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Chloe and Sara take a break from (having fun) cross country skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

My job at the Skirack is to help you have fun doing things outdoors, and that is rewarding for me.

Yes, I’m a gearhead. I love the things I sell, and I always have, but I never lose sight of the fact that in the end, it’s not about the stuff. It’s about the experience you have outside playing with the stuff. If you have fun, and do it more and more, then I have done my job, and that feels good.

You can be a gearhead too, and many people do enjoy the buying part of the process. However, my advice is that before you go to purchase equipment, take the time to visualize that part of the overall experience that gives you the most satisfaction and fun, then set out to maximize that part.

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2020 Craftsbury Marathon Waxing Tips. Photo courtesy of Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

It is time for the Craftsbury Marathon! Arguably the biggest cross country ski marathon in the Northeast, this weekend's event is shaping up to be a great time with ample snow, moderate temperatures, and the outstanding grooming Craftsbury is so well-known for. Regardless of your race distance or experience level, you will want some great wax on your skis to make the most of the event. The wax tips below are based on products that Skirack carries in-store. Many staff are racers and waxers themselves and can help provide even more guidance for interested competitors.

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Comments | Posted in Events Cross Country Skiing Expert Tips By Adam Terko

How to Select Cross Country Skis

Dec 30, 2019 4:42:00 PM

How to Select Cross Country Skis. Photo credit: Zach Walbridge.

Which cross country skis should I buy? This question has only become more difficult as more types of skis have been developed for every kind of skiing imaginable. Currently, Skirack carries 6 different categories of cross country skis. They are outlined below to help you get an idea for what you’re looking for.

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Ben prepares for the cross country ski season with a roller ski speed workout in South Burlington, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

One of my favorite roller ski workouts to do in the fall is some kind of short to medium length speeds. Speed work is great because it combines the need to have solid technique with strength, power, and coordination. It also is not as long as 60-70 minutes of controlled L3 nor as painful as max L4-L5 intervals where you are trying to train the body to build and clear as much lactic acid as possible. On the Green Racing Project we try to do some speeds during our distance skis at least once a week in the summer, and more often in the fall and early winter as the racing approaches. It is a nice way to mix up some easy long distance training as well so you don’t get too bored.

One way you can do speeds to try and get a bit sore and also work your body and brain is to do speed stations. It is best to find maybe 3-4 different terrains you want to work on and aim to do 6-8 speeds at each station that last 10-12 seconds each speed. I like to find some flat or very gradual uphill on nice pavement (bikepath or quiet road), a steep uphill if possible, and some corners to try and work many different techniques.

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Comments | Posted in Cross Country Skiing Expert Tips Rollerski By Ben Lustgarten

Cross Country Ski Boot Overview. Photo credit: Guillaume Desmurs.

Nordic ski boots come in many styles, constructions, and bindings to accommodate a range of activities. From backcountry touring on the Catamount Trail to skate skiing the Craftsbury Marathon, there is a boot designed to maximize the skier’s performance and enjoyment. Weight, stiffness, and warmth are all important factors to take into consideration when you purchase a ski boot. The following breakdown briefly describes each type of boot, and should help guide the skier to the correct equipment.

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Ben prepares for the cross country ski season with a roller ski workout in South Burlington. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

In order to prepare as best as possible for cross country skiing in December, roller skiing is seen as more of a necessity than a luxury opportunity. Running, cycling, swimming, and weight lifting all create an amazing base of strength and cardiovascular fitness and endurance; however roller skiing targets specific neuromuscular recruitment and coordination, balance, and “accessory” muscle building to truly create a more enjoyable and successful winter.

Whether you are trying to just increase your off-season fitness, try your first ski race, make in on the varsity high school team, or qualify for World Cups, roller skiing is critical to make your transition on snow faster and more efficient.

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Comments | Posted in Cross Country Skiing Expert Tips Rollerski By Ben Lustgarten

Sara at last year's Roller Skiing the 100m Rollerski Challenge event with Ludvig Søgnen Jensen. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

“I saw a bunch of people skiing on pavement up the Bolton Access Road… What’s that all about?”

This is an increasingly common question heard in Skirack. Roller skiing is the nordic skier’s form of summer training, and it has been around for decades. Come May, competitive nordic racers swap their long skinny skis for short aluminum ones with wheels, switch out their pole tips, and switch from the trails to the streets.

Until recently, it’s been a very niche sport. However, the increased interest in nordic racing, sparked by the success of the US ski team in the last Olympics, coupled with popular interest in roller blading, has brought roller skiing to the attention of a much larger crowd. Recreational nordic skiers, outdoor enthusiasts, runners and cyclists looking for a form of cross training have all begun to look at roller skiing as their next hobby.

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Kikkan Randall leads a group of cross country skiers at Sleepy Hollow Inn Bike and Ski Center. Photo: Zach Walbridge

On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Skirack and the Sleepy Hollow Inn Bike and Ski Center had the honor of hosting one of the most inspirational and influential nordic skiers of our time. It was a perfect, blue bird day. The snow was soft and the sun was shining when I arrived at Sleepy Hollow to set up for what promised to be an exciting event.

People were already materializing with an hour still to go before the start. You could feel the anticipation building as everyone eagerly waited for the Fischer SUV to appear. I busied myself setting up tables and erecting wind blades that proudly proclaimed Fischer and One Way. When next I looked out the window of the barn, there it was, shining black in the sun, and as I scanned the scene I finally spotted her: Kikkan Randall, winningest American Nordic Skier, Olympic Gold Medalist and determined cancer fighter.

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Comments | Posted in News Events Cross Country Skiing By Marisa Rorabaugh

Cross Country Ski Binding Overview

Determining what cross country ski bindings you need can depend on your boot, ski / type of skiing, and terrain. Since there are many variables and options out there, it can be pretty overwhelming.

Fortunately, I'm here to give you an overview of the bindings available as well as how to select the correct one. If you have any questions, please let us know!

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Ben Lustgarten races in the 2019 Tour de Ski

Skirack cross country ski fit expert, Jake Hollenbach will be doing a series of short Q&A's with Skirack sponsored athlete Ben Lustgarten while he races the Tour de Ski and 2019 World Cups. Enjoy Part 2!

QUESTION: What was your favorite town/race venue the Tour de Ski traveled through?
ANSWER: The first question is pretty hard! All of these towns are so cool and unique, with amazing views of mountains. There was not a ton of natural snow in some of the locations, mostly all on man made, small snow loops. Val Mustair in Switzerland was very cool. We stayed in a small town that had incredibly tiny streets and we drove through what looked like castles and ramparts to get there.

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0 Comments | Posted in News Cross Country Skiing By Jake Hollenbach
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