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Cross Country Skiing Drama

JohnnyKozmo's picture
March 22, 2014 at 8:35am
10 Comments

So let me preface this by saying I am in no way able to compete in, or even complete a Cross Country Skiing event, and do not mean to offend anyone who participates in the sport.  Think of this, as a conversation you would have around 1:30am at a bar with a group of buddies.

 

While watching the Winter Olympics, specifically Cross Country Skiing, it just struck me as a little odd to see the competitors collapse immediately after finishing the race, as if they had been shot by one of Putin's thugs.  I get that it's an exhausting race, and that they are pushing their bodies to the limits-no denying that.  Also, there has to be a great deal of emotion and adrenaline that is released upon finishing.  The question I am raising, is that aren't they being a little dramatic?  I mean, they are Olympic athletes, who have 4 years to train for a single event.  It's not like they are training for a 5 mile race, and show up in Sochi, and SURPRISE, it's a 20 mile race!!!  A comparison would be a WR or RB running 80yds for a Touchdown, and really, it's no big deal, go back to sidelines, no oxygen or anything-they train for those types of plays.  Versus a DL who picks up a fumble and goes 80yds, may need a stretcher to get back to the sidelines, because they only train the majority of the time for 3-6sec bursts, covering 10-20yds tops.

 

Once again, I wrote this being extremely tongue in cheek, sarcastic and humorous, and not really being all that serious.  Just curious what everyone else thought.

TresselourgodUrbanoursavior's picture

I couldn't disagree with you more.  It's just an indication that they were going as hard as they possibly could, which is something to appreciate.  Going as hard as possible after 20 km of skiing results in far more physical strain than 80 yds run by a football player--thus, the falling.  As far as the training, I would think that they should train themselves to ski as hard as possible for 20 km only to collapse at the end, since it is, after all, a 20 km race.

Montana silver bullet's picture

Apples and oranges- No comparison between the stop and go of football and a straight 15-30k race whether you train specifically or not.

I opine as a past participant in both. 

Montana Silver Bullet

+1 HS
Phoenix824's picture

I bike and have ridden 50, 80 or 100 miles at times but that is going at about  70 to 90% maximum heart rate.    Going all out for 20km at max heart rate knowing every second counts is totally different than anything you are trying to compare it to after that much time red lining your body it collapse when your will power lets it.   What is amazing is these people have the will to push themselves that long to that they get to the point when they collapse.   You or I would have quit and gotten a beer at the bar we passed in the first 5k. 

JohnnyKozmo's picture

I made it clear from the beginning, I wouldn't even get past the first mile or so, and be done.

Phoenix824's picture

Hence why we are at the bar with the beer I quit too and joined you. Only question is who buys the first round

Knarcisi's picture

I think you had too many beers. 

mtrotb's picture

The longest race is 50K-30 miles and they are going up as well as downhill and actually most days there the weather was quite warm which is not ideal for a long race.

mtrotb

JohnnyKozmo's picture

Got it, so the consensus is, I am way off base.  Kinda figured that

+2 HS
rdubs's picture

Here is some discussion of the topic.  

http://www.slate.com/blogs/five_ring_circus/2014/02/10/sochi_olympics_20...

One reason that these athletes are so good at their sport is that not only do they have superhuman endurance, but they can mentally push themselves past physical limits that others cannot even fathom.

 

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I used to X-Country Ski at the local golf course and it really helps build endurance - I used to do it for fun and used to break a sweat but now I can't imagine doing that for 20 miles