Originally Posted by cantunamunch
I think you're conflating a couple of points here.
It is true that the overwhelming majority of posters on this board can't go anaerobic for longer than 90 seconds.
But you haven't demonstrated that most on this board go anaerobic during skiing at all, as opposed to keeping the pace to where they're modestly comfortable breathing and can even chat or whistle or hum along to their ipods.
I think it might be helpful to get technical with some of what CTM is referring to. That modestly comfortable breathing and able to chat bit (which most skiers are, even if they are breathing heavily) shows they are usually below their lactate threshold, normally way below. The Rating (Rated) Perceived Exertion or RPE scale (also called Borg scale) is a way of tying the feelings of effort into a pretty close link to what your heart rate and lactate levels are actually doing, http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/measuring/exertion.html . At lactate threshold ("LT"), which is between a 13 and 16 on the original RPE scale, breathing is hard and any conversation difficult, though you can talk. It is not comfortable. It is different from being a little out of breath. You need to go beyond that level of exertion to even get to anaerobic endurance, and when you go beyond this, breathing becomes more ragged and even talking becomes difficult. An all-out sprint, which in terms of effort more than a few seconds is "as anaerobic as it gets," is harder yet, and really hurts, makes talking impossible, dramatically impacts your technique, and takes a long time to recover from.
Now, I'd encourage people to be empirical when they hit the slopes. Look around for a minute or two at people at the end of their runs. How many are doubled over, gasping for breath, clumsy from effort, and unable to speak for a while? Versus, how many are breathing hard but talking to their friends, smiling, looking around alertly, etc.?
In reality, as already noted many skiers and riders will switch between relatively low levels of output and bursts of more-strenuous activity that may be briefly well past their LT, and even some efforts such as jumping that may briefly tax what people lump as "neuromuscular systems" more than placing even several second demands on energy.
Quoting another Euro who's spent time around some pretty good skiers, "good aerobic power is the sports un-specific basis in alpine skiing on which any further abilities...should be built." Neumayr et. al., Intl Journal Sport Med, 2006. (He also does believe strength is likewise very important.)
In partial answer to Evaino's poll, I'm not suggesting that people need to spend hours on a bike for ski prep -- an obviously most people don't have the time to do that. But, things like inline or MTB do both provide a good aerobic prep, and as-noted already work the same muscles more or less used in skiing (for that last bit, for MTB a large variable is whether someone sets up their bike correctly, or not, and how they ride -- many bike riders can use a bit of hammy / "posterior chain" work). And, at the same time those activities also work "agility" in a way with some crossover to skiing and power. So, several of the poll boxes get checked anyway.
Edit: Some great skiing at the high-intensity end of the spectrum, see the conversation at the end,
More great skiing at the high-intensity end of the spectrum, see the coordination at the end (this run is still far above LT, but different from the equivalent of an all-out sprint, and Schild was known for the long hours spent on a bike for a reason)
Edited by CTKook - 10/12/13 at 9:04am