XC Skiers- What do you consider a "good day" for mileage/time on the trails?

As a long time alpine skier, I have my metrics of what I consider to be a day well spent downhill - how much vertical (depending on the size of the mountain), # of runs time on the slopes, etc. that make a day worthwhile.

For those who XC ski, how many km/miles, or time on the slopes do you consider a good workout? Do you ski from 9-4? Or go out for 30-45 min at a time with breaks in between?


  • edited February 7
    I don't consider myself an XC skier, but when these days when I get out one of my 3-6 times a year, generally I get in 3-5k. I'm breaking trails for at least half of that time too. A truly good day is when I don't fall and hurt myself.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • edited February 7
    Groomed trails? If skating probably a 10k minimum for one jaunt out. Classic seems to depend on how my wax holds and how frustrated I get with my wax pocket.  Probably 5-10km minimum. I'll break for a few min at a cabin, warming hut, or yurt.  Maybe I'll get food back at a lodge and head back out again.  But as a former racer my numbers may be askew c.f. the recreational "shufflers" out there. For reference, if skiing with my mom, I'll easily triple+ her distance in a given time without trying. Some ski areas like Great Glen Trails or Windblown are better with having the ability for me to ski in loops while my mom may go in a more direct route to a destination.

    Breaking trail in the woods by my house? My route is around 5.5k and a couple hours. Time/distance depends on how hard the trail breaking goes. Obviously a more leisurely pace.
  • So many variables:  grooming vs not, snow conditions, temperature, hills vs flat....

    Your question is what do you "consider a good workout?"  Even that is a different question than "what's a good ski day?"

    For me I consider a good XC workout to be similar to a good run.  I can go out hard for 40min and consider it a good workout.  For a good "ski day" I'm more interested in the scenery and exploration.  Might do 10k at a slow pace with lots of snack and photo breaks.  

    I almost always choose untracked, off-the-beaten path areas over groomed, pay-for-access trails. So things like snow depth and temp can drastically change the distance covered in the same amount of time.  For example, in mid Jan when we still had a ton of snow in the woods I was working on breaking a trail that nobody else was using.  The first day it took me 1hr to break <2km of trail, then about half hour back.   The next day I did the 2km out in a half hour and spent another hour breaking another 2km.  And so on for 4 days.  So each day my time was similar but my distance was growing. 
  • edited February 7
    majority of my XC is in a town park, at night.  I break a big loop trail then go back around a couple times.  It's about 1.5 miles total workout.

    I try to get to the groomed pay-to-ski type places once or twice a season, really enjoy those.  Except when I crash on the downhills.  Every now and then I take the skis off and walk down a hill in the interest of safety.

  • I just heard a Canadian did 2900 miles XC in his gear.....

    Might be fake news.
    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
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