Ski Traverse Training – Haute Route

Spring 2016

I’ve signed up for a spring 2017 ski traverse, in Europe, out of my comfort zone, where do I begin, when do I start commitment to training.

Summer 2016 I was extremely active mountain biking and climbing, leaving me with a solid base to get started on ski specific training. My cardio fitness was strong and my movement and climbing strength was strong, not that I would expect to need to rock climb on this traverse, we are skiing, right…turns out 2017 was a poor snow year in Europe.

Fall 2016

I started a 3 day a week primarily bodyweight training with a focus on core strength, and a few specific exercises to ski touring, waiting for the snow to fall. I also taught 3 spin classes a week, this would maintain cardio and keep my muscular endurance strong, paired with own personal workouts. Oh and for fun and to maintain my climbing skills, I met a friend 2 times a week at the local climbing gym.

Cycling or Spinning may not be traditional training for ski touring, as I mentioned before it maintained my cardiovascular fitness, and maintaining my muscular endurance. As the instructor of the classes I was not riding at the same high intensity as the participants, I am their cheerleader and guide. So, I am riding usually no higher than my zone 3, I can still speak a short sentence, and ride the intensity I’m at for an hour or more.

For September and October this was my routine, November I added 2 days a week stair climbing, 165 stairs for 4 sets, building up to 6 sets prior to the end of December…schools out for a couple weeks, we finally have a bit of snow cover, its Christmas. Does this mean a huge curve ball in my training?

Nope great time to focus more on skiing and some recovery, to be refreshed to build on my new year training program.

Why breaks in a training program?

Breaks and recovery are vital to growing muscular strength, a break in training allows you to rebuild energy too. When you take a week to recover train you will then ramp up your workouts and should feel the benefits of those previous few months of work, then you will feel bigger gains.

Winter 2017

Back to the grind, I chose to drop 2 of my spin classes, hoping to add my own 1.5-2hr spin…I couldn’t maintain it is was too boring alone. I replaced this with a weekly long ski tour and or cross-country ski. Most these were done with our young puppy tied to me…added dimension to those training days.

So it was 3 days of cardiovascular workouts, 3 days of endurance specific strength training, core 2 times a week and 2 days a week stair climbing building the number of sets. 800 became the standard number of stairs done in sets of 135. Everyday was some endurance strength training with a focus on functional core work.

Spring 2017

Arrival in Chamonix, France to start our journey together.


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