As director of the North American Ski Training Center and father of three active kids, I don’t have large chunks of time to spend in the gym. However my skiing performance and fitness is important to me. I’m guessing that’s the way you feel as a passionate skier too?
By staying healthy and fit throughout the season, I can provide my clients with solid skiing instruction and demonstrations and I can keep the wheels from coming off the cart mid-season due to overuse injuries, bad alignment, or illness due to lack of recovery time. Don’t forget well-fit boots and the right skis in your quiver complete the perfect relationship: good fitness, good equipment, and good technique = lots of fun, excellent skiing and reduced risk of injury. Thanks in advance for reading.
The following tips keep me moving athletically throughout the ski season and help prevent injury.
Exercise fads come and go. Make a commitment to keep fit and make exercise a part of your daily routine.
Posture, good or bad, can effect your athleticism. Pay attention to your sitting, standing, walking and exercising posture. Poor posture will result in poor performance; good posture will help you perform like a top athlete.
Focus on a strong core for stability and flexible hips for skiing mobility. Limited range of movement and weak core muscles can over-stress connective tissue. This will limit your performance and body durability.
In the winter, cold weather tells your body to pack on fat for survival. Don’t let it go too far. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits and don’t overdo the high carb foods. Diabetes runs in my family and I’ve seen the damaging effects of the disease. From a young age I have tried to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
The biggest technological breakthroughs in sports in the next decade will include advancements in human performance through food. This will come in the form of body enhancement foods or super foods. Like the tobacco industry 15 years ago, the food industry will be under the microscope over the next 20 years and will be expected to clean up its act. Athletes are ahead of the game and are adjusting their diets to exclude starches, sugars, industrial additives, pesticides and dyes. Athletes’ diets are rich in nutrients and proteins, like raw locally grown fruits and vegetables, nut, whole grains, yogurt and smaller portions of meat.
Change up your work out intensity. Mix up your high intensity days with low intensity days and don’t skimp on sleep for total body recovery.
Ski athletes focus on total body work outs. The best weight training program for ski athletes is NOT the muscle specific routines of bodybuilders, but instead sessions that work out the whole body.
Keep your aerobic engine active throughout the winter. You aerobic levels will slowly dwindle if you forget to get a run in, go for a cross-country ski or backcountry climb regularly. Your aerobic fitness is the furnace that fires your athletic abilities, without it you are running on fumes.
When crunched for time, up the intensity of your work out. Skip rope fast for ten minutes or do 100 split squats for a personal best time. High intensity workouts will force the issue and teach your body to adjust to high power output. Skiing is high power output.
Energize yourself with the youth! Work out with people younger than you. My kids force me out of my comfort zone. “Daddy try this trick on the tramp”, or “Dad, race me to that pole and shimmy to the top, let’s see who wins”. Younger partners will make you rise to a higher level of performance.
Most importantly, remember to have fun with your workouts. This is the single largest indicator that you will continue them regularly throughout the ski season and off-season.
You have spent a couple of seasons racing Tahoe League and are ready to make the transition to Far West/USSA races. Or, you are a first time Far West racer this season.
Here are six items to help you get started.
1. You will need a USSA and Far West membership, required to participate in a Far West race.
Find the drop down menu on the right hand side of the screen, “membership tools” and then choose “become a member.” You can choose to do an online registration (the fastest way to complete a membership) or you can download an application, fill it out and mail it in.
Please note that after October 15th any returning Far West and USSA membership is assessed a late fee. The first time you become a member there is no late involved.
2. Far West Skiing website, www.fwskiing.org. This is our local division’s website and is where you will find all of the information you need regarding race schedules, scholarships, upcoming events and articles. Please become familiar with this location, and cruise the site for a bit. You will want to locate the ‘competition’ tab so that you can go to ‘schedules’ and then click on your age class schedules page. (You will see the age class breakdown below)
Age Classification is based on your age as of December 31, 2010
MID 20 and older (born 1991 and earlier) ** J3 13, 14 (born 1997-8)
J1 17, 18, 19 (born 1992-94) J4 11, 12 (born 1999-2000)
J2 15, 16 (born 1995-96) J5 10 & younger (born 2001 or later)
3. Sign up for your Age Class Email Hotline! This is the best way to receive an email regarding information for your age class racing group. You can subscribe to this email by clicking on your age class on the homepage of the Far West website. The Far West Office throws out emails for upcoming deadlines, scholarships, important announcements, etc.
4. Signing up for a race. This is different from Tahoe League as you will now sign yourself up for each race, unless otherwise noted by your program. You can do this through the online process or via a faxed in or mailed in entry. For a detail of how to sign up please see below. There are late fees assessed for registering late, so please take a look at the race announcement early! Online registration via www.alpinereg.org
1. Download the race announcement and waiver from the race schedules page on the Far West website. Read the announcement for date and registration details. The waiver must be faxed in and should be provided to your coach to take to the team captain’s meeting, too.
2. Go to www.alpinereg.com
3. Click on California Nevada
4. Choose the host mountain or club from the drop down menu.
5. Click on the “register now’ button.
6. Enter your athletes USSA number, beginning with the F (which stands for Far West)
7. If this is the correct athlete then please click ‘continue to register’, if not go back and retype
in the number.
8. Click on the state on the right hand side.
9. Click on the club/mountain – if that club or mountain does not show up then they are not
accepting online registration and you will need to follow the registration directions on the
10. Choose a race by adding it to the cart.
11. Complete steps 7-10 until you have added all race days to your cart. Follow directions
to check out.
12. FAX IN THE WAIVER TO THE RACE ORGANIZER AND PROVIDE IT TO THE COACHES
TO TAKE TO THE TEAM CAPTAIN’S MEETING JUST IN CASE.
Faxed/mailed in entries: 1. Download the race announcement and waiver from the race schedules page on the Far West website. Read the announcement for date and registration details. The waiver must be faxed in and should be provided to your coach to take to the team captain’s meeting, too.
2. Download an alpine entry card at the top of the schedules page.
3. Fill out the information on the alpine entry card.
4. To pay for the race you can either create your own credit card authorization form, or place
it on the ‘date paid’ line, or send in a check. Please write legibly.
5. Fill out the waiver for this event location.
6. Fax/mail in the waiver, payment and the alpine entry card to the race organizer.
5. Confirm with the coaches! The most important thing that you as a parent and athlete can do is communicate with your coaches regarding your race and training schedules!
6. The Far West Office is always available for help. Have any questions? Call Lucy Schram, Far West Divisional Manager, in the Far West Office at 530.559.4130 or send an email to email@example.com