September marks change of seasons in North America and Europe. One minute you are suffering through the heat of summer then the next it is end of the month and the first snow is dusting the high peaks. During the upcoming weeks, there are a few things you can do to help get ready for ski season.
1) Start mimicking ski movements
Most of us have been running, cycling, or rock climbing all summer so it’s time to start working again on specific muscles for skinning and skiing.
Those with a big road climb in their area can break out the roller-skis. If you aren’t willing (or don’t have a big climb close by) to go to that level of training dedication then uphill ski walking is a good alternative. Find some hills that are steep enough to force you into a walk and use ski poles to push off with full extension in your elbow.
By getting those unused muscles in your back and legs moving, before the snow flies, you will have less soreness to start off when you finally put real skis on your feet.
2) Introduce intensity into your training
This time of the year is a good time to start including intensity training into your weekly routine. Skimo races are frequently at or above lactate threshold pace so Tempo and Threshold work early in the season is key. Start gradually with shorter intervals at lower intensities but work your way towards long interval sessions that mimic climbs in a race.
One of our favourite workouts is the Uphill Hour:
Following an easy warm-up, hike with poles or roller-ski uphill at Tempo pace for 45-60 minutes. Finish with an easy cool down.
3) Plan your race calendar
By October 1st, most race dates are usually decided or you at least have an idea of when your goal race might be since most events have stable dates year to year.
Check SkinTrack race calendar (coming soon), the USSMA calendar, and the ISMF World Cup schedule. Analyse where you need to drive or fly and start planning how far in advance you need to be there. Someone travelling to Utah or Colorado, or even to race Mezzalama in Italy, from near sea-level in Boston or New Hampshire should have very different acclimatization plans than someone that lives in Crested Butte.
How to get ready for a skimo season?
If you have more questions about how to get ready for the upcoming season, check out our skimo training manual – it is full of specific advice on fall intensity sessions and tips on how to plan your race season.