skin is in

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  • #61449


    Conditions in my area are now such that running road or trail is problematic. We have ample ice and snow, making the footing a bit sporty. And while I can get a careful saunter in somedays, I’ve transitioned to skin-ing (AT) a few days a week. Q: do you have any advice for comparing HR zones between running and skin-ing, or do you suggest doing a skin based Aerobic Threshold test, or do you suggest not worrying it?

    Advise when able.

    onward, Don

  • Participant
    Nate Emerson on #61529

    Don, You can definitely substitute skinning. You raise an important point about comparing HR zones.
    Because skinning requires different technique than hiking, it has the potential to have different HR zones. But I think it can be quite similar to steeper uphill hiking. The problem generally lies in the first few skinning sessions every winter: often there is a huge jump in AeT Pace (vertical pace) over the first few sessions as we reacquaint ourselves with the technique. Assuming that you are using similar grades between your uphilling routes, vertical pace is often a better measure than horizontal pace.
    I suggest that you use your current HR zones from uphill hiking, but be patient during the first few sessions. Many athletes report very high HR’s in the first few sessions, but then see HR trend lower and lower at a given pace. I’m not sure of the consensus, but it seems like many athletes have similar vertical AeT Pace between skinning and hiking, assuming the use of reasonably light gear on prepared tracks or groomers.
    Each athlete is different, so you could certainly do an AeT Threshold Test once you’ve done a few sessions and see stability between pace:HR.

    DJW on #61653

    thanks for the reply and feedback, Nate.

    bill on #61686

    Nate, I am guessing that the same advice applies to snowshoeing?

    MarkPostle on #61747

    Yes most of the same concepts apply to snowshoeing. My experience with athletes is that their threshold for snowshoeing will actually be pretty similar to their threshold for hiking. One additional thought, if you’re performing an AeT drift test for uphill skinning try and make sure that the angle of the skin track you’re using is relatively constant. I’ve had folks in the past do threshold tests while skiing and if the angle of the skin track varies significantly the data never turns out that great.

    bill on #61750

    I hadn’t thought of doing my AeT test on snowshoes… I have a couple of fairly constant angle snowshoe hikes that would be pretty good for that. Thanks for the help.

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