With so few people participating in ski mountaineering competitions in the US, there is essentially no published information on training for the sport. Last year I asked Steve Romeo, publisher of TetonAT.com and one of the best randonee racers in the US, if he had any training suggestions for rando racing.
His answer was fairly simple. In summary: let your recreational backcountry skiing be your over-distance training and do some intervals for speed. I asked if he did any resistance training. Steve said, "only in the very early season." And the only exercise he did was to put on a pack full of weight and step up onto a stair.
Steve was kind enough to publicly ask on his blog for me if anyone had any workout suggestions for a knowledge hungry racer like myself. The responses were comically useless. It's safe to say that people suggesting massive amounts of push-ups have no experience with ski mountaineering racing. There were a few people that seemed to be selling their own copyrighted workout programs. One told me that if I did his program I would become "ripped in no time." Referring to his program, another ordered me to, "Learn it. Live it. Love it." For real.
Part of the purpose of this blog is to document what I'm doing to train and share what works and what doesn't. I want to accumulate a body of workouts for people to reference and to collect the wisdom that racers have collected with their successes and triumphs. Hopefully we'll find some Europeans to share. They certainly have training programs entirely specified for randonee racing.
For now, lets see if any Americans will share with us. If you have ever finished in the top ten at the National Championships in Jackson, Wyoming, these questions are directed at you. What sports do you borrow workout programs from? By programs I mean pre-season and season-long outlines for training. Marathoning and nordic skiing seem to be the most logical. What are the benefits and drawbacks from taking workout programs from these sports? Most racers that I've informally asked about training have told me that they like trail running and scrambling up peaks in the autumn to get ready to race. That's what I had been doing, but the most educated people I've met in sports science have told me that those things will only benefit a rando racer if done sparingly.
Successful racers, help pull the rest of us out of the darkness of ignorance.