Having a hard time staying aerobic on steep skin tracks

  • Creator
  • #48438

    I have started my ski touring season, and I’m noticing that my heart rate is going really high on steep skin tracks, even when I feel like I’m going easy. I was having a conversation with a friend this morning, when I looked down and saw that my HR was above 165! When I run, I try to stay at about 145 or below. I am using a HR strap so I’m confident my sensor data is accurate.

    Does anyone else have this issue of HR going high with uphill skiing even at what feels to be an easy pace? Should I slow WAY down to keep HR more aerobic, or go by feel and ignore my HR?

  • Participant
    Dada on #48441


    I experienced the same thing this and last season. My hypothesis is that it comes from the full body involvement and bc your upper body is not so trained yet. Using the whole body lifts the AeT and this is why it feels relatively easy. After a few runs, my Aet returns to normal levels again.

    This early summer I tried to rollerblade with poles and my breathing AeT was almost 180 bpm while my AeT for running and mountaineering is 165. After a few rides my AeT reverted to 165ish.

    I stay below my default AeT for Z1/2.

    Anonymous on #48455

    There are lots of moving parts. In particular:

    …on steep skin tracks…

    Non-racer, non-guide ski tourers always make their skin tracks silly steep because they mistakenly equate effort with climb rate. They would rather feel like they are working hard than climb at a faster rate. An efficient track will be lower angle, easier, and offer a faster ascent. (But you’ll never be able to convince a hammerhead of that until they get their ass kicked by a racer on heavier gear.)

    Another thing is stride length. Most people take too-long strides where a shorter, faster cadence is more efficient.

    , even when I feel like I’m going easy.

    Most ski touring gear is also too heavy for the job. It takes some adjustment to get used to it early in the season (or you can upgrade to lighter gear).

    Also, if you haven’t been training with poles, and if you’re using them for more than balance, that could have an effect.

    Should I slow WAY down to keep HR more aerobic, or go by feel and ignore my HR?

    Or both? Try both and see how things progress.

    doughywilson on #48474

    Thanks for the responses. I went out this morning for my third tour of the year, and this time my heart rate was a solid 10-20 beats less at a similar speed/output. Hopefully that means you’re right and that I just needed a few days to get accustomed to the new movement. I also made sure to drink enough water before to avoid dehydration, which can lead to higher than normal heart rates. I’m going to continue to monitor it.

    Dada on #48480

    Had my third tour as well, and the HR went down significantly as well. Happy to help ?

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