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How much training to get back into racing?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Been skiing since 3, used to race in Canada until I hit high school when I stopped for other sports. Fast forward and now I am 31 - was performing at a near elite level in another sport so am in great shape, but want to start racing again (maybe Masters). Not going for medals, just miss the competition.

However I am a married dad now so am limited to roughly 40 days of skiing a year. I never really skiied for "fun" so for the past several years each skiing day is basically "balls-out" 10-12 hour sessions on the steepest iciest pistes I can find, and going down as fast as I can in a variety of turns. I stop briefly only for a quick meal and I carry my own water and nourishments to minimize downtime, so I do get decent mileage in despite the limited number of days. I can get in a 3 hour gate session in the morning if I want.

But given the limited number of "days", and admittedly weaker back and knees, am I fooling myself in thinking I can do speed events again? GS and downhill are what I am interested in but would not want to get injured...can I race safely at my age and limitations?
post #2 of 23

go for it, no problem at all. just remember you got a few years on you now

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp View Post
 

go for it, no problem at all. just remember you got a few years on you now

 

I heard Masters level racing is actually quite intense, and the stories of the injuries people pick up there are a bit scary to be honest, and some of those guys ski 100+ days a year and have raced in HS, college and some even beyond. Was hoping people would try to talk me out of my mid-life crisis moment that I'm having :)

post #4 of 23
Skiing is dangerous.
FIS Masters is different from USSA, which is different from club.
Pick your level, go out train and have fun!
post #5 of 23

You should go for it.  It is very fun.  

 

Truth be told - 10-12 hrs per day and 3 hr gates sessions seems like over training.  

 

Remember this is for fun and don't be surprised to show up and have a 60 year old beat your @$$ by 5 seconds

 

PS you are a Dad and I assume have to get up and go to work on Monday.  

 

Just relax and have fun.  It is all about the vibe and the thrill of the hill.  :)

post #6 of 23

Did you do any racing this year? How did it go?

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
 

You should go for it.  It is very fun.  

 

Remember this is for fun and don't be surprised to show up and have a 60 year old beat your @$$ by 5 seconds. 

 

Just relax and have fun.  It is all about the vibe and the thrill of the hill.  :)

 

^ That.

post #8 of 23

Maybe start with beer league and take it from there.

post #9 of 23

LOL, wanna trade 31 for 50?  

 

No joke, I see guys/gals in league, NASTAR, and sometimes masters who are much older than me and look pretty gimpy when they walk.  However, when they ski the course it's another story- you would never guess their age.  They're my heros- I aspire to that in the next 15-20 years.  There's plenty of young moms and dads in their 30's racing too, so you'd be in good company.

 

+1 for beer league.  If you can find a beer league reasonably close, that would be a good way to get back into it and a chance to hang out with like-minded people.  If it's a big enough league, you will have some more or less in the same boat as you; some just a little faster to chase; and some fast enough to keep you humble.  Very humble in my case.  :D  Most likely you will find others who have raced or do currently race masters.

 

Sounds like you are in decent shape, so most likely you will be strong enough now to handle speeds & forces for a decent length league course.  With practice & good technique, given your background it's possible you could become reasonably competitive.  Guaranteed you will have fun.  

 

Looks like you really enjoy bombing the runs for long sessions.  In my opinion, that's inherently more dangerous than racing.  More variables (other skiers / boarders), no fence, varying surface conditions, etc.  Not picking on you for that- I do it too; at least as long as a lack of crowds permits.  A closed course minimizes such risk, plus fences should keep you out of the trees and equipment.  A good number of the really nasty racing injuries are coming from cranking up the bindings to excessively high DIN settings; so please be mindful of that.  

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartnyc View Post

I heard Masters level racing is actually quite intense, and the stories of the injuries people pick up there are a bit scary to be honest, and some of those guys ski 100+ days a year and have raced in HS, college and some even beyond. Was hoping people would try to talk me out of my mid-life crisis moment that I'm having smile.gif

Skiing is a tough sport- one more factor to consider: Masters is challenging in the Northeast, many of the racers have skied those hills for 30, 40, 50 years. They know the courses well.

This should not scare you away, masters is a great scene.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post

Skiing is a tough sport- one more factor to consider: Masters is challenging in the Northeast, many of the racers have skied those hills for 30, 40, 50 years. They know the courses well.

This should not scare you away, masters is a great scene.

The ruts must be deep.



( smile.gif )
post #12 of 23

Similar history and back story with me. I started doing Masters races with no training whatsoever. Worked out fine for me except I was a lot slower than I remembered. Didn't start training until I got tired of finishing in the bottom fifth of the field. Now I do 1 or 2 races a year and train every weekend. Although nothing gets your blood pumping like race day,. I honestly feel I get more out of a training session. Race day is mostly standing around waiting for your turn after all. But to answer your own question, yeah, as long as you are in good shape you should be fine. I would suggest doing a couple training days first (unlike I did) but it shouldn't take much.

post #13 of 23

Hi @iheartnyc , 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartnyc View Post

Been skiing since 3, used to race in Canada until I hit high school when I stopped for other sports. Fast forward and now I am 31 - was performing at a near elite level in another sport so am in great shape, but want to start racing again (maybe Masters). Not going for medals, just miss the competition.

However I am a married dad now so am limited to roughly 40 days of skiing a year. I never really skiied for "fun" so for the past several years each skiing day is basically "balls-out" 10-12 hour sessions on the steepest iciest pistes I can find, and going down as fast as I can in a variety of turns. I stop briefly only for a quick meal and I carry my own water and nourishments to minimize downtime, so I do get decent mileage in despite the limited number of days. I can get in a 3 hour gate session in the morning if I want.

But given the limited number of "days", and admittedly weaker back and knees, am I fooling myself in thinking I can do speed events again? GS and downhill are what I am interested in but would not want to get injured...can I race safely at my age and limitations?

 

In a word, YES!

 

I returned to racing after 25 years away from it by joining USSA Masters in CO in 2002. I joined a masters training club, trained like crazy and did well and have been involved with Masters ever since.

 

Physical strength is a key to success as you have correctly surmised. If you are in good enough condition to rage for 10 - 12 hours on steep icy pistes, I would suspect you are in good enough condition to race. Many of the serious Masters racers also work out with ski specific routines. This makes a world of difference in their skiing as they are able to get more energy and speed out of their skis.

 

Race training is another key to success. Masters racing in CO has all four events, as does in NE. There are speed camps (Ski Cooper, CO and Stratton, VT at least) and plenty of clubs and special camps to train with. Summer camps, too in South America and Mt. Hood. I coach speed in CO and I can tell you that it is never too late in life to ski fast. Our oldest racer just turned 80 and races DH like a champion. 

 

Presumably you have skied modern shaped skis. If so, have you been coached on them? All race skis have changed considerably over the years. DH skis used to have 90 - 100 m radius. Now they have 45 - 50 m radius. SL, GS and SG skis have changed in similar fashion. This has changed the game for the faster.

 

Good luck!

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartnyc View Post

Been skiing since 3, used to race in Canada until I hit high school when I stopped for other sports. Fast forward and now I am 31 - was performing at a near elite level in another sport so am in great shape, but want to start racing again (maybe Masters). Not going for medals, just miss the competition.

However I am a married dad now so am limited to roughly 40 days of skiing a year. I never really skiied for "fun" so for the past several years each skiing day is basically "balls-out" 10-12 hour sessions on the steepest iciest pistes I can find, and going down as fast as I can in a variety of turns. I stop briefly only for a quick meal and I carry my own water and nourishments to minimize downtime, so I do get decent mileage in despite the limited number of days. I can get in a 3 hour gate session in the morning if I want.

But given the limited number of "days", and admittedly weaker back and knees, am I fooling myself in thinking I can do speed events again? GS and downhill are what I am interested in but would not want to get injured...can I race safely at my age and limitations?


You're just a pup.

 

Wikipedia....

"In an instant, Foreman had regained the title he had lost to Muhammad Ali two decades before. He went back to his corner and knelt in prayer as the arena erupted in cheers. With this historic victory, Foreman broke three records: he became, at age 45, the oldest fighter ever to win the World Heavyweight Championship"

 

Yes, skiing is dangerous, but balls-out skiing without the course prep does not seem all that much safer than racing to me, so long as you remember DNF is not a good time.

post #15 of 23

Where are you located? There are Masters chapters in NY and New England and the ASRA group centered around Eastern PA, Eastern NY and N. Jersey. BTW, the largest groups are the in the 45-65 year old age categories, so as a kid of 31 you may not have a lot of competition.....................

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post
 

Where are you located? There are Masters chapters in NY and New England and the ASRA group centered around Eastern PA, Eastern NY and N. Jersey. BTW, the largest groups are the in the 45-65 year old age categories, so as a kid of 31 you may not have a lot of competition.....................

 

.... in your age class. :D

 

In Rocky, the 50-somethings are consistently among the fastest in all events.

post #17 of 23

Yep, that's what I meant!   :D             

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post
 

Where are you located? There are Masters chapters in NY and New England and the ASRA group centered around Eastern PA, Eastern NY and N. Jersey. BTW, the largest groups are the in the 45-65 year old age categories, so as a kid of 31 you may not have a lot of competition.....................

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 

 

.... in your age class. :D

 

In Rocky, the 50-somethings are consistently among the fastest in all events.


And it gets tougher!   I was fortunate enough to win the  55-59 class 7 title  in Far West Masters in 2 of the last 3 seasons and moved up to 60-64 class 8 this year.  Hey, it got even tougher!!  I found myself finishing in top 12 overall....and still only making 5th in Class 8!!!!   wtf!!!  :eek  Managed to pull it out at the end to tie for 2nd in Class for the season  but it was tough sledding....and I was racing better than previous years!   go figure...   In Far West we are normally finding that mens Class 7&8 makes up 25-30% of the field so plenty of competition to drive you on!

 

In all seriousness though, that is one of the huge pluses about Masters racing.  There is such a range of abilities that no matter where you start out you can find a "hare" to chase as your target. Once you get there you pick the next one and so on.  So gives you a goal and you can measure your progress.  Also,  while we (mostly!) take our racing seriously, it is still a very helpful bunch of people.  Advice and help is freely offered and we are always happy to see people improving.  i know from personal experience having started from basically ground zero in racing 10 years ago and having gone through a few tough seasons bumping along near the bottom.....

 

Or as our head coach calls masters racers "big kids with checkbooks!"  :D

 

So, go for it!  

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

Or as our head coach calls masters racers "big kids with checkbooks!"  :D

 

So, go for it!  

 

I was wondering how expensive Master's racing gets. Obviously, anything can get really expensive fast if you need to have the latest, greatest everything and ski all events. Approximately how much does it cost per race?

 

Nastar/EpicSki races are too short and flat. I would just like to race something longer and faster again. Heck, last time I raced the OP was in diapers.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post
 

 

I was wondering how expensive Master's racing gets. Obviously, anything can get really expensive fast if you need to have the latest, greatest everything and ski all events. Approximately how much does it cost per race?

 

Nastar/EpicSki races are too short and flat. I would just like to race something longer and faster again. Heck, last time I raced the OP was in diapers.


how expensive do you want it to be....??

 

It doesn't need to be too bad, unless you get seriously hooked!.  Even then there are still ways to keep costs down (the most obvious is to get quality used gear from ScotsSkier of course!  :)  ) 

 

There is a huge difference in quality and length of courses in masters compared to nastar.  A GS can normally run anything from 45 -65 secs for the fast guys (Mt rose has probably the longest - and certainly best- GS hill in the far west and IIRC no one broke 60 seconds on it last season. Similarly a slalom will normally run 40 gates plus.  But these are waaaaay better than any Nastar experience.  Different class

 

For base costs, in Far West, Division membership is $25, tech races are normally $30 or $35 entry and speed races $40 entry. Plus discounted racer lift tickets are available. On some occasions we will put on  2 races in a day.  USSA license is $90 or you can buy a temporary license (which was for one weekend previously but i think is now valid for 2 weekends next season) for $25 IIRC 

 

Equipment wise for GS all you require is a legal helmet (no soft eared helmets) and you are good to go. There are very few rules around skis for masters, just a minimum length for SG and of course stack height.  I have seen all manner of different skis being used by first-timers or just wanting to try it.  Only thing I would discourage is trying to run GS on a slalom ski.  Seriously dangerous and as a referee i would try hard to dissuade you.

 

For slalom i would not recommend starting without shinguards and pole guards (and preferably a chin bar).  And dont even bother without a proper slalom ski, it would just not be any fun at all.  

 

So, as you can see, you can give it a try without a major investment.  Or, you can also spend a lot more. Up to you. While lots of us turn up with a race pair and a warm-up pair of skis, just as many only have one pair.  So, come along next season and join us sometime at a Far West race.  Or even give it a try at a tahoe league race where costs can be even lower.   

post #21 of 23

I can't even remember how long high school races were. I ran a few USSA races and I remember them being comparable in length. All I remember were that they were fun. Slalom was my favorite even though I usually did better in GS.

 

I did a little searching and found the Rocky Mountain Master's site. Eldora has a master's program for $40/day drop-in fee and is closest to my house. That could give me a taste of it--at least to run some real gates again.

 

I'm too old to be even thinking about this. This is silly. :rotflmao:

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post
 

 

I'm too old to be even thinking about this. This is silly. :rotflmao:

 

Oh, no way. I doubt very seriously you are too old. If you race Masters in the Rocky division you will meet guys approaching 80 who make it to pretty much every race. You will meet guys in their late 50s who regularly smoke all comers, including the hot-shot college kids. You will meet guys in their mid 40s who ski like they are the hot-shot college racers, you will meet women in their 40s and 50s that almost none of the guys can keep up with. And you'll meet a few duffers like me :D.

 

You will definitely have a lot of fun, though, and your skiing will improve. You should definitely give that Eldora program a try. Great coaching and a great race venue.

post #23 of 23

If I was 47 and in shape, it would be a different story. Although, I will keep working towards getting in better shape this summer.

 

Whether or not I race in an event, I still think I'll do Eldora drop-ins. When I can't make it up to Summit County for the weekend, I go there so I can get one day of skiing in. Skiing gates would allow me to mix things up a little.

 

Without adding onto the quiver, I think I can keep on my K2 Superfree skis (similar to Superburnin) 120-76-104 and still get a taste of racing.

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