This weekend, I attempted the Talons Challenge at Beaver Creek – participants must ski down every single and double-black diamond on Birds of Prey, Grouse Mountain, and Larkspur. That’s 14 runs and more than 26,000 feet of vertical, all on Beaver Creek’s toughest terrain. This is the first year I’ve even felt comfortable on a double black diamond, so I knew it was going to be a challenge!
While I’ve been skiing a lot more this year (I’m already up to 30 ski days this year!), I’ve also been trying to make sure that when I’m in town rather than in the mountains, my gym workouts at Chuze Fitness are still helping me prep for the slopes. I’m totally in love with the lateral trainer at Chuze, which allows me to zone out and watch TV while still getting in a good cardio workout that strengthens my legs!
When I first checked out the lateral trainer, I was loving the 30/30 program (30 secs sprint, 30 secs rest). But to further customize the intervals, I use the machine in manual mode and then time myself for sprints. I like to start with a moderate 5 minute warmup, then do three rounds of 30/30, followed by two minutes of moderate intensity to keep my heart rate up but give me a break from the all-outs. One round of those intervals is five minutes, so I’ll repeat four to eight times for 20-40 minutes total, depending on how much time I have to exercise.
From there, sometimes I’ll hit the water rower for ten minutes for a little more cardio, but otherwise, I’ll head for the dumbbells. My focus is on training my legs hard, but also getting in a little bit of abs and a little bit of back. And I’m trying to force myself to get in a strength training session every time I go to the gym, rather than taking the lazy way out and only sticking with cardio!
Why am I so focused on my upper back for skiing? Well, the back work might be surprising, but one skill I’m trying to reinforce on the mountain is keeping my torso facing downhill as my hips swivel from side to side, since I have a tendency to turn my whole body instead of just my legs. I’ve found that the mental cue that helps me do this correctly is actually not thinking of my torso facing down the mountain, but thinking about pulling my shoulders back and keeping my chest open. This is also good for my posture, which I’ve been a bit worried about since I spend so much time hunched over a computer! So – reverse flyes and bent rows it is.
Want to copy my workout? I’ve made it into a Pinterest-able graphic for easy reference.
Thank you to Chuze for continuing their partnership with me – I am loving all the options at this awesome gym! If you live near a Chuze and would like to try it out, click here for a seven day free trial. I hope you like it as much as I am enjoying my membership 🙂