Your First Week Back on the Snow

Much of the U.S. is starting to get a taste of winter as snow begins to fall. It is an exciting time of year for rabid ski enthusiasts who can’t wait to get out on the snow for the first stride of the season.

Here are several ideas for your first week of skiing.

Day one:
Just enjoy being out on the white stuff again and have some fun. You are going to tire out those muscles that haven’t been used for a while so use that first session to get comfortable on the skis again.

Day two:
Easy skiing with focus on balance and technique. After a thirty minute warm up do some balance drills like gliding down a gradual downhill on one ski. Next you can do fifteen minutes of skiing without using your poles. Try to stay on flat terrain for this one.

Day Three:
More easy skiing focusing again on technique. Make this skiing session shorter because you will finish the workout with a thirty minute indoor circuit workout.

Day four:
By this time your upper body should be a little sore just from skiing again. Stick to working on technique. In the evening try to get out for a thirty minute run followed by lots of stretching.

Day five:
Now it’s time to get a longer session of up to three hours in. To keep you from getting bored do up to 10X 15 second sprints. Focus on technique even during the sprints. Day six:
Continue the easy skiing but throw in some specific strength. Try fifteen minutes of double poling followed by fifteen minutes of skating without poles. This time you should skate up even the steepest hills without poles.

Day seven:
You should be comfortable enough on your skis now to do some moderate intervals. The most important thing to focus on is skiing at a higher tempo but without letting your technique fall apart. For my first interval session on snow I like to do 3X 5 minute intervals with three minutes of rest between intervals. Work your way into the intervals by gradually increasing your tempo. Try to pace yourself as if you were racing a 50K, not a 5K. A thirty minute run in the evening will help to recover from the intervals.

It is important not to neglect your strength training and to keep up some easy running during the early part of the winter. If the snow conditions do not allow for good skiing do the intervals on rollerskis. Remember that the big race that you want to peak for is probably several months away so don’t overdo the skiing during the first week.