One of the benefits that I get from reading and responding to the Barking Bear forums is that it is fun to think about ski related ideas and to get a little deeper into something that I love.
I was thinking about Evaino’s question when I was at the gym this morning. By chance, the Canadian National Biathlon team was working out. Their workout today seemed to be designed for improving both agility and power. It included a lot of movement exercises, as well as strength and power exercises, like squats and Olympic lifting. These folks spend many hours a day training and, being Nordic skiers, most of that training is aerobic. But within that, they spend time working on power and agility at a gym.
This led me to think about myself and a good friend. In the summer, we both bike (road and mountain) a lot together, and considering each of our strengths and weaknesses, we are fairly even with respect to fitness. On a longish climb (several k and several hundred meters elevation) he often leaves me behind by 100 or so meters, but if I can keep up to the last 100 meters, I beat him in the sprint. (Unfortunately, he’s figured this out and pushes earlier now) On MTB with a series of steep climbs that favor power, I leave him behind. One difference in our training is that I do more short intervals and I spend more time in a gym doing power exercises including plyo and Olympic lifting. In the fall, he’s more likely to be out on roller skis, focussing on distance.
In the winter, I struggle to keep up with my friend when ski skating. It’s partly technique and partly training emphasis. On the other hand, despite being a well-trained aerobic athlete, my friend gets tired when DH skiing – he has to take more rests and is sometimes “done” hours earlier. This is partly skill based, but also, I believe, largely due to a different emphasis in training.
So back to Evaino’s question – I think I would amend my vote to say that All of the above are important, but that the most important pre-season training emphasis for DH skiing should be agility and power.
Edited by canadianskier - 10/11/13 at 12:59pm