Volume 17 Issue 42: Feb 17, 2016
SkiPost: Birkie Main Street Night
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 

Once again, great blog! I'm a wave 5 Birkie skate skier and am wondering if you would be able to offer some advise on the potentially very warm conditions for Saturday's race. I would love to hear your input on fuel, hydration, tips for wet/warm skiing (especially being back in wave 5), and any other thoughts you have to help make Saturday as fast as possible for everyone.Thanks in advance,

  • WARM UP- To decrease chance of bonking your body needs about 20 minutes of warm up pace before going into oxygen debt so it burns fats. If you are going to sporing for a good position at the cannon then warm up by running at the start. If you are not gunning for race position warm up during the first 5km and then slowing pick up pace.
  • WATERPROOF YOUR BOOTS - Or else your boots will be many lbs heaver at the finish. This can save you minutes in weight and uncomfortable feet.
  • WATERPROOF (FLOURCARBON) YOUR SKIS-  Fluorocarbons are the waterproofing for your ski base. It keeps the water (and dirt) off so you glide much faster. In this Birkie it can save you many many minutes.
  • DRINK ENERGY AND GEL- Drink energy drink before during and after race.  Get a drink at the early feeds zones when no one else is drinking so you feel better later in the race when no one else is.
  • GLIDE - Remember to glide and not rush your technique.

Marathon Taper-Peak

I'm an avid ski racer and most of my races throughout the ski season are marathon (~50km) skate races. This season I have been thinking more about how to properly taper and rest between marathons without loosing fitness. For example, the Birkie is next weekend, followed by a two week break until the Yellowstone Rendezvous on March 5th. I'm hoping to feel fast at the Birkie, and peak for the Rendezvous. What types of workouts do you recommend to make sure I recovery from the Birkie but peak (instead of loosing fitness) going in to the Rendezvous? I'm very comfortable with interval training, but am not sure what types of intervals (duration/ intensity/ reps), if any, are appropriate in this late phase of the season. 
Thanks for your help!
K Bean

Hi K-Bean,
First of all I am impressed that you are prioritizing a race in your schedule.  It is easy to want to do well in every race you enter, but prioritizing one race each month can help you to have a truly great race rather than a bunch of so-so races.  I would recommend maintaining your average training load up until Tuesday before the Birkie, then I would recommend reducing your training load by 50 percent for the next three days.  Keep the training frequency the same, but just make each workout a lower load.  If you normally ski for an hour, just go for a half hour.  If you noramlly do 6*4 minute intervals do 3*4 minute intervals.  Maintaining the workout frequency will help you to still get the hormonal and physiological benefits of the training but the lower load should help you feel good and fresh for the race.  You will not loose any fitness over three easy days.  After the Birkie, feel free to take a day or two off, or better yet get out for a super slow recovery ski, walk, bike, yoga or jog.  Keep the intensity super low as the purpose of any training is to help your body recover.  Hopefully by Wednesday you will begin to feel good again.  Resume your normal training load and frequency.  Since you have already had a hard race effort, I would reccomend threshold interval workouts with burst of speed thrown in.  A favoring of mine is 6*8 minutes at level 3 with 2*15 second bursts in each interval.  The focus of this workout is helping your body to buffer lactic acid and to improve your comfort and technique at speed.  If you still feel the load from the Birkie, just do easy distance skiing with 10 x 8-12 second bursts of speed at 10 km race pace. Give yourself a good 2-3 minutes between each burst.  The entire week of your target race drop your training load by 50%.  If you get that restless feeling, that is a good thing, just save that energy for the race.  March is one of the most fun times to be a skier as you can essentially rest and race.  Good luck,
Brian Gregg
Brian Gregg
2014 Olympian XC Skiing

Meet Brian and Caitlin at Birkie Expo Friday 3-5pm.

Full Happy

Two weeks ago the ski community, and I, lost Alex Diekman a good friend and grand supporter of Nordic skiing after a battle with cancer. Alex always had an infectious joy for the sport and life that was contagious. He shared this love with his son's and wife and all those he touched. Alex only knew one pace, Full Happy. I will miss Alex and thinking of him will push me to get outside and do more with my family with a full happy attitude.  

Grip Tape  Cover


Based on the advice of one of your race techs at the 2015 Birkie expo, I applied a tar layer over my grip tape and had one of my best Birkie's.  The tar noticeably increased my glide w/o much negative effect on kick.  As a result, I am wondering if there will be a recommendation for this years Bikie for a top coat to improve performance of the grip tape?


Tar is always a very good Top Coat as its outer layer gets very hard resisting the penetration of new snow crystals. But this year, the overall snow looks will be rounder so Tar will not make as significant as a difference and 50km of kick will be much more important. Test the grip tape and temp at the Start line and see if you need to increase speed. See you there. And you can ask again with on snow updates at the Birkie Expo.
Andy at SkiPost/Start
Wax Rec
START will once again be at the Birkie Expo. 

You can get your wax from us at the Expo or at your local shop before hand.

We are suggesting Start Purple #6 Gliders - Start Purple temp range is (28...19F) is harder than the air temp but for a marathon with dirty road crossing you want a slightly harder wax to keep speed and not pick up dirt for the entire 50km or 25km.

Purple will run fast in the colder north facing first half and then provide all the lubrication in the 2nd half. The more Fluor you get in your Start Purple( ie, MF,HF or best yet FHF) the faster you will be on this day as there will be moisture and dirt to manage all day. Top coats will likely be FHF 7 Purple with FHF 1 underneath for World Cup speed. For National class speed SFR99 Block or SF30 universal powder will be very good.


Oslo Purple kicker over Base Extra will be good for the top waves. Get the all new Start Oslo Cork at the Birkie expo. Later racers will use START Base Klister with Uni-wide with dabs of Uni-Plus. See us at the Expo we will have up to date on snow testing results and wave by wave suggestions

We will see all of you Birkie Participants there.

All Start Wax Recs can be found at 

Start American Birkie Wax rec.

Many more Start Wax recs are posted at 
Also try out the Start Wax Choose at  

Andy at SkiPost/Start email questions

Bliz at Birkie Expo with Birkie Specials.

Brain and Caitlin Gregg
Will be at Birkie Expo Friday 3-5 pm. 
On  Final Birkie prep, what to do what not to do

This Bliz 
 Bliz for winter are now in stores.

 Check out  the This Bliz video from Bliz World Cup stars including Charlotte Kalla, Marcus Hellner, and Robin Bryntesson. 
This Bliz

Andy at SkiPost/Bliz
Durable Poles?
Thick Wall Construction.

I see you guys promoting Start Poles as light swing weight and durable. They are light, but how can they be durable when they are tiny at the basket? 
Dubious Fred


You point at just the Start innovation that makes them light weight and durable, their race geometry. Start's race series poles are 17 mm in diameter (wider than many) at the handle and has thin wall construction for stiffness and lightweight. Uniquely its diameter and wall thickness change gradually from handle to tip. Start race poles are 8mm at the tip (thinner than most) and has thick wall construction for light weight and extra durability. By having only 8mm at the basket Start can make the walls extra thick for the greatest impact resistance so the poles do not break when a ski hits the pole near its tip, yet are still extremely light.  

Andy at SkiPost/Start  



 The Last King   

Magnolia Pictures, in collaboration with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, is pleased to announce the North American premiere of the extraordinary Norwegian feature film THE LAST KING. The event will mark the first time the film will be viewed publicly on North American soil.
THE LAST KING is rooted in Norwegian history and tells the story of the very legacy upon which the American Birkebeiner ski marathon is based. In 1206, Norway was ravaged by civil war, and a boy, Prince Haakon Haakonsson, the illegitimate baby son of a Norwegian king, was guarded in secrecy. He was a boy that half the kingdom was out to kill and whom two brave Birkebeiner warriors, so called because of their birch bark leggings, vowed to protect with their very lives by skiing the infant prince over the Norwegian mountains to safety. THE LAST KING is the story of the escape which forever changed the history of Norway.

The film will premiere at the Park Center in Hayward, Wisconsin as part of the American Birkebeiner's week of Nordic festivities.  The North American premiere will include three showings, Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 5:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, February 21, 2016, at 12:00pm. Tickets will be sold in advance and exclusively at  Tickets are $20 apiece and are available here.  Magnolia Pictures is graciously donating $5 from every ticket sold to the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation to further their mission of promoting healthy, active lifestyles for people of all ages

Race Specific Details...
-Official 2016 Birkie Race Participant Guide - Get your copy at bib-pick-up!
Bib Pick-Up - See Page 10
-Parking & Busing News
- See Page 22 & 23
-Track Your On Course Progress
- for you, family & friends!
-Birkie Wax Cabin
- Hayward
-New in 2016!  Win Your Wave and Win a Prize! 
- Courtesy of Slumberland Furniture!
-Race Day Photos MarathonFoto  Visit them after the race! 
-Race Day Posters -EliteCartography
-Virtual Race Bag - Loaded with goodies!

Sunday Events!
-Fast & Female Champ Chat - with Kikkan Randall & Caitlin Gregg!  Get Tickets!
-Sunday On-Snow Ski Demo - Try out the latest gear!
Birkie Week Extras!
-Birkie Week Schedule of Events
-Visitor Official Birkie Spectator Guide
- Share this with friends & family!
-Birkie's Facebook Page- For up to the minute news!
-North American Premiere - Birkebeinerne (The Last King) Movie!
 - Get tickets!
Birkie Demo
Sunday 9am-2pm 
OO Trailhead

Test Start's Low swing weight + durability yourself

Mt Bachelor Nordic Center announces inaugural running of the Cascade Crest 50km Nordic Ski Marathon and Relay
Enjoy the splendor of the high Cascades while testing your limits at the 2016 Cascade Crest 50km Nordic Ski Marathon, 25km, 10km or 50km Relay, slated for Saturday, March 12, 2016 at the Mt Bachelor Nordic Center.                                                  
Routed along the trails of the Mt Bachelor Nordic Center and US Forest Service land in the shadow of Broken Top Mountain, this year's course will provide breathtaking views and a festive race venue!
Event Calendar:                
Friday, March 11, 2016:  4:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Packet Pick Up, WebSkis Ski Shop Bend, Oregon
Saturday, March 12, 2016: 9:00 a.m. Start 10Km Skate/Classic
9:30 a.m. Start 50Km Skate
9:40 a.m. Start 25Km Skate
9:45 a.m. Start 4 X 12.5 Km (50Km) Skate Relay
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Vendor Expo at Finish Area
All events at Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center
6:00 p.m. Awards Party, WebSkis Ski Shop 550 SW Industrial Way, Bend, Oregon
Sunday, March 13, 2016: 9:00 - 2:00 p.m. Cascade Crest On-Snow Demo Day Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center
 Details here                                                      

2016 Great Bear Chase!

Registration is now open for the 36th annual UP Health System Portage Great Bear Chase. The race will take place on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at the beautiful Swedetown Trails in Calumet, Michigan. To register now, visit

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

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Bliz Active Logo


This Bliz
This Bliz

25 Medals for Bliz Athletes 

Start Kick Waxes

Start Wax  and Poles Explained


Point6 Nordic Socks 
West Yellowstone








Jon Engen

Jim Galanes


Start Genius Dealers 


For more Start USA info  



BLIZ America Dealers 



For more BLIZ USA info 





find the time
The one gift you receive at birth is time.  You'll never have more  than you have today.  Find the Time.

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