Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've put lots of thought into how I program for a winter of backcountry and downhill skiing, selecting exercises to develop my fitness in a prioritized fashion:
  1. mobility

  2. power endurance

  3. cardiorespiratory endurance

  4. strength

  5. agility

  6. muscular stamina

  7. and skiing-specific measures of coordination, balance, and accuracy.

but the fact of the matter is I haven't hit the gym at all. Well, maybe a couple times to squat light or kip a few pullups, but since the snow started falling, a typical week (as opposed to the slovenly holiday weeks) has looked like this:

  • Monday: climb trails at ski area and ski down once or twice, ride lift a couple times and ski

  • Tuesday: rest

  • Wednesday: go out to the garage to pretend at working out, maybe foam roll and stretch

  • Thursday: ski race - two 30-second runs plus a half-dozen lift rides for fun

  • Friday: one-hour backcountry tour before work

  • Saturday: ski with kids or play with kids in the snow, drink tea

  • Sunday: watch football, think athletic thoughts
  • That's not training. It's physical activity, and it happens to be lots of fun. It keeps me fit relative to where I might be as a desk jockey, but I'm not getting into better shape. At least, I don't think I am. My ski touring hasn't even been regular enough that I've timed my outings. I haven't climbed the same route twice, and I refuse to break out the stopwatch when I'm in the backcountry. I've toured in northern VT, southern NH, and central MA. No spectacular descents; no epic long days. There have been some relaxing 4-hour tours, and there was one 5+hour super-windy, subzero-temp tour that required a special sort of endurance of a kind I have no wish to develop.

    I have no regrets about avoiding the gym. I'm having way too much fun as it is, and I'm not really interested in paying good money to hunt for workout space amidst the six different bench press setups at the YMCA. It melted down Monday, so a little balance is likely to return. However, I'm in-season for my favorite sport. There's room for training, but it's not a priority right now. I'll be sure to post workouts and maybe even some thoughts on programming for workouts around in-season activities, but until then, here are a couple photos from Wednesday morning's Nottraining session. Didn't quite get to the top in time for sunrise, but it sure beat a second cup of coffee as an eye opener.

    The view on the way up.
    Morning Skiing 023

    The way down.
    Caked Trees 031