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Sould I be doing cardio?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Jonpim, I'd have been the one grumbling about modern training routines. Hope you had a good time? Despite this thread, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
My routine during the rest of the year is more upper body based because it matters for my work. And I change emphasis to legs in October.
Running and, to some extent cycling, are affected by an Achilles issue that has defied physio for some years. The big issue with cycling, though, is my great dislike of it Toofy Grin
I shall create myself a mixture of old and new in the gym and ignore all these university graduates. Although, realistically, what I need, and what David Lloyd should provide, is expertise in the modern aging body.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
henzerani wrote:
The big issue with cycling, though, is my great dislike of it
That is tough. I hate running, but rather like cycling. And quite enjoy the rowing machine.
I think you have to find exercise you like doing and keep doing it - much more likely to persist with what you enjoy.
Anyway, glad you thoroughly enjoyed yourself - that is after all what it is all about snowHead
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Jonpim, Very Happy
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The fittest athletes, those with the best V02 max, are cross country skiers. In the published lists they beat the cyclists.

We could see why when we were in Majorca in October for cycle training and most scandinavian ski teams were there. We couldn't keep up with them going up the mountain climbs on the bike when they were on their roller skate cross country ski things. Incredibly fit.

So if you want to get really ski fit I suggest you get a pair of the roller skate cross country ski things and get training.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
To do cardio properly you have to have a specific mindset that's probably comes from taking part in competitive sport, especially running, cycling, swimming and rowing and have been exposed to training be it as part of a team or following training regimes.

A heart rate monitor is an essential piece of kit and even better when combined with a GPS.

It also helps if you have set goals such as if you're still racing, and can monitor your times and PB's, Strava is excellent for this.

I'm 58 and still train, even living out in the mountains I try and do one interval session on my turbo once a week, and today as temps were +4 went out on the bike - I also ski tour three to four times a week.

Weight is important, I would be so much better if I lost a stone / 7kgs and were down to circa 11.5

Apart from weight all round flexibility as the years pile on is also important.

If beasting yourself is not for you then as I've said on here in the past, Bikram Hot Yoga is an excellent way to increase fitness and stamina as well as helping muscular / skeletal problems.

All the athletes I know hardly ever use a gym, apart from those that are nigh on Pro's and can more or less train 7 days a week.

So if you're able to ride, run, row, swim long sustained efforts a couple of times a week mixing it up with a couple of interval sessions, Tabata is excellent, though most people simply do not know how to beast themselves, you should feel like throwing up / passing out by around your 6th with still two more 20sec intervals to go!

That said just getting out and doing long sessions even without a HRM is far better than an hour in the gym rolling eyes
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@henzerani, you may have been more breathless because of the altitude? Where did you ski before your last trip to EK? Resistance/weight training should help you with burning quads. But standard cardio would probably help deal with thin air as your body should have learned how to use whatever oxygen is available optimally.
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Just another anecdotal point.

Last year was my first ski in quite some time (~9 years, I think). I started running about 3-4 years ago and got to the point of being able to do a hilly hafl marathon. Last year's ski was tough with a lot of thigh burn - though this is also partly to do with the heavy nature of the pistes. I got out of the habit of running during last year, and realised in Dec. that I needed to get fit again. I have found in the past that I get back into the habit more easily via the gym (the pre-pay basis seems a good incentive to make the most of it). I've been doing a mixture of the bike (I cycle for a fixed length of time and up the distance and difficulty) and then move on to the TRX system where I do a mixture of upper body, leg and core exercises. I'll see how I get on in two weeks...

In Spring I'll start running outside again, and maybe keep up the TRX.
Incidentally, it is possible to a TRX-like strap you can use at home (it fits over a door so can be used in many rooms), if you don't want to stick to a gym.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Well, fwiw, I couldn't exercise on the week before we went out, and the snow was much less effort to ski than last year, but I did find my muscles and stamina stood up a lot better. If we go again next season, I'll adapt my exercise back to this programme in the run up (and probably stick to running/hiking in the summer).
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Great to read everyone's approach to fitness.

I'm another 50yo deciding I need to make a change and a ski trip is a good goal.

I've always played club badminton but since xmas started to do a bit more and been pleased with the results. Every other day I've got a routine of 7 minute workout circuits and cross trainer. Since starting I've got up to 40 minutes of circuits and got the cross trainer near it's top resistance for the program I'm using.

Will it help skiing? Not sure, but I definitely feel better and have lost weight so it's all good!
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I'll just add my opinion / results. Recently back from saalbach. Did quite a bit of mountain biking for the last year. Varied it between long slots and short hilly blasts. Probably out 2 or 3 times a week. In between did a bit of running and quite a lot of power walking up and down as many hills as possible, really stretching the legs and dripping in sweat! I'm fortunate it's very hilly where I live. Done no gym/weights at all. Found the skiing fitness the best it's been so far. Especially as I think it helped compensate for poor technique!! My mate came with us who has ski's many times but not for a long time. He is stocky build and plays a hell of a lot of squash at a good level but his legs were absolutely done in and had to 'retire' early a few times. I think the mixture of different types of exercise and intensity have really helped me as my fitness has let me down on previous trips. I'm nearly 48 by the way
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I've just got back from my best ski trip ever. The location and a ski lesson helped, but by far the best factor was my fitness levels. For the past 9 months or so I have been doing twice weekly spin and body pump classes. I think the HIIT from the spin class and the squatting and lunging from the body pump class must be ideal preparation for skiing. The only thigh burn I had was a very slight twinge on the first day, towards the bottom of a very long run that we went down without any stops. For the first ever ski trip, I did not wimp out after lunch, I had no need of Deep Heat, and my legs did not ache in the mornings. It was a revelation! (I am a late 40s female.)
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@henzerani, If your thighs are burning despite the amount of exercise you have been doing, you might want to have a look at this:

http://www.backcountry.com/explore/train-eccentric-leg-strength-for-alpine-skiing

I found I had trouble the other way round - after a couple of weeks hard skiing I had to take a client out stalking. I couldn't keep up with him going uphill because of burning legs - coming down was a completely different matter.
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@deerman, I've been doing those exercises for a couple of years now and would say that if you follow the programme you wont get any thigh burn when skiing. Thigh burn when doing the exercises well that's another matter entirely.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
deerman wrote:
@henzerani, If your thighs are burning despite the amount of exercise you have been doing, you might want to have a look at this:

http://www.backcountry.com/explore/train-eccentric-leg-strength-for-alpine-skiing

I found I had trouble the other way round - after a couple of weeks hard skiing I had to take a client out stalking. I couldn't keep up with him going uphill because of burning legs - coming down was a completely different matter.


After thigh pain off piste in Jan ( technique and lack of fitness) I've been doing these exercises. Gave myself 6 weeks before my next trip and doing some cycling as well. Now I'm 2 and a bit weeks in and have finally got up to 10 of the mini blaster things. Initially I was dead after 2. I hope they work on the slopes. They are particularly horrible.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I had a go at the mini blaster exercises this afternoon, managed one set (and not at the speed in the video). My legs are in a world of pain this evening. Mad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@king key, you must be doing it correctly then. The pain will be worse today Toofy Grin
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Still aching today.... Mad Back to training tomorrow, can't wait. Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Another 10 minis done tonight, one more session of that then it's onto the full blaster. I can only guess the result of that.
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You'll probably be in the next bed to me at A & E. Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've mountain biked twice a week for the last 20+ years, and still suffered from thigh burn when skiing. This summer I decided to try to reach 10,000 steps a day, every day, primarily so that I got up and literally walked about rather than sit at my keyboard for hours (I work from home).

This made more of a difference to thigh burn (or complete lack of), than anything I have tried previously. On long runs where I would have previously stopped 2 or 3 times, I could now go top to bottom without stopping Very Happy
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@PowderAdict, thigh burn is very often due to a somewhat backwards posture.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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2 lots of full blaster today, then into 4th set of mini blaster when something tweaked a bit during a lunge. Did the wise thing and stopped. Somewhere in the groin area, nothing major, will rest it tomorrow and see how it feels Wednesday. Have to say that 3 weeks into these things and they feel much much easier. Even the jumping lunges aren't too bad any more, hope it translates on the slopes.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I had a look at the programme (and did 2 mini blasters at the end of my regular gym w/o)....it is targeted at semi-professional athletes. Starting off with 10 mini blasters a few weeks before a skiing trip can seriously injure the average not so fit person. The jumping lunges produce very high forces on the ankles and knees plus landing in an unbalanced (unilateral) stance is always risky, especially when one tires in the later sets. One needs very good body awareness and technique to do these safely without doing damage over time.
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I started with 2 mini blasters and built up to ten over 3 weeks. Best thing I did was start doing it in front of patio doors so I could see reflection. Really helped maintain body position in the jumpy ones. After some stretching and yoga last night my tweak feels unfeelable. Agree it would very tough to go straight to 10 mini blasters without a significant level of fitness and flexibility.
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@snowman, @endoman, I've been doing these exercises for a while and I'm up to doing 5 full blasters 3 to 4 times a week. I don't have the doms afterwards but legs feel a little wobbly for a while and legs still burn during the jumping phase. They are very clear that you have to build up gradually to avoid injury. It's tough but I don't think you have to be a semi-pro athlete to do them, I'm certainly not.
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