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Workout of the Week: Summer Weeknight 'Standard' Practice
By: Craig Storey (2006/06/16)
Workout Type: Strength
Exertion Level: Moderate
Skier Level: Any
Technique: N/A
Season: Off-season
Terrain: Varied

Suggested Trails: Mooney's Bay, Arboretum, gradual uphill

Equipment: Ski striding poles, rope, tire,


Every ski club I've ever trained with has run their own unique weeknight practice during the summer. That same 'standard' workout is repeated once a week for the 16-20 weeks of the summer off-season. XCOttawa is no different. Every Tuesday night, from June until September we do roughly the same workout at Mooney's Bay. Theses practices consist of the same elements week after week with only slight variations in amounts.

Now some people might consider this boring, but a skier looking to improve in a specific area, doing the same workout repeatedly allows for an easy gauge of improvement, level of fatigue and possibly injury status. The weekly feedback from a 'standard' workout can help point out where weakness still exists and help athletes and coaches make changes to training program.

I'm not going to advocate what your 'standard' workout should be, but rather make a few suggestions for setting up your own summer weeknight 'standard' practice. We at XCOttawa do an interesting combination of things: a running warm-up, ski striding without poles, ski striding with tires, strength, plyometrics, ski striding sprints, and even a litte grass skiing. (I'm sure someone else will cover grass skiing in a future installment!)

I think there are two elements to a solid 'standard' workout; strength and moderate intensity. Both of these should be as specific to skiing as possible. I suggest some ski walking/striding/bounding (or whatever you call it in your region) and some basic jumping and strength moves. Have a look at the previous workout articles listed below and pick a few exercise for yourself.

In terms of time it doesn't have to be long; 30 minute warm-up, 15-30 minutes striding, 15-30 minutes strength and 30 minute warm-down is usual.


This past week our workout night came only two days after most of us rode the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - 175km to Kingston on Saturday and then 175km back to Ottawa on Sunday. I was curious to see how my legs would perform after all of that riding. I took Monday off since my legs were a bit sore and feeling swollen and too stiff to run. I did a bit walking and easy stretching throughout the day. By practice time Tuesday night my legs were barely tight, and no longer sore. Was I fully recovered?

During the workout I was able to compare how I felt doing each element to how I've felt the past few weeks. No surprise, but I could tell that I wasn't fully recovered! My legs were lacked power in the jumping and tire pulling compared to the usual, and I was much more fatigued by the end of our 50 minutes of strength. This info helped me decide to take it a bit easier than planned for the few days leading to our first training camp of the season.

Hopefully your 'standard' workout will help you monitor your progress throughout the summer. Good luck!

More Workout Suggestions . . .
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