Volume 16 Issue 8: June 19, 2014
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 
What do you think of slacklining as a balance training vehicle for xc skiing?  It's a popular past time in the rock climbing world.   
Signed unbalanced

Dear Unbalanced, 


Yes I would consider the Slackline a good tool to work on balance and foot feel.  Above is a picture of my daughter on the slack line in our yard. As with all training tools it is best to be as specific as possible. But if you can add the slack line to your training without taking out ski specific actions I can only see benefits.


Andy at SkiPost


Training Zones
What are the 5 training zones I always hear about?
Signed confused in Cable
Optimal performance is reached by subjecting the body to specific types of stress in order to elicit specific types of adaptations. Using the Lactate Threshold lactate level or heart-rate, as we have done here, is the most precise way to determine training zones. 

Intensity: Level 1. Easy, 2-3mmol/L below LT; 30-50 bpm below LT. 
Duration: 30 mins. - 1.5 hours. 
Objective: This zone is used for warm-up and cool-down periods. Training at this intensity will promote recovery following glycogen-depleting workouts or high intensity intervals and maintain cardiovascular and muscular adaptations. The primary goal of recovery is to deliver O2 and CHO (carbohydrates) back to the muscles.

Intensity: Level 2. Moderate, 1-2 mmol/L below LT; 10-30 bpm below LT. Level 1. Easy, 2-3 mmol/L below LT; 25-50 bpm below LT. 
Duration: 30 mins. - 3 hours. 
Objective: A moderate intensity is the optimum zone for improving endurance adaptations. An easy intensity delivers the same benefits, but more slowly. Unlike many athletes in bipedal and less-weight bearing sports, most skiers do most of their endurance training at the easier of these two intensities (around 35 bpm below LT). Training in both of the endurance zones improves the ability to deliver more oxygen to the muscle cell and process more energy from aerobic sources. Specific training adaptations include an increase in the size and number of mitochondria, an increase in myoglobin, increased capillarization, and an increased number of aerobic enzymes. Skiers tend to lower the intensity the longer the session. Over two hours = level 1. Under an hour = level 2.


Lactate Threshold 
Intensity: Level 3. Moderately high, below LT by 5 bpm, or above LT by 5 bpm. 
Tempo: 15 to 60 minute continuous effort at 5 bpm below LT. 
Interval: 5 to 15 minutes at LT and up to 5 bpm over LT. 
Objective: Training at this intensity will raise LT as a percentage of Vo2 max as well as increase Vo2 max.


VO2 Max 
Intensity: Level 4. High, 1-2 mmol/L above LT or at a heart rate associated with 95% of Vo2 max. 
Duration: 3-5 minute intervals with half-time to equal recovery. 

Objective: This is the optimum zone for improving Vo2 max. Training adaptations include an increase in stroke volume, an increase in maximal aerobic capacity and improved lactate buffering capacity - go fast, hurt less = go faster.

Intensive Repetitions
Intensity: Level 5. Very high, 2-6 mmol/L above LT. 
Duration: Short: 30-60 seconds with complete recovery. 
Long: 1-2 minutes with complete recovery. 
Objective: Training at this zone generally only occurs for a few weeks prior to a major competitive event and increases anaerobic capacity and buffering ability.


Intensity: Depends on amount of rest taken between and number of repetitions.
Duration: Short. 10-20 seconds generally with full recovery. 
Objective: Develops technique and use of dynamic, powerful motions. 


Andy at SkiPost

 Vertically Challenged


I coach skiers that are between 12-18 years old, from beginner to more advanced, and we get together throughout the summer to work on technique and endurance.  I want to add more hills and longer intervals, but the problem is that we don't have the terrain to do good long uphill double poles or hills big enough to do long pole bounds.  Our biggest hills on pavement are maybe half a kilometer long with some of that very gradual and others too steep to do anything effective, and our longest hills on grass are maybe 40 meters long. We don't have any tall buildings to do much for stair work and traveling much outside of our city is not easy except for maybe on an occasional weekend. Wondering if you knew of any workouts/training ideas that we would be able to effectively use to challenge our skiers as well as make sure they don't get bored with doing a lot on a small hill?  We will be doing weight training a few times a week, but want to improve their hills and endurance. Thank you for your time and happy skiing!


Signed Team Vertically Challenged.


Dear Vertically Challenged


I am from the "flatlands" of the Midwest, so I have some experience here.


I look at training as 4 intertwined training factors:


- Training volume

-Training intensity


- Training Modality


The primary void that is created with a lack of hills surrounds the technical/tactical factor.  There are techniques both uphill and downhill that need to be practiced and perfected.  You can still get the physical volume and intensity, but you'll need to be creative to develop the diagonal stride techniques in classic as well as V1 and V2 in skate.

Also, sport specific strength has to be tackled in a creative way (which falls under technical/tactical).


Following are some suggestions:

1. Running and bounding intervals on your ski trails.  I suspect the climbs aren't sustained but a sustained effort can be maintained with running and then ski bound the climbs. The focus should be on fluid bounding when transferring from run to bound. You can scale the effort based on the prescribed intensity (either threshold or L4 intervals).

Bounding is a plyometric activity, therefore it is an excellent ski-specific strength and intensity session. Bounding is demanding, so it would be best to progress from running intervals to bounding intervals OR progress from easier ski terrain toward your most demanding ski trail.


2. Poling sessions can also be on rolling terrain where the athletes allow the intensity to climb a slightly during the short-gradual uphills and continue on for a sustained endurance session.


3. Poling intervals can be done on shorter-steeper hills by going a little faster and shorter.  This intensity could be at or above race pace with an emphasis on good technique and strength.  A focus on strength means that you are achieving full recovery.  These intervals might be 25-45 seconds per rep with full recovery (1.5-3min off time).  An increase in grade of the road is the best way to progress these OR you can introduce slower rollerskis.


4. Skating without poles intervals is a method to develop skate specific lower body strength and technique.


5. Downhills - One topic not to be forgotten is the development of agility and speed on skis.  This is another topic that will be missed without hills.  Build technical rollerski skill courses like this one from our


Under-16 camp last year:  

7-29-13 Under 16 National Camp-Marquette MI
7-29-13 Under 16 National Camp-Marquette MI


This will engage the athletes & improve their ski skills.  Get them to do things on rollerskis that they didn't think were possible..


All that being said, use your weekends productively to occasionally travel to hills and focus on ski-specificity.  Threshold intervals are an excellent way to target both ski specific intensity and technique.


There is nothing revolutionary about my answers.  I think the best thing to do is key in on quality of execution and being being creative with progressing these tasks.  One way to be creative is to blend activities.

Maybe have them do specific strength double pole uphill and ski down the hill on one ski for balance.  Then recover fully and go again.  Maybe add single stick and have them adapt their poling frequency.  If they typically take 30 double poles up the hill, can they do it in 20?  What happens when they take 40 double pole for the same segment? Do they conserve and expend more energy?  The intent here is to make the athlete adaptable without becoming mechanical.  Seek out fluidity of movement.


There are numerous of other ways to address training in an environment with limited vertical terrain, however these are some ideas that I have used with success.  The important questions to ask yourself are:

1. How am I addressing all four factors of training (volume, intensity, technical/tactical, and varying training modalities)?

2. How am I progressing the training from the baseline fitness of where my athletes are currently towards their winter performance goals?



I hope this helps,


Bryan Fish

Development Coach

U.S. Ski Team















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Look for  Nordic Job? email to post




Anette Bøe 
Ski Coach - Instructor
Anette Bøe , the multiple time Olympic and World Championship medalist from Norway is looking to share her coaching and ski instructing skills with North Americans. 

Anette has been a coach for the: 
Norwegian Women's Cross Country Ski Team  
Norwegian Women's Hockey Team 
and run her own ski school.


Norwegian University of Sports; Bachelor phys.ed.
Norwegian School of Marketing, Oslo, Norway

Norway Future Female leader & coach program
If you are looking for a highly qualified coach and instructor and would like to discuss the options with Anette email 
and we will put you in touch with her.


Anette Bøe at 1985 World Championships

where she won 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

and the year she won the overall World Cup

Nordic Job Openings

Nordic Job Opening? email to post

The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) Seeking Head Coach


The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) is seeking a full-time year-round Coach/Director to lead the competition and recreational ski programs.  The Coach/Director will be a primary coach for the Comp and Jr Comp teams and will be responsible for oversight and development of an integrated recreational and competition program to develop skiers following the mission of the TUNA Junior Program.  Please refer to the attached position description for details. Interested applicants should review the position description for details and send applications and inquiries to

Duties will include:

  • Preparing and supervising team and individual training plans for Comp Team athletes.
  • Administrative duties in connection with the operation of the Comp and Junior Comp teams.
  • Providing coaching and waxing support for local ski races, travel with the Comp Team for out-of-town trips, provide coaching and wax support for IMD Junior National Championship Qualifier events, and organize and lead a number of out of town training camps. The Coach will also provide support for select regional and National events.
  • Planning, organization, and coach recruitment for TUNA's Recreation and Development programs.
  • Assisting the TUNA Board in team development functions and fund raising.
  • Maintaining on-going communication with Comp and Jr. Comp Team athletes and their parents.

This is a year-round position that, in addition to Winter skiing activities and competitions, also includes Summer and Fall dryland training and training camp responsibilities.  Interested candidates are encouraged to send a cover letter, resumé, and list of three references to


Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation

Junior Nordic Head Coach


Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation (TVSEF) based out of Driggs, Idaho, wishes to retain a head coach who will have primary responsibility of coaching our middle school and high school aged team members.  The head coach will also have the responsibility of the day to day planning, administration, and oversight of all our Junior Nordic Programs.  The job will be salaried and seasonal from approximately October - March.  Contact Dan Streubel at for further information and to obtain a detailed job description of our head coach position.

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club
Head Coach/ Program Director for Nordic Team
Leavenworth, WA
The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club is seeking a Head Coach/Program Director to work with its Nordic Program, serving kindergarten through high school age skiers and competitive racers. This is an exciting opportunity to join an established Club with very successful programs and develop a comprehensive Nordic Program for all ages.

This is a seasonal salaried position (December through March) that requires availability for weekly practice and perform other aspects of running the team including travel to scheduled races and camps. The position is seasonal part-time (June -November) as off-season training programs are developed.

1. Energetic and highly self-motivated
2. Collegiate or national level racing and/or coaching experience
3. Planning, budgeting and organizing skills
4. Team leadership
5. Strong written and verbal communication skills

Duties include:
1. Guide and develop the overall LWSC Nordic Program structure and vision
2. Athlete education and coaching, with an emphasis on fitness, technique and skill development
3. Supervise and conduct safe, fun and developmentally appropriate practices and activities for each age group.
3. Plan, develop, and implement training plans and practice sessions for high school age skiers
4. Identify strengths and weaknesses of athletes
5. Nurture and develop athletes' potential skills and abilities
6. Analyze and evaluate athlete's performances and modify training programs
7. Maintain scheduling with different age group practices
8. Work with and manage assistant coaches and parent volunteers conducting practices, waxing, events, races, and carpooling.
9. Communicate with athletes and families by email, website, and social media about schedules and upcoming events (LWSC staff will assist in these duties when applicable).
10. Attend races with the team. Coordinate waxing (both classic and skate) and wax testing while at races.
11. Assist in fundraisers and functions over the course of the year.

Please send resumes and references to:
Mark Milliette, General Manager 
Summit Nordic Ski Club 
head coach 
SNSC is an established Nordic ski club located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, home to four outstanding Nordic ski centers, as well as Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain alpine ski resorts . Located just 75 miles west of Denver, this outdoor oriented community offers excellent training facilities including 40 miles of detached paved bike paths and an extensive trail 
"The primary mission of the Summit Nordic Ski Club is to provide the youth of Summit County with a well-balanced ski racing program including fitness, self-esteem, and character building through training 
and competition within a nurturing environment. ' 
Responsibilities Include: 
Coaching junior skiers from our Prep, Devo and Comp programs including those who are aspiring to compete at Jr Nationals and the Scando Cup. 
Head Coach will be travelling with athletes to appropriate racing opportunities and camps.  Develop a regular schedule of practice and training for our athletes. 
Qualifications Include: 
Ability and desire to work with all age groups and abilities 
Strong communication and organizational skills 
Previous coaching experience preferred 
This year around position involves coaching and mentoring U12 thru U20 aged athletes and to help foster and grow Nordic Racing in our community. 
Reply with a cover letter and resume to: 
Dan McCrerey, SNSC President,

Nordic Center Director 

at Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies, 

Granby CO


Position Summary:

Responsible for managing and directing all operational aspects of the Nordic Center, including year-round trail development and maintenance, and coordinating year-round special events.  Manages specialty retail outlets on property.


To see an overview of the position, including requirements, compensation, and the application process, please view:



More than 20,000 skiers per year visit our property covering 5,200 acres of mountain meadows at an altitude of 9,000 feet.  Snow Mountain Ranch's Nordic Center has more than 100 kilometers of groomed trails accommodating everyone from the first-time classic cross-country skier or snowshoer to the elite racer/skate skier.  We are proud to host members of the U.S. Paralympics Nordic team for their training, regional races, the Colorado Biathlon, and other world class events. Beyond cross country skiing, families and groups can enjoy ice skating, sledding & tubing, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. Canine companions are welcome to join skiers on some of the trails, for a full-family workout.

Applications due by May 30, 2014.

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
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In This Issue
Training Zones
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Anette Bøe
Nordic Job Openings

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