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May's Cross Country Ski Fitness Test

Fri, Jun  1, 2007 - By Mike Muha

I was pretty lazy this spring - I think I averaged only a couple hours of training per week during April!

To get myself more motivated, I decided I'd do the US Ski Team fitness test (also called the "Medals Test") in May to set a baseline for the year.

I also decided to add a kilometer-long uphill doublepole time trial after reading Aerobic Conditioning Testing for the Cross Country Skier. The article makes a strong case for adding the test focused on more than just upper body strength:

"Both laboratory and field testing have consistently shown that upper body maximal aerobic capacity and muscular endurance are strongly correlated to cross country ski race performance (r = 0.75 to 0.92). In other words, those who perform best on this test are likely to do well on the ski course."

We have a nice, long, gentle climb on one of the local bike paths that's perfect for this test. To make it easily repeatable, I extended the distance from 1 kilometer to a bit longer (to about 1.1 or 1.2 kilometers) so I could start on an expansion joint across the path at the bottom and end at a sign post at the top.

Below are the results so far:

  May 2007
  Time Min / Mile
3,000 meters 13:23 7:11
Uphill doublepole TT 4:20 -
  Set 1 Set 2
Pushups 25 20
Dips 10 9
Sit-ups 27 26
Pull-ups 2 1
Box jumps - -

I still have to build a box for the box jumps. I may add a rollerski skate time trial to the set of test as well.

The tests results were motivating - I've definitely stepped up my training over the past three weeks!

I'll repeat these tests ever month or so until snow time.