NordicSkiRacer is always looking to be up to date with the latest training techniques. Our investigative journalist has uncovered several new training methods used across Lower Michigan this summer and fall.
Our journey starts in the Grand Rapids area, where GRNST members are reportedly dragging tractors during rollerski workouts. Said one member, “We started dragging small tires, which turned into a competition to see who could pull the largest tire. Things escalated and before we realized it, someone made the jump from pulling a tractor tire to pulling an actual diesel tractor!” Although having a tractor in tow limits which roads can accommodate their rollerskiing, another skier proudly bragged that he is in talks with a Canadian silver mine to lease one of their largest dump trucks.
Just up the road in Traverse City, VASA members have a different summer approach to training. After the local ski race, the North American Vasaloppet, switched to skiing the course “backwards” or in reverse direction of normal flow on race day, some team members were allegedly inspired to ski physically backwards. While most skiers work on their balance while moving in the forward direction, the VASA skiers are hoping gaining balance and coordination in the backwards direction will give them a leg up on the competition.
In central Michigan, many of the Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop members are “skipping leg day” and focusing on their upper bodies in the weight room. One member, who suspiciously asked to remain anonymous like everyone else quoted, has said they found a direct correlation between max bench press ability and Michigan Cup standings. So if a HH/CCSS skier double poles by you this winter, you might want to inquire if they are selling any old ski suits they outgrew with large bottoms and small tops.
At Cross Country Ski Headquarters, skiers are implementing a new technology. A team member has once again improved on Jenex’s VP-RSTD 10 rollerski ferrule by not just putting a spring at the pole tip, but inside the pole itself. Although a corporate sponsor was not publically identified, many are speculating that a Michigan-based ski pole company is providing the team with custom “pogo stick poles.” XCHQ would not disclose if they would be used solely for training purposes or if we should expect to see them on the Michigan Cup this season.
Down in Southeast Michigan, Team NordicSkiRacer is facing a different challenge. The team began sacrificing old skis in a fire as part of a ritual to the snow gods. Unfortunately, several team members were too desperate for snow and ended up burning all of their skis. NSR is now solely focusing on rollerskiing and circulating a petition to convert the Michigan Cup to a rollerski race series.
Finally, a check-in with the University of Michigan Nordic Ski Club found a unique approach – rather than dealing with old team members who get more and more out of shape each year, the team is now recruiting new members each year with a roughly four-year commitment. Put simply, instead of trying to combat aging, the U of M Club is importing new, younger skiers each year. “Why did we not think of this?” said every other Michigan Cup team.
Author’s Note: With the Michigan Cup opener scheduled for this weekend, I thought it would help build excitement by publishing a satirical article. This is 100% #fakenews. The Michigan Cup would not be possible without the wonderful organizers, groomers, volunteers, and athletes so I hope everyone can have a laugh and enjoy another great season of Michigan Cup racing!