XC ski training: is snow required?

I’ve just come back from some days of cross country skiing. It was the first time of the season that I put the skis on (last year I skied a total of 8 days). The first day I did 60km and the second day 91km (1300m of climbing) at a altitude of 1800-2000m on very slow snow. I was not sore the following days.


Plateau de Beille

That left me wondering about the importance of dryland training for skiing. I’ve been doing swim-bike-run training and 3 weekly sessions on the Thorax Trainer, not a single day on roller skis.
Certainly, technique is very important in cross country skiing, but several Word Cup races have been won on raw double poling as well as many marathon races. Those conditions can be simulated with no snow.
Do you think it is possible to be competitive at a very high level, even win a World Cup, with no snow training at all? For sure, a huge talent would still be needed, but my answer would be that it’s possible.



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