Tag: cross training

Stand Up Paddle Board Cross Training

Stand Up Paddle Board Cross Training

First of all, let me tell you, my hips hurt. Right where my lower obliques tie into the iliac crest. Yep. And I owe it all to stand up paddle board training. I had a chance to try the Stand Up Paddle Board at Keystone Lake near Mountain House Base Area. I used to canoe a lot when I was in my 20’s. I canoed several hundred miles on rivers and lakes in Wisconsin, Utah, Montana, and Nevada. In the past few years I’ve had the chance to also canoe and kayak on Keystone Lake and when they got a stable of stand up paddle boards I became curious.

stand up paddle boards all in a row
stand up paddle boards all in a row

I have a friend who volunteers in my BSA group who is a river guide, and he said that he uses a stand up paddle board while teaching beginner kayak skills. At a recent BSA week long camp out, we had a lake day, and the life guards were all on stand up paddle boards. So I was really curious now. So I arranged to go try it.

a beginner stand up paddle board
a beginner stand up paddle board

Stand Up Paddle Board as Training

I didn’t know there were different stand up paddle boards for different skill levels, but I had to start on a beginner board. It was weird to say the least, but by keeping my knees low and using my hips to drive the paddle with stable shoulders, I was going about 2 + MPH and getting in a good workout. I then switched to an intermediate stand up paddle board. I actually liked it a lot more.

an intermediate stand up paddle board
an intermediate stand up paddle board

That first day I did a little over .8 miles with an average speed around 1.7 MPH. Not too shabby and it felt great on my shoulders, lats, and core. Here’s my Stand Up Paddle Board session from Movescount (Suunto Ambit2 S GPS Heart Rate Monitor – CLICK HERE).

Movescount Stand Up Paddle Board Statistics Day One
Movescount Stand Up Paddle Board Statistics Day One

I went back the next day for another session, I had so much fun. I went back to the intermediate Stand Up Paddle Board and booked it around the lake. I worked on improving my technique and speed and did several laps around the fountains and buoys and got in 1.2 miles.

Stand Up Paddle Board stats from Strava
Stand Up Paddle Board stats from Strava

That’s the view of that workout on Strava, synced from my Suunto. I averaged 2.3 MPH over that 1.2 miles. Much faster than the previous workout.

Movescount stats for Stand Up Paddle Board workout day two
Movescount stats for Stand Up Paddle Board workout day two

Then this morning I had some business meetings to attend and my side hurt quite a bit so I did some mountain bike riding as my cross training instead. The fact that I was hurting proves that I have some weakness there to address. I have to admit though that I’m hooked and will most likely do quite a bit of stand up paddle board training for as long as the lake is open.

Though I am by no means an expert on this topic, I recommend a low balanced stance keeping light on the balls of your feet. Set the paddle into the water in as straight a line as possible to keep from having to switch from side to side with it so often to stay in a straight line while paddling. Try it, it will make sense in motion.

Stand Up Paddle Board on Keystone Lake at 9,300' in Colorado
Stand Up Paddle Board on Keystone Lake at 9,300′ in Colorado

For cross training, these are the muscles that come into play while ice climbing. The lats and core get quite the endurance training session out of this. If someone does know more about cross training with the stand up paddle board and would like to share, please, message me below.

 

 

Skiing Cross Training for Alpine Climbing

Could skiing cross training be the best for alpine climbing? It has a lot in common.

  • You’re out in the cold and snow
  • You’re wearing stiff clunky plastic boots
  • You’re wearing a helmet and goggles
  • You’re trying to stay in control on slippery stuff
  • You have to dig through a lot of layers to use the facilities

But aside from that I think skiing cross training is optimum because it’s really a great quad workout. I haven’t been doing a lot of skiing since I was in my early 20’s. It didn’t really fit in with building a family and career. When I married my wife in 2005 I began skiing again off and on. It was pretty frustrating because ski technology changed drastically in the intervening 20 years. Snowboarding took off hugely, which changed the character of the snow you typically ski on. Anyone my age who is suddenly dropped into a ski run shared with snowboarders will confirm this sad truth.

This past year I had the opportunity to get a family ski pass, so have taken my kids out several times to teach them how to ski and enjoy the great terrain at Keystone Resort. It’s been a blast, to say the least. My boots don’t fit right anymore. I got them when I was much heavier, at over 230 pounds. My feet changed a lot over the past several years of running and training and just getting older. I can make them work for now though until I can get around to deciding if I’ll be doing enough skiing cross training to justify the expense.

This past week we had nearly three feet of fresh powder snow to play in. The kids loved it, and fell a lot trying to figure out the new surface area. Here’s a video of our powder day out on Thursday:

Now on to the serious skiing cross training.

Skiing Cross Training Suggestions

Skiing cross training can be best utilized by realizing the combinations of strength and movement in the angles best suited to developing the same types of strength that you would use in climbing. You use your quads a lot in skiing. You also use your core and glutes, and in my case anyway, the IT Band gets a great deal of work. You use your poles much the same as trekking poles.

  • Emphasize your concentration on the up-down movement with your knees and hips.
  • Concentrate on your knees coming under your center of gravity.
  • Reach for your pole placement and try to see both poles at all times.
  • Skate as much as you can with proper Nordic Pole action, on the flats and on uphills.
  • Try to feel “rest” as you straighten your legs and flex your feet to relax them in your boots.
  • Static positions under high pressure, like in a GS style turn, are realistic for alpine climbing. I heard this great suggestion from Steve House

I use my Suunto Ambit2 S Heart Rate Monitor/GPS Watch. I won it in an Instagram contest last Spring. It has an Alpine Skiing setting that displays vertical feet, average speeds and heart rates. I think it’s an excellent choice for skiing cross training if you want to take it seriously.

Skiing Cross Training Data: quick stats overview
Skiing Cross Training Data: quick stats overview

Notice in the above photo that I’ve gone over 8000′ of vertical and consumed nearly 1000 calories in that skiing cross training session. It suggests that I need 14 hours to recover from that workout. The next photo shows a graph of heart rate and altitude. You can see when I’m in the lift lines and when I pause along the routes to catch my breath.

Skiing Cross Training Graph: Heart Rate and Altitude
Skiing Cross Training Graph: Heart Rate and Altitude

This next screenshot shows the map of the route I took for these four runs for my skiing cross training session earlier today. It was a busy Saturday skiing with our recent snowfall, but the runs weren’t so busy that any of us felt crowded. I suppose that’s because Keystone is such a big resort.

GPS Map of my Skiing Cross Training route
GPS Map of my Skiing Cross Training route

Those are a few of the key points I use for my own skiing cross training with an emphasis on alpine and ice climbing. If you’re skiing this year, let me know what you do to keep in your best shape for your own climbing.