Gear West: Transition to Summer Training

FasterSkierApril 30, 2012
Matt Liebsch, roller ski training - summer 2011.

For most, the ski season as come to an end. This usually results in one of two different mindsets:

1) Excitement for dry-land training and spring/summer or 2) Bitterness that the snow is gone and a complete and utter lack of motivation to begin training for next season.

On the motivation front, experienceing a very wet/cold spring makes getting out the door less enjoyable. But on the flip side, spring is theperfect time for unstructured training adventures and we have been blessed with many awesome days this spring in the Midwest.

Now that I have been at this for a few years, I can provide some insight into what I feel are my best methods on how to transition. Keep these points in mind during your spring transition, but don’t forget to keep it fun! If you take things too seriously and over-train now, you will not have anything left for when it counts. My best seasons have always been when I have had solid summer training but more importantly, a high level of focus from September to December. I also know from experience that if your spring break takes you to August 1st… that is not a recipe for success on skis.

1) Review: One of the first things I do in the spring is an assessment of season I’ve just completed. I look at the goals I had set previously and how the training and racing unfolded. I count hours and intensity and evaluate how they either helped or hindered my performance. Once I have a handle on these items I set new short and long term goals for training and racing.

2) Rollerski: I know this will make some of you cringe, but you worked hard to make gains in your ski fitness all winter long. Don’t give back all your ski fitness! If you jump on a bike for all of spring/ summer and never rollerski,how will you ever get better at skiing? Even getting on the rollerskis once a week will help. Twice a week is even better!

Matt Liebsch, trail running race - (with daughter Samantha).

3) Train: Take advantage of unstructured training opportunities in the spring. We are not robots! Many of us spent countless hours doing laps on small manmade snow loops this winter due to a serious lack of snow in many parts of the country. Go on an adventure hike/run, ride your bike a 100 miles, backcountry ski, paddle, participate fitness classes, or maybe a join a hockey or soccer spring league. Spring time for skiers generally dictates a volume based program, but don’t be afraid to throw in some intensity to keep in touch. Like I said earlier, don’t give back all your ski fitness!

4) Snow: Don’t be afraid to seek it out. Last year I made it out to Bend, Oregon for an on snow training camp in late May. It was one of my most productive camps as an athlete in terms of on-snow gains and from a motivational standpoint. It was a great kick start to an awesome summer of training!

5) Injury: Don’t get injured! You will likely be doing a new set of activities in the spring. For me, that includes some running. A few years ago I didn’t callus my body to the rigors and impact of running before I started doing someintensity. Before I knew it, I was battling a nasty case of plantar fasciitis.

6) Strength: Spring is a perfect time of the year to hit up some strength training. The body is a little weak in certain areas from all the ski specific training/racing so spring is a great time to work on some

of our weaknesses. Options include weight room time, cross fit, TRX or any number of programs. Now would be a good time to complete a functional movement screening or GAIT ANALYSIS.

7) Weight: Don’t let yourself gain a ton of weight. This may be easy for string bean types but for those of us that are bigger boned or have a slower metabolism, this means using a little control in the spring. The training load has most likely dropped, and gone are the weekends of racing. My coach told me not to gain more than 5lbs from the end of the ski season. This is quiet an attainable goal and sticking to it makes getting to race weight or a new race weight quite achievable. Skiing is a power endurance sport; weight is part of the equation.

Gear West Rollerski Offerings:

Gear West offers more roller ski choices that any other Nordic retailer because we believe in the importance of ski specific training and we also recognize the simple fact that people often have different needs based on factors such as road surfaces and experience. We carry a broad range of rollerskis for skate, classic, combi, off-road and race. Listed below are just a few of our favorites, visit to check out all 22 models of rollerskis we carry!

Skate Rollerskis:

Swenor Elite: Matt Liebsch rollerski of choice. Famous Swenor on-snow feel from composite shaft and skate wheels. The ultimate skate ski for paved surfaces.

Elpex F1 Pro: The top level skate ski from Elpex features a bent shaft design which drops the foot closer to the road. This really helps the overall stability of the rollerski. The stiff alloy shaft gives superb power transfer light weight and smooth riding composite wheels.

V2 XL 98SL: The V2 98SL has light weight aluminum shaft that is believed to be and more responsive than previous models. The SL has the same wheels as the 98R carbon rollerski, and also comes with the option of speed reducers and brakes if necessary.

Classic Rollerskis:

Swenor Fibreglass: Swenor’s most popular and versatile classic rollerski – Famous Swenor on-snow feel from composite shaft with medium size wheels that manage the pavement and offer stability while

remaining lightweight.

Eplex 610 Team: Long and lightweight aluminum shaft that provides excellent stability and tracking. Elasticity built into the body of the Elpex 610 Classic Ski gives the feeling of on-snow skiing.

V2 930: These V2 930 Classic Skis have been V2’s best selling classic skis since 1994. Skiers from over 25 countries have purchased this model, and they are the favorite classic skis for many National Teams. The 930 is the preferred model for most skiers who are interested in the V2 line.

OneWay Classic 13: Light weight classic 3D flex frame – great pricing right now, take advantage while we have them in stock!

Combi Rollerskis:

Swenor TriStar: Short aluminum Monocoque body for lightweight maneuverability in classic and skate. Small, low riding and wide wheels with rear ratchet for classic and skate.

V2 940: The V2 940 Combi Ski is popular among high school and college skiers alike. The front ratchet wheel is narrower than the wheel on the 900 classic series and has a more crowned profile for better skating. The rear wheel profile is the same as on the 900, however the rubber material is substantially faster than on the 900 and 900K series. V2 is the only manufacturer that provides an option of speed reducers and brakes.

Off-road Rollskis:

V2 Aero 125 and Aero 150: The V2 Aero XL125 & XL150 are great rough terrain skis. The XL125 has 125mm wheels while the XL150 has 150mm wheels. Because of the larger wheels, the XL150 can negotiate rougher

terrain and is better for heavier skiers. The XL125 is not recommended for skiers who weigh more than 170 pounds (77Kg. ). V2 is the only manufacturer that provides an option of speed reducers and brakes.

V2 XL9848: The new V2 XL9848 is a classic off-road rollerski and performs very well on gravel roads, limestone trails and heavy chip sealed. V2 is the only manufacture that provides an option of speed reducers and brakes.

Matt Liebsch, trip to Haig Glacier - getting on snow in the summer.




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