With summer right around the corner (unless you live in Breckenridge, where it’s currently 15 degrees), and your routines disrupted due to COVID, it’s time to start getting into your summer sports.
Here are Coach Howdy’s top five tips to help you make the best transition from skiing to summer activities.
Don’t jump into your summer sport too quickly (if you live in the Front Range and you’ve already done this, skip to tip 2). It can be quite helpful to think of your body like a car. You have the engine, and you have the wheels. If you were quite active on snow this winter, your engine is probably pretty strong. But you still have your winter wheels on. Your wheels (muscles) will need a bit of a transition period, and if you go straight from skiing to running 5 days a week you are, in the words of the great American poet Brian Griffin: “Looking for a bad time.”
Take a couple “recovery” weeks early in the season. Run/bike a bunch, and then take a week with 50-70% as much biking and running. This will allow for a faster change of the winter tires to the summer tires. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are a little sore/angry from the new sport need some time to heal and become stronger. This will help you avoid unjust later in the summer.
And while you’re doing all of this, make sure you’re doing mobility work! Mobility is simply a combination of strength and flexibility. You probably need to be more flexible than you are right now, but simply becoming more flexible isn’t usually a very good predictor of health/performance. You also need to get some strength at the end of that range of motion. I highly recommend something like this Foundation Workout done 3-5 days a week.
Create 1-2 new habits around your weaknesses in your summer sport. Are you a runner who struggles with downhills? Make a habit to practice them regularly. Are you trying to lose weight? Create some habits around that. In the GH Book Club we just read Atomic Habits (great book), it’s a good place to start learning about habits, and has some great actionable tips on how to incorporate good habits and break bad ones.
And finally, go easy on yourself. It’s a weird time to be alive, and a lot is going on. While you certainly shouldn’t be lying on the couch and wallowing, very few are going to be at our BEST right now. Instead, work on building consistency, building routine, and give yourself some credit for getting off the couch and out the door. Maybe turn off Strava. It’ll be good for you.
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