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Newbie Birkie Training Schedule

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bil...@my-deja.com

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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I've never cross-country skied, but I ran the Chicago Marathon six
weeks ago and have been looking for winter athletic events. The
Birkebeiner came to mind.

OK. So here are the questions:

-Can anyone point to some training resources? For the marathon,
http://www.halhigdon.com/ has training schedules for novice,
intermediate, and advanced runners. Something similar for the Birkie
would be great.

-I'm concerned that here in Chicago we won't get enough snow to train
on skis. How do people in less-snowy-areas train for such an event.

-Is it realistic for someone in pretty good shape, but with no XC-ski
experience, to race the Birkebeiner with 3 months of training time.

Thanks in advance

bill milbratz
chicago IL usa


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Gary Jacobson

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Dec 6, 2000, 10:09:39 PM12/6/00
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Hi Bill,

First of all learn to ski by taking lessons.

Last year I jogged a marathon with 160 miles of running in the preceding
year. All my training was ski specific: roller skiing, pole hiking, some
cycling, and backpacking. The point here is that the training for foot and
ski marathons are basically compatible.

I do not think that your fitness level would be a problem if you knew how to
ski, but poor technique is terribly inefficient with regard to the energy
system that even in the best of circumstances is taxed heavily in a
marathon. The best skiers in the world, let alone middle of the pack skiers
spend a lot of time on technique. I doubt runners who train for foot
marathons need to- they are either biomechanically efficient or not, and
that anatomic aspect is, along with cadio vascular potential limiting
factors that can't be improved on a whole lot.

So with skiing you have those factors AND technique. So basically you need
to learn to ski, and while doing so not lose your endurance fitness. Take
lessons, and get good light weight equipment.

Roller skiing or perhaps for you with so little time to learn how to ski,
roller skates with poles may be something to consider. But maybe not....

I will open a can of worms by suggesting you do the race classical style.
Your running background, and the ability to train for it by using the ski
specific dryland imitations involving footwork and poles; thereby avoiding
the likely crash/ road rash/soft tissue mess, and disheartening experience
of feeling like a klutz on roller skis, may be the best way to go.

The less efficient you are on snow, as you learn, the greater the intensity
of the training episode. Therefore be careful not to over train. (I think I
was able to "run" my marathon because of the limited running I did before
hand. Too much more and I would have likely suffered an injury.) Your
cardiovascular base is probably good enough, but you need to develop it to
accommodate the specific energy demands of the muscles used in skiing.
That is why ski imitation should be a major concern. But I would also think
you'd want to do at least one long run every 10-14 days, if you can handle
it, so that you do not lose the aerobic endurance that ultimately will carry
you through. I'd make those runs very easy.

I think "ski bounding" is something you should look up on Deja.com Newsgroup
search, and in a web search. I seem to remember that The Northstar Touring
Club site deals with it. Call Nordic Equipment Inc. and ask for
recommendations on technique videos, or wait until others reply with
specific suggestions

Did I mention that you should get lessons?

Maybe I didn't answer all your questions. I am not an "expert", but I am an
expert in grappling with issues of have a lot of preparing for marathons of
50+km on a yearly basis.

Most of all, have fun and don't expect too much in terms of results. Give
yourself 6 hours, and when you do it in 5 you'll be thrilled. Marathon times
for both running and skiing are close. About 2 hours for the winners, the
hump at 3.5-4.5, and then all the real heroes after that.

GJ
<bil...@my-deja.com> wrote in message news:90ln11$bt4$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

Brian M. Parks

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Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
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bil...@my-deja.com wrote:

> -I'm concerned that here in Chicago we won't get enough snow to train
> on skis. How do people in less-snowy-areas train for such an event.

i'm in madison. recent years here have had very poor snow conditions for
skiing. i dont enjoy rollerskiing, but that would be one of the best
non-skiing activities to simulate actual snow skiing. i swim, do a little
running (hate that too...especially in winter!), and ride my bike. i
found that bike riding was a pretty good prep for hills. i take my zip
speed out and pound the hills around my home for a while a few times a
week. i feel that that has helped my quads a lot and made the Birkie
hills a little easier.

> -Is it realistic for someone in pretty good shape, but with no XC-ski
> experience, to race the Birkebeiner with 3 months of training time.

sure!!, and i speak from experience. my first winter on skis of any kind
was at the end of 1982 and i skied the Birkie for the first time just a
couple months later at the end of feb '83. i did it classic (easily more
than half still skied that way back then) and my time was about 6.5 h.
however, there was still a mass start back then and i think a more
realistic time for me (and YOU with a wave system) would have been about
6 h with less conjestion.

the important thing is that you MUST get out there and ski this winter.
in particular, you will need to become somewhat comfortable with your
technique (skating or classic....i second the other recommendatio to ski
it classic, and i would skip the kick wax for the moment and go with
fishscales to keep your task simpler), and you must also get somewhat
comfortable with skiing downhill. this latter point in particular,
because it can get real frustrating for a physically fit individual to
keep face planting on every hill....and even dangerous with all those
other folks there too. on my first birkie, the hills did not scare me,
but they sure as hell gripped me (heck....they still do!). and i did a
fair bit of falling. it was a hoot, but it was also a bit disheartening
after a while.

i agree that instruction is important. it will help you avoid developing
bad habits and it will teach you ways to be an efficient skier. you will
learn a lot of tricks. extensive lessons are not important for the
moment. heck, if you have a friend that is a good skier, he or she would
probably be adequate to help you get the ball rolling.

take the plunge. you'll love it.

bmp


--
Delete the "SPAM" to reach me directly

Jay Wenner

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Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
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bil...@my-deja.com wrote:
: -Can anyone point to some training resources? For the marathon,

: http://www.halhigdon.com/ has training schedules for novice,
: intermediate, and advanced runners. Something similar for the Birkie
: would be great.

A general page: http://home.hia.no/~stephens/

: -I'm concerned that here in Chicago we won't get enough snow to train


: on skis. How do people in less-snowy-areas train for such an event.

Running is fine. Rollerskiing is better, but if you don't know how to
ski, rollerskiing is harder than skiing.

: -Is it realistic for someone in pretty good shape, but with no XC-ski


: experience, to race the Birkebeiner with 3 months of training time.

Yes, I skied my first Birkie after skiing a total of about 30 km
but being in good cycling shape. That first race gave me bad tendonitous
since I skied the whole damn thing (4:15) using V1 technique. So, it's
worth putting in some more hours on skis so you don't hurt yourself.
Also, I had a pretty good alpine background, so I didn't have a problem
with the downhills (and using people for gates) (grin).

Warning: The Birkie is infectious. You will very likely return and feel
real bad if you don't. Real bad.

Jay Wenner

john_...@my-deja.com

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Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
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Re: Newbie Birkie Training Schedule
As a runner you probably have a good aerobic base and fit legs.
However many runners lack the upper body strength which is very
important in x-c skiing. That is just a general statement, so dont
take it personally. I would recommend upper body exercises such as
dips, lat pulldowns, ab work and etc three times a week. Since you do
not have skiing experience I would hold off on roller skiing until next
Spring after your technique is better and the risk of losing training
time due to crashes and possible injury will be less.

John

'The pain doesnt decrease, it just doesnt last as long.'

Ralph C. Thornton

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Dec 7, 2000, 11:00:10 AM12/7/00
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My suggestion would be to take lessons (it's been said before but it's a
good one). There are a lot of dryland training techniques and you should
discuss this with your instructor. Any good ski teacher is well versed in
the dryland techniques (in addition to the obvious ones of roller skiing)
and can make some good suggestions. Your fitness level is probably fine for
the Birkie if you can acquire some reasonable technique to carry you
through. If your interested in classic skiing I'd do that in the Birkie. If
you'd rather skate then go for that, I think it would be best to learn one
primary technique though and try to get as good at it as you can rather than
take on the nuances of the different techniques.

I used to live in the Chicago are and know full well your problems with
getting on snow. Here are some suggestiosn:

1. get on snow at every opportunity. Locally (near Lemont) are the groomed
trails at Camp Sagawau (708-257-2045). Go there whenever they are open and
ski. Take off work if you can.

2. A reasonable drive away, especially for a weekend, are many ski areas.
Get there and ski. Consider a visit to Minocqua Winter Park near Minocqua,
Wisconsin (6 hours from Chicago). Dan Clausen and his other instructors are
good and you can spend some real quality learning and skiing time there.
Other areas abound as well.

3. Ski whenever you can.

4. Plan a series of dryland exercises that don't take long but are ski
specific. Dan Clausen can recommend a bunch. Do these daily.

5. Consider traveling to Hayward in January or early February to ski the
Birkie trail. Maybe do the Lions Club Pre-Birkie two weeks before the
American Birkebeiner to get a feel for the trail and how it skis.
Ralph Thornton

> From: bil...@my-deja.com
> Organization: Deja.com - Before you buy.
> Newsgroups: rec.skiing.nordic
> Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000 15:46:44 GMT
> Subject: Newbie Birkie Training Schedule
>
> I've never cross-country skied, but I ran the Chicago Marathon six
> weeks ago and have been looking for winter athletic events. The
> Birkebeiner came to mind.
>
> OK. So here are the questions:
>

> -Can anyone point to some training resources? For the marathon,
> http://www.halhigdon.com/ has training schedules for novice,
> intermediate, and advanced runners. Something similar for the Birkie
> would be great.
>

> -I'm concerned that here in Chicago we won't get enough snow to train
> on skis. How do people in less-snowy-areas train for such an event.
>

> -Is it realistic for someone in pretty good shape, but with no XC-ski
> experience, to race the Birkebeiner with 3 months of training time.
>

> Thanks in advance
>
> bill milbratz
> chicago IL usa
>
>

Dirk

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Dec 8, 2000, 9:05:56 AM12/8/00
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<john_...@my-deja.com> wrote...

> Re: Newbie Birkie Training Schedule
> As a runner you probably have a good aerobic base and fit legs.
> However many runners lack the upper body strength which is very
> important in x-c skiing.

Yup, as a runner who XC skis all too infrequently, I'll second that.

> That is just a general statement, so dont
> take it personally. I would recommend upper body exercises such as
> dips, lat pulldowns, ab work and etc three times a week.

hmm...I think *twice* a week, max, to provide enough recovery time. It's
hard enough to build strength while pursuing a any serious endurance
conditioning program; no point in making it any more difficult.

If the original poster wants a whole bunch of suggested lifts with any/all
kinds of equipment, go here, it's a great no-nonsense source of info:
http://www.planetkc.com/exrx/Lists/WorkoutMenu.html
It loads quickly, and the little video clips are very good to review for
proper form.

-- Dirk (never ran anything longer than a half-marathon or skiied one, but,
alas, knows plenty about sticking points!)

Lame Home Page at:
http://home.att.net/~da_bender/home.htm

bil...@my-deja.com

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Dec 8, 2000, 11:22:30 AM12/8/00
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Thanks for the helpful hints and encouraging responses, folks. XC
skiing seems a great way to keep in shape in the winter and the Birkie
looks like an enjoyable event.

The resources look very good also.

Hal Higdon's article in Fall 2000 issue of "Chicago Amateur Athlete"
recommends "classic style" for runners who cross-country ski (i.e. it
uses similar muscle groups to running). Regardless of what style I end
up using, I'll be sure to start out with lessons.

thanks again!

laural...@gmail.com

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Dec 18, 2018, 1:00:38 PM12/18/18
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Did you end up finding a program to follow to train for the Birkie? I see this was posted 18 years ago! : ) I am also a marathon runner who has followed Hal Higdon's plans and am a newbie looking for a Birkie training schedule. My training has gone pretty well so far, but I don't think the schedule I am using has me skiing enough distance. I've added more, but would like to find the balance of doing enough and not overtraining.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

Laura

laural...@gmail.com

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Dec 18, 2018, 1:01:20 PM12/18/18
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p.s. I will be participating in the classic 55K
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