Volume 17 Issue 46: March 17, 2016
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Do you have a Nordic training, technique, equipment, travel, or event question? Just email us at 
Summer Ski Storage

Hi. Love Skipost, and have been an avid reader for many years.
This past season I could only ski 5 races, and maybe 7 or 8 'training' outings. My two pair of skate, and two pair classic, skis are well prepped and waxed for every event, though I only ski that one pair, warm or cold, based on conditions.
Do I really need to follow the full cleaning process, or can I simply add a warm wax, and leave them coated and sealed until next season. I really would like to keep the deep waxing in these skis, especially the HF and top coats.
Thanks, R, from the GRNST team in MI.

If the skis are in good shape with clean soft bases that absorb wax, then you can just add a thick top coat for summer.  Also make sure to store in a cold environment in a ski bag.
If you have skis that are not in good shape it is best to have the bases stoneground now to expose fresh base material and then treat them for summer storage.

Andy at SkiPost

Nano Grip?

1) I might have asked you this before, but here goes.  I have a pair of Peltonen nano grips classic skis.  I like them a lot.  I live in central PA, snow conditions are even more variable than most places and they are great in warm conditions and new snow, I have bomber kick and good glide.  However, when it gets lower than about 28 F, they get very slick, kick wise.  I have talked to some people on the web, it may be that my kick technique is not the best.  I have never used a waxable classic ski, all of my prior experience is on fishscales.  One suggestion was to put NIS plates on and move the binding forward 1-2 cm, this would help the kick.  I am planning on doing a ski marathon next Winter in celebration of my 50th birthday and will have to do it in classic style (see question 2) and I don't have a budget to buy another set of classic skis.  Any suggestions?  I have thought of using kick wax on them when it gets colder, but am unsure what that will do to the nano grip.  
2)  I have a couple of bulging disks in my neck.  Skate skiing aggravates them and causes me a fair amount of discomfort after the fact.  As does any strength training such as bench press or dips.  I can, however, do machine flys for my chest.  My question is, does this do me any good skiing wise.  I have seen research that flys recruit the second most chest fibers, only after bench press.  What I haven't been able to find is if that will transfer at all to skiing, or if I'm just building mass that I can't really utilize and I should stick with using a rollerboard (which doesn't bother me) for strength.
Thanks.  I enjoy reading your messages.

The nano grip's kick should increase as it gets colder. Do you use any Start anti-ice solution on them? If not perhaps the skis are icing which would decrease grip.
So get an anti ice treatment on the base and I think you will have good grip on your nano grip especially in cold. And yes you can add grip wax on top if you wish to increase grip.
Regarding question #2 I am no doctor.  I suggest using a rollerboard as it replicates skiing very closely. I do know know about machine flys.
Andy at SkiPost

Bliz RX?


I met you at the Birkie and you guys said you could get Bliz in RX.
How do I proceed?

Yes we have most every Bliz frame available in with in the lens Bliz RX.
Just email for more info.

Start Pole complements.
Baskets that do not fill.

BTW, The Start poles have been great to use this season! They do have a very low swing weight and I like how wetter snow doesn't ball up in the baskets like in other well known name brand poles.

Keep up the good work

Muffy Ritz
Sun Valley Vamps
Kids Straps

I like the Start straps a lot for the kids program we run. They work better than most other brands...When coaching kids, you end up having to help them most of the time with getting their poles on and off. So much so, that it actually effects how much no-pole skiing you do, bc its such a pain to get the whole group to get their poles on and off. The Start straps do not pull out and have a large enough opening, where some kids can actually do this by themselves! The Yoko straps pull out (major bummer) and and Madshus straps (though I like their loop) are these crazy heat-formed grips, even on kids poles. They are fine once they are on, but its like a corset!

JR Ski Program director
I am a citizen racer and completed my second Birkie this year. Both last year and this year my legs started cramping up during the second half of the race. I never cramped any other time in my life, including during ski training, triathlons, etc. I know the Birkie is a grueling race, but what suggestions do you have that can improve my off season training? I am a skate skier; do you have any specific drills I should do?

Cramping most often comes from muscle fatigue. Your muscles need to get used to the 2,3, 4 hours of marathon skiing. I do not know how much your train now of what your long days are and if you do intervals etc. But the only way to hope to avoid cramping in next year's Birkie is to replicate your Birkie effort in training leading up to the Birkie, to train your body for that effort.  You need to get some long days in skiing replicating the efforts that you will be racing the Birkie. Up hills, down hills and balancing on one ski over uneven terrain and in sloppy Birkie snow.

I think the unusual nature of the Birkie with the often sloppy snow and the stop and go nature of maneuvering around other skiers adds additional strain on your muscles. So you should try and replicate that effort. If you do not already do it, you should start rollerskiing in the summer, and increase your long days come fall. In winter do one LSD day a week and increase that throughout the winter. Race other ski marathons before the Birkie and then peak at the Birkie. There are no secrets. It just takes time.  

The difference in a ski marathon to a triathlon or a running marathon is the unpredictability of the snow condition. On a bad/sloppy snow day it takes allot more muscle work to remain balanced. That, plus skiing in a huge crowd wears on you. And this is why I believe you may be cramping at the Birkie but not at a triathlon. So work on technique so you can ski more relaxed. Skiing faster, easier can be done with fitness and also with technique. Many people focus on fitness not enough people focus on technique. So learn how to glide father faster.
I hope this helps
Andy at SkiPost

The thing that I do to prevent cramping is supplement my diet with potassium and magnesium. I take some before and during the race as well. This has stopped my cramping all together. Ted Romportl  Rice Lake WI

Yes diet can help a bit.
But Muscle memory is the #1 cure.

Cleaning Skins
Waxing Skins

You mentioned how to anti ice skis. But how do I clean skins?

You want to use Start Polymer Cleaner to clean skins that have dirt and or klister on them. Do not use harsh wax removers but use our gentle Polymer cleaner. You can also use the Start Polymer cleaner on your glide zones to remove dirt, klister and kick wax from the glide zones without removing all the glide wax.

Dear Andy, 

My skins skis worked great for the first half of the wet Birkie and then the kick diminished to next to nothing.  We used the Start Anti Ice rub on. At the finish line I looked at the skins and at first I thought the skins has dissolved and disappeared. But examining the skis at Gear West I discovered that the skins had become matted down to almost no hairs visible which reduced their kick. The skins had picked up klister and dirt along the way. The anti-ice worked for about 25km and then gradually diminished its effectiveness  What could be dine in future make skis work longer when it is that wet, dirty and klistery?

I had a few people who let e know they had good ski kick for the 50k using just the Start Anti Ice. Some who just put on one treatment and one who puts it on each and every outing. So it can work for 50km of wet slog if the skis are super saturated with anti ice form day 1.

I did have a few racers use the Start FHF 1 and FHF 3 or SFR 300 fluorcarbons. 

You can use Start Polymer Cleaner (our most gentle cleaner-not wax remover) on the skin. Do not use a wax remover.

For next year Start has developed a new Start HF Skin treatment that will be the go-to Skin solution. 

Andy at Start/SkiPost

Dave Mac Apparel

Dave McLaughlin, one of the founding athletes of the Factory Team, first generation professional mountain biker and director of the Luna Cycling program, has launched his own Lifestyle apparel brand named 

DMAC is a line of hand crafted clothing in premium wool. Inspired by a combination of craftsmanship and an active lifestyle - these versatile styles that are equally at home on the slopes, the street, or your favorite café.

DMAC | Designed for this | 4k
DMAC | Designed for this | 4k

You can get yours through their kickstarter program here

If you're not familiar, the way Kickstarter works is that once you set a funding goal, if it's not met, you don't get any of the funding. In cases where you exceed your goal, the cash gets put back into the company which, in the case of DMAC, will go toward product development and sample charges for the 2017 season, as well as funding production of the styles not on Kickstarter. Those styles can be seen here:
Wind Chill Wax?

Hi Andy.  Love your posts.  Congratulations to ALL Birkie skiers that completed the event.  I would LOVE to try that someday.  I have a quick question for you that I'm confused with.  It is in regard to waxing.  I have been using the air temperature to pick my glide wax, but this year I'm finding that up here in Timmins, Ontario, we have been getting "wind chills, that are very different from the actual temperatures (a lot colder).  My glide has been inconsistent at best using the temperature to pick the wax.  I know you once said to use the "snow temperature" but I don't carry a thermometer for that.  Would "wind chills" make that much of a difference in the snow temperature or not?  Should I try using a colder wax or try mixing waxes?  Let me know, Mike

Wax temp recommendations are based on "air temperatures" as snow can never be warmer than 0 C because above that it becomes water. But when you are glide waxing you always want to error on the side of too cold rather than too warm. You want the glide wax to be just harder than the snow crystals it is gliding over. The more moisture present the warmer and rounder the crystal acts. "Wind Chill Temps are based on the airs effect on the skin." But Wind also dries out the snow and makes the crystal act colder (harder). Also dirt needs to be taken into consideration. The more dirt and the longer the dirty event, in dirty snow you need to harder wax to keep the dirt off as dirt sticks into soft wax. We promote Start Wax, and Start waxes are generally harder than most other brands at every temperature so you need not make as large adjustments.  In dirty and coarse snow we use the BM line which uses Molybedenum.  
Does this help?
Andy at SkiPost

White Bases?

Do white base on high-end skis really make enough of a difference? Just wondering how many pairs of skis I should get for next year's race season.

Dear CR,

White base skis are most often wet snow skis. But it is not just the white base (or grey base in Salomon's warm carbon ski) but the entire camber and pressure distribution that is different on the skis to deliver optimal glide in wet snow. Is it noticeably faster in the right conditions, yes. Do you need it? All depends on your goals and budget. Do you do your own hand structuring now? If not that would be your next step of improvement in glide.
Andy at SkiPost

Classic Shoulder Movement?

I was out working on classic technique (no poles) the other day and started paying attention to how far my shoulder came forward. It seemed like the more I rotated my shoulder girdle (pushing my right shoulder forward as I reached out my left foot for glide, and vice versa) the better I moved along.  Then it occurred to me that the other shoulder (the back one) is in the final stage to pushing off with the pole. My question is how much of the poling effort comes from this axial rotation of the shoulders? Is this rotation generally considered a good thing, or is it one of those technique variations that leads to wasted motion, instability, and inefficiency? If you lay on your belly and crawl on your elbows it seems similar to the action I'm describing.
Big River Pete

Dear Big River Pete
You actually want to minimize that shoulder reach, and especially the axial rotation.   Too much reach, and and axial twisting, is, as you guessed, a "technique variation that leads to wasted motion, instability, and inefficiency."  If you watch video of the World Cup skiers, they are not rotating or reaching with the shoulder. 
Bottom line is that it adds a little momentum to help you down the track, so when you are single sticking or no-pole skiing, you feel the effects a lot.  However, when skiing normally, the extra momentum gain is lost compared to the extra power of full body skiing, and it often leads to poling cross-body, instead of down the track.  Further, it adds only the smallest of gains, that is more than lost by the extra time you must take in your cadence to create the effect. Hope this answers your question, and have a great winter!
Michael Sinnott

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
2014 Olympian XC Skiing

 Wax Recs

All Start Wax Recs can be found at 



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

Andy at SkiPost/Start email questions

Start is the low swing weight and high durability
from thick wall construction.

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
Salomon Nordic
Jessie Diggins

"This photo says it all. Last brutally hard World Cup of the year...done!" 
"I was so happy with this tour and the season as a whole," said Diggins. "I'm so proud to be a part of this team! I had great skis today and although I woke up with the start of a cold, I knew I could fight it out one last time.We caught Astrid and I ended up in fifth place, and was psyched to learn that I got my first classic podium ever with third-fastest time of day!" 5th in the Tour of Canada and 8th in the Overall FIS Cross Country World Cup
"Jessie Diggins"



Ski West Yellowstone

Tour de Spam Nordic Ski Stage & Night Race
March 18-20

The Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, Montana still have some great snow. Everyone is invited to take part in our new Nordic Ski Event March 18-20th, 2016. Tour de Spam is a three (3) day Nordic Ski stage event, featuring Montana's first night race!

Friday night will be a 3K Prologue in the Freestyle Technique. We will use the 1K lap, with floodlights and lanterns. All racers will be advised to wear a headlamp. Race will start at 7:00pm. Saturday will feature a 7.5 K classic race.  Sunday will feature the distance event as racers will go 15K Freestyle. Saturday and Sunday races will start at 9:00am. The racer with the fastest overall time in the 3 races will be declared the winner. Sign up for this series of low key, but challenging races or just one day.  Prizes awarded to those who stuck it out and raced all three day (top 3 male and female overall finishers).  All ages and all levels of skiers invited. The challenge for most racers is this: completing all three races without exhaustion setting in! For more information and registration visit 
nnf word
Supporting Tomorrow's Nordic Stars Today

National Nordic Foundation Allocates $154,280 to
2015 - 2016 Pillar Projects    read more here

NNF online auction starts soon Read more here.

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

Bliz RX now available
Email for details

Bliz ULS
One fogfree lens 
that does it all

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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