Wednesday, April 05, 2006


The transition from skiing to running and back ranges from experience in aerobic love-hate to something sort of blah. In a boreal or sub-arctic environment, unless you're extremely hard core or have a big race ahead, the smart thing to do is just go with the season. When it gets cold and snowy--put away the flats and either ski or snow shoe, or use the treadmill. Likewise, when the snow gets sloppy, it's easy to put away the skis and start running or cycling. However, there are a few weeks in fall and again in spring, where you can kind of do both. Transition time.

Psychologically, I find spring transition to be easier than in the fall. However, that's not so say that I'm enjoying the running right now. I'm not. Years ago my wife used to tease me during the weeks after I put my skis away for the year. "You run like a duck!" in reference to my stride and built up quads from all that skating. It takes between a month and six weeks to get your running legs back after a winter of skiing, and another six weeks to get into strong race shape.

Physically, changing from running to skiing is a little easier. You might be a little awkward, but if you're in good running shape, you can start racing decently within two weeks of being on skis (with maybe 10 days on the snow). But it still takes a full six weeks to really get the feel of your skis and the snow, not to mention building up your upper body.

I'm really enjoying the transition this time. After the 50k Sonot Kkazoot last month (where I placed 9th against a very strong field that included national class skiers), I've just been training about 30-50 minutes per day, with at least one day off each week. The mix has been close to 3:3 on days per week, but the ski portion time-wise has been a little higher. It's no pressure, no worry training. I'm just enjoying it out there while the snow is still (very) good.

The runs have been 30 -45 minutes. Just easy. My plan is to be almost completely transitioned to running by April 15. Then I'll start the requisite tempo runs and hills in preparation for racing. My first race is in early May, but I'm not expecting much until June.


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