Roller Ski Maintenance

 

Rinsing your roller skis after workouts significantly increases their life and your safety. Photo: Per Arne Baltzersen

 

Or how about half price roller skis? With proper maintenance, your roller skis last much longer.

 

Most people know they should glide wax their skis after each workout in the winter. But what about your roller skis? After a long workout, it’s so easy to just dump the roller skis in the garage or the storage shed and forget about them until next time.

 

“Roller skiing is great practice for skiing, both specific technique and specific strength, but the key to getting the most out of the training time invested, you need to stay upright and injury free,” says Per Arne Baltzersen, head coach of the Norwegian roller ski group Hafrsfjord.

 

“Taking care of your gear and making sure it’s in working order is a good insurance for equipment mishaps leading to injury, and roller skis are no exception,” Baltzersen points out.

 

But what do you do to them?
Living in a climate where roller ski season lasts up to 12 months a year, Baltzersen knows what he’s talking about.

 

While roller ski maintenance is super easy, Baltzersen notices that a lot of skiers have no idea what to do with their roller skis. The result is that they do nothing.

 

“Do I need to fish out a wrench and an oil can? And how often? And so many people just say: I don’t know what to do, so I don’t dare to touch them,” he says, noting that basic care is a lot simpler than waxing.

 

“A clean machinery works so much better than a gunky one, and clean skis last a lot longer as the sand and grime wears down moving parts. The most important maintenance is simply clean water,” Baltzersen says.

 

However, don’t give in to the urge of the power washer. The pressure can damage bearings and seals.

 

“Just rinse the skis and wheels all over with a water hose or an outdoor tap. It doesn’t take long, but it’s probably the most important step to take in order to care for your roller skis,” he says.

 

After rinsing, let the skis dry completely, preferably in room temperature or on a heated floor. This helps prevent any rust. Also, try storing the skis at room temperature. Bearings and moving parts just run smoother when stored in a warmer environment than in a cool garage or shed.

 

When to call the shop
But what about the wrench and the oil can?

 

“Have a roller ski tech handle the wrench and the oil unless you really know what you’re doing. With tools involved you risk damaging your skis if you’re not careful,” Balzersen warns.

 

The good thing is that with regular cleaning, your skis will go a long time before they need a tuneup.

 

“You don’t have to get a tuneup until you feel your roller skis not performing right. For classic skis, the tell tale sign is when the ratchet doesn’t lock, and for any kind of ski when the wheels don’t seem like they spin freely despite cleaning, or make unusual noises,” Baltzersen says.

 

Finally, try rotating your skis between your left and your right foot. Rotating the skis gives you more even wear on the wheels, and a more stable ski throughout the wheels’ lifetime.

 

The bottom line:
1. Rinse well
2. Dry completely
3. Store at room temperature
4. Enjoy the dryland season! (Don’t forget helmet and sunscreen)

Bonus: It’s so much more pleasant to grab a set of clean skis when you head out for a workout.

 

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Marcialonga 2015 Sells Out in 10 Minutes

 

Marcialonga 2014. Photo: Newspower.it

The general registration for the 42nd Marcialonga, scheduled for January 25, 2015, opened on July 1 at 3pm CET. Within 10 minutes, all remaining spots for the 70-kilometer event in January were sold out.

 

Each year, more than 7,000 skiers from all over the world participate in the 70-kilometer classic ski race in Northern Italy, and the event generally sells out months before race day. This time was no exception.

 

The upcoming Marcialonga is a part of the FIS Marathon Cup and the 2015 Swix Ski Classics.

 

In addition to the main race, there are several other events scheduled throughout the weekend, including the kids “Mini Marcialonga,” the youth and junior race “Young Stars” and the “Marcialonga Story” vintage race.

 

More information about Marcialonga

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Swix Ski Classics Adds La Diagonela

La Diagonela offers spectacular scenery and a professionally run race, in the valley of Engadin and St.Moritz. Starting with the 2015 season, La Diagonela is a part of the Swix Ski Classic long-distance cup. Photo: Swix Ski Classics

 

La Diagonela had a brutal entry to the race schedule: The organizers were given less than a week to establish a full-fledged professional event with international broadcasting facilities and a dozen professional marathon teams. The organizers delivered on all levels, and are awarded with official Swix Ski Classics status for the 2015 season.

 

La Diagonela wasn’t supposed to enter the race schedule until January 2015. But when it was clear that Jizerska Padesatka (CZE) had to cancel due to lack of snow, the Swiss race crew was able to organize a 52-kilometer replacement race at the drop of a hat, including an amateur event.

 

La Diagonela is a long distance event close to St Moritz, Engadin Valley in southeastern Switzerland. La Diagonela 2015 is scheduled for Saturday January the 17th and is a 65-kilometer classics race. The race is open for Pro Teams as well as amateur skiers, like all Swix Ski Classics events. La Diagonela is just one race on the Swix Ski Classics 2015 calendar. The complete Swix Ski Classics 2015 calendar will be launched on August 26.

 

“Swix Ski Classics present La Diagonela as a permanent member of the tour. It is important for us to strengthen our presence in central Europe, and Switzerland is one of the main cross-country nations in Europe,” says David Nilsson, CEO of Swix Ski Classics.

 

“The event organizers have a lot of experience from organizing cross-country skiing events at the highest level, and the area surrounding St Moritz is one of Europe’s most picturesque. I am sure La Diagonela with its beautiful course through small villages surrounded by amazing mountains will be a very popular race for amateur skiers” Nilsson says.

 

“The race and the valley has a lot in common with the prestigious Italian Swix Ski Classics race Marcialonga, which is held the following weekend after,” he adds.

The La Diagonela race organizers are thrilled to be a part of the prestigious long-distance series.

 

“We are happy and proud to be part of Swix Ski Classics. When we organized the replacement of Jizérska in January, we were able to show the cross-country community that we have the ability to put on a professional event,” says co-president of La Diagonela, Ramun Ratti, noting that January is a great time for a classic ski race in the region.

 

“This is a time where the Engadin St. Moritz valley shows itself from his best side with perfect snow conditions. The race track will pass the nicest places of our beautiful region,” he says.

 

“Crossing the lake of world-famous St. Moritz will be a highlight for all participants.”

Ratti also says that during the week of La Diagonela, there is a lot going on in the valley other than the Ski Classics race.

 

“There are several interesting side events in our host city, which is located in the historical village of Zuoz. We will work hard in order to make the participants feel welcome in the region Engadin St. Moritz and find ideal training conditions for the race,” he says.

More about La Diagonela

 

 

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Avoiding Roller Ski Injuries

Taking some precautions when roller skiing goes a long way in preventing injuries. Photo: Inge Scheve

 

Anyone who roller skis a lot runs the risk of developing overuse injuries. When roller skiing, you tend to pound the poles harder into the surface than you do on snow, which is hard on elbows and shoulders. This is especially true in the fall, when the pavement is colder and harder. However, there are a couple of equipment tricks that can ease the risk.

 

1. Feathering ferrules: In this variety, the coil suspension is located in the roller ski ferrule rather than in the shaft.

2. Just ski with softer poles: Racing poles are incredibly stiff, which is great on snow but not very durable when roller skiing on paved surfaces. Buy some cheaper and less stiff training poles for roller skiing. And save your good poles for winter.

 

And of course, always use a helmet, bright clothes and reflective gear when roller skiing.

 

Double-pole machines

The dryland season is also a great time to do double-pole simulation on a double-pole machine. There are several varieties on the market, but the SkiErg is probably the most common. The SkiErg works a lot like an indoor rowing machine, but instead of the rowing motion, you do a double-pole motion where you use both arms pulling two parallel ropes.

 

The double-pole machine represents an efficient and relevant ski imitation training method that delivers both upper-body specific strength and a cardio workout. Plus you don’t need to get out in the cold and dark, but inside where it’s light and cozy. Many of the double-pole machines have computers that let you race against others as well, to keep you motivated.

 

Long-distance coach and Vasaloppet magazine editor Erik Wickstroem suggest two good workouts to try on the double-pole machine, both about 30 minutes:

 

1. Do a 5-minute warmup with easy resistance. Then do 5000 meters as fast as you can on medium resistance and 5 minutes cool-down.

2. Do a 5-minute warmup with easy resistance. Then do five 1000-meter intervals on medium resistance with a 1-minute recovery between each interval. Finish with a 5-minute cool-down.

 

 

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Overtime at the Office

Sognefjellet ski testing. Photo: Oeystein Pettersen

The guys in Team United Bakeries don’t waste time. They plan to be unbeatable on the course come winter. They take advantage of long bright summer days at Sognefjellet, Norway, pushing long hours and huge workout. Hard? Yes. But they don’t complain about the office landscape.

 

“We definitely take advantage of the weather, and spend all our energy improving both fitness and technique,” says Oeystein Pettersen, who is a rookie in the long-distance team United Bakeries this season.

 

The former Norwegian national team sprinter is making the transition to marathon racing, and the road to the long-distance circuit is just that: Long. Long hours, hundreds of kilometers of double-poling. And Sognefjellet is hardly the worst location to put in overtime these days. But that has made them heavy on the bottle. SPF 30 at a minimum.

 

“And so far I’m not even sunburned,” Pettersen says with a grin.

 

But Pettersen has work to do outside of workouts too. Both Pettersen and teammate Johan Kjoelstad are new to Team Madshus this season, and are hard at work on dialing in their quiver of skis for the upcoming winter.

(Story continues below)

Ski testing at Sognefjellet. Photo: Oeystein Pettersen

 

The equipment has to be fine-tuned by the time the race season rolls around. Getting the work done now means more confidence when the snow flies. The first Ski Classics races don’t happen until January, but time is already getting short.

 

At his first team camp, Pettersen got a taste of what’s in store for the next part of his career.

 

“Five and a half hours roller skiing. Some of us got more tired than others,” Pettersen points out.

 

Team United Bakeries roller skiing. Photo: Private

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Hoffman’s Top Summer Skiing Destinations

Skiing is the best way to improve your ski technique, says Noah Hoffman, Madshus racer and a member of the US cross-country ski team.

Hoffman spends his summer training chasing snow where he can find it, and shares his top destinations for off-season snow.

“Technique is a huge challenge for me. It is the area of my skiing that my coaches and I see the biggest opportunity to make gains. The best way to make gains in cross-country skiing technique is to cross-country ski,” Hoffman says to SkiPost.com.

Accordingly, Hoffman has traveled extensively during the summer for the past years, and below are some of his favorite destinations for summer training. See more at SkiPost.com

 

Mt. Bachelor Nordic Ski Center, Bend, Oregon (USA)

Mt. Bachelor outside of Bend generally holds snow into the middle of June. There isn’t any lodging at the resort, but it’s only a 30-minute drive from the happening city of Bend. The trails are rolling and it generally freezes at night. It’s good to get on snow early in the day, while the snow is still fast and hard. Afternoon skiing is generally not recommended, but the dryland training in Bend, especially the mountain biking, is wonderful. The crust skiing can also be great from Mt. Bachelor, conditions depending. I’m excited to be headed to Mt. Bachelor for the next two weeks.

More about Mt. Bachelor

Mt Bachelor, Bend, Oregon (USA). Photo: Kent Murdoch

 

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Last September I joined the Maine Winter Sports Center team for a camp on Stelvio Pass on the Swiss-Italian border. It is HIGH! We lived at the highest hotel, which means we could ski from the door, but it also meant we were living at about 10,300 feet (more than 3,000 meters). All of the skiing is up from there. The trails are between 10,500 and 10,900 feet. I was able to handle the altitude without too much trouble, and I had a productive training camp. However, my coaches and I were very conservative with training. Also, I grew up living at 8,000 feet and training at that elevation and higher. I believe Stelvio is too high to do effective training for anybody not used to the altitude. Beyond that, the trails were great with only very gradual hills, ideal for skiing at that altitude. It takes two tram rides up from the top of the pass to get to the hotel. As with many European hotels, all three meals are served there and can be purchased in a package deal with the room. The views from the glacier are stunning.

More about Stelvio Pass

 

Snow Farm, Wanaka, New Zealand

The Snow Farm in New Zealand is the best place that I’ve ever trained for skiing in July through September. Of course, it’s winter down there, so the skiing is on mid-winter snow. Glacier skiing is not a bad option, but it’s not the same as skiing on the same snow we race on all winter. New Zealand offers race-quality snow, trails and grooming. When they have good snow, they groom about 30 kilometers. The terrain is gentle, ideal for putting in long hours. The views are gorgeous. The best option for lodging is the lodge located on the trails. They have a meal plan that can include all three meals. It’s a 30-minute drive down a winding dirt road to the nearest town of Wanaka, so it is very isolated. Of course, the travel to New Zealand is long and expensive. I am hoping to be headed back to New Zealand in August.

More about The Snow Farm

The Snow Farm, New Zealand. Photo: Roberto Carcelen

 

Eagle Glacier, Girdwood, Alaska (USA)

The training center on the Eagle Glacier outside of Anchorage is owned and operated by the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Team. It is a well-run, world class training facility. There is a dorm-style lodge next to the glacier. Athletes are in charge of cooking their own food. It requires a short helicopter ride to get there, and trips are generally a week long. It is fully glacier skiing with soft wet snow, and they cannot salt the glacier due to environmental restrictions. However, they groom twice a day, so the training is as good as glacier skiing gets. The space is limited on the Eagle Glacier and I don’t know if there is any ability for public to use the facilities. The views from the glacier are spectacular. The terrain is world class.

More about Eagle Glacier

Eagle Glacier, Alaska. Photo: Charlie Renfro

 

Oberhof Ski Tunnel, Germany

Skiing in a tunnel is tedious. It is short and exceptionally boring. You have to do a lot of laps to get a decent length workout. The snow is variable because it breaks down into sugary mush when it gets old. They can make snow and replenish it in the tunnel, but they are sometimes limited by the humidity levels in the tunnel. It is always about five degrees below zero Celsius in the tunnel. It is good for short hard training. But there are some benefits to a snow tunnel as well: It is at sea level and of course has snow year round. It is the newest ski tunnel in the world and it has a couple of windows, a nice addition. Oberhof also has great roller ski trails outside the tunnel, and there is good running and mountain biking as well.

More about Oberhof Ski Tunnel

Oberhof Ski Tunnel. Photo: Noah Hoffman

 

 

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Reinforcing the Best Marathon Team

Johan Kjoelstad (left) and Oeystein Pettersen join the REDLINE marathon team. Photo: Nordic Focus

 

Madshus has dominated the long-distance scene for years, and for the upcoming season, the team signs a couple of additional ringers to the marathon team lineup: Swix Ski Classics overall champion 2014 Johan Kjoelstad (NOR) and Oeystein Pettersen (NOR), who both race with the professional long-distance team United Bakeries.

 

“We are really excited to add Kjoelstad and Pettersen to the marathon team,” says Per Wiik, Global Marketing Director at Madshus.

 

Kjoelstad and Pettersen switched to Madshus without hesitation after trying the new Redline skis this spring. They join their United Bakeries teammate John Kristian Dahl (NOR), another former national sprint team racer who has been on Madshus skis for years.

 

“After testing, both Johan Kjoelstad and Oeystein Pettersen firmly believe the Madshus Redline products are superior in the long-distance events,” Wiik says, adding that they are hardly alone.

 

“With the launch of the Redline products, we have experienced incredible interest in the Madshus team, both from the professional long-distance and World Cup circuits as well as from the general Birkebeiner and Worldloppet segment,” Wiik says.

 

“Just in the first season, we’ve had literally ten times as much demand for the Redline products than we expected,” he says, noting that results speak loudly.

“The marathon events are becoming more and more popular, both with elite racers as well as recreational skiers. It’s important for us to be present where our customers are,” Wiik says.

 

Kjoelstad and Pettersen come to the marathon circuit from a national sprint team career. Kjoelstad made the switch from sprint to marathons a couple of years ago, while Pettersen has just completed his final season with the Norwegian national sprint team.

 

However, Pettersen already got his toes wet on several occasions this season, posting an impressive fourth place in Koenig Ludwiglauf (GER) in February and a 28th place in Vasaloppet on March 2 only 35 seconds behind Vasaloppet winner and Madshus Marathon teammate Dahl – all while still racing World Cup sprint events.

 

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Bjoerdalen Speaks to the United Nations

The most winning winter athlete in history, Madshus biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) spoke to the United Nations on the importance of sport for development and peace. Photo: Madshus

 

On Monday April 28, 2014, Madshus biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) spoke to the United Nations during the “Panel for Sport on Development and Peace.”

This is Bjoerndalen’s speech:

Madam Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen:

A few days before I went to New York for this meeting, I watched an interview on TV about a soccer player in Premier League. Normally I am not very interested in soccer players and their lives. But this TV-report touched me and opened my eyes. 
This interview also built a bridge for me between the possibilities of sport and this meeting in United Nations.
The soccer-player was Steven Pienaar from South Africa, playing for Everton in England. He told an emotional story about growing up in the slum in Johannesburg.

His childhood was in an area with killing, gang crime and drugs, but Pienaar told gratefully about how soccer saved his life. 
He told how his trainer believed in him. How the trainer saw his potential, and developed him to be a great soccer player.
Instead of a life in slum and crime he got the chance to live his dream in clubs like Ajax, Dortmund, Tottenham and Everton. Pienaar drew a winning ticket.
His tears of gratefulness in this interview said more than a thousand words.

For me this was a great inspiration to this meeting in New York, and the work of using sport to make a better world. Not with the goal of creating rich soccer players, but to give children better lives. 
I was so lucky to grow up on a small farm in Simostranda in Norway. Simostranda is a small place with 350 inhabitants (and twice as many members in the sports club…).

I was also lucky to grow up in a country that has traditionally offered many opportunities to children, youth and people of all ages to access sport and physical activity and enjoy its benefits.

My home place is so small that if you close your eyes for a second, you have driven past…Quite a difference from Johannesburg. The childhood in Simostranda and in country like Norway was my winning ticket. The only crime we knew about was stealing apples from the neighbors. 
But sport in my childhood was, in a way, similar for me and Steven Pienaar, because sport also helped me to build character.

The same way as Pienaar is grateful to his trainer, I am grateful to mine. This tells me that children need to have trainers with dedication and good values. A trainer is a true role model, and can make a difference in children´s lives.

I have decided to continue my career another two years, but I have already increased my focus on helping children to benefit from sport. I want to see children around the world have fun with sport and develop social skills and healthier lives through sport.

I am proud to be a member of the International Olympic Committee, and to come from a country with a strong sport culture and a long tradition in using sport for development in other parts of the world too.
The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee is supporting projects in Asia and Africa, some of them in cooperation with UN agencies.

I know that this audience believes in the power of sport.
Please use your influence to encourage more governments’ investment in sport for youths, and especially in underprivileged communities that badly need help.

Thank you.

 

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Bjoerndalen Takes 2 More Years with Madshus

Per Wiik, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Nils Hult. Photo: Madshus.com

On the first opportunity after Easter break, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen signs a new contract with Madshus products.

 

“We are excited to announce that Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is with us for another two years,” says Per Wiik, Global Marketing Director at Madshus.

 

“He is an important face for our brand and a great ambassador for our products,” Wiik says, noting that Bjoerndalens position and status is important for Madshus.

 

After ten years on Madshus equipment, 11 Olympic medals, 38 World Championship medals and 93 World Cup victories in biathlon, Bjoerndalen has become synonymous with Madshus.

 

“We are proud to have the worlds most winning winter athlete as our partner,” says Wiik, noting that Bjoerndalen is an instrumental partner in product development.

 

“Bjoerndalen is a part of our team, both as an athlete, an ambassador and in research and development. We are excited to work with him for two more years,” Wiik says.

 

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Spring: The Best Part of the Entire Ski Season

Spring skiing can offer some of the best experiences, but also varying conditions as the sun warms the snow from crusty to slushy. Photo: Inge Scheve

 

Long days, lots of sunshine and a whole season’s worth of accumulated snow pack can bring some of the best skiing. But cold nights and long sunny days can also offer some of the most challenging waxing conditions. Enter Madshus Intelligrip, the most versatile skins known to man: monster grip and glide you’ve never experienced on skins before.

 

And unlike traditional skins, Madshus Intelligrip fits any ski, from the skinniest race skis to fat back country boards.

 

The exceptional performance is the result of combining mohair in the kick zone for grip and polyethylene, which is the same material used in the Madshus racing bases. This also helps avoid icing, a common problem with traditional skins.

 

The whole setup is so small it easily fits in your pocket, a drinking belt or a daypack. Madshus Intelligrip are easy to put on whenever they are needed, and work both on groomed trails as well as in the back country. And they can even be applied on top of grip wax! How smooth is that?

 

Madshus Intelligrip skins turn challenging wax conditions into a breeze with just a few simple grips. Photo: Madshus

 

Madshus Intelligrip skins – a whole new way to do skins, and rolls up to fist size for easy storage. Photo: Madshus

 

Madshus Intelligrip skins are so small they easily pack into a fannypack or a pocket. Perfect grip, unmatched glide, for all kinds of skis. Photo: Madshus

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