Saturday, December 04, 2004

On Snow

One storm of wonderslush that freezes up, followed by a couple of one- to three- inch dustings and suddenly we're on snow.

Nothing points out the inadequacy of your dry-land training like actual skiing. Nordic skiing is a full-body activity. Isolating muscles with specific exercises does not work them in the same integrated way that skiing does. Even roller skiing presents different challenges to balance and steering. Snow gives way laterally in ways that a rolling wheel does not.

The variable movements an experienced skier makes for stability and fine steering control are automatic. Because they follow no pattern, you can't train for them. They are what tires you in the first few outings.

Coordinating even strong muscles requires a period of adaptation. I'm out there today, double poling, wondering where my power went. In my case, just not enough devotion to training. Aerobically okay, generally fit, but poling adds another whole level.

The thing is, when you finish, the whole body feels flushed out. Every muscle has contributed, so every muscle has been refreshed. The metabolic glow lasts a long time and the peace will saturate you.

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