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Help me get faster in the GS course.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I'm fairly new to racing, I ski pretty good overall, but seem to suck in course. I need your collective brain power to help train me up for racing. I have done some searching and it seems hard to find written instruction that can describe racing technique. Videos of racers are great, but they don't break down what I need to do with my body to ski like a racer.

I have these burning questions, that I can't seem to find the answers for. Help a noob out, sorry in advance if these sound like dumb questions for you advanced racers, I just can't get any info.

1) What does being strong have to do with running a GS course? Isn't it more about technique since we are using gravity. Isn't the objective to carve the cleanest turn; thereby not scrubbing any speed? I can see in other sports like swimming, running or biking that specific strength training ( specific to the sport ), can make you faster, but with skiing we are not running down the hill. Where would I apply the strength in the turn?

2) loading up the ski to bend it. I understand the concept of bending the ski to shorten the radius, I just don't know where in the turn I need to optimize it and need help with the mechanics of it as it applies to the race course.

 

 

3) Generating speed in the turn. Is this loading up the ski and then getting rebound? Although I can get rebound on some skis while free skiing, I don't understand how to do that running gates.

4) Light on you edges. How do I stay light on mu edges and still make the turn I need to make to change directions in a turny course?

Ok, I know you guys are all laughing about now, but take pity and help a noob out.

Thanks,
noobracer

post #2 of 7

For starters, I'd say go take a look at Ron LeMaster's Ultimate Skiing.  You'll get answers to all your questions there, and IMHO, they're pretty solid answers.  If your technique is solid, and it sounds like it's pretty close, then think about your tactics.  I'd look over all of Ron's articles at this location:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/articles.html

Especially "Line Evolution." 

Strength is important if for no other reason that a good start counts for a lot...in terms of getting up to speed quickly, and additionally, getting enough momentum so you can get a GS ski to bend.  If you're railing out your turns, you're pulling some Gs, and strength is important there, too.  More than anything, get into a race program and get some coaching.  You can do a certain amount over the Internet, but hands on is better, IMHO...



 

post #3 of 7
I can definitely relate. I cannot say I'm a good skier but I do ok and have been improving progressively. My problem is that I free ski many many times better than I run a course (just easy open GS like NASTAR). Not only the results say so, my body tells me that too.

As for the mechanics, I know the answers to some of your questions but I'll leave them to the experts.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobracer View Post

Hi,

I'm fairly new to racing, I ski pretty good overall, but seem to suck in course. I need your collective brain power to help train me up for racing. I have done some searching and it seems hard to find written instruction that can describe racing technique. Videos of racers are great, but they don't break down what I need to do with my body to ski like a racer.

I have these burning questions, that I can't seem to find the answers for. Help a noob out, sorry in advance if these sound like dumb questions for you advanced racers, I just can't get any info.

1) What does being strong have to do with running a GS course? Isn't it more about technique since we are using gravity. Isn't the objective to carve the cleanest turn; thereby not scrubbing any speed? I can see in other sports like swimming, running or biking that specific strength training ( specific to the sport ), can make you faster, but with skiing we are not running down the hill. Where would I apply the strength in the turn?

Strength in the start: Good long strong pole strokes and kicks, like a nordic skier.

Holding an edge angle: if you can't hold the edge angle you need to make a turn, the size, shape and duration that you want, you probably could use more strength


2) loading up the ski to bend it. I understand the concept of bending the ski to shorten the radius, I just don't know where in the turn I need to optimize it and need help with the mechanics of it as it applies to the race course.

 
You want to start to bend the ski early in the turn, but not with a lot of pressure until you approach the apex of the turn. As soon as your CoM (essentially your torso) is moving in the right direction towards the next turn, you want to release your edges. You definitely don't want to be pressuring late in the turn.
 

3) Generating speed in the turn. Is this loading up the ski and then getting rebound? Although I can get rebound on some skis while free skiing, I don't understand how to do that running gates.

The best way to be fast is not to loose speed. Adding speed is harder and more technical. Good clean turns, aerodynamic body position, efficiet line and a good start. The start is so important in a sprint race like NASTAR. You can gain 0.5 to 1.0 second just by improving your start. That saved time is the result of going faster before the first gate. Maintaining that increased speed will improve speed later in the course.

If a course gets rutted or has natural rolls, you can 'juice' the ruts and rolls. This is a matter of pushing/extending a little as you pass over a roll and riding the rut so you use less edge angle (less drag) and can 'jet' out of the rut. These are advanced techniques.

4) Light on you edges. How do I stay light on mu edges and still make the turn I need to make to change directions in a turny course?

See 2). Also watch racing video of WC GS. You will see there is only a brief time when the skiers are really digging their edges into the snow/ice. That is at the apex of the turn, which is not necessarily at the gate; often it is above the gate. They push the hardest when that push will drive them across the hill (apex) not up the hill (after the apex).

Ok, I know you guys are all laughing about now, but take pity and help a noob out.

Thanks,
noobracer


Welcome to Epic!

There are several recent threads that discuss how to switch from one turn to the next as well as where pressuring of the ski takes place:

RACING A TRAIN THROUGH THE TRANSITION FROM ONE TURN TO THE NEXT

Transitions?

Hip Rotation in second half of turn

difficult to achieve straight outside leg

SkiRacer55 is correct about LeMaster's book being helpful. He analyzes the technique of WC skiers and provides great information about what is fast, what is strong, etc.

One more tip. If you feel you ski better out of the arena than in, try to remove the gate from the race, which is to say ski rather than try to race and gain speed. Stepping into the start is a Jekyll and Hyde experience. Sometimes it makes you better. Often, myself included, I can get carried away with trying to go fast and forget just to make good turns.

Good luck and keep us posted on your results. If you can upload video we can give you specific instructions.

MR
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links guys, good stuff, will keep me busy for a while.
post #6 of 7
My advice- skip all development of any skidded-entry/exit turn for now. Concentrate on clean arcs and efficient turns.
 
To that end (and this suggestion can be controversial at EpicSki at times), I would suggest looking into Harald Harb's books and videos. This is my suggestion to those who don't have access to a race coach or program. Harb has race-based progressions that can and do make stronger skiers, which can translate to faster times on the course. I would caution you that Harald can be a bit opinionated at times, and to take information from a variety of sources as you develop as a skier. Form your own opinions based on what works for you, and keep an open mind. Focus on the fundamentals and you'll be a better skier- that's what every one of the World Cup racers does.
post #7 of 7
No one on Epic is opinionated, though.

AM is right about working on fundamentals. Take it slowly and step by step. Build a solid foundation of technique and you will succeed. Post video if you would like specific suggestions to improve your racing. Focus on natural skiing as well as gate training in your videos. Developing your skills in free skiing, without the focus on gates, is an essential part of improving as a racer.

Harb's ideas are based on techniques that are designed to utilize modern gear to its fullest; he eschew's most of the old school methods and develops his own methods 'from scratch' specifically for the here and now. LeMaster is another author that has presented the why and how of skiing in detailed, effective tomes. His latest is Ultimate Skiing. I suggest you take a look at both author's books. They contain clear descriptive discussions of skiing accompanied by photos, montages and drills.

FWIW, as you are new to Epic, HH is a bit of a pariah at Epic and vice versa.
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