Skip navigation

Are you on Track? How much is enough training?

Tue, Feb  5, 2008 - By Pete Vordenberg,

What is enough training?

The question of how much training is enough is obviously a flawed one. The specifics of training are every bit as important as the amount. What one does for training and how well plays a huge role – but it is still the case that the yearly volume of training and the progression of that volume through the development years is a very important component of training and I believe it is one that US is behind on. For now suffice it to say that training includes primarily skiing, rollerskiing, running, ski imitation, weights/circuit training in addition to some things like kayaking and cycling but does not include games like volleyball, stretching, yoga, dancing etc. So excluding the real question of what and how – lets simply look at how much ski training is enough to reach world class results…



According to Pete V:

By age 23 a skier must be training near or over 700 professional hours depending on the amount of intensity and training focus. Athlete must be working with a coach and competing at the appropriate domestic and international level. (note: it says by the age of 23).

By age 21 a skier must be training around or over 650 quality hours and be working with a coach and racing a full schedule of Super Tour, National and appropriate international events.

By age 19 a skier must be training over 600 quality hours and be working with a coach and racing at the appropriate national and international level including Super Tour, NCAA, JWC and some OPA level racing.

By age 17 a skier must be training over 500 quality hours and be working with a coach and racing at the appropriate national and international level including Super Tour, Jr. Qualifiers, NCAA, JWC or J1 trip in addition to some international level racing.

According to Vidar Loefshus:

I think most of the junior men put in between 500 and 650 hours a year when their at the age of 19 to 20. Most of the women maybe a little bit less.

We recommend that these hours contains of:

  • Level 1 - 70-80%
  • Level 2 - 10-20%
  • Level 3 - 8-12%
  • Level 4 - 3-5%
  • Level 5 - 2-3%

The older you get, the more intensity you put in.




According to Erik Røste ( basic Norwegian training philosophy) :

  • 16 years old = 320 hours
  • 19 years old = 520 hours
  • Between 17-18 years old = depends on level of maturity

One thing that is noted in this article is that this is a departure from “older” training methods, which were much more volume based. Meaning intensity plays a bigger role in these training systems.

According to the USSA Competency Document ( under sport, cross country):

  • Age 16 = 350 hours or more
  • Age 17 = 400 hours or more
  • Age 18 = 500 hours or more
  • Age 19 = 600 hours or more
  • Age 20 = 650 hours or more

A note:

Most elite senior cross country skiers train around 750-850 hours. Some of them have been training these volumes since their last years as junior racers. A few train less and a some train more. The range I have heard for medal winning skiers is between 550 and 1200 hours – but this includes the absolute extremes and I am not sure what was and was not counted as training.

Most elite senior skiers train strength 2 to 3 times a week (either weights, circuit or specific strength), intensity 2 to 4 times a week and otherwise distance, speed and long distance. Again some do more, some less.

Junior skiers are in the “prepare to prepare” stage of development so their training is meant to prepare them for the training they do as senior skiers who are in the “prepare to compete or prepare to win” stage of athlete development.



What do you think?

How much do you train?

Are you on track to your goals?


Help Team Today reach its goals by supporting our skiers today!