Engadin ski marathon

Race ready: Elevate your Engadiner prep with these five pro tips

Swiss-Ski XC team members – including the 2023 Engadin Skimarathon champion – share advice on training, nutrition and racing.

BY : MALLORY BRITTON • Ski • 09.02.2024

With the 54th Engadin Skimarathon around the corner, we linked up with Swiss-Ski cross-country Juniors head coach Toni Livers and 2023 Engadin Skimarathon champion and current Swiss-Ski XC athlete Giuliana Werro to get some training and race-day advice (which you can hear in person during our exclusive event). Here are their top five tips to consider as you prep for the race.

Giuliana Werro 2023 ESM champion
Giuliana Werro, 2023 Engadin Skimarathon champion
Toni Livers
Toni Livers (right), Juniors Head Coach, Swiss-Ski Cross-Country

Don’t skimp on core strength

Any XC ski enthusiast knows you need strong arms and legs for success in the sport. But there’s another muscle group you shouldn’t neglect. “Training core strength is of utmost importance because you need it to be balanced and relaxed on the skis,” says Livers.

A quick Google search yields many ways to train your core, either in the gym or using your own bodyweight. One of Livers’ favourites: go for a hike using poles. Your core (and shoulders) will thank you when you’re back on the skis again.

Want speed? Focus on technique

When you want to up the pace, go back to the basics. “It’s really worth investing a lot of time in technique training, especially for beginners,” says Werro. Have an experienced friend or trainer help you identify errors in your technique — like improper weight distribution or overuse of your upper body — that slow you down. Small tweaks in those areas can prevent injury, improve glide and ultimately increase speed as you work your way up to race pace.

Engadin Skimarathon

Consistency is key

Do you get nervous thinking about racing in a crowd? According to Livers, the solution is simple: more reps. “The best way to prepare for a race mentally is to get on skis as often as possible,” he says. On-ski training helps develop stability, security and mental toughness. And when race time comes, you’ll trust yourself in any situation.

Have a race-ready nutrition plan

With just over a month to go, you’re probably entering your final training block before the taper phase. Use these workouts to make sure your nutrition/hydration plan is race-day ready. “A regular energy supply can be vital over the course of 42 kilometres,” Werro says. Try out different combinations of gels, energy bars, waffles and drinks to see what your body responds best to. Werro’s winning Engadiner menu: an early breakfast (and coffee), a small snack and energy gel during her warmup, and regular intake of sports drinks every 30 minutes until the finish.

Engadin Skimarathon

Get your head in the game

The mental game in XC skiing can sometimes match the physical one. Livers encourages athletes to harness their nerves before the competition. “Being nervous is normal – in fact, it’s good,” he says. “Try to get into a good mental zone before the start so you can relax and truly enjoy the race to its fullest.” Whether you use music, meditation or visualisation techniques, practise getting into your “zone” before your last few hard workouts.

How will the reigning Engadin Skimarathon champion handle her race-day nerves? Werro leaves us with some simple bits of wisdom. “Have fun, race at your own pace and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Engadiner.”

If you need some inspiration to shake up your training, head to Instagram and follow our Odlo athletes taking part in the #MoreThan42 Journey to the Engadiner. Each month, they’re taking on a new challenge and documenting all the rewarding moments along the way.

A dynamic partnership

We’ve proudly partnered with Swiss-Ski’s Nordic teams to provide training and race-day apparel. Wishing the XC and biathlon teams every success as their seasons continue.

Have more XC questions for our Swiss-Ski partners? We’ll be hosting a free Q&A session with both Livers and Werro at our Davos store on February 14th. Swing by, ask your skinny-ski questions and enjoy mingling with pros and other local athletes.

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