Volume 13 Issue 19 : Sept 6, 2012
SkiPost Felix
We answer your skiing questions email us 
Subscribe HereOld Issues Archived Here

Rollerskiing & Aerobic Efficiency?


A recent SkiPost article "Should I Rollerski?"  stated that "Rollerskiing is not the most efficient aerobic training out there," and recommended running, ski walking, and bounding for distance and intensity. What do you mean by "aerobic efficiency?"  I'm able to get my heart rate as high or higher with rollerskiing than running, at least on skate skis with decent snow-like resistance. RB

Aerobic Efficiency: Running and Rollerskiing  

By: Chad Salmela


It doesn't seem to make much sense to say you have to go slower to go faster, and it makes even less to say that to go fast skiing, you need to run.  In fact, "need" is a strong word for either notion, but if we are talking about the optimal training adaptation for aerobic efficiency, then "need" fits. 


Aerobic efficiency deserves to be under the microscope first.  When we talk about the need for base training, aerobic efficiency is what we are talking about.  While the concept of base is a commonly understood, it is often misunderstood as any intensity less than balls to the wall.  However, developing optimal aerobic efficiency is elusive if the training intensity isn't quite easy enough for the human organism in question.  It is almost impossible to achieve if the intensity of "base" training taxes the energy systems too greatly. 


Energy use while exercising determines how much you can train, how hard you can train, and how often you can train, train hard, and race, without physical breakdown.  Sugar as glycogen stored in your muscles is the primary fuel for high intensity exercise.  Fat is a lower octane fuel, also stored in the muscles, that will not directly support high-effort exercise, but indirectly, will support how fast a body can move itself using as little glycogen as possible.  How fast one moves at this point is directly related to how fast it can move at all intensities above that.  In endurance sport, the duration an intensity can be held is also a huge factor in performance.  Aerobic efficiency is basically the measure of how fast a human body can move itself using the most amount of fat as fuel.  The point at which the body moves fastest at least amount of effort, measured by heartrate and fat use, is called the Aerobic Threshold (AeT).  The faster an athlete moves at AeT, the faster that athlete usually moves in competition too.  This is important to remember, because AeT for most non-elite athletes is at a very slow velocity if it has never been tested, addressed, or focused upon.   It can't change if training never happens slightly below and slightly above it.  If you ignore the AeT, overall performance improvement is difficult-particularly over a sporting career, and stress over longer durations of competition.


 By nature, humans walk and run as their basic form of locomotion.  Capillary density in muscles determines how easily a body transports and uses oxygen for muscle firing.  Our legs by nature become the most capillary-dense spots in our body as they adapt to moving us around through life.  If you want to begin an effort to maximize fuel efficiency, you can rely your legs.  It is much easier to teach your body to exercise on fat by running or walking than any other type of training, because the infrastructure is already there from walking.  As aerobic efficiency training goes, running and hiking are critical, and for most levels of athletes, the place to start to maximize aerobic efficiency.


 Rollerskiing is an obvious necessity, and running is by no means a superior training tool to rollerskiing.  But rollerskiing requires more power from more muscle groups-some of which will never be as dense with capillaries as your legs-requiring greater glycogen use.  Rollerskiiing is probably a more important tool to ski racing specificity, but a steady dose of addressing aerobic capacity by running an hiking is a sound way to roll out training adaptations from spring into summer and late summer, with rollerskiing periods following base building running periods. 


How do you know how slow to go?

This is the hardest part as a coach to impart to young developing athletes, because motivated young skiers believe they are tough and unbeatable.  The balance to developing aerobic efficiency and keeping young athletes fired up is a tough one to manage.  But the development of aerobic efficiency is the backbone of performance, so to ignore it in favor of tougher training, is by nature cutting aerobic development off at the knees.


The easiest way to specifically know your intensity is to get metabolically tested.  That is not a commonplace opportunity for many.  More and more programs are using lactate analyzers.  One of the easiest measures for aerobic efficiency is taking lactates in the field on workouts that are designed to be base-building workouts.  If you are over 1.5 mMols in the field, that's too hard.  If you can't rollerski under 1.5 mMols, then try to see if you can get under that while running, and run that intensity for a while.  Try to get down to the 1 mMol range before you go back to rollerskiing, and/or pick up your base running pace.


As a high school running coach, I was able to develop the runners with heartrate monitors and a standard test loop.  I would have the athletes run a 3km standard loop all out, then have them run at double the time for the same loop and check their average heartrate.  Most kids starting out under me couldn't run most of the uphills at that heartrate for several weeks.  But over 3-6 weeks, where they were walking, they would eventually run.  This is quite simply, how aerobic efficiency is built.  You have to slow down to what your body is telling you is easy for it, and train there.  It's slow starting out, but it improves if you take the time to do it, and before you know it, you will be going at a good clip at very low heartrates and efforts.


Chad Salmela

College of Saint Scholastica Ski Team  Coach and much more...


Miriam Goessner
Miriam Goessner



Soft Ground Ski Fit? 


Ok you answered my Salomon binding question, now a Salomon ski fit question. How come Salomon suggests the same general ski flex for its Softground (skate) ski as it does its cold ski or warm (skate) skis?  I always thought you fit skis for soft snow softer?  B. N.


Ah yes, Salomon recommends that ias a general fit its Equipe 10 skate skis midflex be at 1/2 a skier's KG body weight + 25KG  +- 5kg. This also holds true to the SoftGround because its engineering makes it ideal for soft snow so your fit does not need to make compensations. Salomon states that this extra long but noodle like pressure distribution mated to a normal midflex is one key reason why skiers have found it so fast in a multitude of track conditions and not just pure powder. 

(Read last year's Salomon Birkie SoftGround success story here).   

Team News
Morgan Arritola wins Bronze
 at World Mountain Running Championships
in Italy 
Morgan Aritola bronze medal wmrc2012
Morgan Arritola bronze medal wmrc2012
Event News
Ski Erg Showdown
ski erg max

Saturday, September 15th  
Can you compete?
Check it out at Ski Erg Showdown

Individuals will compete in a 1k time trial, teams (5 or more individuals) will shoot for the highest number of  combined max wattage. If one test isn't enough, you can compete in BOTH for only $5.00 more.

Proceeds from this event will go to Jennie Bender and Matt Liebsch as they strive for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.    


Jennie Bender

Jenny Bender Thrill  


Jennie, a Vermont native, moved to the Twin Cities in 2010 to pursue nordic skiing at an elite level as part of  Team CXC. She graduated from the University of Vermont that same spring with a Bachelors in Exercise Physiology. Jennie currently attends training camps throughout the summer with CXC or the US Ski Team, and when not at camp resides in Maple Plain. Growing up with Concept 2 , developer of the SkiErg machine, in her hometown, Bender is excited for the Ski Erg battle as a midsummer motivator!  Winter is coming!




Yellowstone Ski Festival
Boulder Mountain Tour
& National Masters
solevenia austria
VBT Cross-Country Skiing Tour

: Cross-Country Skiing the Alps 
Kranjska Gora * Planica * Valbruna * Tarvisio * Ramsau
10 days from only $3395, Including airfare
Immerse yourself in a winter paradise where even the locals travel by way of their skis. As we explore, we'll chat with local cross-country afi cionados and visit one of the world's largest ski jumps. In addition to gliding along wellgroomed cross-country trails, we'll also enjoy village strolls and cooking with a local chef. As the sun dips below snowcapped spires, we'll unwind in warm spas and saunas. 2012/2013 Departures: Dec 14, 2012; Jan 4, 11, 25; Feb 22, 2013 More info here

Training Programs and Camps 
Far West Farm Team 
Accepting Applications

The Far West Nordic "Farm Team", an Olympic Development Senior Team based in Lake Tahoe, California, is seeking to fill 6 positions on its roster for 2012-2013. The Farm Team has helped foster skiers to national class results in its first two season. We aim to continue this trend in this the third season and beyond. The Farm Team is a grassroots development program which concentrates on athlete results and commitment, community involvement, and junior development. We are looking to attract athletes with a similar focus. With the US Distance Nationals/SuperTour Finals, aka.,"Spring Series" being hosted by Far West in April 2013, you would have the home court advantage


If you are interested in being part of the Far West Farm Team, please send a one paragraph bio and your ski resume to Ben Grasseschi   

For those of you who missed Junior Nationals in Far West in 2005 and 2009, Lake Tahoe is legendary for its above-average snowfall yet seemingly cloudless days. It also has 5 outstanding Nordic resorts/venues within the Tahoe Basin and a top-quality Nordic racing scene. Oh, and the Summer time is pretty sweet here too, with two beautiful lakes and endless backcountry terrain to run, swim, and bike in.

For interested athletes, the Farm Team has available; a top tier coaching staff, world class training venues, race/trip support, and team uniforms. Far West Nordic is currently able to offer a small travel stipend for each of the 6 Farm Team athletes. More financial assistance will depend upon each athlete's involvement to/with fundraising. Each Farm Team athlete is expected to sign and adhere to an Athlete Contract committing to; results, community involvement/fundraising, junior development, and personal integrity.Application Deadline is September 21, 2012 and the Team will be named October 1, 2012. Contract period is from 1 October, 2012 to April 30, 2013. *All previous Farm Team members will need to re-apply to be considered.   


If you are interested in being part of the Far West Farm Team, please send a one paragraph bio and your ski resume to Ben Grasseschi at:



CXC Citizen Technique Camps

 St. Paul / Chicago / Milwaukee


Citizen Technique Camps and CXC Team are coming to your community to share knowledge and expertise. These camps are designed for citizen skiers of all ages and abilities, focuse on technique, bust bad habits, and build new skills. During the three days at the camp participants work on agility, balance, dry-land training, ski imitation, and rollerskiing. The camp is a great opportunity to learn from elite athletes about training, technique, racing, recovery and more.

Price: $200.00


September 7-9 / Cable, WI
October 26-28 / St. Paul, MN
November 2-4 / Chicago, IL 

November 9-11 / Milwaukee, WI

Nordic Database


CXC has just launched a searchable database Learn-To-Ski Programseaching Pros, Equipment Rental LocationsSki Clubs and 

Nordic Youth Events in the central region


We hope you can help these searchable directories grow by sending us your submissions here!

Lake Superior Ski Club's Master Training Group  

Lake Superior Ski Club offers a variety of options for Masters Skiers in the Duluth MN area. Starting in October and running until the Birkie. We are here to make you a better skier, whether it is to keep up with your friends or qualify for the Elite wave of the Birkie let us help you achieve your goals. More info here 
Sisu Skiers Summer Training  
Summer Training Programs and Camps 
Does you have a summer programs you wish to promote? 
email and we will share.

SkiTrax Magazine Launches with

Kershaw, Kalla and Jauhojarvi


SkiTrax Magazine is pleased to announce that for 2012/13 our fabulous team of writers is back including some of the best names in the sport and top skiers as well such as Devon Kershaw who takes over for his teammate Alex Harvey this year.


We're also stoked to welcome Sweden's Charlotte Kalla and Finland's Sami Jauhojarvi, two of the hottest names in xc skiing, who will pen a new Euro column in Trax this season.


All the best this coming season to subscribe visit

Nordic Job Openings

Co-Head Nordic Coach - Mounds View High School Arden Hills,MN
Ability and passion for teaching nordic techniques and racing strategies to beginning through advanced high school skiers
Strong wax knowledge Reliable, communicative, flexible, collaborative and fun! Email resume  and cover letter to  



Nordic Job Opening? email to post

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 email us and visit


Enjoy Winter,

Andrew Gerlach
Director/Editor- SkiPost


Like us on Facebook
In This Issue
Aerobic Efficiency
SoftGround Ski Fit
Team News
Morgan Arritola wins Bronze
Event News
Ski Erg Showdown
Slovenia, Italy & Austria
Summer Camps
Far West Farm Team

SNS Event banner

VBT ski tours
find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.

Take the Bliz Survey win Bliz.

winter athletics 2
Start Rollerskis

Tour de Ski collage
SalomonNordic on 

concept 2 ski erg
west Yellowstone
Ski West Yellowstone
Bjorn Daehlie
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today 

Bliz Active Eyewear 
 Finally available in the US
OneWay Sport USA Facebook
Pursuit XT White Blue

concept 2 ski erg
west Yellowstone
Ski West Yellowstone
find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.

Nordic Town USA.

winter athletics 2

sd3 race winner small
Spoil Yourself with 
Start Poles

Bjorn Daehlie
Support Tomorrow's Stars Today Donate To The NNF

find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.

Nordic Town USA.
ski trax kikkan
 Download the SkiTrax 
Magazine App Click HERE 


Download pdf catalog here
Bliz Active Eyewear
Finally in the US, 
to find or become a dealer