Ask us, We Answer
Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question?
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How much should I do?
I like to do some hill bounding with poles in the fall along with some other forms of training. I have a very steep hill that takes me about 1.25 min to bound up at a pace that gets me anaerobic. It takes another 2.5 min for me to walk down, so each interval is a total of about 4 min. I know that I'm not supposed to increase my work load by more than 10% per week and that I should cycle from hard weeks back to an easy week and build off of that. But how do I come up with the optimum number of intervals? If I start doing these in August, I could easily be doing 20 by the end of November. This could wipe me out. On the other hand, I want to do enough to get all of the gain possible. I should add that I train year round and really don't like using a heart rate monitor.
I'm not sure if there's enough info in that question to give a real answer, but here's an attempt. My general rule of thumb is that 12-24 minutes of "on" time for L4 is enough to get a stimulus, and that 20-45 minutes is enough for L3. (Those ranges are fairly big, and depend on the athlete, their age, what type of week they're doing, what types of races they're prepping for and what types of intervals are being attempted.) Intervals that are 1.25 min. are fairly short, along the lines of what we'd do late in the prep season to get ready for relatively short, hard races (sprint to 5-10km); I'd hesitate to have those as the only type of interval on the schedule for the four months between August and the start of racing.
I'm not sure about the 10% rule, but in general, I'd set a goal number and stop the intervals when you either a) hit that number or b) start to have diminished quality (e.g., technique falls apart, it takes you longer than normal to complete, it's feels extraordinarily difficult). For what it's worth, in a four-week cycle I usually aim for weeks with 22%-35%-15%-28% of the planned monthly volume. Doing 20 of these intervals would be 25 minutes "on" -- not ridiculously out of my somewhat arbitrary window -- and if they're quality, then why not? As you say, "This could wipe me out" -- but then again, it might set you up for a great race season. On a side note, I was reminded a few days ago that I once wrote a training session calling for 12 X 3 min. of L3, with 3 min. recoveries. In retrospect, I think that is a stupid workout, but the athlete who did the session remembers it as a really hard session that she did well, and that she felt super tough afterwards.
US Ski Team
Cross Country assistant coach
What to put on first!
Everyone talks about what to wear when Nordic skiing. It seems like I am always to cold and then to hot and then I get icy after each fast downhill. So what do you guys wear?
The most important piece of clothing to focus on for Nordic skiing is the 1st layer. 90% of the time I am skiing I am wearing Craft next to my skin. (Full disclosure I have been wearing Craft for almost 20 years, though not the same pieces. I started wearing Craft when I ran the Factory Team and helped introduce Craft to the US market. I know there are now many other brands that offer great 1st layers. But, i have not tested many others because Craft works so well for me and most every nordic racer I know.)
Craft has the unique ability to snuggly fit the body without being restricting. And it keeps me warm without getting me hot and sweaty. With Craft as my 1st layer the 2nd outer layer all work better. I will let my friends at Craft give you their detailed reasons why Craft's 1st layers work so well.
Andy at SkiPost
Katie at Craft says
- Craft baselayers focus on thermal regulation and keeping the body at its optimal temperature to perform 98.6ºF. Ventilating when the body starts to get too warm and insulating when the body as it gets cold. This technology is ideal in Nordic skiing as you are working hard up the hills and then tucking down the hills. They are constructed to manage your body temperature and efficiently transport moisture away from the skin and distribute it on the outside, keeping you dry and comfortable for high intensity skis or just touring around. We suggest Craft's Be Active and/or Be Active Extreme baselayers as they perform in a wide temperature range -10º - +50ºF ( -25º - +10ºC) and are the answer to you your temperature fluctuation. They will for sure make your experience more enjoyable and less icy!
What is your best app for tracking ski distance, vertical and time?
I use a Suunto Ambit Watch with tracks everything you mention plus heart rate.
But I will ask our readers on what they use.
Readers what do you use? Email wenanswer@SkiPost.com
Andy at SkiPost
What is the difference between an all-around style classic ski and a klister ski? I recently found a great deal on a pair of used Rossignol X-ium classic skis so I bought them. However, I discovered that they are the C3 or klister style ski. Will I be able to use them in non-klister conditions or should I sell them and get all-around skis? The skis are 208 cm. I am 182 lbs and 6'-0" tall. Thanks!
KP , Salt Lake City, Utah
I just answered a very similar question for last week's SkiPost. And I am no expert on Rossi skis (as I prefer the other french brand) In general a Klister ski has a higher residual camber that a hardwax ski. This allows the thicker Klister wax to remain off the snow when you are gliding. Many klister skis also have a quicker release and the end of the kick and also require a slightly more impulse driven kick to close. If it is fit for your weight you can use a Klister ski in hardwax conditions but you will have to add more layers of wax and perhaps be more aggressive in your kick.
If all you ski is Cold snow and you want easy solid kick on every hill I would look for a good cold ski as every day kick will be much easier. If you want an all condition ski and do use klister at times you could make a klister ski work as an all condition ski. But since you already own them the best way to find out is to go test them yourself rather than just listening to some internet prognosticator. OK?
Andy at SkiPost
What are people referring to when they say they are cushioning their hardwax.
Cushioning refers to putting softer kick wax layers under a harder kick wax final layers. It is most often done in new snow with fine crystals to try and stop their remaining in the wax and icing during the glide phase. The soft underlayers flex, like a soft cushion, to provide wax adhesion and kick due to the bending of the wax to the snow. The harder outer layer is to stop the crystals from actually penetrating the kick wax and remaining there during the glide phase which results in icing. The greatest difficulty in cushioning is getting the layering right so as not to wear off the to hard outer layer and expose the too soft underlayer which will then really ice.
Start wax, which SkiPost works with, solves this cushioning problem with their Tar kick waxes. The Tar has Thermoplastic properties which enable the outer layers of wax that are exposed to the cold snow to harden on their own while the underlayers remain soft and flexing. So you get auto cushioning with just using one Tar wax type based on temp. and as you wear layers off the skis always have cushioning. Great kick, no icing and better glide. Kick made simple and the Tar smells great.
More info on waxing through these links.
Recreational & fitness waxing guide Race Waxing Guide Start Wax Cheat sheet
The first time I made it to Junior Olympics (back in 1998) my mom, Toni Polfus, did a little watercolor painting of a black bear skiing to help my best friend and I raise money for our trip to Alaska. We sold the prints locally and they were pretty popular. Since that first painting she has made a new skiing animal watercolor every time someone from the Lakeland high school nordic ski team (located in northern Wisconsin) has made it to JOs. Can you be so kind as to let your SkiPost readers know of her works?
Here you go:
She now has six skiing animals listed which you can see here: Toni Polfus ski art
Cross-Country Ski Yellowstone Nationaal Park with VBT - Beginners Welcome!
VBT will be offering a "beginner" departure for our Yellowstone cross-country ski vacation. This special departure is for travelers who may not have ski experience, but would still love to discover the joys of Yellowstone in the winter. Are you new to skiing? Are you interested in combining skiing with snowshoeing and moonlight walks to a starry Old Faithful eruption? Are you an avid skier, but your travel partner has no ski experience? This is the vacation for you.
These beginner departures feature waxless classic skis and shorter, flatter routes than on the regular ski departures. Rather than skiing every day, we will include snowshoe hikes and winter walks on some days of the tour. Of course, off the trail, you will still experience the discoveries you have come to expect in a VBT vacation.
On our Yellowstone ski vacation, we'll be staying at the only two in-park lodges open in the winter: The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel-named for the steaming limestone terraces located just above the hotel area-offers access to wildlife watching, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. We'll also stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, which despite being the most modern park hotel, still harmonizes with the surrounding landscape to complement the other historic buildings in the area. Its greatest feature is its close proximity to the Old Faithful Geyser. The hotel's location also makes it possible for guests to set out on a variety of explorations right from their door. When you're not outside, enjoy the fire as you sip a hot beverage in the lounge, while the snow falls outside.
In the winter, Yellowstone's roads are groomed-not plowed. We'll be traveling through the park on snow coaches to some of the world's most unique geothermal feature like geysers, hot springs and steam vents. We'll even enjoy an interpretive walk at one of the most active areas in the park. Walking along Fountain Paint Pots boardwalk, we'll have the opportunity to witness all four types of geothermal features and later, as we drive along the Firehole Canyon, we'll stop to take in the awesome sight of the 40-foot-high Firehole Falls.
Yellowstone's animals are on the move during our excursion to the Lamar Valley. The valley, known as the Serengeti of North America, teems with wildlife drawn to the valley by the Lamar River's reliable water and food. The vast quantities of buffalo, elk, and antelope also attract wolves-making this a spectacular place to view life cycles unfolding right before your eyes.
Of course, our local expert VBT Trip Leaders will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history or native flora and fauna of Yellowstone. Their expertise goes beyond the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem-they will be on the trail to support you and make sure you have the experience of a lifetime. Contact our sales team today to learn more or book your vacation. Our space is limited and filling up quickly!
Log on to VBT's website at www.vbt.com to view detailed itineraries or to sign-up for the latest full catalog of all of VBT's vacations. VBT's Tour Consultants can be reached at 800-245-3868; Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.
Supporting Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
NNF Calendars are now available here
Support tomorrow's Nordic skiing stars today
Drive for $25
NNF's fundraising goal for the 2013- 2014 season is $275,000 for both Cross-Country and Nordic Combined. Please consider the NNF in your year end giving and in the year to come. The Drive for $25 is the country's largest nordic fundraising effort.
Demong by the Numbers
A $25,000 Matching Grant for Nordic Combined
9 Days to go for the 2013 NNF D25
17 Days until Team USA Nordic Combined is headed to Kuusamo, Finland for the opening World Cups joining the US Cross Country team to start out the Olympic season.
41 Days until our Continental Cup Team will host the World at the Utah Olympic Park and be vying for additional World Cup and Olympic berths.
25,000 - The NNF matching Nordic Combined grant in dollars. Every dollar that gets donated gets matched. Time to knock it down for Nordic Combined.
Donate here: Drive for 25 Nordic Combined
Help us with our final push for the season because Sochi is not the only goal this year! With your help, we are chasing medals in Continental Cup and World Junior Championships. Because of you we will be able to host Regional Elite Camps next summer for our J2 and J1 athletes aspiring to become our future stars. Through the NNF we will continue to be one of the most successful nations in Nordic Combined skiing! - Billy Demong
West Yellowstone has skiing in town.
The first pass with the roller happened yesterday (Monday 11/4) and Doug caught this photo with the sun shining in between snow showers. There are over 6" on the ground in town and on the trails. SnoTel is reporting over 38" on the Black Bear Plateau, 17" on the Madison Plateau, and 9" on the Whiskey Trail. NOAA is predicting snow for the rest of the week and into next. With the current temperature of 18 degrees F, this snow isn't likely to go away any time soon.
Plan your trip now for Thanksgiving at the Yellowstone Ski Festival. Ski from your hotel to the trails, ski and eat, ski & eat, ski some more, ski to Old Faithfull and test the latest gear ... Yellowstone Ski Festival.com
1ST Annual NNF/ WYSEF Master Race
Who: Anybody that wants to turn a hot lap and be done before the lactates flood your system.
What: The first Annual NNF/ WYSEF Masters ski race, a benefit race for the National Nordic Foundation and the West Yellowstone Ski Edcucation Foundation. This is not a Super Tour race.
Where: Rendezvous Ski Trails, 1 lap on the Deju Vu loop, 15 second interval starts. That's right when was the last time you as a Master skier got a clean interval start vs. a mosh pit mass start ?
Date: Nov. 30th (Saturday)
Time: High Noon, yes they know us Master Blasters, we need our coffee and a morning walk before we can even think about moving these old bones.
A Junior race at 1pm will follow so bring the whole family for cardio fun.
Be there aloha!
Steamboat Nordic Camp - Registration Open
Kick off your ski season with top coaches helping you improve your xc skiing skills. A remarkable collection of coaches assemble at the 2-day instructional camp taking place Friday evening at Ski Haus Ski Shop, Saturday at Lake Catamount Touring Center and Sunday at Steamboat Ski Touring Center , Steamboat Springs, CO.
Early registration fees are $175 for two days and $115 for one day through Dec.6th. Register online at
Active.com. Sign up early, this camp will fill up.
Nordic Job Openings
Webskis Job Opening
WebSkis (WebCyclery.com), located in Bend, OR, is looking for a knowledgeable and customer-oriented nordic ski-tech/salesman. Applicants will need to have a working knowledge of nordic ski flexing, waxing, boot fitting, wax testing procedures, etc. Bicycle knowledge, while not required, is beneficial. Applicant must be organized and work well with others. Position is full-time 32-40 hrs per week, will require working on many Saturdays, and could be year round employment for the right person. Flexible schedule offers the chance to ski on a daily basis (Bend has great skiing 6-8 months out of the year). WebSkis focuses on providing avid skiers and racers with excellent customer service and quality hand picked ski equipment and waxes. resumes email@example.com
Alaska Jumping/Nordic Combined Coach Opening
Looking for Jumping/Nordic Combined ski coach in Anchorage at the Karl Eid Jumps. Come coach our rapidly growing program in Anchorage. This is a paid part-time position with some great benefits! email: firstname.lastname@example.org call: ( 907) 242-2633
Team Soldier Hollow Seeks Devo Coach
Team Soldier Hollow, located at the 2002 Olympic venue in Midway, UT, is looking for an enthusiastic and energetic coach to work with our Devo Team skiers (ages 10 to 13). Ideal candidates will have experience cross country ski racing and/or coaching and waxing. Current USSA Coaches License is required.
For more information on Team Soldier Hollow visit www.teamsoldierhollow.com Please send a letter of interest and resume to email@example.com
Summit Nordic Ski Club
The Summit Nordic Ski Club (Summit County, CO is fielding letters of interest and resumes for a part time J2-OJ coach for the 2013-14 competition season. Reply to: Dan McCrerey, SNSC President: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alaska High School Coaching openings
Cross-Country Ski Coaches Needed for Palmer and Wasilla High Schools in the Mat-Su Valley, Alaska. Head and Assistant Coaches are needed for the high schools this year. These are paid positions. contact: Palmer High: email@example.com, 907-746-8400 WasillaHigh: firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-352-8213
Vail Nordic Center
The Vail Nordic Center, located in beautiful, Vail, CO. is looking for full and part-time help for this winter. The ideal candidate will have retail experience and a good knowledge of Nordic skiing. Teaching experience in classic and skate skiing is a huge plus. Please contact Mia at email@example.com for all inquiries.
Nordic Skiing Head Coach, Amherst Regional High School, MA
Amherst Regional High School is looking for a new head coach for their Nordic Ski Program. Contact Nat Woodruff, Current Nordic Head Coach, at 617-939-4317 firstname.lastname@example.org To apply for the position please contact Rich Ferro, ARHS Athletic Director, at 413-362-1747 email@example.com
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 weanswer@SkiPost.com and visit SkiPost.com
Upcoming Special Events
associated with SkiPost
Start & Bliz
Friday Nov 8, 5pm
Start Wax Clinic
Out There Sports
CXC SuperFit With Start Poles
Bicycle DR Dousman, WI
Joe's Ski Shop St. Paul, MN
Joe's Team Day Nov 12th
Special Start Pole & Wax Pricing
West Yellowstone Ski Festival
Demo the Start SD3 pole
and see how light, stiff & durable a pole that is wound by a robot is.
The new choice of CXC
Woodski roller skis
Get your team custom unis from NONAME
and separate yourself team from the pack.
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
Ski Seefeld, Austria
February 26 - March 5, 2014
7 Nights, 8 Days of Skiing
Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. Get a Lungplus and ski like the Norwegians!
For more information go to Lungplususa.com
Ski West Yellowstone
Nordic House Rental
Big Sky MT
Close to W. Yellowstone & Big Sky.
7 km of your own private and hilly Nordic trails.
SkiPost special 3 nights at $900.
The one gift you receive at birth is time. You'll never have more than you have today. Find the Time.
Nordic Ski Colorado