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Running: An Essential Part of Ski and Cycling Training

Friend of Cyclova XC Kami strides it out in the Gopher to Badger running race.

When I began ski racing full time, I noticed that most of the fastest elites would run several times per week, even when amidst perfect snow conditions. At first this confused me, as I thought that when perfect snow was avaialble, you should take advantage of it.

Well, if racing your best is the priority, simply skiing more isn't the answer. There are as many training methods for Nordic skiing as there are Nordic skiers, but one of the things that nearly all elite skiers have in common is that they are runners.

Much like myself, many elite skiers consider them selves skiers that run for training purposes.

Aside from actually skiing or roller skiing, running is just about the closest thing to skiing that you can do - it's weight bearing and demanding of your cardiovascular system.

Additionally, many skiers and cyclists, including myself, do not perform at their best if all they do is traing specifically for their sport. In other words, they get stiff, slow, and placid when only skiing or cycling. I personally believe that I tend to get a bit "muscle bound" if all I do is ski or ride. Going out on an easy 30-40 minute run helps to loosen my legs up and simply help my muscles move better.

So there you have it. If skiing fast this winter is you goal, lace up your running shoes and get out at least once per week for a little trot!

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