By Lorin Paley
Telemarking can be the most graceful form of skiing where you bounce from one cloud of powder to the next. That is, until you get tired. With fatigue, tele brutally transforms from fun and dynamic to painful and burning. To avoid injury, burnout, and clutching your
legs-last run humiliation, put in some workouts before and during the ski season.
Although common sense tells you to go on a lunging spree, that will result in some serious knee pain down the road. Start with hamstring curls on a plyo ball and work up to one legged sets. As for your quads, start with lunges, but progress to plyometric jump lunges. Remember to keep your core tight during all exercises to prevent injury.
Working out your legs will keep you from solidifying into one block of lactic acid, but unless you enjoy falling on your face all day, you’ll want to work on your core, trunk, midsection, abdominals, keg, or whatever you call it these days. Telemark is constant recovery on skis; balance is what you recover with; core strength is balance; ‘nuff said. Unless you want your switch to telemark to spur a life change that will make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, start small. Try to work up to a two-minute front plank and one-minute sides. If you can do that, you are ready to rip.
Once the white stuff gets deep enough to shred, injury prevention is key. It’s all about reducing inflammation and staying limber. Fish oil, along with making up the composition of cellular walls, helps reverse the inflammation cycle. That, paired with going for a cool-down (walk your poor dog) will control inflammation before it is a problem. If you are feeling gung ho, you can take a cold shower. Rolling in the snow works too, and it has more entertainment value.
Along with inflammation, most aches and pains come from being tight. If you feel like you could play the guitar with your hamstring, something is wrong. Staying hydrated with electrolytes such as NUUN helps your muscles stay lubricated, but the only way to keep limber is to stretch. Yeah, stretching is painful, but having a tight muscle snap is much worse.
Put in workout time before and during the season, so you will be strong from the first lift till last run.
- Lorin Paley is a National Telemark A team member. She won 2 silvers and 2 bronzes on the World Cup in 2010 and won two gold medals at the Junior World Championships in 2009. To check in on how this season is going, go to www.lorinpaley.com.