Skimo as alternative to trail running

  • Creator
  • #36734

    Hi everyone!

    So, I don’t think this question has been asked in this specific direction yet (I couldn’t find anything about it). I’ve seen questions about running as an alternative training for skimo (especially in the summer, of course) but… how about the opposite?

    I train for ultra races in the summer (I am very amateur at best but want to be prepared) but I LOVE skitouring (and am also getting into a bit speedier skimo-style stuff, my non-freeride-touring fast setup is almost ready) in the winter… Well, anytime there is some snow which is not necessarily only in the winter. However I’ve got no real desire to compete in skimo races for now. I just love being out in the mountains.

    So, this begs the question: can “skimo” be a good replacement/alternative training to trail running? And if used this way, what would be some key points to consider as to how much vert a regular ski training should have (like, if I know a run would be an hour long, should a corresponding ski training also be about an hour of skinning uphill?)

    Of course I know it’s not going to be perfect and it will likely leave me with a lower possible performance come summer races than if I would just be running. But I am also enjoying how much easier skinning is on the joints and my body likes it more these days.

    Yeah, so any input on this would be nice because I am kind of just rummaging around in the dark now (but I am measuring my HR on skitours to keep it below AeT at least).


Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    l.tregan on #36737

    It works magic 🙂 I tend to run 12h+ a week in Summer and ski as much I can in Winter.

    – Skimo gives you tons of aerobic training without trashing the legs and a far reduced risk of injury

    – I found out if I do one long run per week (2h) and ski the rest of the time, I definitively loose and would get sore legs; 2 * 2h per week is good though, can maintain the strength

    – Muscular Endurance gets amazing; you carry quite a big backpack uphill for long time

    – prioperception decreases a bit, can take 3 weeks to be fast again on downhills in tricky terrain

    – I often do 7x 90:90 uphill intervals; avg heart rate reduced by 15% for several weeks after a 5 day solid skimo trip

    Anonymous on #36739

    Agreed! (But I should qualify that by saying that I’ve only run for skimo training’s sake, never just for running on its own.)

    The only change I would make is carrying the heavy pack. That’s not fun at all… 🙂

    l.tregan on #36754

    Heavy backpack for runners is 4kg. Still manageable 😉

    Anonymous on #36776

    Aha! I’m glad to hear that…

    wildmoser.j on #36817

    Thanks for your replies, you two! And your tips l.tregan 🙂

    I try to still run twice weekly at least.

    I did a 90min run with 720m of elevation a few days ago and that vert is all one big climb and one big downhill – I definitely felt that my quads got super tired from the way down. I think that’s definitely something that I need to focus on during the few runs I do – some quality downhill. That is something skimo/skitouring is not good for, the way down is just too quick!

    I sure hope that uphill ME is gonna be pretty killer from all the weighted uphill walking.

    And I have my dream leightweight touring set up now, had to attach a picture of it. I hope I’ll be able to ski down, haven’t owned something this skinny nor short in a long time. But it’ll be much easier to get motivated for a Piste uphill training without freeride boots and skis. But then again, that means less weighted training…

    wildmoser.j on #36818

    Whoops, file was too big. There we go, it should work now…

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
    Anonymous on #36835

    That is something skimo/skitouring is not good for, the way down is just too quick!

    True! Although I have to admit, I only run to train for skimo. So my thought is the opposite: “Downhill running takes way too long…” 🙂

    I hope I’ll be able to ski down, haven’t owned something this skinny nor short in a long time.

    Skimo skis go down hill just fine! Although very go down as fast as Robert Antonioli.

    But then again, that means less weighted training…

    …means faster training… Enjoy.

    Chris B on #36882

    I’ve started doing skimo racing in the winter to try and stay in shape for ultra running in the summer, but I need to make sure I keep my running up as well! Definitely super tough aerobically. I need to find ways to keep practice without snow though, as the closest hill to me is about an hour away and can only get out there before lift turns once a week on fridays, and then races are the weekend, so if it’s a race weekend, I don’t want to kill my legs the day before.

    Anonymous on #36883

    Definitely super tough aerobically.

    1. Regardless of the sport, make sure you keep most (~90+%) of your training below aerobic threshold (which is lower than anaerobic threshold)

    I don’t want to kill my legs the day before.

    2. Going uphill the day before a race is fine. Just keep it easy and short. (See point #1!)

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