Nordic Skiing: Excellent Cross-Training for Endurance Athletes

Ski Touring the Steeps

Alpine Touring, or randonn?eing, is a type of skiing that combines climbing very steep slopes on skis and then returning downhill on the same skis. In order to climb these steep hills, athletes need to use ski skins. Ski skins are removable pieces of fabric manufactured with the nap of the fabric at an angle that allows the skis to glide forward, but not back.

I was first introduced to this sport in an interview with mountain bike legend Dave Wiens. He mentioned that part of his offseason training includes ski touring—a workout he likens to mountain biking.

Cross-Training

While other endurance athletes are logging hours on indoor trainers and treadmills due to cold and snow, you can be building fitness by Nordic skiing. It can be argued that Nordic skiing provides a necessary mental break from the normal competitive sports of swimming, running and cycling; while maintaining aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

By working muscle groups specific to your sport in a slightly different manner, perhaps you'll condition those supporting muscles to take more of the workload when summer arrives.

Does your snowy city have a location perfect for Nordic skiing? If not, why not?

More: Get Fit to Ski 

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