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

It is common for most high school Nordic skiers to run cross country in the fall. This is amazing for cross training and building leg speed, fitness, and cardiovascular base for the winter cross country ski racing season. However, cross country running usually leads to neglected ski muscles that can make a huge difference in the winter. For nordic skiers looking for an easier transition from running to skiing in early winter, working on strength throughout the fall will pay off greatly in December. I recommend doing a specific strength workout at least once per week. It doesn’t demand much at all on the legs, so runners - have no fear of wrecking your legs during this workout!

This specific strength workout workout is done on roller skis and you will want to find a flat or gradual uphill depending on your strength/skill level. You can do this workout many different ways, but the simple method is just to activate the proper muscles and keep your technique solid the whole time.

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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

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

Sam and friends run along the Waterfront in Burlington, VT. Can you spot him? Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Many of us come to Vermont so we can do fun things outside, and some of us just have to be outside to get to work or maintain our health. Whatever the motivation, we Vermonters generally lead busy outdoor lives year round: work, play, drive, walk, run, workout, hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, go go go.

With so many active people sharing outdoor space, accidents can occur. Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors has stories of tragic incidents and near misses. We all must take care to avoid accidents when outside, and one important way to reduce risk is to make yourself visible so others can avoid you.

Being seen while you recreate, commute or work, can be as common sense as not wearing all black for your walk back to your car at dusk, but industry groups have established standards for high visibility equipment (Check out ANSI/ISEA 107-2010). Many sporting goods companies like Brooks, Louis Garneau, and Nathan have combined their own research with observance of industry standards to produce high-visibility garments and accessories specifically for outdoor recreation.

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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 cross country skier’s form of summer training, and it has been around for decades. Come May, competitive cross country ski 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 cross country ski 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 cross country 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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On Friday, August 10th, NENSA and SKIRACK partnered for an incredible NASTAR style 100m Rollerski Sprint Challenge event! The event was held at Leddy Park in Burlington, Vermont and open to the public.

Participants were able to test their speed against Ludvig Søgnen Jensen, 100m cross country ski sprint world champion from Norway on a pair of Swenor rollerskis.

After the Rollerski Callenge, an autograph session was held at Skirack and an after party at Skinny Pancake.

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Rollerski Sprint Challenge with Ludvig Søgnen Jensen on August 10th

Join NENSA and SKIRACK for a NASTAR style Rollerski Sprint with Ludvig Søgnen Jensen, 100m ski sprint world champion.

Test your speed against Luddeyo on a pair of Swenor rollerskis just like Ludvig Søgnen Jensen uses!


Rollerski Sprint Challenge at Leddy Park: 3 PM - 5 PM
Skiers must bring boots, poles and helmet.
Registration and signed waiver also required.

Autograph Session at Skirack: 5:30-6:30pm

Live Music & Food at Skinny Pancake: 7pm

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