Skip to main content
Back to Resources

6 Great Ways to Reignite Your XC Ski Passion

Not improving your times? Not having as much fun? It’s time to mix up your Nordic skiing routine.

Race Resources, Tips & Ideas Monday, March 11, 2024

You can love cross-country skiing madly and still find yourself stuck in a rut—like phoning in your workouts or just looping the same set of trails because they feel doable and safe to you.

There’s never a better time than spring to change up your routine and challenge yourself as a skier. You’ve found your balance, gotten your legs in shape, the days are longer, skies are bluer—you’re ready for something new. Here are easy ways to take it up a notch.


It’s the obvious way to commit, slightly scare yourself, and get lost in a chorus of cow-bell-fueled adrenaline. If you haven’t yet raced this season, it’s not too late—there are a few late-season whoppers still on the calendar, like the Stampede in Tabernash and the Grand Traverse in Crested Butte.

Slow down and explore

Bust out of your usual training loop with some new trail options, and try adding a few kilometers instead of racing through your workout. So what if you need to chill and take more time? Most Nordic skiers don’t spend nearly enough time in the long-and-slow zone anyway. Bonus points: You’ll burn more fat.

Do the opposite of race

For those of you who find yourself in front of friends whose eyes glaze over when you talk about your training schedule, maybe you need the antidote to a serious race schedule. The Frisco Brew Ski (March 9 2024) offers a “costumed beer festival on skis.” It is the answer for cross-country ski racers who have lost their sense of humor.

Share the love

You’ve got cross-country ski skills? There’s no better way to appreciate and reinforce them than by helping others learn. Bring a friend who has always wanted to try but never quite felt comfortable enough. Offer to take a niece or nephew out and show them the ropes. Volunteer to coach with a local club or one-day workshop, or pitch in to help during an event at your home Nordic center.

Ski somewhere new to you

Hey, when did you last go somewhere other than where you have a pass? If you’re always in the I-70 corridor, peel off and try Leadville (Mount Massive or Tennessee Pass are delightfully different). Another great way to mix it up is with an event or class somewhere fun, like Vail Nordic’s telemark workshops. A delicious way to explore is to book a few days at a Nordic guest ranch, where you can really dig in and make it ALL about skiing and eating while sleeping in a feather bed under a Rocky Mountain star-filled sky.

Demo something different

If you’re still skiing a setup from 10+ years ago, take this as your message from the universe that it’s time to treat yourself to new gear. (We’ve yet to meet a Nordork who doesn’t love new gear.) After all, Nordic ski technology has changed in the last decade: Skis have gotten lighter and faster; boots harder and lighter, and poles lighter. And if you haven’t tried them, the classic twin-skin systems are deliciously low maintenance. You’ll find brands with demos on big race days and events, or check in with your fave Nordic center staff for their gear picks and recommendations.

By trying out new things like racing, exploring new trails, volunteering, trying out new gear, and skiing in new locations, you can reignite your passion for cross-country skiing and take it to the next level. So, this spring, step out of your comfort zone and try something new to make your Nordic skiing experience even more enjoyable.

Photo credit: Grand Traverse on Facebook

Help protect Colorado's natural beauty for future generations

View Stewardship Resources
Proudly funded by the Colorado Tourism Office