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Time needed to regain conditioning?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

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?

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 

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.  :-)

post #3 of 11

I have skied different seasons at a wide variety of weights and fitness levels.  The good news is that it still works when you are very, very out of shape -- just not as long between stopping, and not for as long a day.  The bad news is that it really is more fun when you are in shape.

post #4 of 11
I disagree, I would do heavy weight training for quads and hamstrings.
You will have a better time on the hill and it could prevent injuries.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

I disagree, I would do heavy weight training for quads and hamstrings.
You will have a better time on the hill and it could prevent injuries.

Or, it can cause injuries, including overtraining, and compromise aerobic work.

 

Skiing itself works quads and hammies pretty well,  and he is already getting this in regularly.  

post #6 of 11
Ct,from your other posts, it's clear you have strong opinions.

Ok.

But why then all wc skiers lift weights like crazy.

Anyway, 6 weeks minimum BEFORE the ski season, then once a week maintenance.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post


...But why then all wc skiers lift weights like crazy....

 

WC skiers also develop huge aerobic bases.  First.  

 

And, WC skiers are training for events of short duration with huge forces at work.  

 

And, in terms of time for adaptation, " ...it is important that [ski racing]  athletes have a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The different types of fitness take varying lengths of time to develop. For example, anaerobic adaptations are much faster than aerobic adaptations (building of mitochondria, capillary density, aerobic enzyme concentration in the muscles and the ability to consume oxygen)."  Former head performance guy at USSA at the 2014 USSA S&C Symposium.  

 

If the OP said he wasn't skiing (nor doing a similar sport) currently, certainly I'd recommend some strength work too.  But, he's already (I assume) alpine skiing regularly, and therefore getting strength work from the sport itself.  And coming from a period of inactivity.  So, piling on more strength work on top of what he's already getting from the sport may not be the way to build the house, in terms of building better long-term fitness for the predominantly aerobic sport that is his focus.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

But why then all wc skiers lift weights like crazy.
 

Stopping to rest in the middle of a race course does not produce good times.

 

I agree that pre-season conditioning is preferable. To say it is mandatory strikes me as silly.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

This is all very interesting and helpful. 

 

My first day skiing was actually a horror in some ways.  There was 12" fresh (Great!!) but very windy and visibility ranging from zero (whiteout) to merely poor.  AND I was on relatively skinny skis for some idiotic reason.  No energy to turn well!  The outcome was a kind of unplanned HIIT approach:  ski to failure (legs on fire and rubbery), rest a minute or 2, repeat.  The "interval" turned out to be only about 100 ft before failure, though it was all on bumps or in trees, not flat and fast.  After a couple hours I clocked 11,500 vert.  Stopped cause legs were utterly, completely shot and that's when you get hurt.

 

Next day went climbing.  doesn't carry over, I know, but it's good for flexibility and core.  Day after that hiked 2000 vert..  Rest today then more lapping tomorrow and Weds.

post #10 of 11

The typical response is 6weeks to have your muscles switch over; or if you're a complete slob a bit longer.  

Think like the home fitness programs you see on infomercials: their sequences are 90days (p90x), or 60days (insanity) for the more intense ones.  

 

None of them are going to be P10x with the expectation you'll be ripped in 10days.

 

However I think also keep in mind that it probably depends on the person, and YOU will have to find the answer for yourself.

Finally, OP you're not prepping for competition, so I'd say just keep doing something almost every day you're doing and have FUN.

 

If you're really out of fun activities and just in the gym, then yea go do the effective exercises.  But I'd say always pick the activity over just purely for  fitness workouts.

post #11 of 11

Biggest factor is age--the older you are the longer it takes and no matter how hard or how long you train you won't ever be twenty again (unless you aren't 20 yet but then I doubt you'd be posting here.)

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