Why you should train your roller skiing skills

The cross-country skier recommends combining roller skis with hard runs.

It’s summer, sunny and perfect conditions for some really good workouts on roller skis. Whether you’re preparing for Birken in the winter or exercising to keep fit, roller skiing is just like cross-country skiing: Excellent training for the whole body.

New to roller skis? What you should know before you start.

In last season’s final episode of the Skisporet podcast, we talked about training throughout the summer to get the best possible performance for when the ski season returns.



Learn to train from the best: Hans Kristian Stadheim, the British national team coach, shares his knowledge of training in the podcast.

Hans Kristian Stadheim is a knowledgeable man who knows what it takes to achieve top results in sport. The Norwegian is currently training the British cross-country ski team, lead by Andrew Musgrave among others. Stadheim was the former coach for both Olympic champion Simen Hegstad Krüger and double world champion Hans Christer Holund.

In the above podcast episode, he talks freely about training, his body and what it takes to succeed.

Train correctly on roller skis

He recommends that everyone who wants to really perform in winter to train a minimum of three sessions per week: Two interval sessions where you run and one smooth long hike on roller skis where you focus only on poling.

“I use roller skis to recover from my running intervals.” Roller skiing – whether you’re skating or using the classic technique – is perfect for building up muscle in your legs after hard runs. When you put on roller skis, you still get your heart pumping," he says in the podcast.

Further reading: Why you should have your own roller ski poles

Stadheim’s best tip is therefore to avoid using your legs when you go on roller skis and let your arms do the work.

"For those of you who want to tackle Birken: Just focus on poling."

Drop medium-length sessions

“You need to pole till your arms hurt! For my own part, on the first few sessions my arms will start aching after an hour or so. I don't mind but I can get so tired that I'm seeing stars by the time I get home."

The length of your session depends on your shape and how long your body can handle poling for. As Stadheim says, it will feel tough during the first few sessions, but you'll soon notice progress. The ski coach can't stress enough how important it is that this session has a certain duration:

"Do one long session a week rather than two short or medium-length sessions.

Listen to the podcast if you want to know which running intervals Stadheim recommends combining your roller ski session with.

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