How to run uphill on cross country skis and roller skis
This is your guide to learning the diagonal running XC skiing technique, first invented by Johannes Høsflot Klæbo.
“Leaning forward is the most important thing for achieving the momentum you need. Your hips should be pushed forward, your body should be leaning forward, and your line of sight should be focused well out ahead. It is important to always keep a steady balance as well”, says skier Mårten Soleng Skinstad.
4 key success factors of mastering uphill running on skis
Having mastered this technique on roller skis as well as on snow, Skinstad outlined for us a few keys to success.
Learn the technique: Mårten Soleng Skinstad takes you through the technique that “every” skier has tried to learn in recent years.
It’s quick, efficient and knocks your competition out the game if you get it right. When Johannes Høsflot Klæbo first ran on skis on hills, nobody knew what he was up to. In this article, skier Mårten Soleng Skinstad shows you how to transfer the same technique to roller skis.
“To be able to run on the skis, it is important to have good balance and a slight lean in your body.” Look up and forward on the trail. This makes it easier to ensure a stable balance," says Skinstad.
Further reading: How to sharpen your roller ski tips
“As with all cross-country skiing techniques, you should hold your hips a long way forward, while leaning slightly forward.” This gives you a lean that helps you maintain good position and movement in the direction of travel.
1. High knee lift
Each step begins by lifting the knee high in front of the body. This both helps you take a good step up the hill, and just as importantly creates power in the ensuing kick.
New to roller skis? What you should know before you start.
2. Kick straight into the ground
It’s important to get the kick under your body. All the weight goes down into the snow or asphalt.
3. A quick return and straight into a new kick
When you run on your skis, you won't slip as you would with normal diagonal strides. Therefore, you have to go straight to a new kick. The most effective way is to lift your heel up under your buttocks so you’re ready for the next step up the hill.
Further reading: Why you should practice your roller skiing!
4. Fast frequency
A faster frequency makes it easier to get a grip.
You depend on this on the steepest slopes. However, it is important to have a good length in your strides to run fast.