Get into shape for your ski holiday

Expert tips to get in shape for skiing (before and during your trip)

December 5th, 2023 Holiday Tips

As winter approaches, we anticipate the fresh powder and crisp mountain air. Getting ski fit is one sure way to enhance your performance, boost enjoyment and reduce risk of injury. Read some expert tips on how to get into shape for your ski holiday.

Skiing is a thrilling winter sport that will leave you feeling on top of the world; but it is also a demanding physical activity that requires strength, endurance, and agility. If you want to get the most out of a ski holiday, being in good shape is a huge step in the right direction. No matter what your level of skiing, being in the best shape you can will help your skiing, recovery, ability to see the sights after skiing and enjoy the après.

With the ski season fast approaching, we sat down with Joe Pearson, performance coach and co-founder of Buzz Performance in Morzine. Joe and his wife Amelia support clients in achieving their goals in fitness, triathlon and cycle training in our beautiful part of the French Alps. If you have a ski holiday booked this winter, Joe has some excellent tips to help you prepare for hitting the slopes and stay at your physical best during your trip.

5 things to consider when preparing your body for a skiing holiday

1. Make a plan and set goals for your training

Give yourself at least 6 weeks to prepare your body and you will be happy you did. We would recommend a combination of strength and conditioning sessions with a focus on skiing or boarding. Building that hip stability, leg strength and endurance, whilst working on flexibility and cardiorespiratory fitness should be the key areas of your skiing exercise program.

Try setting yourself some goals around time and frequency of your training. Rather than aiming to lift a certain weight, take a certain number of steps or burn a certain number of calories.

Be realistic when you set these goals and then hold yourself to high standards. If it’s 6 weeks of preparation and you are aiming for 4 sessions per week, that’s 24 sessions, aim for 90%, which means 22 sessions completed to reach your goal.

2. Get some advice from an expert

If you are preparing for a skiing holiday, then your training should be both varied and geared towards this activity. Your training should also be progressive and safe for you, ensuring you stay injury free and making improvements as you go along. If this sounds like something you can plan yourself, that’s brilliant, but if you don’t have the knowledge, it’s worth asking a professional coach to help.

 

3. Get the gear:

When I say get the gear, I mean the essentials first. Having a good pair of trainers, comfortable clothing, a drink bottle and sweat towel are must-haves and will be useful moving forward, even if you only use them occasionally. There’s lots of tech available to assist you with your training, however, none of the tech will get the training done for you and generally serves as entertainment or a distraction.

4. Make small changes

If you have committed to doing some training and you are making the effort, then why not make just a little more effort and make some other small changes to help prepare you to be your best.

Small changes could include

• Eating 2 pieces of fruit a day, you could add some fruit to your breakfast, morning snack, have post exercise or even make a smoothie after work.
• Stretch a little each day, even if it’s 5 mins here and there. Hang one heel off a small step and stretch the calf, take a shoulder stretch while waiting in line, take every opportunity you have to stretch!

 

5. Join some online sessions

Having someone guiding you through a session can give you confidence and motivation. If you have the time and access, joining an online class is great. If that doesn’t work for you, there are lots of online options.

 

At Buzz Performance we offer a Core, Strength, Conditioning and Cycling online session each week. The classes are recorded and can be completed either live or when you have time. Many of our community members use the sessions to complement their own training, some do all 4 sessions and some just opt in to a few each week.

Tips to keep you at your best during your holiday

 

Even with preparation, skiing on real terrain will be hard on the body. So now you’ve put the hours in to get ski fit, take a few small steps to treat your mind and body kindly during your trip, and you’ll reap the rewards.

1. Get yourself in a pair of tights!

Pre, post and during, the benefits of compression garments should not be underestimated. We recommend having a good pair of recovery tights to put on straight after you have finished on the slopes, preferably before your après.

2. Stay hydrated

Not the first time you have heard this, we are sure. However, a little hack we recommend is taking a tube of electrolyte tablets with you on your trip. Each evening after the day of skiing, replace the electrolytes that you have lost throughout the day, you’ll feel the benefits the next day.

 

3. Book a massage

If you don’t ski or board often, then after a few days most people will start to feel some aches and pains. Get a mid-holiday massage booked in and it will revitalize your body.

4. Go for a swim

If you happen to be staying at a hotel, chalet or resort with a pool go and have a swim, it’s a great way to recover. Some resorts also have saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs which can also help with your recovery. Morzine has an excellent swimming pool complex in the centre of town.

5. Join a Yoga Class

Another excellent way to ease those sore legs. Most resorts have classes almost every day and offer drop in rates. In Morzine, you can join a class at the yoga studio in the old town.

To conclude, there is so much to gain and so little to lose by doing some training to prepare you for hitting the slopes. Plus, being kind to your body with a little bit of skiing aftercare, can also enhance your performance and keep you feeling great during your trip.

For deep sleeps, relaxing hot tub soaks, award-winning food and a beautiful chalet to call home for your skiing holiday, browse AliKats’ selection of luxury chalets in Morzine.

Al
About the author: Al
After an interesting but ultimately unrewarding 10 years working in banking in London and Geneva, I made the move into full time mountain life and have never looked back. When I am not looking after our 3 energetic and hilarious children, I oversee the commercial and business change side of AliKats. I also helped set up a local environmental charity called Montagne Verte, along with Kat. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn

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