Winter training

Jacob with training clothes

The article is written by Jacob Aspelin, Exercise and health physiologist / personal trainer, Volvat Medical Center

Winter is here and cross-country skiing is an effective form of exercise to lay a good foundation for fitness. If you run in the summer, winter is a good opportunity to build a solid endurance base. Long and quiet training sessions on skis ensure you a foundation you can build on, whether you are going to participate in a ride or race or train at the exerciser level.

Both cross-country skiing and running are activities that make demands on endurance and on many of the same muscle groups and therefore the training principles in cross-country skiing can be nicely transferred to running. Cross-country skiing is also a gentle form of exercise to prevent injuries to the ankles and knees. Skiing and running take place in the same movement path and the kick-off in skiing is easily transferable to the running step.

In all endurance sports, it is the calm amount of training that forms the "foundation" for the rest of the endurance training. This is where you develop the ability to keep up with the activity over time.

Crowd training mainly consists of long-distance running. Here you do everything from around an hour and up to several hours of continuous activity. If you are in the initial phase, it is important to start calmly before increasing the duration of the training. If you are going to participate in anything from 10km, full and half marathons or birch, some of the long-distance running sessions should have a duration up to the time you plan to spend on the race. You determine the duration of the training based on the distance you are aiming for.

The intensity of the long-distance running sessions should not be too high. If you feel super alert, it is better to stay a little longer. One should not be more breathless than being able to talk with whole sentences. If you use a heart rate monitor, you can go between 60% -75% of your maximum heart rate.

Variation in cardio training reduces the risk of injuries and other start-up problems when spring comes. Nevertheless, it is wise to preserve a certain element of the specific sport one is to participate in. As the event approaches, it is important to increase the amount of training in the sport.

A smart tip is to include some exercises that strengthen the abdomen and back in connection with the long-distance running sessions. There are requirements for a strong stomach and back in both running and cross-country skiing. Although the main focus in winter is the quiet long sessions, one should also run some sessions with higher intensity. Interval training is a recommended training method with a focus on intensity, and can just as easily be done on skis as running. The interval sessions can be performed as part of a longer session, or as a fast long run. When exercising with high intensity, it is important to stay below the lactic acid threshold. To achieve this, you may want to add long strokes, to keep the intensity down. Suggested interval: 5-10 minutes of drag x 4-6 repetitions.

And finally, remember:

If you start training again after a rest period, it is important that you increase the number and duration of the sessions gradually.

Good luck!




Age: 45

Residence: Bærum

Distance during the BMW Oslo Marathon 2020:
I run half, and of course aim to have the widest smile all the way.

Previous participation in the Oslo Marathon:
«10 for Grete» 2013, Half Marathon 2014 and 2015, 2017 and 2018 and marathon in 2019.

Three words that describe me:
Outgoing, Smiling, Energetic

Instagram: @muddylicious