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Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you can't beat it, join it!!! and a little about skiing bumps!

The past few days has been bone chilling cold!  I think that it was actually at the point that almost all advice out there was to skip the run, do some other form of cross training!  I guess being a skier is a good form of cross training so I got it done!
That being said, yesterday, I was feeling like being a bit of a sucker for punishment, so I put on my shoes and headed out the door.  I find the only problem with cold weather running is how to dress for it.  They suggest to dress for 10 degrees cooler than it is, when it is -20, that is a little brutal to be dressing for and going outside.  But, suck it up and you will get comfortable!!  Until.....  The first 5 minutes was chilly, luckily the wind was behind me and was not blowing very hard so it was not an issue.  It was snowing big flakes so the scene was quite nice.  I went out to do a short run before going to watch the Raptors play so I was not stressed about pace or distance.  Just a run to get out there and keep moving respecting the offseason that it is. As I started out on my run I was feeling quite good.  My legs are not tied in knots, my HR was calm and my breating was effortless.  I did choose a route that has a continuous uphill on it to get a bit more of a workout as I was out there.  After about 10-15 minutes I realized how quickly I was running.   I purposely slowed down a bit, only to end up at the same pace again!  Hmmm!  A year ago doing these runs I was 45 seconds per km slower than I was going yesterday.  I was running 4:50-5:00 k pace and not choking a lung.  Last year at a 5:45 at this time of year I was whinning like a kid.  Now, it is a short distance, but it is the same short distance as a year ago.  I guess the offseason strategy of not stressing and training like a fool has allowed what I am doing and have done to sink in and make me a little faster.  As I start to ramp up I look forward to to seeing how much I can improve for the season when it is longer and important.
This week has started off very exciting from a coaching perspective for me.  I have 3 athletes that I am now coaching towards long races.  One 1/2 IM and two full distance.  I have spent a great deal of time training, stydying and learning with results.  Now I get to put it to work and help others achive new goals.  For me, training others is as much exctiment and motivation as my own races and training effort.  So, a new chapter is starting to unfold and this summer should prove to be amazing as not only do I get to push myself I get to test what others can do to get the resutls they desire.  I look forward to the journey!

Ski tip of the week!!(or day if I am inspired later this week)

As the season is progressing, bumps are going to start to be showing up on your favorit areas of the resort.  Thise dreaded moguls, the ones you avoid at all costs!!  Dont stay away, get it there, they are the greatest fun and will improve all of your  skiing!
Why dont most like bumps???  Let me try, first bump OK, second bump a little jump, this bump, Holy crap!  Fourth bump yard sale, and repeat!  Was that close??  Let's try some intro ideas to see if you can get a hang of it.
First lets talk about your body position in the bumps.  Earlier I talked about the most important things in skiing, a centered and MOBILE stance!  Turning with the lower body and being balanced over your edges.  These are very important to remember!!!
As you need to be very mobile to stop yourself from launching off of bumps, the way you start your bump skiing is important.  Start in a flexed positions, kinds like you are at the volleyball net waiting for the play to come your way.  You must have your back and core engaged in order to give you stability and maitain control of what is going on below.  You should think of keeping your back upright and your chin in the air in order to promote a stable and strong center of mass through the bumps. When you begin, you should choose the first 2-3 turns that you are going to do, that way you know ahead of time what is happening and where you will need to turn.  As you approach the first bump, the ski tips will hit it first.  As your ski tips come to the bump and begin to climb it, begin to flex to absorb the force created, you will arrive to the top of the bump in a flexed position.  Then turn the ski tips down the back side of the bump and begin to extend and turn the skis as you go down the backside.  So, at the top of the bump your tips and tails will be in the air, it makes it easy to turn the skis with the lower body, as you turn the skis going down the bump, extend your legs in order to keep contact with the snow.  As you get to the bottom of the bumpo begin to flex again as you will be at the next bump quicker now as you are sliding along, bend and absorb as you start climbing the next one.
DO NOT ski straight into the steepest face of the bump, it is very difficult to manage the amount of force that is created.  Continue to turn unitl you are Skiing towards the side of the bump and turn there.  That way  you can use the contour to help guide you to where you are going.
The key is to continue to bend and extend and continue to turn the skis.  As soon as you stop moving you will being to gain speed and it will then become more difficult to manange the sequence.  Keep your chin up!!
Watch someone skiing bumps next time you are on the chair.  Observe who is having the yard sale!!  The person not bending, or bending at the waist allowing the chin to drop and come over the skis, it will happen every time unless you are very very strong!!
Bumps are awesome once you have gained a little confidence, the only way to gain confidence is to ski them.  If you have any questions or I have managed to confude you, please ask, would be happy to hear that the bumps have become your friend as a result of my ski tip!

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