SkiPost: Base Training

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SkiPost                                Volume 17 Issue 7, June 11, 2015

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

Summer Base Training?

What should I do this summer to peak at the Birkie?

Birkie Fever

Dear Birkie Fever,

That is a broad question so I will give a broad answer.

Base (Summer) Base training is so called because it is the base upon which later phases of training are built. 

Aerobic endurance is the number one component of cross-country ski racing, and it is the component of ski racing which takes the most time to develop. It is the primary aim of the base training period. 
Example: 2hour rollerski or run split between level 1 and 2 or a 3hourr bike on hilly terrain split between level 1 and 2. Please note: about 80% of all training is endurance training. The rest is strength, intervals and races, etc. 


General: Power and strength-endurance are built on max strength. General strength develops overall tendon and muscle strength necessary to support latter forms of training. General strength is the focus through the spring and summer. Example: after building up to weight training for 5-6 weeks, include some ski specific high weight and low rep work. 
Specific: Specific strength becomes more a focus later in the summer and into the fall once a solid base of general strength has been established. 
Example: Endurance session using only double pole over gradual terrain. 


Most intensity should be below the lactate threshold early in the summer. Anaerobic training such as speed is good, but hard aerobic and anaerobic intervals should be kept to a minimum early on. Example: 2x10 minutes at 5 bpm below LT with 2 minutes rest between intervals. Start with 1-2 sessions a week. 

Technique and speed: 

Speed training during the base period should not be done at a hard intensity (short bouts of speed with full recovery are recommended) and should be oriented toward using correct movements at race speeds - not at moving at an unrealistic pace. Example: Incorporate 10 20 second bursts of speed into your endurance training


Andy at SkiPost

US Ski Team?


I am curious what is the difference between being on the US Ski Team A, B, C or  D team. How does a person qualify for a team?  Does team a participate in different races, different funding, different coaching?


Dear PC,

Athletes are nominated for these teams based on their International results and well as Coaches discretion.  

General Criteria: Athletes may be selected to the team based solely upon their competition results during the selection period. Athletes meeting the following objective criteria will be selected to the U.S. Ski Team: 2016 U.S. Cross Country Team Nomination Criteria Page 2 * Attain top-50 ranking in the 2015 final World Cup Overall ranking list * Attain top-30 ranking in the 2015 final World Cup sprint or distance ranking list, and/or FIS final sprint or distance points lists * Attain a top-3 individual finish at the 2015 Junior World Championships or U-23 World Championships


But please read full criteria here  USST Selection Criteria

Andy at SkiPost


Shoulder Damage? Ski On


Two days ago, a simple bike ride to work resulted in a separated shoulder with torn ligaments in my acromioclavicular joint. Needless to say it hurts like hell and my shoulder is useless for now. The first thing I thought about was if I was ever going to be able to cross country again, knowing how much work, force, and strength is required from the shoulders during XCS. This sport is my sanctuary! Has anyone out there had this injury and made a good comeback to the sport, or is my shoulder toast as far as skiing is concerned? Typing with one hand. 







You just need to take the time and do good specific physical therapy.  

Then use a SkiErg, Rollerboard and Rollerskiing for summer ski specific shoulder training


Andy at SkiPost


Reader Input


We Answer,

I had a complete achromioclavicular shoulder separation many years ago which required surgery, and with diligent rehab work on my own, I have been skiing without problem since.  Let R. know that his shoulder is not toast, and he can contact me for further info or support.  L K. 



Good advice on the fellow with the separated shoulder.  As an avid cyclist this is a very common injury and most folks recover with the approach you suggested.  AC separations come in three grades 1-3.  Grade one is just a slight bump/tear and heals fine in a couple of weeks with nothing done.  Grade two is the most serious as the ligaments are only partially torn and heal slowly leading to chronic pain and arthritis down the road.  They declare themselves if the injury hasn't started to heal in a month.  Grade three is a complete tear  of all the ligaments and the end of the clavicle is just hanging in the breeze.  They look awful, but there is no pain after the initial swelling goes down, and little risk of arthritis.  Many Athletes return to completion in a couple weeks with these and do fine. Just a longer answer from a retired ED physician, I continue to enjoy your posts.  Keep up the good work.




I just wanted to respond to R's post about AC joint separation. In October, I crashed on my rollerskis and separated my shoulder (grade 3 full separation). I felt very much the same way as R and, despite being told that I would probably want surgery, I opted for conservative non-surgical treatment and just gradually started working my arm/shoulder as pain would allow. I ran, one pole hill bounded and no pole/one pole rollerskied with a sling/brace. It took a long time before I could actually train with the injured shoulder (~4-6 weeks I think) and the shoulder felt wonky/uncomfortable for many weeks beyond that (still does even now in June when I push it very hard). Suffice it say, I pushed through while letting my body tell me what was too much and was able to race 2 months later. To make R feel a bit more optimistic about the future, by the Birkie in February (~4 months after my accident), I was able to move up from my first time racing from wave one to just sneaking into the elite wave for next year. Improvement and not just maintenance is definitely possible! If you wish to share my email/email address with R, I would be happy to answer any questions R has. I know when it happened to me I was scouring the internet for AC joint injuries in relation to XC skiing and training and didn't find much on what to expect and what was typical to experience during the healing process.





Brought to you by Swenor Catalog 


Spice up Your Summer Training


 One of the best features of Concept2 ergs (The SkiErg or indoor rower) is that they accurately measure the work you're doing. In addition, the flywheel calibrates itself on every rundown to take ambient conditions into account, so someone at altitude can compare their erg time with someone at sea level, regardless of the weather and environmental conditions. 


What's so great about this? It means you can race, and compare your times and distances with friends and competitors in another state, country or continent! It also makes the SkiErg a great tool for tracking your training progress by comparing your performance over a certain time or distance from one training block to the next.


Do you have a competitive streak? Or do you just want to make your workouts more interesting? We invite you to try the following challenges-some are geared for individuals and some for teams:


  • 100 Meter Dash: Pre-set the Performance Monitor for a 100 meter distance. The meters will count down to zero, and your total time will be displayed at the end.
  • 1 Minute Max Meters: Pre-set the Performance Monitor for a 1 minute piece. The time will count down to zero, and your total meters will be displayed at the end.
  • 2000 Meter Mixed Team 2k relay (two men/two women): Pre-set the Performance Monitor for a 2000m distance. Rotate each team member through in order, with each person skiing as long as they can maintain their goal pace, then switch on the fly. The meters will count down to zero, and your elapsed time will be displayed at the end.
  • 1000 Meter Individual Sprint: An indoor version of the standard Nordic sprint. Pre-set the Performance Monitor for a 1000 meter distance. The meters will count down to zero, and your total time will be displayed at the end.


Check out the online rankings at

and the SkiErg Sprints results here:  skierg-world-sprints

Post your results and pictures on the Concept2 SkiErg Facebook


About the second generation SkiErg:

We have reworked the internal mechanism with the goal of improving cord wear and making maintenance easier. This also allowed us to support classic single-stick technique. The SkiErg is now aluminum, so it's lighter in weight, and the optional floor stand has a lower profile. Adaptive athletes will like the longer standard cord length. As with all our indoor rowers, we have introduced the Performance Monitor 5 (PM5), which offers a backlit screen, Bluetooth Smart connectivity, and a new USB flash drive Logbook, among other features. We are excited to offer these additional features at similar pricing:  $770 for the SkiErg, $180 for the optional floor stand.


Remember, if you are a member of your regional ski association, you are entitled to a $40 per SkiErg discount. Be sure to ask for it when you place your order. Call Josh Carlson at 800-245-5676 ext. 3060.





Ski Slap

When I ski classic I often hear my ski tails clap when they hit the snow. Why is this? What am I doing wrong? How do I correct?

Hello - 


You'll hear your skis clap when they're setting down onto the snow too abruptly. I guess that I shouldn't use the term "setting down," as they're actually landing quickly and smacking down hard. An analogy which I heard from my high school coach, John Schauer, is an airplane touching down: You want to drive onto the ski smoothly and gradually transfer your weight onto the ski (like an experienced pilot in good weather hopefully lands your plane), with the "runway" starting approximately where the ski that's hooking up with the snow is set. When you're "landing" your ski behind the runway, you often hear that clap; it's because your weight is too far back, maybe because your balance isn't great, or maybe because you don't have your hips high and far enough forward. 



A really basic exercise that can help with this is the scooter drill, where you stand with one ski (or rollerski) on one foot, with just a boot on the other. Use the boot as a proxy for the ski you're kicking from - the goal is to have a solid platform to kick off of. Drive smoothly forward onto the ski/rollerski, and balance on it as it glides forward. Practice gliding with your arms and legs at fully extended positions, with your hips and torso high and slightly forward, as in a good photograph of a classic skier. Once the ski slows down or stops, reset and practice the kick-drive-glide cycle again. You will hear that smacking sound if you set the ski down behind the boot foot (runway) too early, and the noise should settle down as you get better at controlling the approach to snow.


Occasionally, I've also heard people's skis make this noise if the tracks are frozen really hard and they have a big hip rotation while kicking; their skis begin entering the track angled ~15˚ away from the tracks, and as they come down, they "snap"  on the snow dividing the tracks before settling in. We generally work on keeping the core/hips somewhat stable, so the ski is traveling more straight forward. Having a stable core allows the legs and arms to work more efficiently, with the side effect of quieting things down.

Hope that helps.


Jason Cork

Men's Coach

US XC Ski Team

Brought to you by Salomon Nordic

Max Heart Rate Formula?


A Max Heart Rate formula has been used for more than 40 years as a quick and easy way to determine heart rate-based training zones. Since its inception in 1970, however, it's come under fire for its potential to be wildly inaccurate, leading athletes to seek other ways to determine how hard to push a workout, like calculating lactate threshold-based training zones.


But that hasn't stopped a new team of researchers from trying to revamp the old heart-rate formula. Dr. Thomas Allison, program director of the sports cardiology clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and his colleagues recently analyzed data from 25,000 cardiac stress tests, a procedure in which a patient exercises to maximum physical exertion while doctors monitor the heart's function.


The researchers found that while everyone's max heart rate goes down with age, it decreases more slowly in women. "As a result, the currently used formula overestimates the peak heart rate that younger women can reach and underestimates it for older women," The Journal of the American Medical Association writes. 


The researchers propose a more accurate way to determine max heart rate is to use the following formulas:


For women

: 200 - (.67)age


For men

: 216 - (.93)age 


Currently, these calculations only apply to people between 40 and 89 years old, as the subjects analyzed fell in that age range. The new formulas could help older athletes determine more accurate heart rate training zones, and ease frustration about hitting a max heart rate that may be unachievable


Brought to you by Bjorn Daehlie 


  Cycling vs Cross Country Skiing Eyewear?








What, if anything, is the difference between a sunglass for cross country skiing vs cycling?

Signed Doubter

Dear Doubter, 

Quit doubting. The short answer is;

Cross-country skiing requires eyewear that, among other things, is engineered for perfect behind the lens airflow to minimize fogging without aggravating the eyes.

Cycling's higher speed requires minimal behind the lens airflow plus a high head positioning for the back-down heads-up cycling position.

For Bliz, (but not for all brands) there is a big difference between its medium speed "cross country skiing - running, paddling ..." glasses like the new Rapid, Force and its higher speed "cycling- speed skating" glasses like the new VeloXT and Velo XT Small Face. Yes you can wear either for any activity and adjust them to maximize or minimize these attributes to your face and sport, but they are engineered to enhance different airflow and body positioning/vision needs.   

Below are some product descriptions.



Rapid's small-face frame, lens shape and off the face positioning make it ideal for medium speed activities where keeping focused means protecting the eyes from the sun, wind and air-born particulates while also delivering controlled air circulation to combat lens fogging and cool a sweating face. Rapid is perfect for the widest range of activities including running, cross-country skiing, paddling, SUP, hiking and climbing. Rapid is designed for smaller faces (to complement the larger Force), weighs only 24 grams and is an advancement of the massively popular Pace. Its soft, infinitely adjustable nosepieces and temples allow for custom fit and fine tuning of circulation. Each hard shell Rapid kit comes with both bright light and low light Perfect Curve lens sets (or universal ULS lens), cleaning cloth, a removable sweat-brow, plus Bliz's famous click-in goggle type head band.





 Velo XT Small Face's frame, lens shape and high and close-to-the face positioning makes it ideal for high speed activities where keeping focused means shielding the eyes from sun, wind and air-born particulates while delivering perfect unobstructed vision in every body position and speed. Velo XT Small Face is ideal for the demands of small-faced cyclists, speed skaters and other high speed, back down, heads up sports but due to its maximized sun and air deflection and high frame positioning. It is also great for those in medium speed sports who seek minimal airflow over their corneas. Its soft, infinitely adjustable nosepieces and temples allow a custom fit and a fine tuning of circulation. Velo XT Small Face weighs only 28 grams. Each hard shell Velo XT Small Face kit comes with Perfect Curve bright light, low light, and clear lens sets, cleaning cloth, plus the ability to add Bliz's famous click-in goggle type head band and Bliz Opti Lens magnified computer reader lens. 


Brought to you by Bliz



1 word: Hi.  Greet your child when they get in the car with "Hi" before you ask about practice, the score of the game or homework.  

2 words: Have fun.  In all likelihood you've heard this statistic: 70% of kids quit sports before they turn 13 for the primary reason that they are not having fun.    Encourage and remind your kids to have fun.

3 words: Tell me more.  Before forming an opinion or dispensing advice, ask for more information from your child.  This will force them to tell more of the story and give you more information as to what is actually happening.  

4 words: Good job. Keep working.  Doc Rivers, head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers and parent of a NBA player suggests these four words.  Rivers notes that as parents we are often tempted to say more and analyze their kids performance, but saying only this might be what's best for the kid who simply needs support.

5 words: What's new in your world?  Ask your kids general questions that are not about gymnastics.  Even if the reply is "nothing" it gives you the opportunity to share something about your day.  

6 words: I love to watch you play.  Best six words ever.  

7 words: So what do you think about that?  You know  your opinion, so before you jump to tell your child what it is, ask what his/her opinion is.  You are not only learning more about what your child thinks but are also helping develop critical thinking skills.  

8 words: Is there something I can do to help?  Before you give a solution or an action plan, ask if that is what the child really wants.  Sometimes all the child wants to do is blow off some steam, and we jump directly to "solving" the problem.  

9 words: You are more important to me than your achievements.  You may be thinking that of course this is true.   But remind your child of it.  In the absence of hearing this from you, your children might think that one of the reasons you love them is because of what they do, not because of who they are.  

10 words: No matter what, I'm glad that I am your parent.  To be loved wholly and completely for exactly who we are, flaws and all, is the greatest gift one person can give another.  Please give that gift to your child.  


 Brought to you by Start Wax and Poles

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 Nordic Job Openings

 Nordic Job Opening?  email to post


BNJRT Co-Head Coach and Assistant Coaches

Boulder Nordic Junior Race Team (BNJRT) seeks candidates for Co-Head Coach and Assistant Coaches. The Co-Head Coach will be responsible for overseeing development of younger skiers (U14-U8) and assisting (and collaborating with) the current Head Coach, Adam St.Pierre, for older skiers (U20-U16). Assistant Coaches will primarily coach younger skiers with options to assist on race weekends. We seek coaches that are able to teach classic and freestyle techniques to athletes from 8-19 years old with varied skiing and athletic backgrounds and are able to find creative ways to integrate fun into training.Interested applicants please send a resume and cover letter to the BNJRT Board of Directors About


 Agamenticus Ski Club

Assistant HS Coach & Assistant MS Coach

Agamenticus Ski Club of York, Maine is now accepting applications for two part-time positions: Assistant High School XC Ski Coach & Assistant Middle School XC Ski Coach. Interested candidates should have a background in cross-country ski racing and coaching, along with enthusiasm for working with local & regional Jr. xc skiers and introducing new racers to the sport.  CPR/AED, USSA Level 1 Coaching Certification or PSIA Nordic Instructor Certifications are preferred.  Both Part-time Positions extend from November 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016; coaching stipend D.O.E.  For more information, please send cover letter, resume, and three references to Head Coach/Program Director Laura Creagan at: 



Clarkson University 

Asst. Nordic and XC coach 

 Clarkson University (Northern New York) is looking for an Asst. Nordic and XC coach.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To submit your application, go to  and click "Career Opportunities" on the left hand navigation bar.   


Momentum Northwest 

Assistant Coach

 Momentum Northwest, a Seattle-based junior cross-country ski team, is now accepting applications for an Assistant Coach. Position extends from September 1, 2015 to March 15, 2016; competitive salary D.O.E.  For more information, please send cover letter, resume, and two references to Head Coach/Program Director Sam Naney   


Northern Michigan University

Assistant Coach

 NMU has a full time assistant coach position open.Full time 10 Month position with full benefits, one can apply via the NMU web site:


Mansfield Nordic Club

Development Team Leader Position

 Mansfield Nordic seeks to hire a Development Team Leader to drive our top youth skiers toward higher level skiing on our Competition Team. This Team Leader will be a high-energy skier with strong communication abilities among individual athletes, groups, parents and volunteers. As a motivating and enthusiastic presence, the person who fills this leadership role will be an individual who is supportive, enthusiastic and ready to make a positive difference in the lives of skiers both on and off the trail.

To inquire about this position, please submit a resume and cover letter to Adam Terko: 

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