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Training for the Expedition - Cross Country Skiing

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

The team members of ARG are getting ready for the upcoming expedition to Spitsbergen, Svalbard. There are long days ahead of carrying gear, lifting equipment and moving around the research area. Read about how Siri is training be in the best physical shape possible for the expedition in August and also preparing for an arduous race in Sweden too.

"Each expedition has its own physical requirements, but I believe I’ll get far with a strong core and a resilient body, making carrying heavy packs and walking long distances much easier. To prepare for the coming expedition, I’ve taken my cross country skiing a level up this winter. I will be competing in the Vasaloppett long distance cross country skiing race."

Vasaloppet - a classic cross country race

Vasaloppet is a long distance classic cross country race and event from Sälen to Mora in Sweden with around 15 000 participants every year. This year, I’ve decided to participate in the 90km race to push my limits and become stronger. Vasaloppet is the oldest cross country ski race in the world inspired by King Gustav Vasa who made the journey in 1521 when he was fleeing from Danish soldiers - the legends says that he fled on skis.

Of all sports, why cross country skiing?

As a Finn, cross country skiing has always been an important part of my winters. It is a little bit of a national sport in Finland (even if the official one is ice hockey). I could barely walk when I first started skiing with my Sister. We used to ski after our Grandfather who made tracks for us in the deep woods of eastern Finland. Due to the short days of only four to five hours of daylight in December and January, it was often a race against the dark.

Despite the cold, short and often dark days, all layered up in clothes - a true love for the sport started growing within me. It’s something special to be out in the woods, the silence, the glittering snow and the ease of moving across snowy fields on skis, that made me absolutely love the sport.

A workout for the whole body

Cross country skiing is one of the most efficient winter sports one can do. It’s a workout for the whole body strengthening everything from legs to abs, shoulders and arms. It focuses on the large muscles and works several of the large muscle groups at once. It’s also an excellent workout to improve your heart rate. When cross country skiing, your heart works really hard. It’s known as the best cardiovascular exercise you can do.

"At the moment I try to ski 15-20km a couple of times a week. The days I don’t ski, I go to the gym to use the cross country indoor ski machine and strengthen my core. I’ve seen incredible improvements to my strength and resilience in just 2 months of active training. Cross country skiing is a very technical sport, so a big focus for the last month will be on my technique and building arm and core strength."

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