View Full Version : XC ski race training

11-19-2011, 04:58 AM
For better or for worse, I have committed to a 50k race in March at the urging of an evil friend. I did some sorter races in the wayback, but I can honestly say that I put zero thought into training for those. I did them on classic gear, but I plan to skate this one for a number of reasons.

I know how to train for running 50k but not skiing 50k. I'll be limited to skiing maybe 2x a week, 3x if we get lucky and have a good snow year that keeps the lower elev areas covered. I'm worried that 2x a week might not be enough and that I should rethink and switch to the 25k.

I'm hoping those who have done the Birkie and the like will chime in and offer some thoughts. I plan to have at least one day with a long skate, building up the distance through race time. I plan to fuel as I would fuel running. But is 2x a week enough? Or is it not realistic to think that I could do 50k with that level of training? I'd never do a running 50k on 2x week training, so I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about it.

I am talking with other ski folks about this but I know there are some gals who post here that race. Just trying to get a blanket of opinions that will hopefully show a pattern. Thanks, ladies!

11-19-2011, 03:51 PM
Hi Yellow!

Wow - that doesn't sound like much on-snow time, but a lot of people do it. I haven't, personally, because I live where I can ski every day. However, we have a 50k 5 miles from my house, and get a lot of people from Illinois, southern Wisconsin & Minnesota, etc. It can be done. As long as 2x per week isn't all the training you're doing. I assume you plan to run or something the rest of the time? Maybe run with poles? Roller ski?

IMO, if you have a plan and stick to it, and gradually work your on-snow time and distance up, you'll be fine. Not as fine as if you could ski more, but fine. If 2 days a week were all the training of any kind you could do, then I'd be skeptical.

You have until March. Maybe 4 or 5 weeks before your race you could consider getting in a full 50k. And remember, March snow is typically the fastest, easiest skiing! Unless, of course, it's too warm & sunny out - then it can be sucky-slow and miserable. Or, around here, the third option is a blizzard and -5F (been there, done that).

Your fueling plan sounds good - whether you're running or skiing doesn't really make much difference there. Just harder to drink with gloves and poles.

Have fun!

11-19-2011, 06:09 PM
Thanks for your response! I do plan to run at least 3x a week if I am only able to ski 2x a week (and am currently running between ~20 and 30 mpw). FWIW, it will be running on snow since I avoid pavement like the plague. If we have a good snow year I will be able to ski more. But you know how that goes! Last year we had a ton of snow up high but not much at the lower elevations, which is what would be most accessible to me during the work week. And then there have been years where we didn't get so much snow but it was colder and we got more down low, so I could literally ski in my neighborhood. Up to the weather gods, I guess.

I might see how December goes (once we get enough snow to get started; we seem to be off to a slow start for Nordic). If I get to feeling too anxious I can always go up and ski with a headlamp in January and February. I'm hopeful that my running base will at least help a little (I do have a 50k run a couple of weeks after the 50k ski, so I will still need to run a fair amount).

I don't have any illusions of doing this thing fast, but I do want to finish and not feel like I've been put through the wringer because of undertraining. I am (obviously!) still thinking that perhaps I have committed to something a bit too overambitious. I guess I should just try to stick with a program and see how it goes, eh?

Thanks again. Now, if we would just get a decent amount of cold snow, I could scrape off the storage wax and get started!