Preseason Training for Telemark Racing
By Tory Hauser
Summer is the time to get physically prepared for the coming season. By working hard you will also be mentally ready to deal with the rigors of the race schedule and be prepared to perform at your highest level.
Telemark racing is quick twitch, power sport that requires strength from the entire body. The legs must be strong, the core solid and the shoulders powerful for skating. I believe you have to train specifically for this and not get caught up in the “long and slow” style as that will make you well, slow. Since it’s summer, you must also do things that are fun. Play games that take quick muscle bursts such as soccer, tennis and hockey. Ride a bike and give the hills an extra effort. Go trail running and power the uphills as well.
Weight training is also an important part of ski training. It would take too long here to address all the exercises and since there are some good websites, I recommend you check them out. The best one I’ve found is http://www.crossfit.com/ Former alpine racer Eva Twardokens stated recently in Ski Racing magazine that she wished she had known about crossfit when she was still racing and that type of training would have helped her to more medals. They have daily work out routines and videos of the exercises to help guide you. Another exercise I like is the whole body clean/jerk/squat and reverse of the sequence. You can use a bar or dumbbells. Lift the bar close to your body to the chest, then jerk to overhead. Bring the bar back down on your shoulders and squat. Push the bar back up over your head and return it to the floor. You don’t need a lot of weight. I also think this should be done as a timed routine, not a counted number of reps. Think about a Classic when doing this. For instance, the World Cup course at Keystone this coming year will be about a 3 minute run. You should be able to do this exercise for the duration of a hard course. Build up to 3 to 3 ½ minutes and push it at the end! Try doing this 3 times once a week.
Skiing is also a sport that requires great balance. The only way to improve balance is by both increasing strength and doing balance specific exercises. Slack lines, unicycling and doing squats on an exercise ball all help with balance. Try doing one legged squats while on the slack line, lunges or reaching forward and touch the line. You can even get really creative and hula hoop across the line. Make up your own fun balance games and do these with a friend. Send your videos to us and we’ll post them!
We have a big year coming up for US Telemark with a series of World Cup races in Colorado, so let’s get prepared to ski our best.