Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rain bad, snow good

What to do

So it rained.   (sad face)  Now Windsor is closed.   BHP still wasn't mechanically groomed and Grand is more sandpit than ski trail.  You've gotten your early season fitness going but now you can't ski.  What can you do?

  • if you have access to a gym with a ski erg try doing intervals of 30 seconds with enough rest to recover.  It's surprisingly exhausting .  If there's no ski erg the row.... same thing: intervals.
    Warm up for 5 minutes then go as hard as you can for 20 to 30 seconds with a minute of rest in between.  Work your way up to 45 seconds to a minute of hard effort while reducing the rest period in between.  Once your power diminishes (as measured in watts) end the workout and try for more next time.
  • Run.  Even if no one is chasing you.  Running increases endurance and is about the only activity that has cross activity benefit.  Your fitness is relative to the activities you use to obtain it but running helps with almost any sport.
  • Weights specific to skiing.   Use a low cable with an ankle strap to push a weight away from you to strengthen your driving leg.   Use a high pulley with a couple of long attachments to improve your double poling.
  • Fat bike.   Cardio is cardio when it comes to being active and staying lean.   It doesn't translate as well as running does but it will keep your legs active and your lungs working.   The Oak Ridge trail in BHP is groomed for fatbiking in winter as well as a trail in the Nimowin Road area of the park.  Grand Beach has an extensive fatbike trail groomed by an enthusiastic local.
  • Run stairs.   Oh golly,  I hate running stairs.  It is brutally hard but has SO MUCH BENEFIT for cardio training.  I usually run up 6 flights, walk down 4 then repeat until I've had enough, (which is sometimes 1 flight, ha ha)
  • Watch videos about ski technique.  You can learn a lot from watching someone very good at what they do.   Try getting yourself video'd as well when we're back skiing again.  What we think we're doing in our minds and what our bodies are actually doing is sometimes very very different.
  • Organize a day trip to a place with snow.   Riding Mountain, Giants Ridge, Brandon?   
  • Most of all do the snow dance.  
  • Skate.  Like on ice.  Real ice with those goofy shoes with blades on them.   It's the closest thing to real skiing. 
It takes some creativity to keep your fitness when the season grinds to a slowdown... but with a bit of effort you can minimize the training losses until it snows again....
Email me your other tips at

Also; I'd like to hear your trail etiquette tips for a future them to the same address please...