Saturday 16 November 2019

Getting Ready For The New Ski Season

Error in my Manual, tried to make this clearer Sorry
I started my preparation in July somewhat haphazardly by trying to bike ride for an hour, three times a week. At the start of my ride, there is one long hill in Parry Sound up one of the main streets that required some effort. The rest of the ride is relatively flat. Haphazard in the sense, that I’m not very consistent.
But August this year, I tried running again. I haven’t been running for over 6 years because of the condition of my right knee. I covered my repair process in a blog 2 years ago (Alan’s PRSF Skiers Knee Witchcraft)*. My first run was about 20 minutes. It was not really a run it was an old man’s shuffle. I found that my leg muscles had dwindled considerably, my calf muscles in particular. It was painful. During the next 3 weeks, I gradually changed my shuffle into some semblance of stride. Now I can actually jog. On my last outing, I was up to 10000 steps, about an hour. I had 3 methods of monitoring that day, my phone, heart monitoring watch, and my Fit copy watch.  My phone gave me the lowest count so I ignored its ability to count properly. 

The only rule I have is that I get my heart rate up to about 120 bpm with a max of 130. I learned about this from a long-distance trainer when I lived in St. John’s NL. He told me the training effect started after 20 minutes. It seems to work and is fairly safe. Initially, my muscles were so weak, that moving was fast enough to get my heart rate up to speed was a problem.  My heart rate started at 105 max and by the end of the three weeks it was at 134 bpm. I slow down to get to my 120- 125 bpm range.

My conclusions are that jogging gets the right muscles strength for skiing.  It takes much less time than walking and riding, and gets your legs using the needed pressure on the ball of the foot. I was also pleased that my knee has recovered to a state where I jog again.

The first lesson in my manual includes learning to feel your feet.  As an intermediate skier, I was told about this many times over the years but took a long time to sink in. When I decided to write my manual there were many questions I had about how we teach skiing. I could find no reason why this particular issue is emphasized at some intermediate stage instead of at the beginning.   Applying the right pressure on my skis, at the right location, and at the appropriate time, during a turn is a central concept to my method of skiing. This way of steering skis requires the least effort for making turns.

So for anyone wanting to make skiing a pleasure rather than an effort, work on learning how to feel pressure on feet and condition the needed quads and calf muscles.