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Cross country ski and more in Yellowstone Country, Montana

Get ready for next year

Thu, Mar  22, 2012  - By Ian Harvey

If you are a racer or want to become a faster skier, I recommend you make sure to go through a process that I find always yields improvement.  Sometime around now or just after your season is over, consider your strengths and weaknesses from this past season.  Then consider how you can neutralize them or even turn them into strengths. Then do it!  It is a very simple formula, but most people don't go through the process, they just "try and try".

I did this one year and decided that my biggest weakness was in skating up steep uphills (not extended ones, but shorter very steep types).  My competitors on the World Cup were really good at jump skating up them and seemingly not losing any momentum.  My technique seemed adequate, but what seemed to be lacking was explosive power and perhaps my strength to weight ratio was on the poor side.  I made a goal to lose 5 pounds by the next competition season and to improve my explosiveness through sprint workouts (7x15-20 second sprints up a steep hill and also 7 more on a gradual hill) that I did on a weekly basis.  I achieved my weight goal and did the workouts as planned and had my best season ever the following year.  I really think that the only difference between me the year before and the new improved me was this targeted weakness that I was able to neutralize.

Rollerski

Another year, I decided that my sprint finish was poor.  With the addition of so much head to head racing, I decided to develop a powerful sprint.  I worked on it all summer and fall (both improving my technique as well as my physical ability to sprint).  The following winter, I lost only two races.  All of the other races that I entered were mass starts that I won using my new deadly sprint against some really good competition!  Being able to sprint well also gives you a tactical advantage.  If you think that you can beat the people you are with in a sprint finish, the onus becomes theirs to leave you behind or lose out.

I recommend you go through the same process and stick to what you decided and see how you come out on the other side!  Good luck!

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