Category: Skiing

Ski rodeo, Methow style

Olympians and future Olympians gathered yesterday for the annual ski rodeo in Winthrop, WA. The “U8” racers set the tone during the first (1k) race. The competition for podium spots would be fierce.

Meanwhile, up on the hills above town the Methow Valley Nordic team showed why this valley keeps turning out champion skiers. It was a long way back to the next skier.

We spotted an old friend Michael Karas giving his all in the 10k race.

Alas, he was no match for the Olympic lungs of local ski celebrity, Laura McCabe. 

Meditation comes in many forms

Crayon, iron, scrape, brush. Nick is in his happy place when prepping our Nordic skis. He does good work!

How pro athletes use their down time

skiteamfunk

Watching some of the world’s most elite Nordic skiers cut loose in this video brought a huge smile to my face this afternoon. A good reminder that no matter how good we are at something, it’s nice to cut loose occasionally. (As you watch, keep an eye out for the Methow Valley’s very own funkstars Erik and Sade Bjornsen.) Enjoy!

Strength Training for Cross Country Skiing – Week 3

When I first started training for the ski season a few weeks ago, a friend said she didn’t like to workout at the gym. Boo! The above video of David Lawerence’s obstacle course is for her. (I’d love to say that I watched this all the way through to get ideas for training, but … um … those abs … ’nuff said.) If anyone builds this awesome obstacle course nearby, I’ll come work out with you!

In the mean time, here is my plan for week three. A couple notes:

First, you’ll notice that we are switching back to the same exercises we did in week one, but increasing the reps from 15 to 20. Most people would say that’s too many, but cross country skiing is an endurance sport, so we need to balance strength with endurance.  With the increased reps, you only have to do 2 sets. We’ll work back up to three in the next cycle, but for now we’ll do just two.

Second, if the glute bridge is too easy for you, try doing them one leg at a time or while balancing your feet on a Swiss ball. For the side plank, if you did them on your knees the first week, do it with straight legs this week.

I also added box jumps to the beginning of the workout to help develop explosive power. It is really easy to injure yourself doing box jumps, so please take some time to review how to do them properly. Toni Gentilcore put together an excellent tutorial (with videos) on proper technique and how to avoid common mistakes that could lead to torn Achilles tendons and ACLs. Ouch!

Finally, I changed up the hip hinges to full dead lifts. This is another exercise where form is king. Continue doing hip hinges from week one, if you don’t feel strong enough to do the full lift with good form.

Weight Reps Sets
Warm Up
Bird Dog BW 20 2
Glute Bridge BW 20 2
Side Plank BW 40 sec. 2
Rest – 45 seconds between sets
Workout
Box Jumps BW 8 2
Dead lifts  * 20 2
Step Ups  * 20 2
Dumbell pull-overs  * 20 2
Pushups BW 20 2
Seated Rows  * 20 2
Shoulder Press  * 20 2
Rest – 45 seconds between sets
Cool Down
Cat-camel 30 sec.
Downward Dog 30 sec.
Cobra 30 sec.
Kneeling Hip Flexor 30 sec.

 

BW = body weight

* = Use enough weight so the last two repetitions are difficult–to-challenging. If the last repetition is not difficult, the muscles will not be sufficiently challenged.

Strength Training for Cross Country Skiing – week 2

weights

Week 1 of pre-season training is in the bag. I got in two solid cardio efforts, two weight lifting sessions, and a recovery cardio session. I’ll admit that I could only do the full number of pushups on my knees. Next week I am to do better with those. My reward for all the hard work was a massage last night, which my tight lats appreciated.

This week, I’m changing the exercises up a bit. (If you’re following along, we’ll go back to last week’s exercises again next week.)

Weight Reps Sets
Warm Up
Dirty Dog BW 15 3
Plank BW 30 sec. 3
Seated Rotations * 15 3
Rest – 30 seconds between sets
Workout
Front squats * 15 3
Forward lunge * 15 3
Side lunge * 15 3
Lat pulldowns * 15 3
Front raises * 15 3
Hammer curls * 15 3
Tricep pushdowns * 15 3
Rest – 30 seconds between sets
Cool Down
Cat-camel 30 sec.
Downward Dog 30 sec.
Cobra 30 sec.
Kneeling Hip Flexor 30 sec.

 

BW = body weight

* = Use enough weight so the last two repetitions are difficult–to-challenging. If the last repetition is not difficult, the muscles will not be sufficiently challenged.

Photo by Kaleb Fulgham, used with permission