Originally Posted by kletter1mann
Last Feb I spent the month skiing AltaBird, basically 3-4 days on, 1 day off, repeat. It took me about a week to acclimate (from sea level), another week to refine technique and then I was good to go. As prep I spent about a month alternating days doing cardio and HIITs on an elliptical and Concept 2 rower. At that point I was easily doing repeated tram laps at Snowbird.
Fast forward to the present. The good news is that i just moved to SLC. The bad news is that I'm straight off the couch - basically no fitness or cardio work for months. To be clear though, my baseline fitness is good. I'm now interspersing skiing with indoor rock climbing and hiking. The climbing isn't cardio but it's great for flexibility, core and general fitness.
Anyway, the question is, how many days of skiing will it take me to get back the point I left at last year? And what's the most effective way to get there?
You don't say what your activity overall was before the month's prep last year, relative to your now being off the couch. Easy answer is don't worry about it and go ski. Realize though that indoor climbing is simply an active rest activity relative to skiing, with basically no movement carryover and very little carryover conditioning-wise even if you, say, do long climbing laps.
Conceptually, for your current focus, wanting to do repeated tram laps, etc. means you are prepping for a predominantly aerobic activity. Even for a single 2 minute all-out ski race, the second minute is predominanty aerobic, and if one were to do, say, 10 2 minute all-out runs, each subsequent run after the first would be even more aerobic. Because so many people think of skiing as more something else energy-wise, that can be surprising. So, to help your prep, track what you're currently doing on days off snow, or half days if any, and make sure you get some sustained aerobic base training in over the next month. If you have one or two full days of skiing and then a rest day, simply hiking e.g. could be all the work you need the next. A light spin or elliptical session after a long ski day also can be a good thing. You probably are getting enough strength work for the moment from your skiing itself, but if you feel you want to do more, be sure to cut back on e.g. indoor climbing for that day.
Sue Kramer has a good book out covering this as well, Be Fit to Ski. Some general principles were also laid out in napkin-sketch form in a snowpros piece featuring her input, https://www.thesnowpros.org/NewsInformation/NewsAnnouncements/tabid/117/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/519/Sue-Kramers-Four-Seasons-of-Fitness.aspx . Remember that you're kind of condensing all these seasons in your case.
But, the singe best training for skiing, is skiing, which is good news in your case. :-)