X-Country Specific Prep Intermediate 8 week 6-10 hrs/week


Marjaana Rakai- MSc Sports Science, NASM PT, Running&Skiing Coach

All plans by this Coach


8 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Day Off, 2 Run, 3 Strength, 1 X-Train, 3 XC-Ski

Longest Workout

2:00 hrs

Plan Specs

winter sports beginner intermediate advanced masters hr based tss based strength

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This training plan is for you who want to get prepared for the upcoming Cross Country (Nordic) Skiing season. Ideally, you start this plan September if you typically get to ski around mid-October (I realize this is early in most places). You could start this plan on October 1 if your area gets snow around mid-November.

Monday is a day off but you can change the recovery day for either Sunday (that way you can enjoy your Sunday with Family&Friends) and start the training week on Monday. OR take Thursday off which means on Monday you would do Tuesday's workout, Tuesday you would do Wednesday's workout, etc.

Depending on your current location and weather, there is room for cross-training in the plan and is marked as "optional mode". If the snow conditions don't allow skiing, change those days either Nordic pole walking or roller skiing if possible.

Intensity: This training plan also teaches you to gauge the training intensity by Rate of Perceived Effort (scale 1-10). Why? You may not have a GPS watch or Heart Rate data and even if you do, it is beneficial to be able to run by feel in such cases as Watch malfunction, it's too dark to see the watch, you doubt your ability if your day-to-day Heart Rate happens to be a bit higher in a race, etc. All because I want you to do learn to listen to your body and work with it!
To help you gauge your intensity levels, please refer to this table:
Intensity distribution:

Rating Descriptor Zones %of Hrmax RPE max 10:
0 Rest 1 60-72 0 at rest
1 Very, Very Easy 1 1 very easy
2 Easy 1 2 somewhat easy
3 Moderate 2 72-82 3 moderate
4 Somewhat Hard 2 4 somewhat hard
5 Hard 3 82-87 5 hard
6 3 6
7 Very Hard 4 87-92 7 very hard
8 4 8
9 5 92-97 9
10 Maximal 5 10 very, very hard

Remember, this plan depends on your creativity as the conditions at this time of the year may change radically and quickly. Be careful on the ice and darkness!
I challenge you to add a mobility&stretching habit either in the am before work or before bedtime to aid in recovery.

If you have any questions about the plan, please don't hesitate to ask by emailing me: besisufit@gmail.com


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:15
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:15
Average Weekly Breakdown

Marjaana Rakai

Be Sisu Fit Inc.

Marjaana believes as an endurance athlete, you need to be able to move better and the roadmap is via deliberate strength and mobility training. All endurance athletes benefit from not only moving better but building stronger muscles to withstand the repetitive movements during our day-to-day training and achieve efficiency to maximize our capacity.
Her services include endurance, strength and nutritional guidance which complement each other so that you can perform at your best!

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

50% in heart rate zone 2.

Run on a flat to gently rolling course. Get at least 50% of run time with heart rate in zone 2. Avoid zone 3-5 heart rates.

Sample Day 1

Lunge Matrix & Leg Swings

1. Front Lunge
2. Lunge with twist
3. Lateral Lunge
4. Back and to side Lunge
5. Backwards Lunge
6. Leg swings warm ups


Sample Day 2

Optional mode(s)

Your choice of mode: hike, XC ski, snowshoe, row, aerobics class, stair climb, etc. Anything except your normal sport discipline(s). Can combine 2 or more modes into one workout. Easy to moderately hard effort (RPE 1-6 on 10 scale). Avoid anaerobic effort.

Sample Day 2

X-country Ski Base Strength

Sample Day 3

Nordic Walking HILL repeats

Hill repeats! After warmin up, on a hill, briskly walk up the hill (run if your HR doesnt hit the 85% of your max) for 3 minutes. jog easy down and repeat.

Sample Day 5

X-country Ski Base Strength

Sample Day 5

Nordic Walking Trails

Warm up with light walking, then increase effort for an 1 hr where you run flats and downhills and walk briskly all uphills.

X-Country Specific Prep Intermediate 8 week 6-10 hrs/week

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