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.

000 Rollerski How to run uphill header ss21 NO ENG.jpg“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.

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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.

1. Lift your knees high

Every step you take begins by lifting the knee in front of your body. This is done both to take a stride up the hill, but just as importantly to create power in the kick that follows.

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2. Kick down towards the ground

It is important to get the kick under your body. This way all of your weight is driven down into the snow or asphalt, giving more power to your movement.

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3. Quick return and straight into a new kick.

When you run on skis, you will of course not glide in the same way as you do with the normal diagonal technique. 

You must therefore go straight into a new kick. You do this most effectively by lifting your heel up under your butt. In that way, you’re ready for the next stride.

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4. Rapid frequency

Relax your shoulders and let your arms control the frequency.

A faster frequency makes it easier to get a better grip on the surface. It is still important to have a good length on the steps to run fast.

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Good luck