Today was a superb day of training with the Incline Highlanders at Tahoe XC. The trails are thinner than last week due to some high temperatures but everything is still skiable. We are skating this week. Today we did some no-pole skiing, an almost daily exercise, and some double pole initiation exercises emphasizing explosive power at the start of a poling cycle.
If you picture a skier about to plant poles there is a lot of core and shoulder aligned to apply force. As the handles move down and the skiers moves forward, there is much less leverage available to the skier. Follow-through is still good, if there is time, but there is not all that much force applied in the follow through. It’s not an energy-intensive exercise either. Think of it as a way to train the mind rather than the body. Even when skiing slow and easy I think it’s important to emphasize efficient technique. Good habits applied to every training day make for good habits in speed/interval workouts and in races too.
On a bummer note, there is rain forecasted for the next three days. Our base is thin in some places already. With a snow level around 7000 feet, Donner Summit trails at Royal Gorge and Auburn Ski Club, there should still be skiable snow. Lower elevations are going to get melted badly. As a resident on the north shore I am fairly bummed out. Let’s hope this storm misses!