7 tips for your cross country ski prep
It is peak season for all cross country ski lovers, plus Vasaloppet is just around the corner. That is why we got some tips and exercises for you to get in shape.
The ‘cheat’ equipment that can really boost your performance
Rollerskis are one of the best ways to get ready for a cross country ski race. They give you a workout that is closest to that of when you are on the skis and are quite fun. Other good options are roller skates or in-line skates.
Team up with your mates
The more - the merrier! It is always more fun to train with friends but it is also good for your motivation. When you train in a group, you have the tendency to push each other and do those extra 5 push-ups way easier.
Tip: Find fellow enthusiasts that live nearby and have your own ‘x-country ski prep club’. Meeting 2-3 times a week will keep you in-tact and push you to do some exercises at home as well.
Gradually build up endurance
If you haven’t been running all year long, fear not! You can still build up your endurance. When you are going for a cross country ski race, endurance is one of the key factors since we are talking long distances for hours, and in varied conditions.
Tip: Focus on low-speed running or swimming to make your body accustomed to activity in a longer period of time. Then gradually extend your workouts with 10-15 minutes until you reach your target time.
Get more balance with core strength
Building up core strength is vital when we are talking cross country skiing. The core is responsible for a great deal of your balance and weight shifting on the skis so you want to work out those ABS.
Tip: Devote 15-20 minutes a day on core workout at home. Planks are best when it comes to the core but you can definitely add some sit-ups and back crunches to make sure you are gaining strength all over the core area.
Learn to stand on one leg
Ok, that sounds a bit weird but the key point here is that in cross country skiing, you are actually balancing on one leg most of the time. That’s why it is important that you have solid leg strength and do not twitch when your weight shifts.
Tip: One-leg squats! One of the best, do-at-home exercises to train your legs and specifically balancing on one leg are the one-legged squats. Watch out for the position of your knee and add weights in your hands for extra resistance.
Don’t forget your arms!
You are going to be polling which means that your arms will also be working quite a lot. If you forget to train them, you are risking cramps and muscle aches when you least expect it.
Tip: Push ups and pull ups are easy exercises that you can do at home and gradually increase the repetitions on the way. A good start would be 8-9 repetitions of 10 push-ups, for example.
Preparation is an all-year-long
Normally, you would start intensive training for your cross country ski holiday/race 3-4 weeks before. This should get you going well enough but if you want to turn it up a notch, keep prepping all year long.
Tip: Running, jogging, swimming and practicing other sports throughout the whole year will definitely keep you boosted and will give a solid base for starting a more intense preparation.