Hit the ground running

This is how the Norwegian XC team smoothes the transition from skis to spring time training.

Maiken Caspersen Falla’s advice for easing the transition from snow to bare ground is simple: “I try to run a few sessions every week during winter season, so that the shift from skiing to running does not become so brutal.” 

You know the feeling: The smell of spring in the air, the crisp sound of dry trails, the airy bounce of light running shoes.

You know the feeling: The smell of spring in the air, the crisp sound of dry trails, the airy bounce of light running shoes.”

Maiken Caspersen Falla

She admits that it’s easy to overdo things at the start of the spring season. The woods are often ruined by remnants of snow and ice, forcing her to turn to roadways instead. For feet that haven’t seen running shoes for months, early encounters with the hard tarmac can be harmful. “I tend to postpone the longest runs, and rather increase the length gradually,” she says.

The 26-year-old tries to mix running and skiing all year round. She runs through the winter and goes roller skiing during the dry season. However, she tries to prioritize running in May and June. Every summer, she also runs the 21-kilometer Birkebeiner Race in her hometown of Lillehammer. “I really enjoy running and competing. It’s good to have some motivation and variation to keep up the punch during training season,” she says

/ 365 TRAINING TIP

HOW TO DO THE MOOSEWALK
I tend to do this often throughout the training season: Five or six repetitions of five to six minutes of “elghufs” (moosewalks) up the alpine hills of Hafjell. I take a two or three minute break and increase the effort for each run. Elghufs is a popular training method for cross-country skiers, since the movements mimic diagonal technique or their sport. It is also called “jump walk with poles” or “moose hoofs.”

You need
Running shoes, ski poles, a steep hill.

How to do it
Instead of running, you take jumping steps like a stifflegged moose up the hill. Push with your legs and use the poles as you would while skiing.

/ TRAINING IN SUMMER SEASON

 

RUNNING
About 30-40 percent of total training

ROLLER SKIS
About 50 percent of total training

STRENGTH
About 2-3 sessions a week