Le Tour de France: Motivation to keep your heli-ski legs
by Becca Blay
Switching gears from the heliskiing season to the summer season can often be challenging if you’ve worked hard to keep your skiing legs strong. During
the summer months, the best way to maintain your ski fitness, is by switching gears while riding a bike. Fortunately, watching the Tour de France can not only be entertaining, but it can be extremely motivating as well. Skiing and cycling compliment each other and the benefits of cycling will pay off in face shots during the winter months.
Road biking in the summer helps to strengthen the stabilizer muscles around your knees and ankles. Riding at a base (easy pace) for the first month on the bike, will help to prevent injury in the future. Mountain biking will enhance coordination, agility and core strength. You can cater your rides in order to directly benefit skiing as well. For example, short power efforts on a mountain bike will help build strength that will directly translate to skiing, similar to doing squats. Hill repeats on a road bike, 8-15 min in length, will increase endurance and decrease fatigue throughout the day/week when skiing.
On top of the cardiovascular benefits that you will gain while riding, make sure to tap into a weekly core routine as well. If you have back pain while skiing, the summer months allow you to spend time doing crunches and sit ups, which in turn help relieve back strain. Typically if your back hurts, it is because your core is weak.
It is also important to stay limber in the off season as well. Stretching is key, and while you’re at it, remember that you don’t necessarily have to be at a CMH lodge to enjoy a massage. Treat yourself, you’re body will thank you in the long run.