<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The US Ski team site (www.usskiteam.com
) has a test they use to determine training -http://www.usskiteam.com/education/alpmedalstest.htm
Ugh! I remember that test - or at least a varient of it. Used to be 1.5 miles as I recall. But that was a lifetime ago.
I think the difference between racers and the general skiing public is like comparing college/pro athletes with weekend warriors. Competition breeds a level of exactness that is not necessary for all to acheive in a recreational mode. For example; a casual cyclist can enjoy a sunday ride and obtain some fitness benefits. Where as a Category 1 or 2 racer has to be more precise with cadence, pedal stroke, body position, hand postion, aerodynamics, power transfer, etc. Making the same Sunday ride take on a whole new meaning.
As with skiing. A recreational skier can slip some turns down a face, where a racer, even when free skiing is feeling for the perfect turn in every condition.
Therefore, the conditioning is different. The recreational skier wants to enjoy the day without getting so soaked with sweat and tired from excertion they have to sleep for days. General aerobic conditioning, stretching and moderate weight training will suffice.
For a racer. Dry-land activity has to serve a direct link back to the hill. Balance, body position, joint health, Power (Plyometrics maybe), and aneorobic threshold training have to play a larger role. Otherwise the racer will find themselves at a disadvantage throughout the year. The last 10 gates will burn too much to ski clean. The legs won't absord the roles and press the backside of rollers during the last 20 seconds of a DH and so forth. The mind will lose focus if the legs start to ache.
It's late and I'm rambling. A serious racer has to think about how the training activity is going to help them on the hill. A recreational skier just needs to enjoy the benefits of a healthly lifestyle.