How to train when sport-specific training is not possible

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  • #3348

    I’m training for snowboarding/splitboarding but live in the flatlands. This means sport-specific training is not possible. Should I just extend the muscular endurance period of my plan until I get to my taper period? (I realize the real solution is to move to the mountains – I’m working on that!)

Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

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    Shep on #3362

    I am in a somewhat similar situation… I live in SoCal, so I have access to elevation, but not snow, on a regular basis.

    I suspect the best that we can do for sport-specific training is, for the uphill, box steps or uphill hiking, and a nordic track for skinning. For the downhill portion of our training, I am focusing on core and leg-strength training. I am just starting my training for the fall, and once I get into the base periods, I think focusing on eccentric exercises such as split bench squats will be my go-to for getting ready for big days in the mountains.

    Hoping people more qualified than I will also chime in here!


    Eccentric Training
    Split Bench Squats – TFTNA general strength routine

    Luke Nelson on #3383

    Hey Shep and Mariner_9, you are bringing up a really good question. Of course the best way to train for mountain sports is the application of those sports. When you live in a place where access is limited you’ll need to get creative. The strength training that you mentioned is right on, but I think there is a little more you could add. I would say that including bounding workouts would be a good way to do a little more muscle specific work for skinning. Scott has a video in the resources section on bounding, it’s on the second page of videos. Another consideration could be roller-skis. I used roller ski training in the shoulder season to get ready for Ski mountaineering races. The classic style skis do a pretty decent job of mimicking that ski motion, and if you live somewhere with paved bike paths or similar you can “skin” for miles!

    Mariner_9 on #3388

    Thank you both for the suggestions.

    Last year, I simply extended my muscular endurance period rather than doing any sports-specific training. Of course there is no counter-factual so it’s impossible to know how well this worked.

    I got some training ideas from Functional Sports Training in Austria, which was set up by two pro snowboarders, one of whom is a physio. I combined some of their exercises with the periodization from TFNA.

    For my maximum strength period, I was doing weighted box steps, weighted dynamic lunges and single leg box jumps in addition to Scott’s Killer Core Routine (both 2x/week).

    For my muscular endurance period, I did weighted box steps and uphill treadmill last year. Doing high volumes of weighted box steps seemed to cause an old running injury to flare up, and this year I’ve been cycling and, when possible, hiking. The cycling is definitely helping my cardio fitness but isn’t sports-specific. Getting back into running is going to be a long slog.

    Mariner_9 on #3389

    I should have added to my last post that I also do some balance exercises when I do my strength routine (simply because they’re most easily done in the gym, not because I consider them “strength” exercises).

    Some of the ideas were from Functional Sports Training and some were from a personal trainer I met who’s into slacklining. My feeling is that training balance can only help, particularly for riding uneven terrain, and the cost in terms of time and fatigue is low.

    birey on #6216

    Luke, Scott, or anyone else in the know –

    Are classic roller skis worth it if you do not plan on racing but are focused on ski mountaineering objectives?

    I’m looking at the inflatable three wheeled ones from V2 as I’m surrounded primarily by rural unpaved roads. Thoughts?

    Luke Nelson on #6219

    I have used a couple of versions of classic roller skis in the past. I think they are very good for sport specific drylands training. I would consider how seriously you want to prepare for your objectives, and if you are very serious about be well prepared they are a good option. The ones you mention from V2, I have a pair, and they work really well. I actually mounted them with a tech toe and use my ski mountaineering boots with them. I think is probably unnecessary, but I wanted to get my feet trained to being in my boots while I was training to make the transition to snow easier. I tried them on a few non-paved roads and they did not work too well unless the road was very firm and had little to know loose gravel. The biggest reason for going with the 3 wheeled version was the brake option. This allowed me to train on hills around the city, a little urban skimo. I often training very early or very late at night to limit my exposure to traffic and found the training to be very effective.

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