Nordic walking training might seem to be simply walking with trekking poles. It’s much more complicated than that though. When I was in Russia for Elbrus Race 2013 I had the opportunity to spend a few days with the women members of a Russian Nordic Walking group that stayed with us and did some training at altitude on the slopes of Elbrus. I enjoyed watching their morning stretching routine and certain aspects of that portion of Nordic walking training made its way into my recent book Summit Success: Training for Hiking, Mountaineering, and Peak Bagging. CLICK HERE
If you cringe whenever you see someone ambling, shuffling slowly, poking forward with their poles, and their straps on wrong, you’re a Nordic walker.
The point of this 16 week program is vertical training, and is well suited as Nordic walking training. Many of the photos in the book feature trekking poles as part of the exercises. I think that by bringing up your vertical and horizontal speed and endurance you can achieve greater things in your sports goals. Most of my speed ascents are done with poles and I suggest training outside with poles at every opportunity.
Tips: Some things to keep in mind include rhythm and placement. If you can coordinate your arm and leg rhythms you’ll become much more efficient. I’ve found that if you are moving on steep terrain with shorter leg motions you can use shorter faster pole placements. If you’re using longer steps you can alternate pole placements in patterns of two or three steps each and reach further forward. If you’re moving very quickly you might want to actually place the tips of the poles near the outside edge of your foot with the pole angled toward the rear as you pass quickly.
I think a good Nordic walking training program also includes a bit of strength endurance for the upper body, particularly the lats, shoulders, and chest. These muscles work together to provide strong and fluid pole placements essential for Nordic walking efficiency.
Nordic Walking Training Video Example Close Pole
In this example I’m running at about 9:00 pace (nine minute mile) on snowshoes, and due to the speed and short steps I’m using the close pole technique. Notice that I don’t really reach forward much but push to the rear in short powerful strokes. I experimented with this technique after watching Nordic skiers in the last Olympics.
If you’d like to see the best Nordic walking training for vertical and horizontal goals (vertical feet gained and miles) check out my book on Amazon, both Kindle and Paperback. Eligible for Prime and Kindle Unlimited.