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It's Totally Late to Prep for XC Skiing, but Start Anyway!

December 09, 2013


If you haven't been getting ready for XC Skiing yet, you're way late. But there's no time like NOW to get going.

The main idea in Michigan skiing is that our winters are sketchy these days. So when snow hits you gotta hit it running! And be fit enough to enjoy it all before it melts for a week then comes back.

If you're not ready, our first dump will happen and you'll be overjoyed and playing in it for a couple days THEN YOU'LL GET TIRED and it'll be here a few more days then melt. You'll miss those last few days! Then you'll recover but the snow will be gone! You'll be OUT OF SYNC with the cycle of our snow.

Don't let that happen!

So, starting today, getting rocking those calisthenics! Whip thru 5-10 min's of the basics. They'll do wonders! Then get out and run a trail with ski poles. Carry a pack if possible. You don't have to "run" -- striding, jogging, whatever will be great. Use poles and try to add some resistance. Then go find a hill and go up and down it a few times striding or bounding with the poles. Then go to your yard tree and tie-on some old inner tubes (or Thera-Band tubing, like I sell) and start pulling on them for 20 reps, say. Singlestick AND doublepole. Do ab-crunches with 'em. ...In short, do an XC-oriented workout for at least a half hour!!!

If ya have rollerskis or even, far better, CAT SKIS (like I sell), USE EM! Even just a bit. Cat Skis are the ONLY ideal XC trainer that work in nasty slop.

If you get yourself tired NOW while it's nasty, sloppy weather, in a week or so when the good stuff hits you'll be IN SYNC with it! That's how it works 'round here. So get with the program and don't mess up! That's the easy way to get in 50 ski days even if a MI winter ain't so hot.


If you want to take it the next step up, get out there for a couple hours with pack and poles and go a long trail hike, striding hard. Then back home, do more hill repeats, or if you don't have hills, like I don't, strap a small car tire to you by way of 8-foot long inner tubes (or, better, Thera-tubing, like I sell) and go trail bounding with poles with that dragging behind. Resistance! (A few times CAT Skiing with a tire will really do the trick.)

Waste yourself now! In the slop! You'll bounce back for the SNOW!

Then, when our snow does it's cyclic melt, hit it again in the slop. We'll usually also get a hard freeze again a few days before it snows again. We'll get several days of 10F on dry ground. BANG! ...Hit the wild ice on skates! It only takes a few cold days to get 2" of good strong flexible black ice. Go out and blaze around a pond or swamp, etc. If you're really lucky, your nearby river will freeze solid and give you a glorious new wild freeway thru the woods. Bring your poles if you like. (Bring safety gear, too. --Ice studs, a rope, a whistle.)

In short, if you don't hit winter fit, you're making a big Michigan mistake. If you like skiing and tend to get excited about snow AFTER it shows up, you'll end up getting into super fun XC ski fitness -- where you're joyously zooming the hills and picnicking to beat the band -- right about at the end of the season. DOH!

You still have a wee bit of time to get ready. GO!!!

(It looks like our yard has maybe enough snow to ski it today. 1" might be all I need! Or I can head over to the golf course. Whatever works!)

And if you think CX cycling offers fun flow, you ain't seen nuthin' yet! Skiing is like bike-flow X 5 !!! It's like CX on a magic carpet. No gear! Just body flow. XC ski has so many less parts. It's all body. It's flow from the navel. Go!

...Then in spring you'll be ready to hit the bike season MASSIVELY!

Or any other season. Canoeing? XC ski gets you ready for it. Anything!

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