The heart and lungs are the engine that drive your body and will keep you going all day on the slopes at altitude. Try and start at least six weeks before the start of the course and you’ll notice a big difference when you head out.
If you can improve your cardiovascular system it will help to improve your skiing stamina. The best way to improve aerobic fitness – exercise using oxygen – is to train for a longer period of time at a manageable pace. Cycling, running, rowing or stepping for 20 minutes three times a week will provide a solid base.
But skiing is also an anaerobic sport – where you don’t use oxygen for short, fast bursts.
Hitting the treadmill pays benefits on the slopes. On your way down you’re often working harder than the amount of oxygen you can breathe in, before resting on a lift and doing it all over again.
So interval training – short bursts of exercise followed by a rest period and then repeated – can also help increase your all-round fitness.
Building up your skiing muscles
Legs and core are the areas you should target. Explosive strength, muscle endurance and core stability are the sort of things that benefit skiing.
Types of training which will help are:
- Plyometric training; this is a way of targeting all 3 areas in a dynamic way. An example would be squat jumps, jumping lunges or burpees.
- X fit training; this is like circuit training, but each exercise is performed at a high intensity with short time periods. An example with 3 exercises: 1st 50 lateral box jumps as fast as you can, moving on to 50 situps then 5km run. Overall time scale to finish the 3 exercises would be the measurable component.
- Pilates training; is a great way to develop your core strength.
- Interval training; this is a good way to improve your tolerance to lactic acid build up (this is what makes your legs burn when you ski). As a result interval training improves the body’s capability to recover in short periods of time (which is good for skiing).