Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fall Ski Mountaineering training

With the ski season on its way, here are a few things I do to get ready.

Improving your uphill

Trail running is one of my favorite types of cross training for ski touring. Other than roller skiing, it most closely mimics the muscle groups used during ski touring. Long runs (3 hours or more) are ideal, but there's no need to start there. A few things that you can do to build up to long runs are
1) do a long 3 hour workout, but power hike the hills and run the flats and downhills; or
2) if this is still too much, go for a long hike with poles and push hard on all the uphills.

As you get stronger start running the flats and downhills and with some persistence you will get strong enough to run everything.

A tempo run once a week to work your top end is also a good idea. My favourite way of getting a good tempo workout in is racing. Doing some trail races in the fall will keep you motivated by giving you a short term goal to work towards and provide a good tempo work out at the same time.

Improving your downhill

A good strength class two to three times a week will go a long way towards to strengthening your legs and core, helping you have your best ski season ever. With stronger legs and core you will be able to ski longer runs without having to take breaks as often and you will be able to ski faster in variable conditions without crashing. My favourite place to train is Challenge By Choice. The advantages of going to a class are that you push harder in a group, the trainer will set up a class that is well balanced and works your whole body, and the trainer will make sure you are using proper form. Remember that you do not just need strength - you need strength endurance. Lower weight and higher reps are key.

If you put in some hard work this fall you will be rewarded with the fitness to push a little harder and be the first one to the top of the great powder run or the get in that extra lap at the end of the day. Get out there and get after it!

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