Early season is a flurry of iffy conditions, unpredictable trails and bodies that may have forgotten a thing or two since we left them in fine spring form. Here’s how to get on track for a killer winter.
On the Snow
Forget long slow distances and sprints for now—use early forays on the trail to reinforce the habit of great technique.
Classic skiers, use balancing exercises and practice shifting weight and balance from ski to ski. Before you put your skis on, stand on one leg, knee bent slightly, in the diagonal stride position. Extend the other leg behind you, your toe a few inches from the ground, and hold that pose while your body finds its balance. Switch legs and repeat.
Skaters, drop your poles and go for short, moderate and precise workouts using legs only. Shoot for a total weight transfer from side to side. Visualize your heels tapping as they come to center before setting off on the next stride.
Sign up for a clinic or group lesson at a Nordic center or resort for feedback and correction.
In Your Fridge
All your hard work on the trails can be sabotaged in the kitchen if you’re not careful.
Ditch sugars. They’re everywhere, even in our feel-good finds, like Annie’s crackers and Bakhti Chai and Chobani yogurts and Newman’s Own spaghetti sauce. In a recent issue of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, researchers found runners performed better after consuming a low glycemic-index meal (like oatmeal with peanut butter) vs. high glycemic index (like a muffin).
Bump your protein. The American College of Sports Nutrition, among others, suggest athletes completing high volumes of training consume 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight—that’s double the USRDA for most. Consider a scoop of a high-quality supplement with whey or pea protein to help bridge the gap—to help you add 15 to 22 g per day.
For more information on Nordic nutrition, check out Nordic Nutrition: What to Eat for XC Skiing
In Your Brain
Get in the right head space to maximize return on your efforts.
Set a goal. Working up to ski a 30K? Find a race that fits. Then write it down. Written goals demand focus and its harder to fudge your results, and they’re easier to break down into smaller, actionable pieces.
Build a system that helps you get there. Do you need flexibility with your skiing locations to keep you motivated? Grab a CCCSA Punch Pass and train at 14 different resorts. Sign up for clinics. Join a training group. Follow us on social media and we’ll keep you up to speed—and super motivated—for all things Colorado Nordic this year.