I'm considering taking up cross country skiing this winter as a chance to cross-train and try out something new. How do running times translate into cross-country skiing times? Granted I'll be a newbie and it will take some time to get the form down... but I was wondering what I could expect in terms of pace (because if I'm any good, I know the competitive bug will bite me...)
Also, where are some good places to xc ski? And good places to rent stuff?
That depends on if you are classic or skate skiing. Regardless, both will be faster than running times - that is, once you get the hang of XC skiing.
Unfortunately there aren't many ski races in the mid-atlantic...WI, MN, or anywhere out west are better bets.
Either way, in 8 months when its winter head out to Canaan Valley, WV and give it a go. Ski rental and pass will probably run you 40 bucks total. Oh, and DEFINITELY invest in a ski skin suit! ;)
You can check out times and age groups at the Birkie, aka the American Birkiebeiner in Cable, WI. http://www.birkie.com The winner this year did 50K in just over 2 hours.
But I have to chime in that DC is not a good XC town. At least 3.5 hours to get to any snow at all! Also, no ski shops that we've found - you're stuck ordering online or driving many miles.
We tried Whitegrass (aka Canaan Valley), but definitely prefer Laurel Ridge; it's about the same travel time. http://www.paccsa.org/webcam.htm That said, the LONG trails at either place are just over 5K, so you'll get bored with the terrain quickly if you want to do distances.
It's a great sport, but difficult to train and really costly when you live in DC.
Laurel better than Whitegrass??? Well I never...
Whitegrass has over 50km+ of trails, and you can go on backcountry tours that last the whole day. Then head back to the lodge for some of the best chili, tastiest local brews, and friendly faces in the whole Allegheny Plateau! If you're still hungry, head to Hellbender's burritos for more! If you want to stick to the 5k snow farm thats cool, but you have just missed out on the true Whitegrass experience - and probably just got your face ripped off from the wind and blowing snow!
Granted, this past season was a bit weak snow-wise but there were still a few solid weekends out in the land of Canaan! Also, noone can compare with WG's snow/(life?) report page:
Its 3.5 hours drive one way - but so, so worth it when the snow is falling!
Get after it,
Well said. The "true Whitegrass experience" is indeed something special! I'd love to get out there a handful of times this season.
Possibly of interest...they're hosting a 25K cross country ski race Feb 26th. sounds like a great, low-key affair: $20 entry, 1pm start, and fully groomed for classic or skate skiing. Would be fun to round up some folks for it!
As a beginner, the times won't translate. In fact, you are not likely to get a good workout until you have some good form (in comparison to running).
As starters, I would invest in rollerskis bc you will not likely get enough snow experience. (I have use Gear West in MN --most helpful in selection depending on whether you are going to do classic or skate). But keep in mind, the workout will not be comparable until you have sufficient confidence of the rollerskis.
NENSA is a great ski organization that provides rollerski training weekends, and the NENSA training weekend for classic and skate skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge is incredible (several olympian and national record holders provide the coaching/instruction).
I participate in the Berkie (WI) and MN Lake Loppet -- but even last year -- we had to cross country ski on man made snow in MN... There are some fun races and events in the Northeast... visit ski.reg or NENSA's calendar. Claudia