Improve your running this summer!

Get tips on how to increase your running capacity from cross-country skiing coach Hans Kristian Stadheim.


Before the ski season starts, it's a good idea to have a varied training plan that you also enjoy. Running is an easy way to add more activity to your training schedule. You can do it almost anywhere and it doesn't require much in terms of equipment or planning. How about setting a summer running goal?

On our "Skisporet" podcast, we caught up with Hans Kristian Stadheim, one of Norway’s most acknowledged cross-country coaches. He also has some great advice and tips on how to do your running training. As you know, running is also an endurance sport and if you follow his advice, you will be able to maintain your cross-country skiing form throughout the summer as well.

Hans Kristians Stadheim’s two interval sessions to run faster

Stadheim is currently enjoying great success as a coach for British cross-country skiers. He underlines that there's one thing you should include in any program to increase speed - and that's interval training. 

-If you’re hoping to be able to run fast or set a record, you can't miss out those tough interval sessions. It applies to Klæbo, and it applies to all of us.

I also use long low-intensity sessions to add volume, he says.

See also: Suggestions for an effective session

1. Semi-hard session without break

-The first session is what I call a semi-hard session. About 40 minutes of continuous running without a break, where you gradually run faster. You need to have this in your training if your goal is to run fast.

This is because training the heart muscle is one of the most important factors for increasing endurance, Stadheim explains.

-But make sure it never gets so intense that you can't keep a conversation going, he adds. 

Whether you enjoy running on the track or in the forest, you can do this session on any surface.

And even if you don't struggle to catch your breath, you've still added plenty of mileage to your legs and worked your muscles.

2. Interval – 8-10 x 3 min

Another session Stadheim believes should be in your training toolbox is the well-known interval session. -This interval has many speed reps and with just one minute rest time you really get to push yourself. This session should be run progressively, with the intensity of the final rep being higher than the first. But beware. If you start off too hard and fast, you won't be able to finish.

See also Tønseth’s favorite session

Get to know your body

We hope these two interval sessions have been inspired you to put on your running shoes and get out there! Variety is key, so mix between running on the track, in nature or on a treadmill.

The most important thing is that you run in a controlled manner and get to know your body and your own limits. This allows you to increase the intensity without becoming injured. And who knows, maybe you’ll be setting a new personal record this summer?

Good luck!

Hans Kristian Stadheim talks about how you should be training in spring and summer.