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Substitute some of your running training with skiing

Substitute running with skiing – Unfortunately, the winters in Southern Finland are what they are, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to ski. I don’t know what the winters are like where you live, but in snowy winters, you should take full advantage of the skiing tracks and replace your running shoes with skiing boots. Well, that is if you like skiing.

Substitute some of your running training with skiing

Skiing, like any other sport, brings a nice variation to your running training. By doing some of your workouts on skis, you can also increase the amount of aerobic training and improve your endurance fitness. The winter season is a great time to develop endurance. Skiing develops endurance better than running, because in skiing you effectively use both upper and lower body muscles. Skiing doesn’t strain your body as much as running does, so you can do longer workouts on skis.

The variation in training also brings welcomed variation in the stimulation of the musculoskeletal system, which feels more and more important as you get older.

Skiing is a natural alternative to running

Skiing is a natural alternative to running in the winter. In particular, the traditional-style skiing resembles the running movement. However, I wouldn’t replace all running training with skiing, but some of the workouts are worth doing on skis for the reasons mentioned above.

Freestyle skiing is less similar to running and may develop lower body muscles in a way that the runner does not benefit from. Freestyle skiing, on the other hand, develops pelvic control and balance, which is certainly beneficial for body control in general. If traditional style isn’t your thing, as a runner, I would still get the benefits from freestyle skiing. Aerobic fitness develops no matter the style.

I usually replace my recovery runs and some of the longer aerobic runs with skiing, so I ski 1-3 days a week, depending greatly on the weather. I am very sensitive to cold and especially my fingers are super sensitive, so I only ski in temperatures that are not too cold. If the weather is close to -10 C or below, I opt for the treadmill indoors.

My own tips for eager skiers

Start in moderation so that your muscles and nervous system get used to the sport, even after the break from the previous winter. 20-30 minutes is enough for your first skiing loop of the season. Gradually increase the time/distance so that the muscles do not get too sore.

Ski enough, 2-3 times a week, to get your body used to the muscle work required for the sport and your technique becomes smooth. This way you get the most out of your ski training.

Remember to maintain a running feel even during the ski season. Use skiing to do some form of running training 2-3 times a week.

Written by Piia Doyle . photo: S. Hermann & F.Richter

Translated by U. Doyle

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