Sunday, December 26, 2010

Switch Stance

Cold weather, epic snowfall, ice, snowbound trails and sketchy road runs all indicate that winter has a strong grip on the Yampa Valley. The Steamboat Ski Area is off to one of it's best seasons ever with over 160" of snow so far and it hasn't been difficult to make it a "powder day in the 'Boat." If you're not afraid to hike a little out-of-bounds to get some once the Mountain gets tracked up. Then, there's Buffalo Pass, which NEVER lacks massive amounts of snow, a veritable playground for shredders that have access to a snowmobile. Yes, sir. My love for snowboarding certainly isn't going to diminish this winter.

On the other hand, it's a great time for the trail runner to go underground and start rebuilding for next year. For the past two months, I've reduced my weekly mileage substantially keeping my runs down to 5 - 8 miles only 3 to 4 times a week in order to facilitate fresher legs when I get a chance to go snowboarding. I've also been incorporating leg weight training into my schedule, hitting the gym for an hour or so after a run or snowboarding. Leg lifts, curls and extensions. Low weight, high repetion to build endurance and I will occasionally hit the treadmill for up to an hour to let my legs turnover a little faster than they can on the sketchy ice conditions we have. My outdoor runs have been fun though in the cold, winter air. I'm usually clad in long, waterproof pants, a shell or jacket over a short sleeved wicking layer, beanie and gloves and shoes with good traction. I've been rotating between wearing Salomon Speedcross 2s, Inov-8 315 GTX and Salomon XT Wings, depending on the weather. If it's below 20F , I have to make sure I switch my water bottle from hand to hand to keep my fingers from getting too cold. Still, it's strangely refreshing to run when it gets really cold. Particularly, when it's dark.

Really, nothing too major on the training front. Mostly, I'm just trying to have fun on my snowboard which has really been bolstered this season by the conditioning my legs recieved this past summer. I've been making some superb turns in fantastic snow conditions punctuated most recently by a Christmas Day descent in Fish Creek Canyon where I was able to link up a super fun, steep and deep ride through the trees with the entrance to the Keyhole, a massive boulder field flanked by two cliffs so there is literally no other way in. The snow was perfect and hardly touched.

Happy Trails for 2011!

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