Nordic Skiing and AeT

  • Creator
  • #62769
    Morgan Wilkinson


    I enjoy classic and skate skiing in the winter but am having a hard time keeping my heart rate in the below AeT, especially when I encounter any sort of uphill. I presume this turns into a matter of dialing back my expectations on uphills in particular and transitioning into a herringbone or coach’s skate quickly. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep heart rate down while Nordic skiing on hills?

    Thank you,

  • Participant
    jgizmotaylor on #62776

    It can be very difficult to keep your heart rate down when new to Nordic skiing especially at higher elevations. Hills are difficult and may require slow herringbone or very slow V1. Focus on getting your arms closer to your body (more efficient on hills) and flexing your ankles snd hips into the hill. Requires discipline to slow down until you become more efficient.

    ben-7456 on #62880


    As with any type of human powered physical endeavor, changes to pace, technique, expectations and even thought process need to be taken into consideration when approaching an uphill section. As an avid Nordic skier(both skate and classic), I try to focus on easing into the hill to start with. That can oftentimes begin long before the base of the hill, depending on how I am feeling, how fast the snow is, what technique I am using (I tend to back off more in skating as I find it is a more muscularly taxing than classic skiing uphill) and how hard the hill is. It is not uncommon for me on Z1 days to walk the steeper uphill sections because I know that I cannot ski technically correct in that zone. It’s hard on the ego but that’s part of the game. I also try to save the tougher terrain for my harder days; searching for the easy stuff for going easy. As for what techniques to use- well, that again is determined by the snow speed and the gradient of the hill. Nordic skiing uphill will almost always be physically demanding. The way to make any hill easier is to 1.) continue to improve your aerobic fitness, 2.) gain more proficiency with your technique in easy terrain and, 3.) Be ok with going slow when the time calls for it.

    I hope this helps.

    Ben Husaby
    Uphill Athlete Coach and Nordic skier

    Morgan Wilkinson on #62904

    Thank you both for the feedback. Point #3 from Ben is what I have been focusing on. A readjustment of my expectations has really helped. I skied yesterday and managed to keep my heart rate down and effort easy on all of the hills. In the past I have skied the hills just fine, but always end up in Zone 3 or 4 and what I classified as easy skis were actually workouts. I am excited to train in a new way.

    brianbauer on #62918

    remember that skiing requires 2 major muscle groups: upper body and legs. running only uses legs. when your heart is required to send blood to 2 major muscle groups instead of one, you can expect your heart to have to work harder. I experience the same thing when comparing my trail running/racing data to skim racing data.

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