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  1. #1
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    biking vs cross country skiing skating

    I have put 4100 miles on my bike. Over the last 3 months I have been spinning using spinnervals. I have gone skiing 4 days in a row and I can't believe how hard it is. I feel like I am out of shape. I have not skied in 7 years. It might hard because I need to get my technique down.

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    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    You're using different muscle groups, or taxing the same muscles differently. I do a wee bit of X county skiing too, and find the same thing. I don't do enough skiing to really overcome this either, but I have a lot of fun doing it anyway, and it's an activity my wife and I enjoy together.
    Technique, what's that? I'm just a hack skier, and that's all I'll ever be. I'm sure those uber co-ordinated types just shake their heads as they glide past me, but what the heck.
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    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    It's early in the season - keep it up and you will be a stronger rider come Spring. And don't forget those black diamond hills - good for your interval training. Watch the World Cup skaters climbing hills - that's endurance.

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    Today was much better. I am getting the technique. I am not saying I have it. I feel like I am an elephant on skis sometimes.

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    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Are you skate or classic? If I skate ski I find it the hardest workout of all, seems to work every muscle in the body. Keep it up and your fitness will soar.
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    It's a given that skating requires conditioning and strength, but so does cycling. The difference is the upper body workload, and the balance and technique required to quicky and efficiently transfer weight with each kick / glide / pole.

    As a new skater, much effort is wasted just fighting to keep your balance while transferring weight and power. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun .... but it's a slow learning curve, especially if you start later in life.

    A great way to develop technique in the off season is rollerskiing, which extends your skiing season and is actually more difficult than skiing on snow as your contact surface is smaller and your CG is higher.... Plus, falling on asphalt is far less forgiving than snow

    Here's a pic from last week while nearing the top of a climb. The only skate marks are mine from the previous lap.... My idea of a perfect day at 9,000ft

    Frisco Nordic Center ... The double tracks on the right are machine set for classic skiers ( diagonal stride)


    Frisco Nordic Center ...


    Below is a nice rollerskiing video. Unlike this guy I wear a helmet plus elbow and knee pads plus football style hip and tailbone protection. Beware the asphalt snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0yHq...eature=related
    Note how he brings his heels closely together which allows weight and power to transfer quickly under him.
    Last edited by werks; 12-23-10 at 10:33 PM.
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  7. #7
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    WOW it is so beautiful. I do skate. I have not skated for 7 years. I had bypass last Dec. I need to edge better. I do a nice job gliding but I need more power.

    Quote Originally Posted by werks View Post
    It's a given that skating requires conditioning and strength, but so does cycling. The difference is the upper body workload, and the balance and technique required to quicky and efficiently transfer weight with each glide / kick / pole.

    As a new skater, much effort is wasted just fighting to keep your balance while transferring weight and power. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun .... but it's a slow learning curve, especially if you start later in life.

    A great way to develop technique in the off season is rollerskiing, which extends your skiing season and is actually more difficult than skiing on snow as your contact surface is smaller and your CG is higher.... Plus, falling on asphalt is far less forgiving than snow

    Here's a pic from last week while nearing the top of a climb. The only skate marks are mine from the previous lap.... My idea of a perfect day at 9,000ft

    Frisco Nordic Center ... The double tracks on the right are machine set for classic skiers ( diagonal stride)


    Frisco Nordic Center ...


    Below is a nice rollerskiing video. Unlike this guy I wear a helmet plus elbow and knee pads plus football style hip and tailbone protection. Beware the asphalt snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0yHq...eature=related
    Note how he brings his heels closely together which allows weight and power to transfer quickly under him.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Any exertion at 9000 ft is challenging for a "low lander" like me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ipedaltahoe's Avatar
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    spooner.jpgCongratulations on finding the hardest workout there is. I coach a middle school nordic team, thats me on the right from 2 days ago. We skied 7k and my legs were fine, my triceps on the other hand were killing me. I commute daily year round so my legs are usually up for the task but not so much my arms. I thought all the snow shoveling I have been doing would have helped. I was wrong. My advice for you though is get your leg movement down first then worry about your arms. I have the kids ski sans poles and it helps a lot, and remember to keep your poles in close, no rowing the boat as we call it. And, best advice watch your wax it will make a huge difference. Just like riding wear, wicking material in layers, sunscreen, hat and gloves and most of all have fun. I look forward to this season more than any other.

  10. #10
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Yeah, xc skiing is a much harder workout, but probably better total-body fitness activity than cycling. I used to teach xc skiing before they built the indoor velodrome, used to race and do biathlons (I still have my Russian-made .22 biathlon *****, an object of supreme accuracy were it not for me).

    Skate skiing is really good for cyclists, but you want to be careful that you're not bent too much at the knees with your hips too far back, a common flaw amongst experienced cyclists who take up the sport. It tires you out real fast, although it feels comfortable at first because it's just like your riding position! Most cyclists have to get used to balancing at a full extension. I would say the two big "secrets" of going fast/easily on xc skis are:

    1) Keeping ALL your weight on the gliding ski while it is perfectly flat (a ski that's not flat is slowing you down), and
    2) using your recovery motion (usually the hip coming forward in order to recover to its initial position) to help propel you forward.

    I agree completely with Ipedaltahoe above that you should be doing a lot of your skate training without poles. And when you're going uphill, make sure you are using your full hip rotation to help propel you forward. Most beginners don't rotate their hips enough. Skate skiing is a rotational activity, while classic is more back and forth, although the top skiers do use some hip rotation.

    To become a decent skate skier will take about three seasons, if you're already an athlete and have a good connection with your body. To become a good classic skier will take 7 to 10 years. No kidding!

    I find classic technique far more satisfying, both aesthetically and physically, as you can actually relax while doing classic. You can't really relax while skating, except on the desents, or maybe one-skating ("V-2" for Yanks) on dead flat terrain.

    BTW, that "diagonal stride" you see classic skiers do is actually an uphill technique. For flat terrain, you use the "kick-double pole" and for slight descents you just double-pole. So there's actually quite a bit of upper body involved. Most xc skiers have really strong upper bodies. That's why when I was teaching, I would suggest that everybody watch the women's World Cup race videos to see what technique you would use with normal upper body strength. The World Cup men are just too incredible, what they can do with upper body alone!

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    lhbernhardt

    thanks for the tips!!! I need to work on the glide part and my hips. I am making sure my shoulders turn to get over my skis better.

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    I use telemark turns in my skiing which requires very good strength in the quads and in that respect is good training for cycling. Skating or diagonal stride x-country skiing looks like great fun. I also like the pace of this kind of skiing as it would seem to promote savoring the winter environment. I have snow shoed and back packed quite a bit in New Hampshire. I've come to a point where I nearly prefer the winters for the serene feeling in the woods.

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    We have 8 inches of fresh powder, and it's still coming down, our first snow of the year. I HAD to get out, put on the head light and out the door I went. I forgot I had those muscles. It was GREAT to ski again.

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    All things being equal skating can be a bit harder than riding, though riding several miles up a 12,000ft pass tends to feel about as difficult as skating. Both are good exercise and great fun, and that's what matters most.

    Skating 20K Friday at Breckenridge Nordic Center (10,000ft)... 17 days skiing so far and it's only December !
    I broke a CF ski pole last week, so I'm using my durable aluminum rollerski poles in this pic.


    An easy ride today at an oxygen rich 6,000ft east of Denver Slicks turn my XC Comp into a respectable if somewhat
    unusual road bike.... A change in altitude is like a change in latitude.


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    Last edited by werks; 12-27-10 at 06:44 AM.
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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ipedaltahoe View Post
    spooner.jpgCongratulations on finding the hardest workout there is. .
    Not going to say you are wrong as you may not be---But I have heard this of so many sports- That I do wonder what is the hardest training for sport.

    I used to box and that training was hard. My training partner was an "English" amateur boxing champion and you should have seen the way he trained. As He put it--it did not matter how fit/unfit you were. What mattered was the amount of effort you put into it.

    But for me- any sport that you are not used to is going to be hard.
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    ...any sport that you are not used to is going to be hard.
    I agree with you stapfam.

    I wrestled from childhood until graduating college , and I still regard this as the most difficult sport I ever trained for and competed in.

    In fact, that experience makes everything I've done since seem less difficult physically and especially mentally
    Last edited by werks; 12-27-10 at 06:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by werks View Post
    I agree with you stapfam.

    I wrestled from childhood until graduating college , and I still regard this as the most difficult sport I ever trained for and competed in.

    In fact, that experience makes everything I've done since seem less difficult physically and especially mentally
    I also wrestled in college and coached it for 15 years. I agree about xc skiing. I am very JEALOUS Werks of your pictures. I went to Col for the first time over the summer. We went to Durango, Silverton,Ouey,Telluride,Leadville, We drove by Vail and I was disappointed with Vail. I thought Telluride was a better ski area. But I don't do down hill. Never had a chance with wrestling and coaching.

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    apesrunner58 wrote ... I also wrestled in college and coached it for 15 years.
    Next time you get to Colorado, let's go skating .... Winter or Summer Regards, Tom


    Last edited by werks; 12-29-10 at 05:32 AM.
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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Not going to say you are wrong as you may not be---But I have heard this of so many sports- That I do wonder what is the hardest training for sport.

    I used to box and that training was hard. My training partner was an "English" amateur boxing champion and you should have seen the way he trained. As He put it--it did not matter how fit/unfit you were. What mattered was the amount of effort you put into it.

    But for me- any sport that you are not used to is going to be hard.
    This is correct, but would say that any sport you want to excel at will be hard. I have played junior divisional soccer, was a ranked (provincial) tennis player, raced bicycles and boxed in my youth. I am a recreational nordic/downhill and water skier. All are difficult but I still rank competitive football (soccer) as the toughest due to the cardio aspect, skills and upper body strength. Any of them can be done by anyone recreationally but to perform at higher levels required hard work.

    A few years ago, I took up Nordic Walking spring through autumn to maintain upper body fitness for skiing. It works. Looks funny, but it keeps you fit. Of course, I do it after dark so I can't see all the people pointing and laughing.

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    Werks

    You have a lot of fun toys!!! and you live in an area that you can use all your toys!!!!! Have you done the Durango to Silverton ride?

  21. #21
    Riding twobadfish's Avatar
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    The sport that you put the most effort you've put into any sport will in fact be the most difficult/challenging sport you've ever done.

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    College wrestling burns most amount of calories in the lest amount of time. xc skiing is next

  23. #23
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apesrunner58 View Post
    College wrestling burns most amount of calories in the lest amount of time. xc skiing is next
    Source?

    Years ago I saw a source (It did not include either of the ones you mention) and of the activities listed running burned the most and swimming was second. The kicker was ther running speed was 5 minute miles, the swimming was 1/4 mile per hour! (1/4 mile per hour is a speed I can still do floating on my back and sculling just with my hands).

    I've seen wrestling matches that are not huge calory burners. Usually very closely matched opponents where neither wants to make the first mistake. (I've seen others that are gut busters where both are taking shots all the time and a blink may mean you miss the winning move).

  24. #24
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Not going to say you are wrong as you may not be---But I have heard this of so many sports- That I do wonder what is the hardest training for sport.

    I used to box and that training was hard. My training partner was an "English" amateur boxing champion and you should have seen the way he trained. As He put it--it did not matter how fit/unfit you were. What mattered was the amount of effort you put into it.

    But for me- any sport that you are not used to is going to be hard.
    I'm very firmly convinced there is no one hardest sport. My competitive years may finally be done (My wife and mother hope so, but if I rehab my knees enough I'll be back on the Rugby pitch again).

    I've competed in 2 where I could take 90%+ of those who picked some other sport as the toughest and make them reconsider. Rugby and Water Polo. Both sports where if you do not have the tools to play the issue will be survival. Though in some ways the sport that prepaired me for those was tougher. Swimming. Swimming suffers from the same problem as cycling. From the outside just swimming or cycling looks little different from working your butt off. (I remember at one point we did cardio recovery work, when your pulse was down to 150 beats per minure time for another rep.).

    Games change. Basketball from the days of Chamberlain was much harder in a cardio sense than it is now (due to substitution). Rubgy got much harder about 20 years ago because of a 'small' rule change about who gets to put in the ball at a scrum following the ball becoming unplayable in a maul.

    Anyone who is consistently double shifted in Ice Hockey is fit. Any Prop in Rugby at the very top levels who plays the whole 80 minutes is amazing.

  25. #25
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    apesrunner58 wrote ...
    Have you done the Durango to Silverton ride?
    I've ridden the million dollar highway (550) from Durango to Silverton twice and Durango to Quray once on the first day of group rides from Durango to Denver, but it's been several years since I've done these. Below is a pic of Molas Divide and Red Mountain Pass along the way to Silverton / Ouray. I've done this ride many more times via motorcycle.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    VO2 Max is one way to measure the fitness / conditioning level of various sports. Below is a link describing VO2 Max, and how various sports and individual athletes rank. Nordic skiing has long been at the top of the list.

    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm - VO2 Max

    Molas Divide along the Million Dollar Highway (10,910ft) to Silverton


    Red Mountain Pass ( 11,008ft) before the descent into Quray
    Last edited by werks; 12-30-10 at 11:36 PM.
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