My brand new Abilica rollerski treadmill (XC 2700) got in yesterday! I got a few friends to come over to receive it, because we are all super excited about it. As far as I know, it’s the first rollerski treadmill in Alaska, and we’re really looking forward to using it. For the most part, training can be executed very well outdoors, but there are some areas where having a treadmill will be incredibly beneficial.
- Bad Weather
Every place has its share of bad weather, and Alaska is no exception. Having a treadmill will be clutch for those times when it’s too icy to rollerski (and maybe even run), but not enough snow to ski on. Often times those days or weeks are confined to ski-specific strength exercises and gym equipment (if you’re lucky enough to have it). It’s always a time where I get worried about injuries, either from too much erg-ing or running on icy trails. Abilica makes that compromise easy, with a perfect option for training.
As with a regular treadmill, a rollerski treadmill is a very controlled environment for tests of lactate levels, VO2max, and strength. However, the ability to do these tests on skis makes them much more accurate to our sport, and is conducive to a wider range of testing protocols, most of which I don’t even know about yet. I think it will be cool to play around with what techniques are faster or more efficient at different speeds and inclines (answering the question “How far up the hill should I double pole??”).
One of the most obvious uses for a treadmill is the ability to design very calculated intervals. Tailoring the climbs and rest when skiing outside is always an issue, which becomes solved by using a treadmill. I’m most excited to be able to do long L3 striding without having to recover down dangerous hills or sit in a car between efforts.
- Specific strength
This is another area where it will be helpful to just put the treadmill at an angle and grind uphill, either in double pole or with just arms in a striding motion. It’ll be really easy to compare myself to other times when I did the workout, just by seeing how long or fast I could go at one time vs. another.
Possibly my coach’s favorite area. Now we can stay together in a quiet area without external changes, and analyze technique live. With a mirror and a side camera, this equipment will be a fantastic way to get immediate feedback on small tweaks that can make a big difference in efficiency. I’m especially excited to do these sessions with my friends on easy days, and trade off turns trying new things while we can see each other so well.
My whole ski community is very excited to have this resource, and I hope myself and everyone that needs to use it can become much better skiers through its utilization. Thanks to Enjoy Winter for facilitating this high quality Abilica treadmill!! It’s going to be a game changer."