I like your xc ski lesson logs that I feel like I'm getting lessons just by reading :).
Feel free to steal free tips although some of it is specific to my weaknesses, and some of them may not be described well.
If you are currently always fast with poling then certainly practice slowing down but keep in mind that the length of the follow through is dependent on situation. Most of your power comes in the first abdominal crunch. Follow through doesn't add much power. If you are moving fast on flatter or slightly downhill terrain then full extension is fine and does allow you to relax and perhaps better set up for the next cycle. Sprint technique or going uphills (these days a lot of races are all double poling all the time) you often finish short and maintain turnover rather than length.
Thanks for the tips and video - I will check it out.
On further reading it seems alot of people are moving away from the ab crunch term. I never really felt like it was a real crunch myself so it could be a little confusing - the idea of initial strong impulse/plank/tightening of the core makes more sense.
Interesting - that does describe the feeling much better.
I find that during races I often fall into certain patterns when I'm getting tired. Double poling is a default for sure as it requires less balance, but during the race I actually found myself gaining on people when I concentrated on maintaining diagonal stride. My legs are way faster than my upper body! :)
Interesting, I noticed that too and was wondering if I was strange. My diagonal stride would gain on people when my step - double pole would just hold their pace. Not what I expected.
That is interesting - I'm the opposite as if I force myself to double pole I catch up to people. Being tall helps with double poling I think...
Yes, double pole is fastest for me, but my step/kick-double-pole didn't have any advantage over diagonal stride in the race. Maybe my core and arms were getting a little tired but it didn't feel like that was the case.
Being tall would help with striding too ;)