So, you’ve been looking forward to a trip to the snow for a looooong time now. If you’re anything like the average Australian, a trip to the snow most likely featured in somewhere in your youth. Whether that was a trip to Canada in your early twenties, because ‘hey, who didn’t?’ Or maybe it was before that in a school camp or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones and an annual snow trip is on the cards. Whenever your last stint in the snow was, we’re willing to bet that it’s been a while between drinks. That is to say, with a snowboarding or skiing trip ahead of you, the chances are you’re not 100% ready to go as hard as you did on your last run.
Depending on how long it’s been, it’s likely that your first couple of days will be spent finding your feet again - literally. With that in mind here is some practical advice pre and post your first run back to ensure that you maximise the time you get this next snow trip.
Start Training, yesterday.
Any amount of training will be of benefit when you hit the slopes. But core and legs will be a real game changer. Squats, deadlifts and lunges are a good place to start building leg muscles and endurance. Your core should be a focus too. Try; holds, L-sits, v-situps and more to start building up your core strength. Skiing and Snowboarding are outdoor sports and you’re on feet a lot. You’ll be toggling between periods of high intensity and slow-paced recovery periods then resting and repeat. You’ll want to start emulating that conditioning in your training. Aim to include at least two interval training sessions (think Tabata sessions of squats and sit-ups) a week in the lead up to your trip.
Wear your gear especially your boots.
Chances are that your gear has been sleeping a closet since the last session or worse still lent out to a friend and not returned. My advice, get all your gear together and try it on. How’s it fit? Still got it? Can your gear hold up to a day on the slopes? Make sure you wear your boots around for a bit, there is nothing worse than halfway through a run and finding your feet cramping in agony. Not only will you get used to the feel of your gear again, discover if you need to buy a size up or down, but you’ll also discover the little things that can spell disaster for a snow trip. Things like; a loose snow skirt, holes and tears in the outer layer and dare we say it… a really, really old style of outerwear that is just a few years shy of becoming ‘retro cool’ again.
Find something similar to do at home
In Australia, this is kind of limited to going for a longboard (skateboarding) or investing in roller blades and bombing a hill or two. While neither are going to impart that genuine feeling, they’re pretty close and will certainly hone some skills and help your practice slowing down and turning. They’ll also fire up the same muscle groups which are about to get a hammering.
Don’t go hard on day one
This is hard advice especially if muscle memory comes careering back and you find yourself slipping between a heel and toe side like it was only yesterday or perhaps you find yourself not needing to snow plough, simply hard turning your stops. However quick your style comes back your body will still not be used to the particulars of the sport and going too hard, too quick is a sure-fire way to being forced to sit a day or two and recover. Aim for no more than 4 hours on your first day and break frequently for the next two building into it, you’ll still have the muscle pains no doubt and a couple of new aches depending how quickly it came back, but you’ll have more time on the slopes overall.
Warm up and Warm down
This piece of advice is common sense. Stretch and prime your body for any strenuous activity; that could be a half hour yoga before riding your first chair or something as quick as 5 minutes of high knee jumps… same goes for when you get home. Stretch, warm down slowly and stay hydrated before, during and after.
One last tip…
Okay, you got us. We said five pieces of advice and we’re throwing in a sixth? This one we’re hoping will happy organically - HAVE FUN! Don’t get frustrated and don’t push yourself to limits. It’s a holiday, have fun, enjoy the time you have and get amongst it with the right attitude. We know this is the secret to making any trip great.
A lot of the above is common sense. But we can guarantee if you apply it, you’ll maximise your time on the slopes and be in the best possible position from the outset.
World Snowfaris are your Japan Snow specialists. An industry-leading snow travel business that delivers excellence on every aspect of your snow trip. Adhering to industry best practice to take the stress out of your snow travel. Ensuring your trip is all about you, offering only the best accommodation, proven hosts and, of course, lots of SNOW. Thinking of scoring some Japanese snow - get in touch with World Snowfaris today.