Nordic Skiing: Running the Tracks

  • David A. Lind
  • Scott P. Sanders


The term “nordic” may be applied in general to any skiing not done on the groomed slopes of an alpine ski area. Nordic track and crosscountry skiing are usually done on prepared tracks or on designated routes that are used regularly. A nordic course with a relatively wide track is designed for skiers who use the skating technique; grooves set in the snow off to one side of the track are designed for skiers who use the diagonal stride technique. Although it is true that cross-country skiing routes may not be specifically prepared, for the purposes of our discussion we treat cross-country skiing (sometimes called touring) as nordic skiing done on routes used regularly enough that the snow has been packed, creating, in effect, a prepared surface. Nordic track skiers never have to break a new trail through the snow; cross-country skiers must do so only on relatively rare occasions. Finally, the elevation gains typically encountered in track and most cross-country skiing are usually modest, and any extended or relatively steep runs downhill are usually configured to provide run-outs, so speed control is seldom a problem.


Stride Length Cycle Rate Pole Plant Pole Release Strong Side 
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  1. 1.
    See R. C. Nelson, J. McNitt-Gray, and G. Smith, “Biomechanical Analysis of Skating Technique in Cross Country Skiing,” Final Report to the U.S. Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, CO, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See G. A. Smith, “Biomechanics of Crosscountry Skiing,” in Sports Med. 9(5), 273 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2a.
    E. C. Frederick and G. M. Street, “Nordic Ski Racing, Biomechanical and Technical Improvements in Cross-Country Skiing,” Sci. Amer. 258(2), T20 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Lind
    • 1
  • Scott P. Sanders
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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