We checked in with skiers and biathletes of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project to gather a few of their favorite SkiErg workouts. You don’t have to be a top level athlete to benefit from these workouts!
Editor’s Note: Many athletes specify their effort in terms of Levels 1-5. Here are the definitions these athletes use:
• L3 = Level 3 = anaerobic threshold, an effort you could sustain for 30-60 minutes
• L4 = Level 4 = VO2 max, an effort you could sustain for 10-15 minutes.
Jake Brown, US Olympic Biathlon Team for Beijing
“I have two for you that I've been enjoying this spring!”
Workout 1 Overview: Alternate L3 effort with L4 effort
"Good for either SkiErg or RowErg!"
Warm Up: 15 minutes with the damper set at 3, with 3 x 15 seconds all-out effort with damper set at 6-8.
Workout: Set damper at 4. Alternate a 5 minute interval at L3 with a 3 minute interval at L4, taking a 90 second rest between intervals, as follows:
- 5 minutes hard at L3
- 90 seconds easy
- 3 minutes hard at L4
- 90 seconds easy
- Repeat: The goal is to work up to 5-6 reps of each.
Cool Down: 10 minutes on the BikeErg or jog.
Workout 2 Overview: Alternate SkiErg and RowErg L3 intervals
“Yes, this is for the erg fanatics that have access to both machines (or one erg and another activity such as running). This spring I've been working on building my anaerobic threshold base. My goal is to get up to doing 60 minutes of total interval work. The challenge, I find, is that when my muscles aren't used to one specific motion, my muscles give out before my heart and lungs. So, alternating machines is a good way to build up.”
Warm Up: 15 minutes on the SkiErg and 5 minutes on the RowErg.
Workout: 6 x 7 minute L3 intervals. Start on the RowErg with one 7-minute interval, then do two intervals in a row on the SkiErg, then two intervals in a row on the RowErg, then end on the SkiErg with one 7-minute interval.
Cool Down: 15 minutes of really easy jogging or easy pedal on the BikeErg.
Raleigh Goessling, multi-year member of US Biathlon Team for IBU cup races
“I think the best uses of the SkiErg are:"
- Warm up and cool down for a strength workout.
- As a technique tool with beginners. It’s easy to nail body position and power application when there is a stable platform beneath you.
- Really hard intervals, such as:
- 5-10 x 1 minute. These can be done with a shorter rest time (1 minute) or a longer one (3 minutes). The longer rest means you can go all out at a higher speed than with a shorter rest, but both are great workouts.
- 10 minutes of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
- Level 3 work—super consistent—5-6 x 5-10 minutes with 2-4 minutes rest between intervals.
Michaela Keller-Miller, Green Racing Project Skier
Editor’s note: Michaela broke her ankle last summer and spent a LOT of time on the SkiErg, including working from a sitting position.
“It’s no surprise that the sit SkiErg would not be my training mode of choice, but as an injury training tool, it has proved invaluable to both my sanity and staying on track toward my skiing goals.
I haven't been on the SkiErg a ton lately (and hopefully not too much this summer!), but did enjoy the workout we did before our step tests this spring. It was more of a "pre-race" to get reacquainted with the SkiErg. If I use the SkiErg this summer, it'll probably be for extended strength warm-ups or afternoon distance with some 10-15 second speeds for power.”
Warm Up: Easy running and/or 10 minutes easy work on the SkiErg.
- Ski 10-15 minutes at threshold/L3 pace
- 4 x 1 minute @L4+
Cool Down: As you wish.
If you're looking for more SkiErg workouts, you'll find some here. Happy training!