Update from Nichole Bathe – CXC Team Athlete

This past week has been full of so many goodbyes and hello’s. And I should start off by saying a huge thank you to the Madison CXC masters team and everyone at CXC. They had a little get together for me before I left and I got to see almost all of them which was so amazing and such a great send off! Some of the masters I have known and skied with since I was 12 or so. And as little as some of them believe it they really are the reason I got interested in and better at skiing.

There will never be enough thank you’s for the support and encouragement they have given me over the past 10 years but I’ll cross my fingers for good snow so I can cheer you all on during the Birkie. THANK YOU!

After saying all my goodbyes packing two duffle bags and a ski bag (praying the whole way to the airport they were all under 50 pounds…they were) I was ready to move to Lillehammer, Norway. Which is where we get to the hello’s.

I am here in Lillehammer training with the British Nordic team, so I have said many hello’s to coaches and athletes since being here. I also got to say hello to my housemates who are a part of the National Training Group here in Lillehammer. I will be here and exploring (more like getting lost and guessing what the signposts mean!) until Tuesday when we leave for a training camp in Mallorca, needless to say I am beyond excited for that!

To finish off my blog I have decided to list five things I have learned about Norway so far…

  1. Cross country skiing is a huge deal and everyone does it, they even show commercials of it on TV
  2. Deciphering Norwegian signs is not as hard as it seems…(especially if you have google translate on your phone :p)
  3. Lillehammer is an old Olympic town that still uses most of its Olympic buildings as well as the ski jump in the town.
  4. Lillehammer is situated in a hill so you either go up or down.
  5. They are already making snow about 30 minutes north of Lillehammer that should be skiable in a few weeks!!!
View from Nichole Bathe's street in Lillehammer, Norway. You can see the ski jump in the back!

View from Nichole Bathe’s street in Lillehammer, Norway. You can see the ski jump in the back!

Happy fall training!

Ps. I promise to have more photos on the next blog!

CXC Partners with the YMCA of the Rockies

The Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC) has entered into partnership agreement with the YMCA of the Rockies. This partnership is designed to help promote and market both organizations; ultimately helping to grow Nordic Skiing.

Snow Mountain Ranch - Nordic Center

The YMCA of the Rockies, home to the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, has more than 120 kilometers of Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking trails accommodating everyone from first-time recreational participants to elite racers.

CXC Skiing, which is the driving force for growth and development of cross-country skiing in the Midwest, has many of the same philosophies and goals as the YMCA of the Rockies.

Both organizations work year round to grow Nordic skiing.

“YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch is excited and proud to work with and support the Central Cross Country Skiing. Both organizations have similar missions in developing individual wellness. Growing the number of participants and improving the quality of the outdoor Nordic experience is central to the visions of both organizations.”

– Bill Pierce, Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Director

The Midwest is known for the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race and trail system. It is a destination for many skiers during the winter months. Being headquartered in the Rockies, the Snow Mountain Ranch is a destination for many Midwest based Nordic skiers as the snow season starts sooner and lasts longer.

“We are pleased to partner with the YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch and promote this great destination for cross country skiing and outdoor recreation in general. With such an easy flight from the Midwest, early season snow and late ski season going through the month of March, Snow Mountain Ranch is an ideal place for Nordic enthusiasts. Also, additional activities such as fat biking, horseback riding, indoor swimming pool available at the ranch make it even more attractive and welcoming to families.”

– Yuriy Gusev, Central Cross Country Skiing Executive Director

Throughout the year, both groups will be hosting training and technique camps to help its members prepare for the upcoming season. Camps will be held at each location and the schedule will be announced shortly.

 Snow Mountain Ranch - Nordic Center

Located in Colorado near Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Grand Lake, Snow Mountain Ranch offers a wholesome environment where friends, families, and groups enjoy a tranquil setting, more activities than anywhere else and quality time together.

Situated on more than 5,000 acres, the ranch’s on-site summer activities include horseback riding, hiking, biking, canoeing, a zip line and a variety of family programs, plus easy access to nearby fishing, boating, and rafting.

On-site winter activities include cross-country skiing on one of the finest, most expansive trail systems in the U.S., sledding, snowshoeing, winter family programs, and easy access to the Winter Park, Mary Jane, and Sol Vista Downhill Ski Area.

CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Conference

The 6th annual CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Conference presented by Podiumwear is just 6 weeks away!

Dates: October 20-22, 2017
Location: Lakewoods Resort, Cable (WI)


The presenters for this years CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Conference are:


Russian born and Canadian citizen, Ivan Babikov has extensive international experience. He participated in two Olympics, the 2006 and 2010 games and raced on the World Cup circuit from 2002 until 2016. Babikov has 33 individual career victories and several high profile career bests. In January 2009 he finished first in the final stage of the Tour de Ski, becoming just the second Canadian man to win a World Cup race.

During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Babikov raced the 30km skiathlon and placed a Canadian best ever fifth in a race in which three Canadians were in the top-10.

His impressive World Cup results include; a 4th place finish in the 15km 2013 World Championship, a 7th Place Tour de Ski overall finish in 2013, he finished in 2nd Place during the 9km Hill Climb at the 2013 Tour de Ski and 7th in the 15km skate race during the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme. In 2016 Ivan retired and became Canada National Team coach.

This is a unique opportunity to ask questions and learn different coaching principles from top national team coaches. Bryan Fish who is the development coach for the US Ski Team will also be joining Ivan Babikov as they discuss various topics including; the Canadian training model and philosophy, coaching principles, technique and strength training, and classic and skate technique presentations.


Pamela Lemons is a current US Ski & Snowboard Olympic Sports Psychology Consultant and will present on something that is under estimated in most peoples training, the mental aspect. Her presentation entitled, Top 10 Guiding Principles for Mental Training, will focus on preparing your mind for skiing, not just your body. Dr. Lemons, a Wisconsin native, consults with several members of the US Ski Team on a wide range of mental training disciplines.


Jim Tervo, a current FIS official, will present on several topics that deal with race sanctioning and lines of communication between race organizers and coaches/officials.

Jim has been involved in Nordic skiing since the early 1970s. As a current official, he has evolved into the Chief of Competition role for the Junior Nationals and the US National Championships. He has also served as a tour director at the Birkie, the Super Tour, the NCAA Championships, JNs, and regional level races too numerous to list.


Ben Siefert from HKD Snowmakers will present on a very important topic in cross-country skiing, snow making for ski trails. As the growth of Nordic skiing continues more communities are looking at the possibility of adding snowmaking operations. Ben will discuss all the issues and benefits of doing this.

HKD Snowmakers is a North American company that manufactures and supplies energy-efficient snowmaking technology. HKD provide cost effective snow coverage for their customers. Their products can be found at many top resorts and ski parks around the world.


The event will also offer the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Level 100 and 200 Coaches Certification.

The focus of the Level 100 Certification, presented by Dr. Jim Mullen, MD at Marshfield Clinic and a Coach of the Lakeland Nordic Ski Team, is for coaches to learn the fundamentals for effective coaching in cross country skiing and to demonstrate basic knowledge in these areas.

Level 200 Certification, presented by Bryan Fish, U.S. Ski Team Development Coach, focuses primarily on physiology and training methods for developing cross country skiers, while giving coaches more tools to effectively prepare their athletes for competition.


Update from Kyle Bratrud – CXC Team Athlete

It is time for another update from the exciting life of a professional skier. I say that of course, with quite a bit of sarcasm. I always get a good laugh when people ask me what I have been up to or what is new.

To be quite frank, very little changes from early spring until late fall in my life. I am simply grinding. My only calendar is my training log. I live from cycle to cycle, week to week, day to day, and sometimes even session to session. I have made my training the most important part of my day and at this stage, my life. Other than that, I have little concept of time at all.

I have purposely put myself in this hermit situation because it is the setting I thrive in and produce my best training and results. I am aware there are many other ways to be a full time skier and lots of “adventures” and “fun” to be had out there, but that is something I will not get into today.

I have now entered a noticeable shift in my training where I begin to cut down on volume and start focusing on higher intensity and walking around with a little spring in my step.

While I enjoy the monotony that is the summer volume grind, I will be happy to have some real energy again and rid myself of the zombie presence I have maintained the last few months.

This time of year is a truly exciting time as time trials begin to take place, hard workouts commence, and skiers more or less discover if their summer toils will lead them to the promise land or not. Unlike some of the past years, this year I KNOW my form is solid and I am even more excited to refine it further and prepare for my run at the Supertour.

Kyle Bratrud and Tad Elliott fighting for the win at a race.

I have included a picture of myself and my good buddy, Tad Elliot, in this blog. I am not much of a picture person and rarely take pictures while training, I guess because I am too busy training, so this is the best I can do.

I like this picture because Tad shares a lot of the same training philosophies as myself and I often chat with him if I am feeling less than confident in the way my training is going.

Skiing and rooming with Tad at the World Championships was an absolute pleasure and we are both on a mission to repeat the experience this year at the Olympics. That about wraps up my update. I take great joy out of the slow day by day transformation into a better version of myself.

With 117 days to go until the 15k Skate at US Nationals, there is still a lot of work to be done and when I update you next, I will simply be a few more cycles into my yearly plan and a few steps closer to the strong and efficient skier I am attempting to build.


Coaches and Clubs Update – September 12, 2017

Hello Coaches and Club Leaders:


The Midwest Coaches Committee is opening the application process for the 2018 Junior National Championships taking place at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. This year’s trip dates are Saturday March 3rd through Sunday March 11th:


Additionally, applications for the 2018 U16 NENSA Trip to Gore Mountain in North Creek, New York are being accepted as well:


Coaches on these trips will volunteer their time to coach the best junior racers in the Midwest at these championship events.

This application process is for Head Wax Coaches, Wax Technicians, Age Group Coaches, and Support Staff. Requirements for each position can be found in the Midwest Junior Committee Bylaws:


Applications can be submitted online and are due by Friday October 13th:




We had a very productive day for our first fall Level 100/200 Supplemental Coaches Ed Clinic. 25 coaches in the Twin Cities spent the better part of the day discussing training, technique, strength, and over all program organization. A big shout out to Coach David Paulson and the folks at Chaska High School for hosting this clinic and sharing some local history with us as well.

I think each attendee found the clinic to be a great way to beef up the foundation of their coaching skills.

CXC will follow up this clinic with one this coming Sunday afternoon in Wausau in conjunction with the Wisconsin HS Coaches meetings, another in the Traverse City area on October 8, and one in Duluth the weekend of October 28. If a clinic comes to your area, please join us.



Joe Haggenmiller

Joe Haggenmiller | Director of Athletics
U.S. Ski & Snowboard – Central Cross Country Skiing
Community Olympic Development Program

Phone: (906) 281-1214
E-Mail: joe.h@cxcskiing.org
Web: http://www.cxcskiing.org
FB: http://www.facebook.com/cxcskiing


Update from Felicia Gesior – CXC Team Athlete

Enjoying the view after ski walking intervals at Killington Ski Resort in Vermont.

Time for an update! I am nearing the end of another major training block. For the most part, I follow a rhythm of medium week, hard week and then a recovery week. I make sure to plan my travels around training so that I can be in a good position to train during  larger weeks and travel on easy weeks. I wrapped up my five weeks of altitude training in Colorado with a volume week which included lots of longer runs and rollerskis.

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

I really enjoyed running on the alpine roads outside of Ouray, CO. The trails went deep into the mountains and valleys which aren’t otherwise accessible. It was great to spend time training so high in a place with so much hill climbing.

Once I was acclimatized, I felt a huge difference in the speed and distance I could go on each workout.

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Felicia Gesior touring Governors Basin outside Ouray, CO

Next, I traveled to Vermont where I spent my easy week in the countryside for my brothers wedding celebrations. Now, I am looking forward to getting back to Marquette where I will have the NMU ski girls to train with! For the majority of my summer, I did my training alone which gave me a lot of time to focus on my technique. However, I’m excited to have other girls to push me as we move into more level four intensity workouts this fall.

Felicia Gesior during her ski walking intervals at Killington Hill in Vermont.

Felicia Gesior during her ski walking intervals at Killington Hill in Vermont.


6th Annual Coaches Conference and Certification

Join fellow coaches from around the nation to collaborate and learn new coaching practices.

The 6th annual CXC/Wayne Fish Coaches Certification and Conference presented by Podiumwear is just two months away!

Dates: October 20-22, 2017
Location: Lakewoods Resort, Cable (WI)


The event will focus on U.S. Ski & Snowboard Level 100 and 200 Coaches Certification and feature four guest speakers:

Ivan Babikov
Olympian and World Cup Coach for the Canadian National Team

Pamela Lemons
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Olympic Sport Psychology Consultant

Ben Siefert
HKD Snowmakers

Jim Tervo
FIS Official

Level 100/200 Coaches Certification

Level 100 Certification is recommended for coaches working with all ages and levels of cross country skiers. It is designed for the coach to learn the fundamentals for effective coaching in cross country skiing and to demonstrate basic knowledge in these areas.

Level 200 Certification, presented by Bryan Fish, U.S. Ski Team Development Coach, focuses primarily on physiology and training methods for developing cross country skiers, while giving coaches more tools to effectively prepare their athletes for competition.


Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC) is pleased to roll out Coaches Supplemental Clinics this fall. The clinics are half day +/- clinics for coaches to supplement their Level 100 and/or 200 Education and brush up on their knowledge of the sport.

Each clinic session will welcome and encourage follow up questions. These Q&A sessions may also add an important component to the knowledge shared in any particular session.

Podiumwear Custom Sports Apparel

Podiumwear is proud to support the CXC Coaches Education series. We were started as a company designed to make coaches lives easier, so they could spend their time coaching and not managing clothing orders. Supporting skiing has been a part of our mission since our founding, whether through support of CXC and the NNF, or working with elite athletes like Jessie Diggins. We strive to be the best at all aspects of custom uniforms for high school and club teams.


The CXC coaches education is the best at continuing coaches training, and we are happy to play a small part in their programming,” said Reid Lutter.