Last night's well-attended "Prepare for the Frosty Freestyle - Part 1: Fitness" was the first in a series of three classes designed to help skiers get ready the the Frosty Freestyle 5/15K Cross Country Ski Race on January 15, 2011 at Huron Meadows Metropark just south of Brighton, MI. Participants in class ranged from people who had never skied before to the winner of last year's 5K Frosty race.
Led by Frosty Freestyle Race Director Mike Muha, the class covered training basics with a specific focus on training for the busy skier: how to get the most out of your training in with mimimun training hours.
The class started with a discussion of why training at different heart rates provides different physiological benefits. Explanations were provide about training zones or levels, and why you would want to train in one zone versus another.
Quite a bit of time was spent discussing the nature of interval training: why athletes do interval training, how they help skiing, and the anatomy of a typical interval session.
Recommendations were made for training for the average skier and for skiers with very limited time for training.
The second half of the class focuced on strength training. A clear description was provide on the difference between training core muscles (used for stability) and abs (used for propulsion).
Skiers then got down and dirty, breaking out exercise mats and doing an actual core and abs strength session, including a group medicine ball toss. The class then did a series of upper and lower body exercises.
The class closed down with some homework: skiers are to do 1-2 interval sessions and 2-3 strength sessions over the next week.
The PowerPoint presentation and class assignment can be downloaded from the Frosty Fresstyle Cross Country Ski Race web site.
Next week's class will cover classic and skating ski technique. Particants should come prepared to do many technique drills. Skiers can register for this free class here.