With the forecast turning sharply south (like -16 later in the week) some take to the trainer. But Ingrid prefers to take to the snow!
Even though I get to race with them, I am not a pro. And because only my ego, not my livelihood, depends on me having tip top spring fitness, I really enjoy getting into different sports when it’s cold outside in winter. Sure, I’ll hop on the trainer a few times a week for some interval training, but getting outside to Nordic ski keeps me happy and excited about the bike come spring and summer.
A lot of cyclists take to skate skiing in the winter, but I happen to also love good, old, classic technique. I have a great pair of waxless skis with “fish scales”, making it easy for me to just get out there and go without the hassle of applying kick wax and getting that wrong. Sure, they’re slower, but sometimes it’s just about getting outside.
Skate skiing is absolutely great, because it gives you a chance to use muscles that you may never use on the bike–but that can be a bit hard on your body until you’re trained for it. Additionally, skate skiing is technique-heavy and can take quite some time to learn how to do it without flailing around (I’m still a bit of a flailer). Have you ever watched the women skate skiers in the Olympics? Their middle sections look like tree trunks (in a good way)–they’re using all kinds of core strength. Until you get the proper technique going, you’re likely to use a lot of upper body and arm strength. A few skate ski days in a row can wreck you.
How can you keep yourself fit in the winter with plenty of variety and not over do it? Enter good old classic skiing. While you can certainly go very fast while classic skiing (I may enjoy keeping up with skaters while classic skiing), it is also a lot easier to keep your heart rate down as needed. Classic skiing is a great way to have an outdoor recovery day or to have a good interval session with the proper recovery periods in between.
I’ve definitely found a new appreciation for it. So, give it a try some time! Hope to see you out there.