Volume 15 Issue 48: March 27, 2014
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Ask us, We Answer

Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 

Dill pickles, raisins, and a warm sweet salty drink.  


Hi,  Five years ago I was able to tick off an important ski milestone on my bucket list.  The Soumi Rajalta Rajalle Hiihto...Finland's Border to Border Ski tour.  The course starts a few hundred meters from the Russian border and covers 444 km in seven days ending up in Tornio, Finland on the Swedish border. 


I was a bit perplexed when I first encountered the basic trail snack which was available about every 15 to 25 km, usually as we skied past a farm house....dill pickles, raisins, and a warm sweet salty drink.  At first I thought..."What the....., then after downing the odd mix, I actually began to look forward to it.  I should mention that we had our "three squares" of hearty meals with lots of good bread, potatoes, meat and fish.  No doubt, it was a rather unscientific, but effective way of maintaining our hydration and sodium levels....whatever works.


Regards,  Patrick Lanin,  Boondocks Minnesota



Confidence on Fast Icy Trails


In post-Birkie Hayward we have had some warm days and frigid nights leading to concrete-hard trails. I've done a few races over the years in those conditions and it seems paradoxical that nice fast conditions can cause difficult balance issues for skating in flat terrain. Climbing is improved due to the better glide and slower speed but at higher speeds I feel uncomfortable. I'm sure this is because I don't have perfect weight transfer - I see that the best young guys seemingly don't struggle. So my question is: are there drills and/or equipment that could improve my performance in this situation?


SS, Hayward, Wisconsin


Noah Hoffman answers,


When I ski in really icy and fast conditions where it's hard to stand up, I focus on putting my ski on edge (the inside edge.) This gives me more stability and something to push on, and riding a flat ski is less important in these conditions because they are fast regardless of the position of the ski. It is still possible to have a slow extended push when the ski is on edge early. To slow the push down, narrow the V so the skis are pointing further down the track. I'm sure balance drills and developing increased ankle, knee and hip strength are important to helping feel more comfortable in these conditions, but to me it is more important to find a stable position while I'm skiing.


Please let me know if you're looking for something different or if you have any additional questions.



Noah Hoffman,  U.S. Ski Team member




Regarding Ski Gear:


You want a skate ski that is fit to your weight and selected for hard tracks as well as the top end skate boots. A ski that is too soft will spin or rotate under you like the hands on a clock and a ski that is too stiff for you will have you slipping from edge to end and slip out from under you. A ski for soft tracks will also be less stable than the Hard Track ski.


Andy at SkiPost


 8 Ways to Keep Muscle Cramps Away

8 Ways to Keep Muscle Cramps Away 


   4 ways to Ditch your Side cramps

  4 Ways to Ditch Side Cramps on Your Next Run



Team Apparel on a budget?


 With all the snow the last couple years, our high school Nordic Ski team has grown to over 200 skiers.  This is wonderful for the sport but a manager's challenge!  We want to encourage all the kids to race, which means that even very slow skiers may be "racing" a 5K course in

 single degree temps.  The spandex race suits that function well for our varsity and junior varsity skiers, seem inappropriate for the rest  of the team.  Yet, there is an expectation of providing a uniform.


Is there a low cost alternative to race uniforms for novice youth? Maybe something less high tech,  a bit warmer and maybe also not so clingy for those self conscious kids who have not yet gotten in shape? What do other high school teams provide for their development teams?


Signed: Trying to Maximize Form, Function and Funds.  


Please share ideas with SkiPost and we will share with all and the team. email



I don't coach a big team but I do have middle school skiers who are only provided with a skinsuit top. They are then asked to wear their own black bottom, usually a pair of warm up pants that is warmer and less tight. Everyone seems happy with that plan.




Trying to Maximize Form, Function and Funds recently inquired about clothing for those of us in the back of the pack where spandex is too cold and too revealing. As one who has coached and raced with first time adult cross country skiers with Team In Training, I go with pants from Pearl Izumi, such as the Infinity Softshell Pant. Their semi-form fitting design provides enough of an air layer to be warm enough to be out all day training or racing. There are similar tops that work well as warm-ups as well. Most manufacturers have similar products in their cycling, running and warm-up lines so you can find something 'uniform' enough for your team.


Yes, Team In Training has had a San Francisco cross country ski team. We have raised money to cure blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, and have introduced many to cross country skiing for the first time. After a season off this year, we hope to be back next year sending skiers to the Anchorage Ski Marathon where many of us have completed the 25, 40 or 50k event. Often in our first year of skiing!


Larry Bethel

Assistant Coach


I don't coach a big team but I do have middle school skiers who are only provided with a skinsuit top. They are then asked to wear their own black bottom, usually a pair of warm up pants that is warmer and less tight. Everyone seems happy with that plan.



We have a middle school Team of 40 plus and outfit them in this way:

Augusta Brand warm -ups (Jackets are had for under $30 and wind pants for $25 and have lasted for many many years!) we imprint at a local shop with our name and logo on jackets only.  Same jackets come in adult sizes for larger kids, but Youth sizes fit most. For most practices a base layer with these on top is sufficient. If colder temps they wear another layer of tights/sweatpants and top making a total of three layers (base, secondary, warm-ups).

For racing, I too believe that most lycra race products are not sufficient for small bodies. David Epstein in his book "The Sports Gene" states," Small bodies have a larger skin surface compared with the volume of their body. The greater one's surface area compared to volume, the more quickly the body unloads heat. (Hence, short skinny people (most of our MS kids) get cold more easily than tall hefty people)".  Even a small drop in core temperature affects our muscles and thus performance.

We have purchased  Under Armour Cold Gear Mock Turtlenexk tops to be worn for racing and are worn on top of their base layer. We locally get these imprinted with our logo . Under Armour offers a wonderful team discount program that can't be beat. These can be purchased in both youth and adult sizes with youth sizes being very generous in size and again fitting all but our larger middle school athletes.


We ask parents to purchase black tights to complete their race outfit (which kids can also use for running or other activities) - other items are provided by the club. We find that many of our younger skiers, especially on very cold days (as this winter has been) will race in their wind pants and jacket and that is fine with the program as we are talking about 9 year olds and up. We actually encouraged it when they were racing at 0 to 10 degree temps! Some of the MS boys who are more modest will wear their race top with their wind pants instead of tights and we do not object to that either.


Parent's of middle school children really appreciate us keeping the costs low and not expecting them to purchase $160-$200 racing suits at this age.


Orange is the new black!

Alexander Loginov 2
nd  World Cup Podium  in 2 weeks. 

While we are showing you what's new for Start we might as well show you the new Race Series of poles from Start. Durability and swing weight are their calling cards along with their patented Solid Strap that was tested by University of Salzberg to be 1 second per minute faster than conventional strap.




Skiing in a Train

What is the etiquette of skiing in a train?

 Image Salomon/NordicFocus


 It is generally frowned upon to not help and lead the train at some point.  If you are tired, you may stay in the back a little more.  If you are fed up, you can wave people passed you to take the lead.  The least respected athlete is the one who sits in the back and waits until the end to sprint ahead and win.  But that is also usually the most successful athlete (For the last 7 year or so, Petter Northug Jr has been a dominant feature at the elite level in absolutely dominating a field sprint.) Same as stated last week, the sprinter will sit, while the slow twitch muscle athlete has more insensitive to lead and try to break things apart.  Depending on your ability will dictate your tactics within a pack.  Much of that is set aside if you are a chase pack, when everyone needs to be working together to regain the leaders. Racers cycle through and take turns leading, or are considered jerks.  There are no real repercussions other than trash talk, and possibly a difficult time at the next race when athletes will not let you in to the train, or will break your pole.  Top athletes are usually expected to lead a little more.

The bottom line is that you are trying to win.  If you are at the front, with the leaders of the race, then do what is best to win that race.  That may be pushing the pace or waiting for an opportunity, or heading to the front to slow things down and recover.  If you are not with the leaders, then work together to go fast.  Who cares if you won your train.  You were all slower and further back because of your selfishness.


All the Best

Michael Sinnott



Martin Johnsrud Sundby's Bliz? 
What Bliz does World Cup Overall Champion 
Martin Johnsrud Sundby wear?
Martin wears the Bliz Tracker as does our US star Noah Hoffman.

CXC Auction

Get great stuff at Great pricies. 

We've reached the halfway point for the first ever CXC Season Finale Online Auction! Thank you for all of the support! We are excited to add several new items to the auction that are open for bidding today. There is some world class equipment on the table, and we're sure there's something just right for you. Thanks again and keep on bidding!

New items include:

  • Timex Heart Rate Monitors, GPS Systems, and Watches donated by Schuller Sports
  • Rossignol Super Galactic Traveler Wheelie Bag
  • Toko Start Duffel Bag
  • Bjorn Daehlie Charger suit (M's L)
  • 2014 Birkie DVD
  • Exer-Genie Cross Country Trainer System


Events and Destinations 


CXC team application



Motivated athletes wanting to inspire to athletic excellence and realize their DREAM.

- Must be willing to be a part of the TEAM that is building and expanding the sport of Cross Country Skiing in the Central Region.
- Must have a purpose that is fired by a passion.
- Must have a commitment to goals, team, and community.
- Must be willing to give, learn, and grow as an individual and athlete.

- Must commit to finding your ultimate potential within.

With one Olympic cycle ending and a new one beginning, now is the time to create your new vision and goals, make your plans, and start to realize your DREAM!!  With every Olympic cycle that passes, a new generation of athletes step into the process of achieving their full potential. Don't miss the opportunity to pursue your heart and DREAMS! Get ready to discover your maximum potential.

Learn more and apply today,- find out if dreams do come true!

Sign Up ONCE for 3-4 Birkie Events
Two-Day Sign-Up Happens on APRIL 1-2

There's always something new going on at the Birkie to make life a little sweeter for participants in all our events--year-round. For those of you who already do more than one Birkie event and for those of you who would like to branch out and try new things, welcome to the "Birkie Bonus"--a way to sign up for 3 to 4 different events, all at one time, and save a few dollars by doing so. You even get a gift as part of this "Signing Bonus"! Check out the details below. We're excited for all our upcoming events, including some brand new features for each (see details on each Event page link, below), and look forward to showing you a great time in 2014 and 2015!


Here's How It Works

Save $ on 1 entire year of Birkie Fun
For 2 days Only (April 1st & 2nd)

When you Register for 3 or 4 upcoming Birkie Events

2014 Birke Trail Run | 2015 Birkie Tour | 2015 Birkie/Korte/Prince Haakon | 2015 Fat Bike Birkie


More here:



AXCS National Masters Returning To Craftsbury In 2015

Next season Craftsbury, Vermont will once again play host to the AXCS National Masters -- January 30 to February 1, 2015. or complete updated information this spring/summer please visit


A Special Spring 2014 Offer On AXCS Membership

The American XC Skiers (AXCS) non-profit masters association currently has a very special offer for all master skiers. Join AXCS by April 5 and you will not only be included in the mailing list of the exclusive AXCS Spring Digest print issue, but AXCS will also extend your membership "year" all the way until October 31, 2015! Visit today for both on-line and print-and-mail membership options.



Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post


Job Opening




               American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

Now Accepting Applications for Position Of:


Race Operations Event Operations / Race Director

Applications Due by May 1


Our long-time Race Operations Director, Shellie Milford, has announced that the 2015 American Birkebeiner will conclude her career with the Birkie. While she is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, we are now looking to fill a position that she has run with consummate skill and wisdom for more than 20 years.


This is a key, full-time, year-round position at the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. We are interested in hearing from individuals from a variety of event planning and operations backgrounds who can bring those skills and that experience to the Birkie.


We hope you will assist us in this search by helping us get the word out about this position opening and also sharing it directly with anyone you know who may be interested.


See details here about the positions and where to send a resume and cover letter:



Warmest Regards,

The Staff and Board of Directors of

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

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

Image at top is courtesy Salomon/NordicFocus
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In This Issue
Ask Us
Dill Pickles,
Icy Confidence
Team Apparel
Orange is the new Black
Train Skiing
Sundby's Bliz
CXC Auction
Events & Destinations
CXC Athlete application
Birkie Bonus
Nordic Job Openings

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 


Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained

Salomon Nordic
nnf word
Support Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today
New World Wax table foot clamp

Noname Banner Final

Get your team custom unis from NONAME
 and separate yourself team from the pack.

CXC Academy


Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. Get a Lungplus and ski like the Norwegians!
For more information go to 

ski erg

Salomon Nordic
Bliz Active Logo


Keep Focused




Bliz America Blog

BLIZ America Dealers



For more BLIZ USA info 


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