Category Archives: Training

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Summer Prep for Race Training

Every year around late July and early August we get our annual influx of ski racers heading to the whiter pastures of the Andes and Southern Alps. Others are heading up to the summer camps of Mount Hood. This presents a good opportunity to take a look at your gear and see if it’s still up to the task. Have you outgrown your boots? How many holes are acceptable in race gloves? How about socks? What are the condition of my ski boots and skis?

We all have heard time and again that your boots are the most important article of gear- which is certainly true for ski racers. It’s hard to race when you’re hobbled in pain, or if your canting is catawampus. Summer camps are a great place to dial in gear and work on techniques or work on overcoming bad habits.

The following is a list of things we see and think are great items to be looking into at summer camps.

Ski Boots

If you’re in the same boots as the previous season approach the obvious questions first. Have you outgrown your boots? If yes obviously shop for some new ones, if not take a look at them and examine their condition. If you’ve been in your boots one entire race season odds are your liner is shot. If you’re anything like the vast majority of the racing population your toe and heel plates are also on the endangered species list.

To be brutally honest we really feel like at the Far West racing level race boots only last one year. Yes even at the U10 U12 level- perhaps especially at the U10 U12 level. The fact is those lucky kids spend and extraordinary amount of time in their boots, it’s fairly obvious by looking at them that their simply worn out. Remember, with the amount of days in them the liner is packed out and the material inside simply isn’t holding the foot the way it should. That being said, it makes total sense with a growing kid to wait until the last possible second to spring for a new pair of boots, which is generally somewhere around the month of November.

For the older kids summer is a great time to play with canting. Canting is planning the sole of the ski boot to match the natural stance of the athlete, particularly the relation of the center of the knee to the center of the ski boot. Some of the tell-tale signs that an athlete needs canting is that one turn is significantly better, i.e. left footers are always better than the right or vise versa. Another symptom would be excessive A-framing or cheating one knee over in the turn excessively. Coaches will often have a few methods to play with to determine if canting is necessary.

Skis

There are a few things one can do to prepare skis for the season. If you’re lucky enough to pick up a new pair of speed skis, hot boxing them is a great idea. A couple of cycles in the hotbox will ensure that the bases are super fast and ready to rip. Remember: the more you ski a speed ski in the faster they will be. If an athlete were so inclined she could play with changing edge angles the off-season would be the time to do it.

Coaches in the Lake Tahoe area do a great job of determining what edge angles they would like their athlete’s skis tuned to. Likewise, Tahoe coaches have a handle on what lifts they would like between the bindings and ski. For example max height or some variation of ramp angle is generally prescribed. If you were unsure of edge bevels or ramp angle, summer camps would be a great place to try some variations. ***Disclaimer*** Ski bindings are a major safety issue. Only certified experts should be working on ski bindings.

In summation the point is if you’re going to play with gear, the summer camps is one of the best times to do it rather than mid season when you’re doing your best to get on the podium. Most importantly summer ski camps should be fun! Don’t ever forget that while you may take racing seriously, it also one of the most fun things in the world to do! Yes train hard, but remember to make the most of it and have a ton of fun.

speed-ski-lease

Start Haus Partners with Blizzard and More

Start Haus is pleased to announce a 2017 Speed Ski Leasing program!

Partnering with Blizzard (with more to come) our racers are now able to lease DH and SG skis for a fraction of the cost of owning a pair!  With so many racers needing a pair for just one or two events late in the season, the speed ski leasing program is the best way to grab a fresh and fast pair of SG or DH skis.

The following Blizzard skis are currently available for lease:

Down Hill Speed Skis in a 212cm and 218cm

Super G Speed Skis in a 185cm, 205cm, and 212cm.

Pricing starts at $125 for a day, $75 a day for 3-5 days, or $50 per day for a week lease.  These skis are ready to mount to your boot specs and tuned to your preferences. Contact us for more information!

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Tuesday Evening Group Trail Ride – FREE DEMOS

Join us every Tuesday for a free guided group MTB ride!  We’ll offer tips, training, and more to help you better your biking experience.  Each Tuesday we’ll host a trail ride- free mountain bike demos available for the ride!

Tuesday’s All Summer- TRAIL RIDE– 6:00PM – FREE BIKE DEMOS

We’ll meet up at Start Haus at 6:00PM.  Get fitted and reserve your bike.  Then at 6PM we ride over to the trail.

More rides to come!  Check out our events page on FaceBook here.

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Ready to Race: Waxing Race Skis & Waxcall – Video

As we gear up for another ski racing season, now is a great time to brush up on some of the basics – wax selection for race conditions and how to use the Start Haus #Waxcall when waxing your race skis.

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First up, Jim walks us through all the waxes, overlays, additives & more, explaining what conditions each is for:

Next up, Jim shows you how to take a typical #Waxcall and use it when waxing your race skis:

Follow these tips, and stay up to date with our #Waxcalls throughout the winter so your skis are ready for the best performance in current snow conditions.

Find all the ski tuning tools and ski wax you need at Start Haus.

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How To Video: Getting On & Off Your Paddleboard

In this week’s video, stand up paddlboard expert Jared shows us how to get started on your board, making standing up and getting off easier:

Practicing this technique will help you feel more stable and confident while paddlboarding. Questions? Call us, email us at online@starthaus.com or drop by the shop.

Travis’ Workout Blog Week 2: Saturday Slow Long Distance!

Peaks Above Lake Louise

So after a hard week of training with 4 to 5 days at the gym, and 5 days of intense bike rides/sprints, my Saturdays are the days where I can relax a bit and do some of the easier but long cardio workouts that are actually some of the more important workouts of the summer!  Its really important to really work your “lower end” cardio early in the training period so that you build a strong cardio base, so that when you do those sprints and intervals all week you can work at a higher intensity level.  We call these workouts “Slow Long Distance” workouts, and I usually like going on a fun adventure by going on a hike in the mountains!  During these SLD workouts I try to keep my heart rate between 135 and 155 so it is pretty chill and I have to go slow on some of the uphills.  However there is a huge payoff to doing these workouts outside on a hike rather than on a spin bike in the gym; you get to see some pretty amazing places and it is super fun! Believe it or not, some of the other skiers do these SLD workouts on a spin bike in the gym!  This last Saturday I drove up to Lake Louise and did a three hour hike up above the lake to the Lake Agnes Tea House!

Above Lake Louise

Marie and our borrowed dog for the weekend Milka rocking a Big Truck hat and enjoying the view on our Slow Long Distance!

 

Lake Agnes

 

Tea House

And the Tea House!

These SLD workouts are my favorite workouts of the week and not a bad way to spend a day as an athlete getting out of the gym and into the mountains! So make sure to get outside and enjoy the amazing places that nature has to offer, and know that these kind of hikes are actually great workouts and really important for skiers like myself!

 

Next week Ill post about one of my lower body workouts!

-Travis

Travis’s Summer Training Blog

View from Kitzbuhel start hutThis photo gives me motivation to get in the gym! (Looking out of the start hut at Kitzbuhel)

Ski season is officially over, and for many ski racers like myself, vacation season (time off) is also sadly winding to and end.  This only means one thing; it is time to get back in the gym and start getting strong again for next ski season!  Being on the US Ski Team for the last 7 years, I have learned a lot about how important it is to be strong in order to push the limits in our sport and in order to prevent injuries.  Injury prevention might actually be the most important thing.  The stronger, fitter, and more flexible I am, the faster I am able to bounce back from a crash.  In the last training run at Kitzbuhel this year I crashed on the bottom side hill, and bruised myself up pretty good, but since I had worked the entire summer before on getting strong and on my flexibility, I was about to bounce back and have the best race of my career the very next day getting 12th!   I cannot stress enough how important it is to get fit and strong being a ski racer.


Travis Ganong crash at Kitzbuhel

 That’s me about to crash at Kitz!

Over the next 10 weeks I will be sharing a few of my workouts on this blog.  All of my workouts are specifically programmed from my trainer at the US Ski Team, and are designed for my strengths and weaknesses, but feel free to try out a few workouts yourself.

Week 1

I have exactly 172 days until my first World Cup Race of the season at Lake Louise.  That gives me 172 days to get stronger before next ski season.  The main point that I want to make for this first blog is that it is very important to start your training slowly.  There is plenty of time this summer to get strong.

So to start things off I really want to concentrate on my core and my cardio.  The stronger I can build up these systems, the harder I will be able to work out later in the summer when I start doing the harder heavier lifting!

Here is my cardio and core workout from Wednesday this week!

Travis hiking at MammothHiking for a threshold workout near Mammoth after skiing!

(P.S. The second exercise is meant to strengthen my patella tendon and I do it twice a day every day so it is also in my workouts)

Cardio

Bike 15mins A1
2 x 20mins at Threshold (if no pain) with 10mins A1
Bike 15mins A1

For this workout I usually go and find a nice steep trail or a ski run to run/hike up for the 20 minute effort followed by a slow walk back down the hill between the two sets.  Or You can go on a nice hike and hike very slow for the A1 and jog slowly uphill for the Threshold session! (A1 means that your heart rate is between 130bpm and 145bmp. Threshold means that you work hard with a heart rate between 165 and 175 beats per minute)

Core Workout

1. Single Leg Eccentric Decline Squats 10186

Very slowly lower down with one leg on a 15-20% decline. Stand back up with two legs. This exercise is designed to reduce tendon pain but must be done at a pain level lower than 3/10. 3×15 Twice a Day.

2. Prone stabilization.  3 sets of 65 seconds

3. Single Leg Lowers.  (Laying on your back lower one leg at a time slowy and then bring it back up.  Do 3 sets of 12 each side)

4. SB roll out stabilization.  Start in a squat possition and slowly roll out on your forearms on the swiss ball. Control your movement and roll back into the squat.  3 sets of 8 reps.

5. Hanging hip flexion. Hanging on a pull up bar lift your knees to your chest. Knees Tucked!

6. Back Extension Hold.  You can do this on a swiss ball as well.  Hold this position for 4 sets of 35 seconds

7. Prone hip extension. Hold your legs up for 3 sets of 30 seconds.  You can do this laying and holding onto a bench as well!

8. Side Hold in Glute Ham (hands across chest).  You can do this one on a swiss ball.  Hold a side plank.  3 sets of 35 seconds

9. Side lying stabilization. Three sets of 35 seconds.  Hold yourself up through your shoulder on your forearm.

10. Dumbell Side Hold.  I use a 90lb barbell.  The core workout is standing tall and resisting the weight pulling your to one side.  2 sets of 30 seconds.

11. Supine spine rotation. I like to call these windshield wipers.  3 sets of 10 reps.

12. BB rotation. Using a bar from a squat rack find a corner to put the base into.  Then keeping your core contracted go side to side for three sets of 6 each side.

13. Woodchop (no rotation) .  Using a cable machine attach a rope to the end of it.  Then keeping your shoulders square, pull the cable from low to high in a straight line and then extend your inside hand up. Repeat for 3 sets of 6!

And that’s it! You are done! I like to finish each workout with a good meal or a smoothie and my body always feels better after doing a cold bath in one of our nice rivers or lakes!

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Race Ski Testing 101

Spring is the time of the season that we begin testing skis and boots for the following season. Here are some key reasons why we stress testing now opposed to the summer time:

Snow: When testing products you should test it on a condition that is most similar to what you will be racing on during the season.  This all revolves around the feel of the ski or boot.  Depending on the condition you will find that there can be differences that will/can eventually add up to a time difference in the course and that can be the separation between you winning or losing.

Tune:  Having the ability to test multiple different brands of products with the exact same Start Haus tune.  This will result in you being eliminate the tune as being a variable in the test and making it easier for you to feel exactly how the ski feels.

Product:  Ultimately you are testing skis or boots to see if you are faster than other brands.  When you have the ability to test multiple different skis or boots in one day you are easily able to determine the differences between brands.  This is easy because the snow conditions are the same, tune is the same and now the only differences will be product.

These three key elements are all necessary components to an effective test and deciding which brand is the best performing ski or boot for the athlete.

Ski camps will be taking place over the next few weekends through the Squaw Valley Race Program and Sugar Bow Ski Team; both camps will be open to all other programs as well. If you have any inquiries regarding these camps please contact Start Haus at 530.582.5781 or comment here and we will be happy to assist you the best we can.

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Three easy tips to improve your pow skiing

Nothing is better than waking up and seeing 2 feet of fresh at lake level or the valley floor; especially this season! We’re all pretty comfortable with the light and fluffy stuff but sometimes when the “Pineapple Express” hits, the fresh snow can be dense and heavy. How do you approach these types of conditions? Here are three tips to help make your day more enjoyable if its not as light as you hoped:

1. Allow your skis to plane out of the snow, you may need to aim straight down the hill or at a diagonal to get some speed built up. It will help keep your skis on the surface.

2. Steer your feet and legs progressively, spend just a little more time in the fall line than what your instinct directs you to do. Big, aggressive twisting moves will bog you down and throw you off balance.

3. Shrink your turns to go slower and stretch out your turns to go faster, read the terrain and scope out your line, so you know where you will need to make adjustments to maintain fluidity and control.

And don’t forget to check out our selection of powder skis, all designed to make powder skiing easier and more fun with wide widths, rockered shapes and easier flex patterns: Shop Powder Skis