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Training for a Half Marathon during ski season???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Has anyone here ever ran a significant amount during ski season? 

I am looking to train for a half marathon that is scheduled for late April.  I run a fair amount now, just building a base, but I would really like to start ratcheting up the intensitiy level throughout the winter and try to run a fast time come April.  Will this work during ski season, or is it going to be too taxing on my legs?

FYI-- most of my skiing will be on weekends, with a couple week long trips.  Probably 40ish days total.


Anyone have any experience with this?


***I posted this in the Fitness forum, but it doesn't seem like many people go over there.  Sorry for the dupe, mods.
post #2 of 13
Running doesn't hurt skiing. All racers are running during season. They normally don't do interval trainings or something like this, but they still run. And even if running would hurt skiing, are you racing? No? Then who cares if you will be a bit tired and a bit slower when you will be skiing. It's about fun, and if you decided you want to go running marathon, it's just another part of fun. So combine those things :) I play ice hockey, and I'm normally dead tired after it, but it still doesn't make me not to go skiing next day. I might ski a bit less, I might be a bit slower, but I don't have stop watch with me, I don't count rides, so who cares. It's about fun, not about height meters done, about seconds gained etc. :)
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, primoz.  I agree with you that skiing is about having fun first and foremost.  I guess I am more concerned with skiing hurting my half marathon training, than the other way around.  In the case of the half, I would be racing, so time would matter.

I have my eyes set on running a qualifying time for the NYC Marathon.  So, sub-1:23 is the goal.  Which is a blazing fast time for someone with my level of experience.  Hell, anyone really.  I guess I was thinking I could replace some of the hill runs, with skiing and hiking on the mountain.  Was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this scenerio.  I know there are some fitness freaks on here.

I am willing to give up time and make the appropriate changes to my diet, put I am not willing to shelve my ski season.  Just wondering if it's doable, or if I should plan for a fall run and aim for the 2011 NYC marathon.
post #4 of 13
Wow!  That is a serious HM goal.  And I guess that you have a serious training plan to go with it.  I'm much more of a runner than I am a skier.  I have to be since I live in the southeast and good skiing is a plane trip ride away.  The past few years, I have raced both fall and spring marathons and been on ski trips during my training.  An average week for me would be 55 - 70 miles of running.  Last year, I did a week long ski trip about a week after running a marathon.  My goal was to get my legs recovered enough in order to ski strong for 5 or six days in a row.  No problem there.

There tends to be two types of outcomes for people who are training hard.  There are those who are wrecked after they do a hard workout, and then those that just carry on with life.  Fortunately for me, I'm in the later category.  What I mean is that I've met with my training buddies on a Saturday morning and ran 22 miles and gone straight from there to coach my kids soccer game and then do yard work the rest of the day.  Instead of running that morning and then laying on the couch for the rest of the day.  [I did an easy 5 mile run around south tahoe in the afternoon after riding the gondola down from Heavenly]

My guess is that you can structure your training to have minimal impact on your skiing days.  You might look at putting your weekly long run on say Wednesday and run your hard interval and/or tempo runs on Monday.  That would give you a day of easy recovery running on Tuesday before going long on wed.  Then, you can run easy on thrus & fri.  If you're a 6 day a week runner with one day of rest, you could use Saturday as your day of rest, and put your shortest easiest run of the week late on Sunday evening.  That would maximise your opportunity to go skiing on saturday and/or sunday. 

look at your desired training plan and then see if you can shift the whole thing to make it line up kinda like what I described above.  Then, once you get into it, you can tweak it a bit based on how you feel and what your schedule actually turns out to be both with skiing and other time demands.  Remember, you just need to preserve the spirit of the training plan.  IE get in the designated runs and not violate the principals like don't run two hard workouts on consecutive days.

Good luck with your training.  Your other biggest fear will probably be injury.  A skiing injury could derail your training and vise a versa. 
post #5 of 13
follow this path grasshopper

www.anaerobicendurance.com/
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for a great reply, Timr1!  I guess time will tell how much the training will effect me.  Sounds like it is no problem for you, but somehow I don't think I would be doing yard work after a 22 miler...
post #7 of 13
Well, the tough part here is that you're training for a time.  I'm not sure you'll qualify by late April, you might need another month of solid pavement pounding to get there (you're shooting for 6:33 minute miles, yowza.)  Will you be doing this at a lower altitude than Denver?  If so, that'll work to your advantage.

The key here, is you're really treating skiing as your crosstraining, and that's perfectly fine.  However, I would augment the skiing with something that has more extended cardio and works the muscles for a more extended period.  So here's some random suggestions:

1.  Find out which areas will let you skin up the mountain early in the morning.  Breck lets you do it, Copper will let you do it, but only in specific places (and that may have changed.)  Whatever the case, call and ask ski patrol the rules regarding skinning up the mountain.  Then, get some skins and start doing that at about 7am each ski day.  Even the powder days.  You'll get first tracks every weekend.  If the $$$ for randonee or tele skis are an issue, go get a piece of crap pair of alpine skis and then go somewhere like Play It Again Sports and buy an old pair of Silvretta bindings.

2.  Skate skiing / cross-country skiing.  Finish your ski day with a bunch of cross country skiing.

3.  Swimming.  If swimming is a normal part of your crosstraining, do it up in the mountains (it's more fun at altitude!)  Breckenridge and Silverthorne have great rec centers with pools.  If cardio is a goal, then pick a sprint exercise and do it at altitude.

4.  Snowshoeing.. I really wouldn't bother other than entering a snowshoeing race and running it.

Finally, one of the important things is to not get hurt during ski season.  Don't run on icy streets in Denver.  Don't take your bike out of the garage on icy streets.  Don't overexercise.  Be extra careful of your knees. 
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Vinn.  Some very good suggestions that I will consider.

I know the 1:23 is a lofty goal and there is a strong possibility that I will not come anywhere close to that number, but you might as well aim high, right?  As I stated before, I am not a very experienced race runner.  The best time I have run was a couple ticks under 36min for 6mi..  So now all I have to do is run a similar pace for more than twice as long!   The positive is that to get to the sub 36 six-miler all I was doing was trail runs with little/no hill or speed work.  The negative is I am not in near as good of shape right now. 

The way I see it is I could always enter the lottery for the NYC, but I might as well try to earn it.  If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.  And, yeah, I plan on running the half at close to sea level so hopefully that is good for a few seconds.
post #9 of 13
"I guess I am more concerned with skiing hurting my half marathon training, than the other way around."

I think that comment sums up where you're at. If the running is more important, keep running. I made the opposite adjustment a few seasons ago. My long mile days were getting in the way of my skiing. I didn't like having sore legs going into a ski day. I've become very conscious about long runs or leg workouts a couple days before a big ski day.  
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMP_CO View Post

"I guess I am more concerned with skiing hurting my half marathon training, than the other way around."

I think that comment sums up where you're at. If the running is more important, keep running. I made the opposite adjustment a few seasons ago. My long mile days were getting in the way of my skiing. I didn't like having sore legs going into a ski day. I've become very conscious about long runs or leg workouts a couple days before a big ski day.  


Yeah, that would be my situation too if I lived in a place where weekend skiing was just a car ride away.  If I lived in Denver, or SLC, or Reno, or Sacremento, I would shift my training to be just maintenance work during ski season. 

But, since I don't live in the ski zone, I train heavily during the winter and just work around ski trips.  I'm hoping to qualify for Boston this weekend.  If I do, I will register for the race, it's in April.  I'll have to train for that, but I will not designate it as an "A" level goal race.  One of the reasons is I'll be spending a week in Colorado in both December and Feb, and a week in Utah during March.  All of those trips will has some amount of impact on my training. 

And the injury thing is always there.  Two seasons ago, I twisted my ankle on my first run of the last day of our ski trip.  I had to continue training and icing the hell out of that thing so I could still make a go at my spring goal marathon. 
post #11 of 13
I wouldn't worry at all about skiing having a negative effect on your running.  I race triathlons professionally and own a ski business so do my share of skiing.  I ski all winter while maintaining focus on my run and I've run 14:25 for 5k on the track and 1:10 for the half marathon.
I find that skiing after running is far worse than running after skiing.  I can get home from a solid day of skiing and put in a long run and feel fine.  If I put in a hard run then my legs are pretty much shot for skiing.  So I don't like to ski after a very hard run (good pace long run or tempo run) whether it be the same day after or the day after.  It just makes skiing no fun.
Oftentimes with running after skiing I won't feel very good going into the run but once I'm out the door and going then I'm fine.
I actually think skiing is excellent cross training for both running and tri's.  If I could ski during the main summer race season then I'd still do it once a week to maintain extra strength in my hips, lower back and legs.  For me, skiing seems to strengthen my weak areas that give me trouble towards the end of races.  This proves true every year when I'm incredibly sore after the first day of hard skiing despite training 20 hours a week year round.

Train hard!
Jordan Jones
post #12 of 13
I am in a similar boat as I am training for a half-Ironman triathlon but will not race it until beginning of June.

I have no issues/concerns with fatigue between skiing and running. My biggest concerns are:

1) getting injured skiing
2) having my diet/training routine interrupted by ski trips
3) getting sick from being around sick people during ski trips (buses/airplanes/hotels/cafeterias)

I may try and do an Ironman in 2011 but it wouldn't be until Sept which should give me enough time to recover from at least, #2 & 3.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas and thoughts guys.

Jordan, what you said about running after skiing, rather than before, seems to make sense.  I'm also glad to hear that you feel like skiing makes you a stronger runner, hopefully it is the same for me!
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