Use mountain biking as a tool for ski conditioning

By Jeremy Benson, Skiing

It seems like just yesterday I was finally putting away the skis for the season, now it’s almost fall and ski season is only a couple of months away. The change in seasons is becoming evident: the shadows are growing longer, nights are getting colder, and leaves are starting to turn. Fall is a great time of year, especially for mountain biking. For me, riding my bike is so much fun, it barely feels like training.

But it is. And here’s why: Endurance exercise like mountain biking is a workout not only for your legs, abs, and arms, but for your heart and lungs as well. Over time, repetition of hard efforts while riding will improve your cardiovascular function. A stronger heart will pump oxygenated blood more efficiently to your muscles, increasing muscular endurance and speeding muscle recovery. Training your heart, lungs, and legs for endurance will make those non-stop runs down the West Face at Squaw, High Rustler at Alta, or Goat at Stowe seem a lot easier.

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