have been putting on it. And others being people who are the top skiers in the state at the moment so it has been making me question my training. As summer progresses into fall I will be doing more roller skiing, but most likely no more than 2-3 times a week. And I most likely won't be doing technique with it, just as an
upper body strength workout. I just wanted to hear about your thoughts on rollerskiing consistency and training and whether or not to practice technique during these workouts?
Rollerskiing is an important part of ski training, but there are a couple of different approaches. It is definitely the most ski-specific dryland activity that we can do, so we recommend it to anyone who is serious about ski training. As to how much, I guess that depends on what you and your coach feel you need to develop. Rollerskiing is great for technique work and specific strength, especially double-poling classic and no-poles skating. It is the only activity that will very closely mimic skiing. Ski-walking and bounding are close, but they just won't give you the balance and specific motions that you get with rollerskiing.
Rollerskiing is not the most efficient aerobic training out there, though, so you are probably better off doing most of your distance and
intensity work on foot (running, ski-walking, bounding, etc). Most elite skiers use rollerskiing as you do - to develop strength, balance,
coordination, and technique. As a first year J1, you should be focusing on increasing your training in an intelligent progression, hopefully under the eyes of a good coach, as well as moving towards more systematic and specific training. This is an excellent time to build your technique as well. Rollerskiing will become more and more important as you develop and progress towards an elite senior skier.
How much is right for now? That depends on what you need to develop. It's really hard to make specific suggestions since I don't know your background, but rollerskiing a few times per week is probably OK for the summer and should pick up to 2-4 times in the Fall. Make sure that you are doing specific strength on rollerskis at least once per week (double-pole, single-pole, no-poles skating).
Also, you should work with someone on technique at least once each month or more to verify that you are not developing bad habits, especially in classic. Rollerskiing is a great way to improve your technique, and if you can get someone to help you (coach, friend, parent), it is good to get some video of yourself and compare it to World Cup skiers and see how you can improve during the off-season.
Good luck this year. I hope you make it to JO's. Train intelligently and you will get there...