Period Seven of Training for Cross Country Skiing

Video Transcript:

One of the things I want to talk about is strength and how we complement strength in the type of a routine where we’re doing a lot of ski-specific activities and high-intensity activities.

Regardless of the fact that we’re doing higher intensity training, we still want to do strength and that strength complements the type of training that we’re doing.

If the majority of your races are December, January, then we really want to focus on velocity-based type intensity or velocity-based strength. Another complement we can do is to blend the two and it’s called complex strength where we do a lift or we would do maybe like a squat with weight and then immediately after we do vertical jump and that becomes a super set or a complex strength where we do something that’s loading, loading of the weight as well as then taking the weight away and then doing something velocity-based.

Intensity during this time again needs to become more and more specific to the sport. If you’re doing more double leg activities, now we want to become more single leg activities and more specific movements to the sport. That includes in both intensity, distance, as well as strength training. It becomes very specific to the activity.

In recovery, this is a great opportunity to maintain or stabilize our full body strength and full body movement. So, think about being creative here, doing activities such as yoga or getting massaged. Those sorts of activities become really, really important as the intensity increases.

In endurance, because we’re doing higher intensity, more Level 4 intervals, more ski-specific, the volume may drop a little bit.

We’re focusing mostly on very specific activities of endurance but the actual overall volume starts to reduce as we focus more attention on the competition season. See you next period.

XC Ski Instructors Wanted for Loppet Adult XC Ski School

To provide cross country ski instruction to the public in accordance with established standards by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) in a manner that provides skiers with the highest quality service possible on weekend schedule of Saturday or Sunday for 2 hours.

Conducts lessons in accordance with established lesson plan and recognized ski instructor methods and techniques. Courteously greets guests and ensures that skiers’ questions are properly answered or referred to appropriate Loppet staff.

Minimum 16 years of age. Previous high school or college cross country ski program experience preferable as athlete or coach. Will provide opportunity for PSIA training and grants for PSIA XC Ski Instructor certification.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of relevant experience and training. The top group of female and male applicants will be invited to participate in further job screening.

Deadline is Oct. 15th, 2018. Send resume to Questions call Greg at 763-228-2899.

Salary ranges from $20 – $42.50 hourly based on experience and USSA/PSIA certifications.

2019 Masters World Cup: Beitostølen, Norway

Pronounced: Buy – toe – stolen

AXCS* Trip Dates: March 4 – 15, 2019… a couple days longer to add the Norwegian Birkebeiner (MWC Competition Dates: March 8-14, 2019)

* AXCS, XC Ski World

Best Travel Plan: International flights to Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL). Then local buses, AXCS charter bus, or rental cars three and a half driving hours direct to Beitostølen at the gateway to the western Norwegian mountains.



Team USA MWC2019 Bus Transport Page:

Team USA MWC2019 Lodging Page:

Team USA Birken Extension Page:

Official organizer website:

Norwegian Birkebeiner website:

For specific Travel Help not provided by AXCS (airfare, travel insurance or arrangements outside the MWC and Birken extension dates), AXCS recommends Diana Lynn Rau of The Travel Society: 970.887.3095 or 970.655.8036 or

Sealed Bases

Q: My skate skis have some white/grey splotches on the base. Not the whole base but parts of it. I don’t have a Nordic Shop anywhere close to me, I bought these from a shop that’s about 5 hours away.. I have 2 good downhill shops close by, if I need to have them stoneground, will the downhill grinders work on nordic skis? I assume they’re the same, but don’t know. And if the shop can do them, what kind of grind should I have them do?


A: From what I see it appears as if your skis need a base refreshener. An alpine shop grinder can do Nordic skis but they should not do your skis as their first Nordic race skis. Nordic skis need to be ground with much less pressure than alpine skis.

So you need to ask them if they have done many Nordic race skis in the past and ask for a cold universal grind? Or you can ship your skis to one of the Nordic grinding specialists if you wish. Or you can try to do some base refreshing on your own.

I would advise you start with the brass, copper, metal brush method. Get the most aggressive of these brushes you have and start brushing the base with moderate aggression from tip to tail. You want to get under the overheated/melted base and open it up, basically tearing it open. Follow this with an aggressive coarse fibertex pad and repeat numerous times. Do a gentle metal scraping to cut off any hairs you have exposed. Follow this with a hot wipe of your softest wax. Repeat all this numerous times and see if the bases look top be improving. if it was a minor burn you should see improvement fast. If it was a major burn you will need much more work, perhaps even sandpaper method or best yet stonegrinding.

– Andy @ SkiPost


Yes. I actually did it and it helped a lot. I got rid of almost all of spots. I will try to get them ground next Winter in Lake Placid if I make it up there, but this really helped.

Thanks! Dan

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

Period Six of Training for Cross Country Skiing

Video Script:

For Period 6, it is important to recognize that the race season is merely weeks away, and therefore, now is a great opportunity to make both strength and general training as ski-specific as possible. Similarly, now is the time in the training year when overall training volume should decrease, while training intensity increases. This means workouts are going to be very hard and efficient in the sense that all muscles and movement patterns involved are going to be closely related to those that will be utilized in the coming seasons’ races.

Throughout the summer the training plan has focused on high volume. If this has been accomplished, then you will have a strong foundation to build high-quality intensity sessions.

Training this period should include very impulse-driven, plyometric actives. These exercises will translate to an effective classic technique in terms of setting the wax, as well as helping strength the push phase of the skate push.

As workouts become more intense and ski-specific, recovery becomes even more critical. Nutrition, hydration and sleep all remain extremely important, but staying healthy and avoiding sickness as we enter the cold-salon is particularly important. Take a look at your lifestyle and how it relates to your workouts because it all relates heavily to your ski training. If you are experiencing stresses at work or school, make sure you’re accommodating that sort of chronic stress in your training plan as well. Check in with how you are feeling and modify the hours and repetitions set forth in the plan that makes sense for you and your circumstances outside of skiing.

In summary, Period 6 is all about the motto “less is more” meaning we will spending less time working out each week, but more sessions will prescribe more level 4 training.

The Need To Do Long Level 1-2 Workouts

Q: We hear so much about the need to do long level 1-2 workouts to build an aerobic base. But like a lot of masters, I have been training/racing for decades and wonder if this training approach is needed, since my aerobic base seems to be pretty well established. And recovery seems to be more difficult every year. Should folks like me focus on shorter, high intensity workouts to maintain speed instead?

A: It all depends on when you want to end your days of racing.

When I was in college my housemate, Erik, had done 10 years of proper training at the highest level starting as a youngster. He was a National team skier for Canada and originally from Norway. For his senior year, and last winter of ski racing, he needed to spend most of his time on his engineering classes and not on training. So he focused on only intervals, speed and pace workouts. While I would go out for 1-3 hours each day, he would go hammer for 45 minutes 3 days a week. By midwinter he gained weight, and looked fat and “out of shape.” But even 10 kg above his best weight with no LSD in 6-8 months he could go out and kill me (and most everyone else) in every race. He could not maintain this interval only training for years but it did serve him well for 1 winter.

If this is your last winter of racing, yes you can likely skip LSD’s and just do intensity. But if you want to race for many more years you need to keep your LSD’s but also focus on intervals and intensity. Most Master skiers or runners do not do enough intensity and do to much Level 3 (sort of hard) every day.

If I were training to race, which I am not, I would do my LSD Sunday, take Monday off, do hardest interval session’s Tuesday night when you should be your most rested. Do easy circuit/strength Wednesday, speed session of some sort Thursday, easy Friday, race/pace ever other Saturday. Yes you can (should?) get a very detailed plan with daily and weekly and monthly advances. But this basic guide can serve you well. Focus one LSD and 2 very hard efforts each week and just use the other days for recovery.

– Andy @ SkiPost

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

Spenst: Goal, Exercises, Organization and Placement


Spenst training involves ski specific plyometric exercises that develop power, explosiveness, balance and strength. If you are looking to gain that extra snap in your technique, learn to accelerate over the tops of hills, around corners, sprint to the finish, improve balance and strength, or just impress your friends at parties, then spenst training is for you.

Ski technique has always demanded a quick, dynamic kick, for both skating and classic, and spenst training is a great way to develop it. Often it is the skiers who seem to be skiing with the least effort that have the most dynamic kick. Their secret is a dynamic push and then relaxation of the pushing muscles.

Spenst is a great addition to training and it yields noticeable results with a fairly small time investment of 10 to 15 minutes a week.


Means: several short repetitions of the following exercises with full rest. Gaining maximum distance with each jump – going as far as possible in the shortest number of jumps. Generally one takes between 10 and 20 jumps in a row (10-20 seconds of work) followed by a good recovery (about 2 minutes should suffice).


  • One-Legged Hop

This is a spenst training staple. As the name suggests you will be hopping on one leg – up a hill. Start with a tame grade and build toward a steeper hill. Take 10-15 jumps on one leg moving continuously up the hill (don’t stop between jumps, but keep your momentum going); walk slowly back down the hill and take the same number of jumps on the other leg. Repeat 2 to 3 (or more as you build up to it) times.

  • Stationary Skate Hop

Simply jump sideways back and fourth as if skating from leg to leg aiming for max distance with each leap. Make sure you have your balance on each leg before you leap again. You can use your arms as if you were skating. You shouldn’t move forward, but should leap directly sideways off the whole foot, side to side, in the same place. Take 10-15 leaps per leg, rest, repeat.

  • Bunny Hop

Return to the hill where you did the one legged hops. This time hop with both legs at once. Unlike the one-legged jumps, hesitate slightly between jumps so that energy must be regenerated with each jump. This is a killer, and can cause soreness as well as loud guffaws, snarks, snorts and general hilarity among spectators.


Warm up very, very well. Stretch thoroughly and begin slowly to make sure you are warm enough. The goal is not to work out your aerobic system, so take your time and recover well between each set of jumps so that you can make maximal efforts with each jump and each set of jumps.


It is best to place spenst training after a bit of rest because for it to have maximal effect you should be fresh enough to perform the work maximally.


Midway through an easy distance run or after warming up (the Jr. team I trained with in Sweden for a year did spenst as part of an interval workout) stop at a nice grassy hill. Stretch out some; perform a few easy one-legged jumps, side jumps and bunny hops (bunny hops can make your whole body sore if you’re not careful). When you are ready, take 15 one-legged jumps up the hill. Walk slowly down the hill and then take 15 jumps on the other leg. If it is your first outing take not more than 2 times up the hill per leg. The idea is to try to get further up the hill with the same number of jumps each time. Do the skate jumps, and bunny hops and be creative with jumps of your own creation. Just remember it isn’t spenst if it isn’t explosive – more isn’t better. If you are too tired to jump far, or if you feel any twinge of pain or pull, stop (start slowly to avoid injury!) Warm down well. The whole spenst routine can take as little as 10 minutes and so on a day when time is limited spenst is a great workout option.

If running and jumping is not in your repertoire, power can also be built on a bike with 15 to 20 second sprints up a very steep hill. Do some sprints seated and some standing, some in a tough gear and some spinning in an easy gear to work all the muscles. Explosiveness of this kind is more difficult to build on rollerskis, but like on the bike, sprints of 15-20 seconds on a steep hill are effective.