After the season is before the season

Severin Müller 26. March 2024

Photo: iStock/michelangeloop

Top summer tips for cross-country skiers.

The last flakes of snow are slowly melting on the pistes, temperatures are rising and spring is right around the corner. Each year, the cross-country ski season has to come to an end. But you’re already asking yourself: what can I do to be fit again in December and ready to get back on these narrow skis?

A break is important

Your body needs time to recover after a long and strenuous cross-country ski season. That’s why April is the quietest month of the year for cross-country skiers. We treat our body to a break from tough training and demanding competitions. However, a break doesn’t mean doing nothing, but rather doing something else you enjoy. Whether it’s heading out on your racing bike on a sunny day, going for a gentle jog, firn skating at altitude (give it a try if you haven’t already!) or just a rainy day on the sofa. There’s room for everything during this time.

Give your equipment an overhaul

Just like your body, your equipment also needs to be given attention once the season has ended. It’s recommended to thoroughly inspect your skis, poles and boots to avoid a nasty surprise when the snow begins to fall again.

To protect cross-country skis during the summer months, it is advisable to wax them before putting them away. It’s best to take some old training wax from your wax box and hot-iron it on. This protects the coating from damage and drying out so that the skis are fast for the next season. Wait until the new season begins before removing the wax.

Champions are made during summer

Once your body has recovered and your equipment is prepared for next winter, it’s time to slowly get back to specific training to prepare for new personal bests next season.

During the summer months, cross-country skiers should focus on strength training and long endurance sessions. Strength training ensures that you will be as fast as possible when winter comes around. The main muscle groups are the arms for a strong pole push-off, core muscles for stability, legs for a powerful kick and a stable leg axis.

Long training sessions are important for improving endurance. Not only does good endurance mean better performance; it also ensures faster and better recovery after a difficult training session or competition. Good endurance also improves the substance you need during the jam-packed race calendar in winter. The best thing about long sessions is the diversity they offer; after all, the heart doesn’t have eyes. Whether you're on your racing bike, mountain bike, on foot, swimming, rowing, on inline skates or roller skis – everyone can train doing their preferred sport.

Get on your rollers

Once you've built up a good foundation of endurance and the temperatures slowly begin to fall again in autumn, you just need to add in more intensive, faster training sessions. This enables you to increase your speed in a targeted way to achieve even faster times. It's worth starting off with longer intervals at competition speed before transitioning to more intensive training sessions with shorter intervals.

Regardless of the endurance sport, you can always complete intervals and continue using your bike or going for a run. The general rule always applies: the closer you get to the competition season for a given sport, the more you should focus on that sport. Autumn is therefore an ideal time to prepare for cross-country skiing with targeted roller skiing sessions.

Soon after that – usually by the end of November – the first regions in Switzerland begin to open their pistes, meaning: strap on your skis and get going!