General goals

Here are my general goals for the 201o/2011 ski season.

Improved technique

  1. I want to generally improve both my classic and skating technique.
  2. I will also focus on downhill speed and control.

Up to now I’ve been painting myself into a “distance specialist” role but have decided that I would best like to be an all around good skier, doing well in sprints too.

I want to switch more intelligently and fluently between techniques (diagonal-going, double-poling, doubledans, free-skating, paddling), and improve those techniques.

Improved fitness

I also want my strength and fitness to adapt to different types of races in order to meet demands ranging from explosive speed to ultra-marathon endurance.

Goal race times

Here are my goal times and the descriptions of the races I will enter. I extrapolated them from my actual results this year toward targets for the coming season.

Cosnes-Sancerre Rollerski Race

Pace           Speed        Time
2:14 min/km    26.8 km/h    7:22
3:30 min/km    17.1 km/h    11:33
Combined time:  18:55

8:34 on the flat stage; 11:32.5 on the hill stage. Missed my target on the flats by a long way, just made my goal on the hill.


This is a classic style sprint relay held between IT companies in the Oslo area. My time this year was an absolutely wretched 11:58. I have done much faster when training on sprints on trails near my house. My bad performance came from bad ski waxing, nerves from being in my very first ski race, an undue inferiority complex and a lack of familiarity with the course.

I think I stand a good change of major improvement. Target time 00:10:15. Pace 17.56 kmh.


The Grenader-løpet every February is probably the toughest ski race in the world. It’s the same 90km distance as the more famous Vasaløppet in Sweden. But this race goes from East to West through the Oslo forest, crossing ridge after ridge, making it a far more brutal race than the quite flat Vasaløppet.

This year I did a 66km test run on the roughest part of the course. After my stopping point there was a lot of downhill. My time was 5:12. I felt quite strong and had good wax and glide. At an equal pace my time for 90km works out to 7 : 12.

Next year I will officially enter the race and go for a target time of 6:52. That’s not demanding an unreasonable increase. To achieve that time I’ll have to maintain an average pace of 13.1kmh.

The interesting thing is that a time under 6:55 will qualify me for Birkebeiner Pulje 3 out of 18 total. In the past 3 years making it into Pulje 3 has meant a 3:09 up to a 3:32 time in the 54km Birkebeiner race. Though a 6:52 Grenader-løpet seems doable, such a result would seem to put me into a very elite group of skiers.

It may be that the Grenader-løpet attracts so few masochists that the results are skewed upwards. Or it may be that the race is just beastly.


I don’t think I’ll do the Birkebeiner. It comes too late in the season for the snow to be good and is far too crowded. I did a Test Birkebeiner in early March and could not be happier. The whole route was new-prepped and uncrowded and the snow and weather were next to perfect.  I’ll do that again. The only darker point in last year’s experience was that I failed miserably with ski waxing and got wretched glide. I completed the 54km route with a time of 4:13. This season I will aim for a target time of 3:59. That works out to a pace of 13.55 kmh. That may be a little too easy, but it’s nice to plan one goal you’re pretty sure to achieve.


Did not get a ticket for the race. Sign-up was full in less than 1 hour.

The Skarverennet is the great ski season ending 38km skate race over the Hallingskarvet mountain range at 1 200 to 1 400 meters. I entered the competitive class this year and logged a time of 2:28. That was down from 3:55 the year before. Both times I was held up by crowds. This last time I rarely got anywhere near my max pulse. Moreover, my ski glide was terrible again. I see a pattern :-).

This coming season my target time will be 1:59. That will require a greater than 19kmh pace. In order to avoid crowds and get a well-prepped track, I will start in the early morning in a noncompetitive class and use GPS time tracking.


The Transju’ in the Jura Mountains of Eastern France is exactly twice as long as the Skarverennet, though flatter. I’ll therefore aim for double my goal time in the latter, less than 4hours.

Means of achieving goals

Tactical means

I have decided that rollerskiing is not enough to maintain the level of cardiovascular fitness these goals require. I’ve gone ahead and taken out a gym membership.

Right now I find it essential to rollerski every day for it to be good training. When I miss a day or two I lose confidence and cease to fully commit my weight over the ski:

Good weight commitment

Training fearfully and timidly, with wrong technique, will not help me reach my goals.

  • Rollerskiing to the gym will ensure I get my daily dose of confidence and technique building time on wheels as well providing me with the more intense cardio training that rollerskiing alone cannot provide.
  • The gym offers a number of core strength group classes that I think will be useful too. I have read that building core strength builds balance and that improved balance makes for more efficient and finally faster skiing.
  • I’ll also do some weight training for upper body strength. I’ve read that Marit Bjørgen doesn’t train lower body much because rollerskiing takes care of that. I’ll probably do like her.
  • As a complement to the rest of my conditioning program, I will work on trail running in the forest. I haven’t found anything better for cardiovascular conditioning than running. I’ll therefore try to work in a couple runs a week on the Anker round route.
  • I got two classic skiing training courses with my employer this last season. There was an enthusiastic turnout, so they will likely be repeated. I think I may sign up for a skate course with Skiforeningen too.
  • I’ll go downhill skiing at least a couple times early next winter to improve downhill speed and control.

Technical means

I will buy a few things:

  1. A pulse watch.
  2. New rollerskis.
  3. New speed reducers that can be left attached while not providing resistance. They will let me avoid interrupting my training taking them on and off.

Measuring intermediate progress

I’ll use these things to measure my intermediate progress toward my race time goals:

  1. Body fat percentage. I’m currently too high at 12%.
  2. Runkeeper. This will be my central and worldwide available training diary.
  3. Hear rate monitor. Tracking heart rate through various activities will give me feedback on cardiovascular fitness

3 Responses to “Goals”

  1. engelski January 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Great, yet tough goals. I’m impressed. I’m aiming to do Grenaderen in 7,5h. That will be a stretch for me.

  2. Ragnar March 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Enthusiastic blog! great!

    Funny reading!

    If you need some help with your technique to continue your improvement, we can maybe try to figure out something..


    • fallwest March 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Ragnar,

      Thanks for the compliments! You’ve got to be my most talented visitor ever. I saw from the credits you were Sindre Wiig Nordby’s cameraman. That is truly funny stuff! Good luck with the Rollerski World Cup this season. For technique help, yes, thanks, by all means. I can’t refuse that offer.

      James W

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