Update from Sam Elfstrom – CXC Athlete

The wear and tear of nordic skiing: If a random person were to tell you that nordic skiing is a soft sport, I could understand how they could see that, though they would be dead wrong.

While it may be a non-contact sport, we race in the coldest of winter without a jacket and we go up the hill.

There is so much that goes on that the average person does not see. Training for nordic skiing takes its toll on the human body. Nordic skiing can destroy your body. Go for a classic roller ski with dull tips and your elbows will be screaming in pain with every slip of the poles.

You use your core to perform a crunch when you pole. A back extension follows, to raise your torso back up in order to be able to crunch onto your poles again. A couple days ago, I could barely walk around the house because my back was so tight. I know of two fellow skiers who have had some sort of back injury before 24.

Sam Elfstrom CXC Elite Team Stress Fracture
My stress fracture. The navicular bone in my foot.

A lot of training for nordic is running. So you add running injuries into the equation. Taped up knees, shin splints, achilles tendonitis, hip tightness, and stress fractures. I have had all of these at one point in time. 

Sam Elfstrom Roller ski Crash CXC Elite Team
Aftermath of a roller ski crash. Crashing in general sucks.

Then there are the freak injuries or illnesses that no one can predict. When you are in the weight room and a random weight falls right onto a bone. Getting diagnosed with arthritis, diabetes, compartment syndrome, etc.

There are also days when the weather is not in your favor, especially when training for a winter sport.

Sam Elfstrom and Kyle Bratrud CXC Elite Team
“Hey Kyle, how do you feel about training in this heat?”

The best athletes are not always the fastest, but the ones who can avoid injury best. There are a couple of ways I try to prevent injuries. Stretching is the easiest and the first place I start. When my back starts to get tight, I will use a heating pad. In the summer, I keep my pole tips sharp. I also treat myself to a massage every once in awhile. The massage does wonders, I come out feeling refreshed like a whole new person. 

Safe Training Everyone!

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