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Roll with the best

Junior World Champion Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) shares her favorite roller ski workout.

Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior Nordic World Championships in February. Photo: flyingpointroad.com

Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior Nordic World Championships in February. Photo: flyingpointroad.com

Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior Nordic World Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, in February, and is the Norwegian national champion in the 5km skate.

The 20-year-old loves interval sessions at home in Toten, Norway. This is her favorite roller ski workout.

Like most elite skiers, Marte spends a lot of her training volume on roller skis, although she also loves running. In June, she ran the Birkebeiner half marathon trail run for the first time, and won the elite women’s category, a workout that she categorized as an intensity workout sandwiched between finals at school and a training camp in Greece.

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Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the elite category in the BIrkebeiner half marathon trail run in June. Photo: Inge Scheve

Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the elite category in the BIrkebeiner half marathon trail run in June. Photo: Inge Scheve

I love intervals
Marte’s training program consists of a healthy balance of distance and intensity, running and roller skiing, strength, speed and plyomterics. But when Marte gets to pick her favorite workout, it’s medium long roller ski intervals.

“If I have to pick my favorite workout, it’s an intensity session that starts at my door in Toten. I open with a few controlled intervals on my way from home to the roller ski arena at Karidalen. Usually, I do two 10-minute intervals on my way there. Once I get to the venue, I do the rest of my intervals on the ski course, for instance another three times 10 minutes,” Marte says.

Big bang for the buck
Marte explains that this workout covers a lot: You build capacity, technique and tactics, as well as being a very flexible format that allows for endless variations.

“With this workout, I start out working at a moderate intensity on my way to the venue, while the last intervals are done on the ski course and are more like a race. So if I feel good, I often crank up the intensity a bit on the intervals I do at the venue, which makes it feel even more like a race,” Marte says.

“You can also vary this workout in a lot of ways. You can do it classic or skate, and you can increase or decrease the duration of the intervals. I like to start my workouts with longer intervals at a moderate intensity as a part of the warm-up, but often decrease the duration of the intervals later in the workout. And sometimes I make all of the intervals the same duration,” she says, adding that using the venue she gets the added benefit of tactics.

“First, I get to work on technique at a fairly high speed before I get to the venue. Then when I’m on the course, I switch to focus more on tactical elements, such as carrying my speed over the top of the hills, accelerate out of the turns and so on,” Marte says.

Marte Mæhlum Johansen roller skiing. Photo: Selfie

Marte Mæhlum Johansen roller skiing. Photo: Selfie

Spring skiing with the best

Spring brings some of the best skiing of the whole season. Photo: Kent Murdoch
Spring brings some of the best skiing of the whole season. Photo: Kent Murdoch

Spring brings some of the best skiing of the whole season. Photo: Kent Murdoch

What do the best skiers in the world do in the spring?

Reigning Junior World Champion Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) shares her favorite spring workouts.

“My favorite spring workout is either the last real race of the season where you just dig into your last resources after a long race season. After that last race, you feel so perfectly ready for off-season. I also love long crust cruising tours in the mountains where you feel that the sun warms your face,” Johansen says.

This weekend, Johansen will race the final Norwegian Cup races of the season and the second part of the Norwegian National Championships. After that, she plans on entering some more races and fun events, depending on her schedule.

“I try to stretch the ski season as long as possible. So after the race season is over, I just go out and cruise in the mountains, and the entire month of April is generally really good. But after the race season, I don’t have a set training program. I just ski a lot and just do whatever sounds good,” Johansen says, adding that the 2017-18 ski season formally starts on May 1.

“We start the basic training for the next season in May, but where I live, we often have skiing far into May as well, and I don’t put away the skis until all the snow is gone,” she says.

“Sjusjøen is my absolutely favorite place to ski from early fall and well into May, but its also one of the best places for dryland training. I feel really lucky to live here.”

Bonus: Every kilometer logged on snow this spring contributes to build a solid foundation for future seasons.

Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior World Championships in Soldier Hollow, USA, in February. Photo: Madshus

Marte Mæhlum Johansen won the skiathlon at the FIS Junior World Championships in Soldier Hollow, USA, in February. Photo: Madshus

The Longest Toe

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus
Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) in January. Photo: Nordic Focus

…belongs to Håvard Taugbøl (NOR), while the younger crew collected hardware at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships.

Håvard Solås Taugbøl skied onto the Lahti (FIN) World Championships team with strong performances at the Norwegian National Championships this weekend.

While the Lahti World Championships team was announced after the Norwegian National Championships skiathlon events on Saturday, Taugbøl’s most impressive performance for the weekend was anchoring Lillehammer Skiklub to the podium at the 3×10 kilometer relay on Sunday. Coming into the finish lane in fourth place, Taugbøl secured the bronze medal for his club. Despite being blocked repeatedly for the sprint finish, the 23-year-old sprint specialist surged toward the line and had the longest toe as they both reached across the line. Marathon specialist Øystein Pettersen skied the first leg for Lillehammer.

Taugbøl has posted several top 10 in the World Cup this season and had the fastest qualifier time at the Toblach World Cup three weeks ago. He won the FIS sprint at Gålå in December and was second in the Scandinavian Cup sprint in Lillehammer the following weekend, and this weekend he was third in the sprint at the national championships. Combined, these efforts earned him a ticket to the Norwegian sprint team at the FIS World Championships in Finland.

Also, Hans Christer Holund helped his club LYN Ski to gold in the relay. Holund, who skied the second leg for LYN, surged to create a gap for his team that nobody was able to close, and LYN won by more than a minute. Prior to the relay, Holund was named an extra to the World Championships team.

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Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay on Sunday and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Among the women, Heidi Weng was on the podium in all the individual competitions at the national championships. On Thursday, she was third in the 10km classic. Then she was second in the skate sprint on Friday, and third again for the skiathlon on Saturday. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg was second in the classic race on Thursday. Also, Marte Bjørnsgaard helped Lillehammer to silver in the 3x5km relay on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships in Utah (USA), January 30 to February 5, Madshus skiers earned medals in both the junior and the U23 category. Junior Petter Stakston (NOR) took home the silver medal in the classic sprint on Monday, January 30, after posting the fastest qualifier time in the event. Junior Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) first earned the silver medal in the 5-kilometer skate on Thursday, then continued with gold in the skiathlon on Friday. Junior Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) was third in the skiathlon. Additionally, Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver in the women’s U23 5-kilometer skate race on Thursday.  Finally, on Sunday, Amundsen and Jon Rolf Skape Hope helped Norway to gold in the relay.

Complete results all events

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

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