Substitute Nordic Skiing Session for Endurance Ride

In short I’m looking for the best method to properly substitute a Nordic Skiing (Cross Country - Classic) Session for an endurance ride.

Questioning the following areas…

  1. Does duration of activity transfer on a 1 to 1 ratio? For example if RPE is 3-4 for both bike and skiing would a 1 hour session on the bike equal 1 hour on the skis? If not what’s your estimation in an effort to best align training stress/demands.
  2. Are there other considerations I should be making when trying to frame the load, training affect, TSS of the skiing session?

Please note, I’m aware that skiing isn’t a direct cross over for cycling so this is all subjective. The mental benefits that come with being outdoors can’t be quantified on a training chart and Fat-bikes aren’t my thing.

Thank you for any insight you can provide.


Thanks for posting this, my husband and I are training for our 2nd Birkebeiner next February and trying to balance that training stress and intensity while simultaneously rebuilding our base for the road season next year…last year we tried a tri-plan and it was okay, but this year we’ve opted for low volume SSB I and II and (depending on the focus of our skate ski sessions) opt for the longer sweet spot ride on the weekends or corresponding threshold workouts from the mid-volume plan. It’s felt good so far, but we’re only a few weeks in. Good luck, and hope this helps! (also hoping others can chime in with more insights and experience trying to do this)! Fingers crossed.

Done more quick google searches and found this old thread in the forum: Any Nordic Skiers? Adapt a Training Plan?

Also this from Canadian cycling magazine:

If you use HRM, then I would use time spent on Z2-Z3 equivalent to the time of a trainer endurance session. I dont do Nordic but I do ski touring / skimo and I use that reference, even spending some time going down between climbs, I usually spend 1 to 2 hours climbing at Z3 per climb (Usually 2), so thats lot more time that I’m disposed to spend in the trainer, and that’s the whole point.

At the same time, climbing gradients above 20 degrees with your skis is very similar to climbing with your bike for your muscles. And going down you work your core and legs in a isometric way, which is cool too.

I only see gains