Wednesday Workout: Two Cold Weather Alternatives

BrainspiralJanuary 8, 20141
A member of the U.S. biathlon team working out in Bend, Ore., May 2012.
A member of the U.S. biathlon team working out in Bend, Ore., May 2012.

Not quite all of the the skiing regions of North America have been hit by the so-called “arctic blast” of air that resulted in temperatures as low as -35F with wind chill, but cold is a daily theme right now, and training in frigid weather can be challenging.

So this week we bring two different Wednesday Workout options, both ideal for extreme cold.

Wednesday Workout: Ski Race Live Results Watching with Hot Chocolate Intervals

Sometimes it is just to cold to train effectively. Not only can it be difficult to get a good workout, but it can be dangerous — breathing extremely cold air can cause respiratory issues, and frostbite is never fun.

There are plenty of indoor options — hit the weight room, ride a stationary bike, core strength, yoga, the list goes on. Or just take the day off. For this Wednesday Workout, we recommend doing any of these or similar activities, and then get down to business.

The focus is on using internet technology to feed you passion for the sport of cross-country ski racing. Not only will this have short-term gains in terms of general happiness and well-being, it will help prepare the dedicated ski fan for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Without further ado, here it is…

Find a location with a robust internet connection, preferably in your home, but a coffee shop or library will do in a pinch. Select the most comfortable spot available — a couch, easy chair, bed, klister pit, whatever works for you.

Prepare delicious hot chocolate to your personal specifications, pouring one mug, and saving additional servings to be consumed as necessary throughout the day.

Get your computer cranking, and open all sources of information on the current U.S. Nationals, Canadian NorAm Olympic qualifiers or World Cup Biathlon races. For more advanced skiers, do all three (just be careful not to overdo it you don’t have the base).

For optimal efficiency, the following webpages should be open — for streaming World Cup video, live results to follow detailed results, SummitTiming for live U.S. Nationals results, for NorAm results, the FasterSkier twitter feed for live updates from U.S. Nationals and other important news alerts, and of course FasterSkier itself where full results, photos and stories will be posted as the day goes on.

Focus on assimilating data simultaneously — refreshing live result feeds and studying shooting statistics are all crucial elements of this workout. Do not forget to constantly hydrate with hot chocolate.

If this is too tough, here is another cold weather option.

Wednesday Workout: Technique Intervals

In frigid weather, long distance can result in frozen extremities, intervals will stress the lungs, and anything that involves stopping can be unpleasant. But if skiing long and skiing hard are not good options, what to do?

Technique intervals are a great option at any point, but can be especially good on cold days — you can get good value, keep moving but not push too hard. Hands cold? Do some no pole.

The way technique intervals work is extremely simple and can be applied in a number of different ways.

The idea is to pick an element of technique — say hand position in double pole or the kick phase in classic — and focus completely. Ski for five minutes this way, then relax the mental intensity and continue skiing for five minutes. Then another interval.

Perhaps in an ideal world you may be able to ski for hours working on one part of technique, but not everyone can maintain that level of focus. The interval approach is a great way to introduce changes to technique and start “programming” them in.

This method can be particularly effective with younger skiers, but anyone can benefit from bringing a bit more structure to an easy ski.

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One comment

  • John Forrest Tomlinson

    January 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Haha. I rode my bike on an indoor trainer at 6am this morning while watching Tour de Ski coverage on Vimeo. Does that work?

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