Large Training Blocks = A lot of Coffee, Daytime Naps and Blisters.

By: CXC Team athlete, Oscar Friedman


Since I last checked in here in Marquette, the CXC Team has completed our largest volume block of the training year. That means a lot of coffee, daytime naps, and blisters on our hands. Roughly half of those hours were spent rollerskiing with a renewed focus on the double pole technique, with the remaining time divided between running (sometimes with poles) and strength in the gym.

Those of you in the cross country skiing community who know me well, know that I take an imprecise approach to planning and logging my training. During my distance workouts I don’t even bring a watch with me anymore because I know about how long each rollerskiing and running loop takes. Instead, I focus on my technique and let the way my body feels on a given day dictate the length and pace of the workout (within reason). Since I bring my phone I know how long I’ve trained at the end of the workout (and take some blurry pictures for this blog).

speeds copy.png

Following this approach this summer I’ve had no problems meeting weekly hours targets set by Coach Keller. Furthermore, I often train slower than I would otherwise and enjoy the workout more. As a result I find that on interval workout and strength days I am able to perform at a higher level and with better technique.

The last hard workout of this training block was a 3000 meter time trial featuring the full Northern Michigan University (NMU) Ski and Cross Country teams as well as the Canadian National Development Team from Thunder Bay. The camaraderie of the group counteracted the dreary weather, and I ended up finishing in 9:33, just a couple of seconds off of my PR (runners keep in mind I weigh 190 lbs).

image copy.png

Another highlight was a three and a half hour double pole to the Eagle Mine about 50 miles out of Marquette, which contains the largest climb in the region. It was a privilege to be able to follow my teammate Kyle Bratrud and NMU skier Fredrik Schwenke, both of whom ski with exemplary technique.

This past week was our recovery week which I spent visiting family and friends in Los Angeles and San Diego. I even got to surf a couple of mornings!

Snapchat-1101143958291755234 copy.jpg

As always, a big thank you to my sponsors Salomon, Finn Sisu, Honey Stinger, and Rudy Project for their support and to the staff at the Olympic Training Center in Marquette.


  1. Nice blog, Oscar. Looks like an excellent training group of talented skiers. If you don’t mind me asking, what constitutes a large volume block of training in hours and intensity levels for you?

    CXC Master’s Team

    1. Hi Mike

      I hit 95 hours for the month of August including strength workouts which I log for half time. For non rest weeks (the first 3 weeks of the 4 week cycle) we have 2-3 intensity sessions. Usually 60-70 minutes continuous bounding, a day of rollerski speeds (18 by 15-20 seconds with full rest), and something like 7 by 6 minutes skate or classic at a pretty high heart rate (around threshold).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s