Classic XC HR management

  • Creator
  • #49719


    Still working on classic xc efficiency. My goal is to be able to go out for two or three hour workouts in L1/2. I’m fining it impossible to ski with a snappy kick and good arm swing while staying at or under AET. Efficiency seems slow in coming.

    I suspect that UA would suggest that instead of going out skiing at higher than AET rubbish workouts 4x a week I should think about 2x a week intervals at faster speeds where I allow my HR to move beyond my aerobic capacity? Then do other workouts via running where I can manage my HR more easily.

    Several months ago, Sam suggested incorporating speeds into roller skiing workouts. That is good advice but what I am finding is that on snow the remainder of the workout simply is not staying aerobic and I fear over training. XC skiing is difficult in that once there is viable snow and grooming, it’s hard to not go out every day and over doing it!

    Thanks for any thoughts or encouragement.

  • Participant
    Rachel on #49723

    This seems like a similar problem to running under AeT. The usual suggestions there are to find flatter or slightly downhill terrain or to use run/walk intervals to improve economy. I wonder if you could do the same short intervals to improve your skiing efficiency?

    Scott usually suggests starting with 30 seconds of running (or in your case, faster skiing), then recovery for say 2 minutes. The short period of higher intensity is short enough it isn’t going to hurt your aerobic base. Then build up the faster/slower ratio over time and ideally you’ll end up being able to ski aerobically continuously.

    That said I’ve never tried that with my xc skiing (but I am using the technique for running). I’ve noticed with time I can kick and glide a lot better under AeT just from putting in the hours of Z2 training. My xc course where I live is very hilly so there isn’t a lot of kick and glide terrain. But I have noticed I’ve gotten faster at the same HR by just putting in the hours, including many times where I had to go uphill in slow motion!

    Anonymous on #49724

    Rachel has the right idea here; skiing is so much a technical sport that economy must come largely from doing the thing itself. Coming into it with a good aerobic base is quite valuable, but the significant gains for you will come as your body adapts to the technique and finds greater biomechanical efficiency in the movements. Right now you’re expending a higher energy cost due to the muscles working so hard to ski correctly – in this vein, you can indeed gain some ground by doing short, relatively-fast speeds wherein you’re able to attain really good technique and balance and power but not for so long that you drain the system. Long rests in between allow those untrained muscles to recover and be ready for the next one. 30-45sec max for the on-time, maybe 2-3 min easy skiing for the off-time.

    If you’re not already, make sure to really be keeping on top of core strength – as an open-chain, full-body sport, skiing requires that the core hold tension in order to engage arms and legs in synch with one another. If the core is weak, you hold undue tension in one or both of those links in the chain and increase your caloric burn rate, and decrease time to fatigue. Relaxation is the key!

    Anonymous on #49950

    Also… take lessons.

    frnkr on #50145

    This ?? we need thumb up option here 🙂

    I learned so much from just a single lesson that I decided to have a lesson every 1-2 weeks. Kinda shame that this too has diminishing returns 😀

    Sam, I’ve noticed myself that the strategy you described works quite well without knowing why so thanks for explaining the reasons behind it 🙂

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