It’s pre-season training time, which means it’s time to dig deep for a little motivation and get into ski shape. Note: If you’re between the ages of 16 and 25 you can ignore this post. In that age range your bones are rubber, and you can get by simply by carbo-loading with barley pops. For the rest of you, these tips will help keep your bodies from feeling like a dumpster fire after only a couple runs.
Whatever you do, don’t turn into one of those CrossFit clowns. Keep it fun, and don’t take things too seriously.
Get to the Gym
Gyms are horrible. They’re crowded, indoor sweatboxes filled with meatheads, but the reality is there’s no better place to work on those random muscle groups essential to freeheel skiing and seemingly nothing else. Your core, lower back, quads and hamstrings will thank you later for the work you put in now.
Big thanks to Jake Wells with FÔRM Attainment Studio in Edwards, CO for these tele-centric workouts and the accompanying photos and videos illustrating how to do them correctly. As a bonus, most of the following exercises can be done in your home with the use of a chair and some improvised weights.
Rotational Dead Lifts
Tele Lunge with Twist
Cardio is your friend
A lot of people hate running, but it’s pretty much the most efficient way to build a decent cardio base. You hear many folks talk about how running doesn't do anything to help out with (insert activity of choice here), but there’s pretty much no situation where having a good cardio base won’t help you out.
Bonus points since you can run outdoors in pretty much any weather condition, especially when you’re running on trails where suffering up hills and nimbly moving them more closely mirrors telemark skiing than you’d like to admit. You don’t need to run every day, but try to get out three times a week and put in a few miles in the weeks leading up to opening day.
Blend your seasons
I don’t know where you live and what it’s like outside, but from where I’m sitting it’s a muddy mixture that’s good for nothing and sketchy for everything. That said, there’s plenty you can still do. Whether it’s skiing on dirt or biking on snow, it’s important to inject a little fun into your training.
Mountain biking keeps your terrain reading sharp, which comes in handy once you click into your bindings for the first time in six months. Plus, in the shoulder season there are fewer “Mud is Murder” diehards out there to ruin your sloppy drifting fun.
On a related note, if your home resort is busy blowing a white ribbon of death but the lifts aren’t turning yet, hike up there and enjoy some sketchy turns down manmade crust while catching wicked air off the whalebacks.