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running good for downhill skiing?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

What are the best cardio exercises to get ready for downhill skiing?

 

Would running and doing long distance cycling or mt biking help out with downhill skiing in anyways?

 

If they do, what aspect would they help with? 

 

Otherwise what do you all suggest as best way to get in fitness or maintain fitness for downhill skiing

 

Thanks

post #2 of 27

IMHO, running in sand, the kind where you foot sinks in a bit, and also running up stairs would help you get in shape.  I'm not a big fan of running downstairs; it's too hard on the knees, again imho.  If you do run downstairs, and at one time ages ago I ran a lot of stairs (and everywhere else), watch out for landings that might be longer than average; they can squash you like a bug on a windshield if your going too fast.

 

Some say running downhill in treacherous footing (scrambling over rocks and such) is also good training, not only for endurance but as training for developing reactive skills, kind of like a full scale version of Tetris.  It seems a little risky to me.

 

However I wouldn't bother with any of it these days.  The best training for skiing is skiing as far as I'm concerned.  If you have to be in shape to win races at the beginning of the season, then yeah, train.  Otherwise, just ramp up when the season starts. 

post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost 

However I wouldn't bother with any of it these days.  The best training for skiing is skiing as far as I'm concerned.  If you have to be in shape to win races at the beginning of the season, then yeah, train.  Otherwise, just ramp up when the season starts. 



With respect to all opinions, I can't think of a more dangerous statment.  Skiing is the one sport where folks do absolutely nothing 9 months of the year & then head to the top once there is snow cover.  After working with athletes for years & rehabbing weekend worriors the same, I can say that there is nothing worse that someone who ends the season in November.

 

Trail running & mountain biking have been my goto base exercise for skiing for years.  Sure you do need to branch out into plyo, core, Olympic lifts & proprioception to be a complete animal in your sport.  The Return On Investment for trail running & mtn biking is huge at little cost.  No other activities offer the dymanic control & the ground force reactions closer to skiing. Plus there is a huge enjoyment factor & fearce cardio benitits.

 

Just remember to toss some focus on sprints &intervals as well as duration rides /runs.  Come run 6 min miles w/ me on the ridgelines & Appaliacin Trail in Vermont & see what it does for your skiing. 

post #4 of 27

You make a very valid point Irip.  I guess I wasn't extrapolating from far enough from what I consider my terribly out of shape summer condition.  In the summer I bike, canoe (portaging a 110 lb pack over long steep portages in Temagami can work up quite a sweat) and do a little karate.  Whatever you do, it's gotta be fun or you won't do it.

 

If you are a total couch potato, you might want to ramp up to running in sand too.smile.gif

 

 

post #5 of 27

 To the OP:

Anything you do is fine, better than doing nothing...

Depending on your age more  stretching and balance would do  miracles.Consistency is the key.

post #6 of 27

I hate running because it feels hard on the body, especially knees or my flat feet. I tried trail running, but fear that I will sprain an ankle or something on the rough trail behind the house, putting myself out of shape for ski season. Maybe I'm just a wimp. I would like to find something to stay in better shape during the warm months. I have been considering ice skating for various reasons -- not sure if that would help.

 

post #7 of 27

trail running your knees can take it is probably the best fitness training for skiing

 

mountain bking is probably the best mental/body awareness for skiing.

post #8 of 27

Trail running is great training for skiing.  Running down a rocky twisty narrow trail is much like skiing a narrow line down a bump field.  You have to look ahead, keep your balance, and develop an intuitive knowledge of where you're going to plant those feet as you look ahead.  Must stay balanced into the future and not brake with each footplant, or your knees suffer and your brain rattles.

Running up the same gets your cardio mojo ramped up and allows you to eat ice cream.

 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by world-traveller123 View Post

What are the best cardio exercises to get ready for downhill skiing?

 

 

I think  you need to take the word cardio out of that question. Cardio is only part of what you need. Take a look through a few of the threads in this section of the forum - there's some great discussions about what the best training for skiing is. I suggest reading my responses and ignoring all the others as I'm right and they are all wrong. :) Just kidding. Sort of. :) 

 

The reality is that anything you do will get you some level of fitness for skiing. What and how much you do will depend on your goals (is some level of fitness enough or do you want more?), schedule, interests, fitness level, health and your age (over 35 and you should be thinking about more than cardio prep). 

 

Elsbeth

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post



 

I think  you need to take the word cardio out of that question. Cardio is only part of what you need. Take a look through a few of the threads in this section of the forum - there's some great discussions about what the best training for skiing is. I suggest reading my responses and ignoring all the others as I'm right and they are all wrong. :) Just kidding. Sort of. :) 

 

The reality is that anything you do will get you some level of fitness for skiing. What and how much you do will depend on your goals (is some level of fitness enough or do you want more?), schedule, interests, fitness level, health and your age (over 35 and you should be thinking about more than cardio prep). 

 

Elsbeth



 

I must say that Elsbeth's post are usually some of the best, yet the over 35 reference is really hard for me to hear :)

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post



 

I must say that Elsbeth's post are usually some of the best, yet the over 35 reference is really hard for me to hear :)


 

Hard for me to say too... :) 

post #12 of 27
Cardio doesn't help you as much for skiing. Interval training would be better.

If you want to make the most of your training then hit the gym and do squats, squat jumps, lunges, leg press, hack squat, stiff-legged deadlifts, and balance exercises.
post #13 of 27

 I seem to recall that doing a few hours of fulll-power kicks on the heavy bag was pretty good for keeping the legs up to the task.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet 

Trail running is great training for skiing.  Running down a rocky twisty narrow trail is much like skiing a narrow line down a bump field.  You have to look ahead, keep your balance, and develop an intuitive knowledge of where you're going to plant those feet as you look ahead.  Must stay balanced into the future and not brake with each footplant, or your knees suffer and your brain rattles.

Running up the same gets your cardio mojo ramped up and allows you to eat ice cream.

 



This zeros in to one specific type of running, namely running either on highly varied terrain, or runs where the runner chooses everything from benches to tree trunks to create varied terrain.

 

Long distance running on flat surfaces in a basically straight direction, while great aerobic exercise, doesn't work the muscles or movement patterns you might use in skiing much at all.  Trail running and scree running can however give a very ski-specific workout.  People who do a lot of steep trail and scree running tend to build their legs up way too much for competitive running, other things being equal, but the carryover to skiing should be obvious. 

 

For cycling, per the op's question, there are several threads on here already on how to make cycling, either road or mtb, have the most crossover to skiing.   The idea is to focus on the riding and not on the pedals. 

 

post #15 of 27

I used to run (flat surface) to prepare for skiing.  And I was never prepared.

 

The past 5 years I've prepared by trail running once  a week, mountain biking once a week, swimming once a week, doing cardio machines at the gym twice a week, and most importantly weight training twice a week.  This includes squats, pull ups, leg presses, crunches, bench presses,etc...  And one day off a week.  

 

When doing cardio, it's good to push your hardest for brief intervals.

 

These past 5 years I've had no major issues those 1st few ski days, was ready to go.  And I've definitely become a stronger skier (despite my age!)

 

Of course skiing gets you into better shape for skiing, but better off season preparation made a vast difference for me.

 

Don't just run.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post


 

 

Long distance running on flat surfaces in a basically straight direction, while great aerobic exercise, doesn't work the muscles or movement patterns you might use in skiing much at all.  Trail running and scree running can however give a very ski-specific workout.  People who do a lot of steep trail and scree running tend to build their legs up way too much for competitive running, other things being equal, but the carryover to skiing should be obvious. 

 

For cycling, per the op's question, there are several threads on here already on how to make cycling, either road or mtb, have the most crossover to skiing.   The idea is to focus on the riding and not on the pedals. 

 


Running helps maintain bone density, and it develops the back muscles of the leg, which helps prevent ACL sprains.  Cyclsts can lose bone density, and develop weak upper bodies and stiff backs. Running is also less time consuming, and running injuries are far less serious than cycling injuries. I do both, but if I could only do one it would be running.

Trying to reproduce the movement patterns of skiing is a fool's mission.  If you could train every muscle in your body to be as strong as Bode Miller's or Lindsay Vonn's, you still couldn't ski like them.  Ski fitness is about avoiding injuries, not about skiing better.

Recreational skiing does not require unusual levels of strength or fitness.  Unless you compete at a very high level (in which case you need a coach), all you need to do is correct all the damage done by sitting at your desk all day.  The best exercise program is one you enjoy and stay with.

 

BK

 

 

 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post


Running helps maintain bone density, and it develops the back muscles of the leg, which helps prevent ACL sprains.  Cyclsts can lose bone density, and develop weak upper bodies and stiff backs. Running is also less time consuming, and running injuries are far less serious than cycling injuries. I do both, but if I could only do one it would be running.

Trying to reproduce the movement patterns of skiing is a fool's mission.  If you could train every muscle in your body to be as strong as Bode Miller's or Lindsay Vonn's, you still couldn't ski like them.  Ski fitness is about avoiding injuries, not about skiing better.

Recreational skiing does not require unusual levels of strength or fitness.  Unless you compete at a very high level (in which case you need a coach), all you need to do is correct all the damage done by sitting at your desk all day.  The best exercise program is one you enjoy and stay with.

 

BK

 

 

 



Long distance runners have good hamstring ratios, but that's in part because the rest of them is so f'in atrophied.  You are correct about bone density, but not about upper body strength as it relates to MTB.  The loss of bone density for recreational cyclists who do other things as well hasn't been shown to be an issue, much less for mountain bikers who if they do keep an emphasis on riding, not on long aerobic epics, will bear far more forces than roadies.  Trial or scree running certainly have the benefits of weight bearing exercise that you mention, but also allow you to better develop you lower body, and work movement patterns more than "regular" running.

 

I agree with your point that recreational skiing does not require unusual strength or fitness, and also that anything that will keep you active is way better than something that you do for 6 weeks and give up.  I know people who own and maintain horses who basically just stay fit riding and shoveling, and moving hay, which actually is fairly varied when you think about it.

 

Where I'd disagree is with the assertion that you can't benefit from motion sports that are somewhat related to skiing.  If someone goes from not sliding or rolling on anything to trying to ski for 10 or so days a year, that's a pretty big shift.  A good analogy is roller skiing for nordic skating.  While they are two separate activities and the technique varies subtly, if you can roller ski, you can do ok nordic skating the first day.  If you either sit at a desk or just run to stay in shape, and then try to nordic skate a few days a year, you'll perpetually be at the beginning end of the curve.  I just got back from a MTB ride, where I used edging, fore-aft weight transfer, the bike version of angulation, terrain absorption, and a variety of other skills that carry over.

 

The best carryover is imo actually from using specialized skates designed to mimick skiing, and next from inlining, but as many people don't do these and find MTB more accessible, it's good to flag MTB for its benefits.

 

 

 

post #18 of 27

The variety of advice can appear bewildering. Suffice it to say that you need to do some kind of pre skiing exercise. Skiing yourself fit is not going to make good use of skiing time unless you live close to a ski hill and can start slowly and ease yourself in over a preiod of time, a luxury not all of us can afford and such a waste of snow.

 

Pick a regime and go with it but I would suggest training smart and pick exercises that replicate the way the musclegroups are used in skiing as closely as possible. I observe people in gyms working out for hour after hour with poor structure to their sessions. 40 minutes of high quality well structured work is far better than a couple of hours of unplanned wandering amongst the machines. Also so many of the machine exercises actually seem to make people good at doing that exercise rather than developing good transferable skills.

 

Aerobic exercise provides a good pre season base for your training and is a good part of a well balanced training programme but think about throwing in some intervals of higher intensity in your sessions for periods that match typical skiing times e.g. hill climbing for a couple of minutes.

 

I try to look at making sure I incorporate the following into my training each week: muscular endurance, agility, core, flexibility, functional movement, balance, aerobic. It sounds like a lot but if you structure things well I find it works for me at least.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by world-traveller123 View Post

What are the best cardio exercises to get ready for downhill skiing?

 

Would running and doing long distance cycling or mt biking help out with downhill skiing in anyways?

 

If they do, what aspect would they help with? 

 

Otherwise what do you all suggest as best way to get in fitness or maintain fitness for downhill skiing

 

Thanks



I gotta go with some kind of martial arts.  The idea is to get your cardio, some strength and good flexibility, right?

 

post #20 of 27

Rollerblading is great for the off season. 

post #21 of 27

One season I've been doing absolutely nothing the entire summer and fall. That year the opening day at the resort was beautiful with a blue sky and 4 inches of fresh. I was ashamed to find out that my body gave up after only two hours of skiing and I said to myself - this will never happen. I've been exercising ever sense, the method is very simple, 4 - 5 times per week for at least 30 - 40 minutes. I combine running with MTB, pushups, situps, squads, p90x - ab ripper, and just trying to get out every weekend for a hike or a good MTB ride. Doing all of those things for a year got me in pretty good shape, on the opening day last year I was skiing for the full 8 hour day with no problem. Everything works if you are consistent. 

post #22 of 27

I am not going to poopoo any advice here, but cardio is just plain good for you, regardless. To be ready for ski season think in terms of how explosive you are. In my experience, beef or muscle mass, is a bonus to being a strong faster skier. I race bikes heavily through 7 months of the year and get pretty lean, my cardio is killer. I lack so much muscle for skiing in October that I need to eat, drink and do hard muscle work......anaerobic stuff! Keep the cardio up, but I would say build muscles: squats, one leg squats, explosive jumps (staright and side to side), core work too, especially the older you get. I am no exercise guru, but a lifetime/daily athlete. I spend 5-7 days a week in the mtns and wish that steroids were legal(actually healthy, careless about legality) to bulk up a bit every October....specifically for DH skiing. Make sure its fun or you wont stick with it. Also, do small fine muscle tuning for good angulation, like one foot balancing on a ball. I use a slightly deflated volleyball and try to do 40-60 seconds on one foot holding a ski stance. do 15 of those on each leg with a min. or so rest in between.Use your poles until you get it figured out.....My $.03

post #23 of 27

Consistent running is good for you, of course... but for skiing, running in bursts is probably more helpful.  Sprint, then walk it out, sprint, then walk it out, and so on.  Building more muscle mass (i.e. weights) is also underrated as that will lead to better endurance.


Edited by JayT - 11/15/11 at 12:32pm
post #24 of 27

I have been doing "burpees", sit ups, some jumping side to side.

but mostly walking up the steep hill near me.(about 40 minutes round trip)

 

another exercise i like is leaning against a wall with a rubber ball in between your shoulder and the wall

and squatting up and down on one leg...good for outer thigh and ligaments around the knees. The further

over you lean, the harder.

 

 

post #25 of 27

This is just in response to the comments about running being too hard on the body/knees (there were only a few, but I feel compelled to respond for other potential runners who might see this).

 

I highly recommend watching the instructional video on running technique below. You should never lead with your heel. Unfortunately, at least 95% of runners still do this. In running circles, there is no longer even a debate about whether this is more efficient and comfortable. It is. If you watch slo-mo of competitive triathletes and marathoners, you will see that they all land on the outside of the ball of their feet, allowing them to absorb the shock of the impact with the muscles and tendons of their posterior chain, rather than their bones and joints. Your leg essentially becomes a spring, particularly in the calf and ankle area. This also alleviates arch support issues.

 

I started using this technique strictly about a year ago and it has greatly increased the comfort and efficiency with which I can run. If you find running too "rough," please try this, as it may allow you to add running back into your ski training program:

 

(pay special attention starting at about 4:50)

 

 

 

 

post #26 of 27

I do outdoor inline speed distance skating in addition to hiking with hill climbs and some trail running sprints mixed in. Sprained a ankle in Sept so have been backing off of the trail running sprints which is probably the best one for conditioning my bad knees for the twisting forces of skiing.

post #27 of 27

Heck ya! Running is great for skiing. Run uphill and squat / walk home.

 

Anyone do the 30 second sprint, 4 min cool down, 30 second sprint... etc... for 6 to 7 "reps"... thing? I was just reading that it is just as effective in building cardio as the hour+ run. It seems to me to be the way to go for skiing since it's explosive. Ya, that's how I ski. Explosive. LOL

 

BTW, in the video, who is the guy at 6:30? hahahaa

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