Summer Cross-Training for Vail Skiing Fitness

VBSR mountain biking

Photo by Jared Weiss

The Vail ski season is over, but skiing fitness is a year-round commitment. Fortunately, the summertime provides many opportunities to get fit, and stay fit, until snow’s back on the slopes. Over the years, Vail has become a summer destination for those who also love the culture and the arts. Events including the Vail International Dance Festival, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and the Vail Hot Summer Nights music series keep us entertained. But we wanted share some of our favorite Vail summer events here that also provide cross-training opportunities for skiing fitness. These events inspire Vail locals and visitors, alike. And we hope you can also find ways like these to keep fitness in focus wherever you are this summer.

Cross-Training for Skiing Fitness

Cross-training involves participating in other sports to complement a primary sport. Great ways to cross-train for skiing fitness? Mountain biking, trail running, and mountain hiking! Cross-training is an important part of base training. The period of training leading up to the recreational or competitive season of a primary sport is considered base training.

“Base training and injury prevention are complementary and can be done in combination to prepare for skiing. Preparing for the physical demands of skiing should involve both high and low intensity training. Base training predominately consists of aerobic training.” -Troy Flanagan, USSA

Due to the winter seasonality of skiing, summer is the time to work on skiing fitness goals. These goals can include base training, cross-training, injury prevention, and flexibility. Some benefits and tips for cross-training to improve skiing fitness include:

  • Cross-training is a great form of base aerobic training
  • Typical cross-training sessions should involve at least 45 minutes of low intensity work below your anaerobic threshold
  • Choose a cross training method that uses predominately the lower body to maximize the benefits and transfer of training to skiing fitness
  • Mountain biking, trail running, jogging, and mountain hiking, are examples of cross-training activities that support skiing fitness
  • Swimming is also excellent for cross-training because it involves muscles from both the upper and lower body and works your cardiovascular system.

Note: The above tips are adapted from “Base Training and injury prevention for skiing” by Troy Flanagan of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s Department of Sport Science. This article also offers great tips for other activities to enhance skiing fitness. It covers interval training, strength training, core stability, stretching, recovery, and more. Check it out!

VBSR trail running

Photo by Kalen Emsley

Cross-Training & Vail Summer Events

If you’re visiting or living near Vail this summer, join in on these events that naturally provide cross-training opportunities. But wherever you are, we hope you’ll get inspired to participate in your local area’s events. Sports-focused events and recreational or competitive races can motivate you to stay fit in a fun, supportive environment.

GoPro Mountain Games: June 8-11, 2017

The GoPro Mountain Games in Vail is the ultimate early summer season event for athletes, adventurers, and lovers of mountain culture. Opportunities abound for athletes to enter in races at competitive or recreational levels. Participation in these events can support cross-training and base training for skiing fitness. Road bike, mountain bike, and trail running races are all a part of the Games. This early-season event will provide enough inspiration to keep your cross-training routine on track all summer.

Vail Recreation District Fitness Events: Summer 2017

The Vail Recreation District offers many amazing ways to turn the Vail summer into a mountain playground. Some opportunities for base training that will lead into skiing fitness include Vail Rec’s mountain bike race series. The Vail Recreation District also offers race opportunities for runners of all abilities with its popular La Sportiva Vail Trail Running Series.

VBSR road biking

Photo by Paul Green

The Copper Triangle: August 5, 2017

Road cycling is also a great way to cross-train for skiing fitness during the summer season. The Copper Triangle is a supported road cycling event that covers 78 miles and nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. It begins at Copper Mountain and travels over Freemont Pass, Tennessee Pass, and Vail Pass. The Copper Triangle is not for the faint at heart! This cycling event will keep you motived in the early summer months as you train. And it will surely keep your legs strong all summer, and beyond.

See you Next Season for Vail Ski Rentals!

We look forward to seeing you in top skiing fitness form next winter as you come in for Vail ski rentals. We’ll be closed for the summer season, but we’ll be back open when the mountain opens in November. And, of course, we’ll be offering all of the other services you love, too, including ski tuning and Vail ski storage within walking distance of Gondola One.