Period Six of Training for Cross-Country Skiing

Welcome to period six of training for cross-country skiing.

(September – October)

These next 4 weeks will be our last push of high-volume dryland training (this is our biggest training period of the year!). So let’s build on our good work last month. We are going to get after it with both intensity and volume increases. Take advantage of the start of fall and enjoy the changing colors while training hard.


Strength training for Period 6 will add more plyometric-based strength while maintaining lower but more intense repetitions. Plyometric strength has benefits in creating more explosive power that will be important on skis during the race season. With all plyometric exercises, making the landing soft and the jump powerful is important.

Once you have the technique for each movement mastered, you can increase the number of repetitions if desired but keep them lower overall. It is always important to begin each strength session with a solid warm-up, including cardio, dynamic stretching, and ladder drills. Plyometric movements are very quick, and we need muscles ready to be immediately responsive.

Finally—if you are not already doing so—it is a great idea to keep a daily training log (see attached sample in your training plan) to keep track of what you did and to make essential connections between your training and the way your body responds. If you see that the elevated work intensity and / or volume of your training feels better, now, than similar levels of training felt earlier in the training year, you can be confident you are moving in a positive direction.

Phase 6 is a critical step towards the racing season (only weeks, away, now), so enjoy the nice fall weather and feel good about your efforts each day.


Each period, we will end with this advice since it is so important:

As you plan your weeks and evaluate your training, also give some thought to how you are using the training plan. It is written to be a blueprint and a guide for your training and is not written knowing in advance what conflicts you may have with training in any given week. Many weeks can be done as scheduled. However, if you have to swap days or weeks out on account of your non-training life, with good planning, it can be done with great success, provided you are giving thought to the swapping.

When it comes time to plan your training week, sometimes it’s helpful to know which workouts take precedence over others. This is particularly useful if a skier has other obligations outside of skiing (work, personal life, etc.) that may interfere with the amount of training one can devote during the week. Thus, adjustments must be made.

For example, let’s say you have a week at work where you are going to have heavy time demands and stress, and the schedule says it is the third week of the period, which is our big week. It may be best to hold off on the third week and swap it with Week 4 – our easy week to recover, and then maybe make a slight adjustment in Week 1 of the following period.

You can also swap out days on account of life outside of your training plan. Just remember, as you do that, it is ideal to follow a pattern of hard followed by easy for the pattern of days.

To make adjustments to the plan that won’t dilute the integrity of the training program, we have a few pointers for planning a training week.

Read advisory on scheduling workouts:

– Cheers, see you next month

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