Skiing in winter for cyclists.
It is no secret that cross-country skiers have the best performance values among athletes. The maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) in the laboratory studies has always been very high for skiers. Yes, the same VO2max, which determines the athlete’s potential, his level of fitness. It is taken into account by the professional cycling teams when selecting riders to wear their outfit.
Cross-country skiing has been a part of winter preparation for ages in Nordic and Baltic countries, just forgotten in some countries thanks to the bad winters we have had recently.
Everybody start skiing someday for the first time. The sooner, the better. Coaches involved in the youth cycling should integrate skiing in their training programs from the first possible moment on. No one is an instant skier. So, you have to be patient and start gradually. If you can ride a bike for three hours, it does not mean that you can ski for the same amount of time straight away.
Look for an experienced skier or skiing coach to give you few tips about the skiing techniqe at first. Simple tips will help you a lot and you will have soon the capacity for doing longer trainings on skis too.
The best is to start without sticks from a flat downhill transferring all the weight from one leg to the other, get the feeling of sliding. However, if there is no progress in speed and smoothness after a few trainings, be sure to look for a ski instructor again. It will take a very long time to learn the technique by yourself, the winter is too short for it.
Like with the bicycle equipment, it is very difficult to navigate between the different skis, shoes, clothing and so on. I would definitely recommend to use the recommendations of a specialist, don’t try to find the most suitable option yourself, if you are a beginner.
The classic skiing style is closer to the foot pedal action, but it is rarely used by the cyclist. It is a lot easier to prepare your skis for a session in the free style and it is easier to moove fast using only the legs the moment your arms need a bit of rest during the training.
Skiing is an ideal activity to improve your physical fitness! If I had the opportunity to ski every day, I would create a schedule with one day off between each skiing session. Give your body a chance to regenerate. During the years I was a dedicated cyclist myself, I created a system in which I successfully replaced aerobic work on a bicycle with skiing and performed bicycle-specific work on rollers between the skiing sessions. There is no point to spend hours on the bike with the cold winter temperatures. The winter I skied the most, I had the best winter preparation. Laboratory tests confirmed it!
So, everyone can go cross-country skiing, because it’s never too late to start and you will benefit out of it, guaranteed! Just make sure to not get cold and don’t go too hard! Wear enough clothes, check your heart rate while skiing and change your undershirt straight after the session.
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