Ski Sprinting

The US national cross country ski team was doing some sprint workouts at the Utah Oval today. Just as some ice speedskaters skate on inlines in the off-season, XC-skiers use wheels to accurately simulate their sport before the snow flies.

This picture is not evidence of levitation, this is world-class sprinter Andy Newell, double poling with such effort he is getting air between strokes.

Actually getting air helps them go faster, as the snow is not creating slowing friction when they are up, and they “fall” into the poles the same way speedskaters use their hips to “fall” into each stroke. In the 1500m sprint event, Andy earned the first world cup medal for the US men since 1983.

Fantastic stuff, he also is an independent filmmaker as well, and can do backflips on his skinny skis! I wish him and the rest of the US ski team studs success in the upcoming season.

What does it look like? To see one of the world fastest ski sprinters ripping out some double pole speed? Skiing like this is an important skill to master, as this is how you have to start a race in the cramped quarters of big packs. Click the play button to watch.

It was an interesting day; USA national team speedskaters & skiers respectfully watching the other sport go through workouts. A couple of the skiers remarked to me about how insanely fast we go. What I noticed watching them is how complete their athleticism is, they have both endurance and power, and balanced upper and lower bodies. Ice speedskaters tend to be scary imbalanced, to the extent that our left legs even grow slightly bigger than the right, since we just turn left.

XC skiing is a wonderful sport, both classic and skating. My Madschus skate skis are waiting in my garage for me to pay some attention to them, as it’s been a few years (hmmm, about the same amount of time I have been crazy serious about the ice).

Sigh, so many cool ways to move through this world, and only one lifetime available.

4 Responses to “Ski Sprinting”

  1. Andrew, I really find your blogs informative and interesting. I hope you can keep it up. Good luck in Milwaukee.

  2. One would not want to fall on one’s face practicing that drill on that rubber track!-talk about some potentially gruesome friction burns!

  3. Cool video

  4. […] n, folks are pouring in to watch. Awesome!! However, this video (and others, like the Andy Newell XC skiing video, that over 600+ XC skiers watched) blew my yearly bandwidth allocation to pieces in […]

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