Stay active, stay strong, ride strong! Part I

This is the time of year we all reflect on the past and plan for the future.  If you’re like me, you are already thinking about what adventures you will be taking next year (Women’s Nepal Adventure.)  Big goals and big plans require strength, endurance and commitment to really enjoy.  What events (Sedona Mountain Bike Festival), races or trips are you planning with friends and family for 2016?  Heading out of the country and traveling with your bike?  Finally hitting up the BCBike Race or Moab Rocks Stage Race this year?  Well you’d better start planning!

There are so many great trails to ride and places to visit with your bike, including hopefully, your own back yard.  You may be covered in snow right now, or struggling with freezing temperatures, wanting to ride your bike.  Why not invest in yourself this winter and get into the best shape of your life.  A little hard work and sweat over these cold, dark days will pay off huge next year.

There are many ways to enjoy the winter season with a little preparation and planning.  You might need to think outside the box a little, depending on where you live.

The huge variety of activities to enjoy during the winter is pretty amazing.  Picking up a new sport and learning new skills will help your riding next season and help to keep you injury free.  Training different muscles throughout the off season will have a protective effect on your body’s soft tissues.  Cross training with the following activities will help your riding next season allowing you to train your balance, strength, endurance and help you with higher level skills like air awareness and choosing the right line. Some of these activities will help with your posture, body awareness and tell you where you might need to focus your energy with training during the off season.

Snowboarding and skiing are the obvious choices here, hit up the backcountry and take an avalanche course or visit some backcountry huts for added adventure.  Cross country skiing and skate skiing is an awesome workout and a great chance to enjoy the beauty outside.

Training for mountain bike adventures doesn’t necessarily have to be indoors on the trainer or in the gym, grunting out heavy squat reps.  This is the time of year to think outside the box.  If you are a mountain biker, you think differently.  The out-of-doors can be an amazing place!

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Karen Jarchow enjoying some serious winter backcountry near Eagle, CO
Karen Jarchow enjoying some serious winter backcountry near Eagle, CO

 

 

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Ergon Team winter training in Eagle CO
“When winter rolls around and temps drop, I find it a great time to get out by foot or ski to explore places I regularly do not in the summer. I still stick to a couple days a week of structured intervals on the rollers or trainer, but I don’t live in Colorado to recreate indoors. I am outside as much as possible doing a mix of what keeps me motivated; mountaineering, trail running, alpine touring and backcountry nordic skiing. It fills my needs to breathe hard, explore, and smile big!” -Karen Jarchow, newest member of the Topeak-Ergon Pro Mountain Bike Team.

Take advantage of  being inspired by wilderness and try something new this year.  Hate the gym?  Build your own at home or go outdoors and use your own body weight with good old fashioned push ups, pull ups and single leg squats.

Try some fat-biking on the snow, or try a race.  Ogden, UT will host the National Championships and what a great excuse to visit Crested Butte.  The world fat bike championships will be there this coming January.  There are some other great winter destinations to visit that will let you take your mountain bike and get a warm weather fix.

There are many options to keep active during the winter: skiing, snowboarding, trail running, snowshoeing, hiking, ice skating, building a giant ice castle or even shoveling snow.  Get creative and get outside when you can.  Embrace the cold and dress for it.

Winter training in the skis

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