Cliffnotes: The Official Newsletter of the American Cross Country Skiers

Summer 2014, volume 17, #
Composed, compiled and annotated by David Lawrence, September 19, 2014

A message from David:

The publication produced by the American Cross Country Skiers (AXCS) entitled "XC World Digest" collects great training and technique articles from Europe and elsewhere, providing digestible, descriptive, translated pieces of cross country skiing content to sink your Nordic teeth into. Membership comes with numerous benefits, including a print publication that's well worth the price of joining. Below represents my highlights from this issue, curated and interpreted by me, including all of my baises and idiosyncrasies. Hope you find some value!

I try to "pull-out" the major concept from the articles I found interesting, include a few key principles, and, when appropriate, elaborate the principles in specific action steps you should take.

Articles covered by David taken from The Official Newsletter of the American Cross Country Skiers, Summer 2014, volume 17, #...

  • Fall Workouts or Winter Speed by Inge Scheve
  • Max Strength Not a Focus for Endurance
  • Honing an Efficient Double Pole
  • Hoofing Towards Winter
  • A Good Rebound Intensity Plan, Duke Medicine Health News, August 2013

Fall Workouts for Winter Speed

Concept of Article:

  • add most of your volume in the fall, progressively building sport specific training throughout this period.


  • Emphasize what's relevant to the sport or goal you're training for
  • Don't train the same way week in and week out; adaptations and greater gains come from intense efforts in a VARIETY of modalities

This is What You Should Do...

  • Add speeds last third of your workout to mimic the last, faster kick during a race [from article]
  • Always add some pick-ups and/or speeds to a workout [from article]
  • Stack a run and full body weight session together [David's advice]
  • Even on long runs, throw in some speeds [David's advice]
  • Recover to allow hormesis to fully realize itself [definition of hormeses: the term for a generally favorable biological responses to low exposures to stressors, like vigorous, extreme exercise] [David's advice]

Max Strength Not A Focus for Endurance


  • According to a study, max strength only improves strength not endurance.


  • focus on core strength
  • Workout volume and intensity positively increase endurance (probably why max strength had a positive correlation with endurance because of added volume of workload).

This Is What You Should Do:

  • Shortcut = to get the most bang for you effort, work on endurance and core strength simultaneously. You don't have to compartmentalize these into two different training sessions.
  • Shortcut 2 = work on core strength throughout the day using Low Intensity Daily Volume tactics like work breaks throughout the day. Every 60 to 90 minutes of office work, I break and do pull-ups, squats and push-ups. I also elevated my desk, stuck a treadmill beneath it and walk for hours while I work. These periodic workout breaks throughout the day add up!

Honing an Efficient Double Pole


  • Flat terrain equals big long movements. Uphill terrain equals shorter arm movements, more turnover, more work on front of body


  • 3 phases of double poling: pole plant, pulling phase and recovery phase
  • Don't neglect the legs as the work a LOT during double poling

David's Notes:

I think of all cross country skiing and all cross country skiing technique inside of 3 skills: push-off, weight transfer and glide. These 3 skills can also be thought of as the 3 phases of nordic skiing: push-off phase, weight transfer phase and glide phase.

Of course, each phase usually blends together that it becomes hard to know when one phase stops and the other begins.

During double poling, the cycle changes just a bit. Starting from a standstill, we first push off with poles, start gliding, push off with our legs to get our upper bodies up, forward and over the poles - basically weightransfer, then we start the cycle all over again. Pole push/push-off, glide, weight transfer. 

Moose Hoofing


  • Moose hoofing increases power and endurance


  • Bound off your leg, moving your body up, forward and diagonally up the hill and onto the new leg
  • Keep your rear leg extend straight behind you
  • Drive the rear leg forward with maximal power when jumping onto the new leg
  • Drive your arms forward with maximal power 

This Is What You Should Do:

  • Throw in some during runs
  • Use a mix of interval sets

A Good Rebound Intensity Plan, Duke Medicine Health News, August 2013



One 4 minute interval three times per week improved maximal oxygen uptake more than control group doing four 4 minute intervals 3 x per week.

This Is What You Should Do:

Great way to reboot the system to get back into shape quicker, do less but go harder. Do one 4 minute max effort once a week. On a run, ski tour, bike ride, paddle board, swim or roller skiing session? Add one four minute max effort during your session.