On-snow vs. Off-snow

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  • #6817

    I’m a few weeks into the Skimo training plan. We’ve been blessed with early season snow here, so I’ve been trying to do as much of my training on skis and on snow as possible. My question is about the hill sprints workouts. Since hill sprints are really about that short burst of power in the legs, is there a comparable workout that can and should be done on skis if possible, or am I better off running, as per the designated workout, for the higher power output? It seems like it’s always better to be sport-specific when possible, but I don’t want to cheat myself of something important in the transition phase.

Posted In: Skimo-racing

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    Anonymous on #6869

    You can do the Hill Sprints in a boot packed track too. Your tempo will be slower than running so to make them have a good strength/power training effect, wear a pack with a decent amount of weight, say 20% of BW. That’ll be super sport specific. Use the same format.

    You can do sprints in skimo gear but they’ll be more of a speed workout to teach your legs to turn over. But they can be good for coordination. So if on skis try a mix of short speeds and boot packing.

    If none of this works then resort to running.


    Anonymous on #6924

    I’ve found that the biggest response I get from hill sprint workouts (measured by either HR during the workout or lactate thereafter) depends on the traction of my footing. If the traction is reliable, then the next factors seem to be the angle of the slope and the amount of extra weight being carried.

    If the goal is power training, then the importance of traction makes sense. Any energy lost to slipping won’t contribute to power development.

    As Scott described, different modes of training will have different benefits. On skis, sprints seem more like a high-speed cadence exercise, but I’m not sure how much power would be gained.

    If power is the goal, then I doubt that sprints on skimo skis will be very effective. Skins (especially race skins) just don’t grip well enough on slopes steep enough. In contrast, running spikes on a steep hill, or a steep set of stairs, would work much better.

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