Volume 16 Issue 38: Jan 15th, 2015
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How to Maximize Training for the Part-Time Skier


Can you reprint the tips on training for a part time skier?



By: Scott Loomis

This past season marked my last year as a full-time cross-country ski racer. After eight very worthwhile years of racing and training all over the world I have decided to move on to a new phase in my life. Whether that next phase involves working as a roadie for the next Van Halen world tour, joining the World Horseshoe Throwing circuit or attending graduate school only time will tell.
In the meantime, I am working 40 hours per week in Park City, taking two classes at the University of Utah and working a second job one day per week at a local hospital. All of this leaves me very little time for any sort of structured ski training. In fact, I am lucky if I can squeeze in three to five workouts each week.
I do not plan on completely abandoning the sport that I have spent so many years immersed in. After you spend so much time working towards something you love, it becomes hard to simply quit cold-turkey. I do hope to at least remain competitive on the American Ski Marathon Series next season. But how do I get to a competitive level on such a limited training schedule? What I have decided is that I need to figure out how to maximize my training as a part-time ski racer.
I recently read a short article on the internet about how Thomas Alsgaard is currently training three times per week in his preparation for next year's World Cup circuit. It would be nice if we all had the time (and insane physical capacity) to do this, but for those of us that are part-time racers and weekend warriors that work full-time and/or have families, we simply do not have enough hours in the day to do this. So the question is: What can we do to maximize the training we do have time for? What aspects of a training plan are most important? What can be left out or skipped?


1. Intensity
No matter how little time you are able to devote to training, you should always fit in one intensity workout every week to ten days starting in the summer. Maintaining that ability and feel of going hard throughout the year is important since it can be very difficult to regain once you have lost it. This is especially true the older you get.

Remember that an intensity workout can come in almost any shape or form. It doesn't have to be something done on rollerskis or involve skiwalking or bounding for a specific amount of time with a specific amount of rest. It can be as simple as going hard for twenty minutes in the middle of an hour long run or bike ride or even trying to mow your lawn in world-record time. I personally like doing track workouts because I feel that I am able to get a lot of out of them. I am able to fit a bunch of short intervals into a relatively small amount of time and by the end of the workout I feel pretty tired. It is also a matter of convenience since there is a track right down the street from my house. 

The point here is to periodically get your heart and lungs into you go about doing this really doesn't matter all that much, especially during the summer. It's not like your cardiovascular system knows what type of training method you are doing, all it knows is that it is working hard.


2. Over-Distance
One good over-distance day is second on my list. It is amazing how well an occasional OD can maintain your endurance. If you average 45 minutes per workout, try to fit in an easy 2 hour over-distance day. If you average 1 to 1.5 hours, try to fit in a nice 3-hour outing. Again, don't forget about the variety of training methods out there. A long kayak can be just as effective as a long mountain run. Also, try combination workouts, where you bike and run or rollerski and run, etc.


3. Skip the Weights
Unless you feel that your upperbody is your weakest link or you need to bulk up those beach muscles for that week on the houseboat in Lake Havasu, skip the trips to weight room during the summer. Some of you may disagree about this, but remember, I am talking about maximizing training on a limited schedule. Of course, if you have a lot of time to devote to ski training, consistent weight workouts can be a valuable supplement to your plan. If you like to rollerski during the off-season, throw in some double-pole only workouts and make those your strength workouts.

Weight training is really only beneficial if you are able to keep up with it on a weekly basis. So, I feel that it is best to start doing some in the fall and try to be consistent with it until you get on snow. I personally hate hanging out in the weight room. I would much rather go for a run than do sets on the bench press any day. 

For those of you that really need to improve your upperbody strength I suggest that you make a small investment in turning your garage into a Rocky Balboa old-school training gym. A padded mat, a couple of 25 lbs barbells and wooden box for dips and step-ups is all you need for a basic strength workout that is right there at home. You could even add a punching bag since it just looks cool hanging there and it makes you feel tough.


4. "Everyday" Workouts
For some of you, doing intervals may be unappealing and you really don't have time for OD workouts either, so training only consists of "everyday" workouts. These are simple workouts where you just head out and run or bike or whatever at a comfortable pace for the time available to you. If you are only able to train for 30 minutes three times per week, make sure that you are getting something out of them. Going at a level 1 pace for 30 minutes really doesn't do a whole lot for you, unless you are out of shape and just getting back into training or using it as a recovery workout. If you make some of these short workouts more like semi-pace workouts where you are training in your level 2 to 3 zone then you will get much more out of these days.

The main point I want to get across here is the importance of maintaining a good fitness level throughout the year and it that doesn't necessarily matter how you get it done. If you are able to throw occasional intensity and over-distance workouts into your training throughout the summer and fall, then you are going to be much better off come ski season. Have a great year see you at the race.

Classic Fit

How to make sure your classical skis are not too soft or too stiff, with a testboard?

1. Place the skis on the testboard.
2. Stand evenly with a flat foot on each ski with the front of your toes at the skis balance point or your ski boots in their bindings.
3. Place the testboard slider under the ball of your feet. Test to make sure the slider can move back and forth under your feet. If it cannot move the slider then the skis are to soft for you and you need stiffer skis and this test is over.
4. If the slider does move freely your skis are not too soft and you need to make sure they not too stiff. Put all your weight on one foot and pretend to kick. For an elite racer this will mean rising to the ball of one foot. For a beginner this will mean a slight weight shift to the front of one foot. 
5. Try to pull the slider out from underneath the ski, if you can, the pair of skis is too stiff and you need softer skis. If you can't move the slider than the skis are soft enough to get kick on. 

Andy at SkiPost


What is your opinion about the Roteffella Xcelerator mounting plates- the pink ones.  I'm a recreational skater, do you think they will help me going up hill?




FYI for full disclosure I am a consultant for Salomon. SNS race service invented the wedge and NNN copied with the pink piece you refer to. Each wedge shifts lifts your foot under your toes a few of mm. This slight shift helps the ski glide forward. Like a wet bar of soap in your hands. The wedge is widely accepted now and even integrated into the latest bindings. So yes I think it will help. But the help will be small. Your will still need to focus on good technique when climbing to get the foot forward and up the hill and maintaining glide.


Andy at SkiPost

Light Weight


Hi, my son is a J2 top contender and nationals hopeful who weighs 88 lbs. He is an incredibly self motivated and positive racer with a strong desire to attend nationals this year.  His biggest strength is his amazing hill climbing where he often emerges from the lead pack in the front. His biggest challenge is getting passed, one-by-one on the downhill by larger and heavier racers.  Do any of the experts (possibly one with a similar weight challenge) have any suggestions or strategies for this otherwise gifted youth ski racer.




Hello. First realize that one reason he can climb so speedily is that he has a great strength to weight ratio. The larger kids say, "I beat so and so across the flats on the downhill but he kills me on the hills what can I do? I tell them the same thing I will tell your kid, train your weakness and race your strength.

Your son likely loves the climbs and hammers on the climbs in training. Have him focus is training on the downhills and flats. Do speed work on gradual turning downhill or flat section. Find ways to maintain his speed through these sections. Work on the uncomfortable sections in training. Learn how to glide. Many small kids are so quick and love a fast turnover and they are light so they do not sink in some snow conditions so they forget to work on glide. Large kids sink in snow that light kids float over so large kids often have a better glide because they have had to work on it. So work on your ski feel and glide. Instead of skating like mad on a slight downhill work on how long you can glide with each stroke. Work on glide efficiency. Test yourself to see just how far you can glide with each stroke. 


Now on race day, race to your strength by hammering the climbs, but do so with a brain.  Do not just pass other racers on the climbs and let them remain just behind you over the top of the climb. If you are going to pass someone do so with conviction and gap them. Either pass them at the bottom of the climb so you can gap them by the top. Or if you catch someone near the top save your energy and draft behind the largest or fastest downhiller on the downhill. You are small, so work on a tiny tuck and work on your glide. Relax on the downhill only apply a skate stroke when you really need to and then do so with 100% effort. Better to do 5 100% strokes than 10 70% strokes. Look for speed by maximizing your glide and skiing efficiency.  Glide Glide Glide. This goes for both classic in skate. Train your weakness race your strength.


Andy at SkiPost  

Powder vs Block



Simply, what is better, pure fluoro powders or blocks?.  Supposedly the powder is faster, but less durable.  I'm told the blocks last 2-3x longer than the powder vials.  This question pertains mostly to skating in Midwest marathons.





If you are doing Marathons you most often will want to burn in a 100% Fluor Powder for best speeed throughout the entire marathon. Powder is more durable because you can apply more and burn it on more. Blocks provide simple and fast application and can seem less costly because you can stretch them out. Blocks can be very good for shorter races or if you really cake them on and then burn them in for longer races.

I would suggest Start's SFR 75 cold powder for cold marathons (it has been on winning skis at the Birke for 3 years in a row now) and Start SF30 as a universal Fluor for warmer marathons. The statement above are a general statement and there are specific circumstances where blocks can beat powders and corking can beat burning etc...


Andy at SkiPost/Start

Intervals vs Specific Strength 


Would alternating between double poling only for 3-5 minutes and skate skiing only for 3-5 minutes for 1.5 hours be considered interval training.  I am 60 years old.



It would be better classified as specific strength as you are working on one specific muscle group., which is good but likely intervals. Intervals have to do with extending your effort level with increased pulse pushing just past your comfort threshold. To race faster you need good specific strength but also a higher aerobic threshold. But best to do intervals with good technique and all of your body.


Andy at SkiPost

Applying & Removing Kickers


How thin do you put on kick wax?
Why do you put the binder on 1st?
and then how do you remove kick wax it?

You apply kick wax in very thin layers 
You apply a binder 1st for keep the kick wax from moving into the glide zone as well as for many km durability. 

START - Application of kick wax and FHF kick wax
START - Application of kick wax and FHF kick wax

START - Removing kick wax
START - Removing kick wax

Team Gregg uses Vector 450


"I just finished the first race here at the US National Championships.  Today went well and I won my 5th National Championship.  I have had a tough start to the season, finishing almost last in some of my races on the World Cup.  Regardless of my result I have always focused on executing perfectly and doing my best.  Doing XC racing is incredible and it's a huge sacrifice on many fronts.  I plan to make big statements to empower children, women and everyone on the importance of being your best. We all struggle with health issues and I am always looking for the best ways to optimize my health despite the stresses and strains I endure.  To help my immune system to fight off germs I have been taking Vector450 which is antibodies naturally found in common chicken egg yolk. It is not a cure all but it seems to be helping me minimize my illness times and  fight off the colds and flu that is surrounding us; particularly us skiers who work out hard to be our best."


 - Caitlin Gregg


Train Perform Recover with Vector450



Cleaning Brushes


I have metal, nylon and animal hair brushes. What should I be doing to clean these brushes and how frequently should they be cleaned.


Thanks, S


You can clean your brushes as often as possible using a high powered shop vac.

Andy at SkiPost

World Cup Action
Tour De Ski

TDS Stage 5   Women
TDS Stage 5 Women

TDS Stage 5   Men
TDS Stage 5 Men

Mass Start   Women
TDS 6   Women
Mass Start   Men
TDS  6  Start Men

TDS Stage 7 - Men
TDS Stage 7 - Men
TDS Stage 7 - Women
TDS Stage 7 - Women

Where can we watch the World Cup action from US computers?


Cross Country events streamed live at 

IBU World Cup Biathlon  

SkiPost will host archive links to taped events. See Top Right Column


Andy at SkiPost

Check out the all new Start Waxing Guide.



Start Race Day Wax Recs here

Select Events & Destinations

Jan 23-25, 2015


February 7, 2015

The most beautiful Nordic race you'll ever ski.


We've got something for everyone!


BMT 34.3 km

 Half Boulder 15 km (with the option to be timed this year) 


Join the fun in the UNTIMED "40th Wave" for those who have the guts but don't want the glory!


Registrations are coming in hot!  You DON'T want to miss out on this year's race. Go to

 to register NOW!


Coming for the week?  Go to
 and check out what's planned for the Sun Valley Nordic Festival

January 30 - February 8, 2015




Coming for the week?  

Go to and check out what's planned for the Sun Valley Nordic Festival January 30 - February 8, 2015

  Owl Creek Chase

Feb 15th


Sunday, March 1st 2015 | 

Mt. Van Hoevenberg at The Olympic Sports Complex

The Lake Placid Loppet is one of the best events of its kind in the country. Over the past 30 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the challenging Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex. The Lake Placid Loppet is conducted by the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority on the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Trails.  The Loppet and Kort -Loppet run on a slightly modified version of the 50km course constructed for the 1980 Winter Olympics making it one of the most challenging citizen races in the world.  Skiers should consider carefully whether to enter the 25k or 50km event. However, many recreational skiers do participate at a less strenuous touring pace.


Birkie Tour




Top 5 exciting reasons you should sign up for the Birkie Tour and Seeley Hills Classic Combo weekend!

  1.    The next price increase is coming so register by Dec 31st to pay only $50 for the Tour or $90 for the whole weekend. Registration is already ahead of last year so come join the fun!
  2. Birkie Ambassadors, some of our local celebs, will be leading Tour groups in both the 23k and 46k skate and classic races, specific leaders and times will be posted the week of the event along with how to join them on the trail. Keep an eye out for yellow "Ambassador" bibs as there will be many skiing along throughout the Tour to answer questions and give advice as well.
  3. Marshmallow roasting hosted by the Hayward area youth programs at the Bodecker food station (yes, you read that right, marshmallows on the trail!)
  4. The Cabin Stop will be providing chili, beer, and pop at the Start/Finish area to re-fuel and socialize after your ski.
  5.  Keep your ears open for upcoming info for on snow demos that weekend as well!

The Birkie Tour is a fun day for skiers of any ability to enjoy a supported ski on the world class Birkie Trail. The food and all the extras make it a fun community event to meet other skiers locally and from around the region. To register and for up-to-date information visit


We look forward to seeing you having fun on the trails!



Nordic Job Openings

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
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In This Issue
Ask Us
Part Time skier
Classic Fit
Powder vs Block
Specific Strength
Applying Kickers
Team Gregg
Cleaning Brushes
WC Videos
Wax Manual
Nordic Job Openings
FIS Cross Country Video Links

Davos Dec 
IBU Biathlon Video Links

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25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 

Start Wax Recs


Poles Sizing

New World Wax Table 
 "The best table in the entire world!"

Salomon Nordic
on the Worldloppet


Craft Custom 

Rossignol Web


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 Ski Dolomites, Italy

Feb. 14-23, 2015

Fabulous Scenery!

1000 Km of groomed trails to explore.

Sign-up before Oct. 30th for best deal!


Jon Engen

CXC Academy
Vector 450


Get Lungplus to preheat your breath and save your lungs. 



Owl Creek



West Yellowstone



Rossignol Catalog

Bliz RX

Start Race Service



For more Start America  




BLIZ America Dealers 



For more BLIZ USA info 





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