A running-only approach won't do
How to apply Arthur Lydiard's training principles to Nordic skiing
Last month we looked at the basic Arthur Lydiard training program for distance running. As we saw, Lydiard believed that runs just shy of marathon race pace, which we now call the lactate threshold (LT), were by far the most effective distance workouts.
His program was based on three distance days per week in the zone under LT. The rest of the days were endurance rest days, but done at a faster pace than most coaches preached. They workouts shouldn't be so fast that the runner couldn't completely recover from them.
Now we are ready to apply "The Lydiard Way' more directly to cross-country skiing.
In fact, back when I started coaching skiers, the first question that popped into my mind was "Why not just train for skiing by running?" After all, running certainly was and is great for developing endurance. It is excellent for building a strong heart and powerful lungs, plus all the other favorable things that go along with any aerobic program.
In other words, running is great for developing a huge central engine, one that will really pump out blood loaded with oxygen for use by the working muscles. The muscles just had to be trained to use that oxygen.
Therein lies the problem. Cross-country skiing uses an entirely different set of muscles than running. In fact the physique of the top distance runners do not resemble elite ski racers who are much more muscular, especially in the upper body.
To be a powerful and efficient skier, more than a strong heart and powerful lungs are needed. Technique is a much bigger component for successful skiing than running.
Read Lee Borowski's entire article advocating roller skiing and running with poles in the November 2012 issue of Silent Sports. To order back issues, call 715/369-3331. And to avoiding missing future issues, subscribe online here.
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- Three steps to balance on Nordic skis
- Finding my way on skinny skis
- To ski beyond comfort
- The apparent dichotomy of skate skiing
- A running-only approach won't do
- ABR, the upper Midwest's Nordic bellwether
- The running guru had much to teach Nordic skiers about training: Skiing the Lydiard way
- The Lydiard connection
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