This professional one week program incorporates cross country ski’ing into the weekly training mix for athletes who live in locations where winter has extended periods of snow, and easy access to outdoor ski training.
It is designed for a professional / elite level triathlete who does not have time restrictions either on weekdays or weekends, and who is able to rest between workouts. The program can be started on any day of the week (i.e. does not necessarily need to be started on a Monday).
It can be repeated for a couple of weeks, or for the whole winter ski season for athletes in such locations and climates.
Cross country skiing has fantastic carry over for triathlon. Not only does it give the legs an outstanding workout, but it has great application for your arms as well.
It checks all the boxes for triathlon:
The arm movement works the triceps, which are so dominant in swimming. Each movement is finished off with an acceleration that helps with biomechanics used during the swim. Swim check.
Freestyle (or skating) cross country skiing builds significant thigh power and works the flutes with every movement. Bike check.
The overall cardiovascular workout is absolutely second to none. Run check.
The session is performed with no eccentric pounding, so if it’s done correctly one can allow longer workouts for 1hr 30min without the risk of bone stress injuries. Obviously a downside is if you’re not strong in the knees then poor technique while skating will be a problem. The fix, learn to ski with a better technique or use the classic style, which is still a terrific workout.
With a good winter of skiing along with a small period of time to get used to the bike again, and that can be as little as four weeks, you are actually able to improve your triathlon by using ski preparation.
Athletes with unlimited easy access to ski, can complete the program as written. Athletes with access to ski only on weekends may substitute a mid week ski with a run or bike workout of their choice.