Get Ski Fit, Cardio Intervals

If you have good cardio fitness then the next stage is to bring in some interval training to your weekly program.  Doing steady state cardio is great for improving general fitness and aerobic stamina to keep you going all day, but skiing/boarding involves lots of anaerobic efforts.  Anaerobic efforts are intense but short bursts of effort, followed by a rest as we get the lift back to the top.

Interval training mimics this, hard efforts with rest in between and will push your fitness to a new level making it much more sports specific.  Interval training can be done on anything , a bike, stepper or running and there are endless combinations. The two main adjustments are intensity and time, ensure efforts are short (up to 4mins) and rests must be long enough to allow you to be ready for the next interval.  Starting an interval programme, start easy with the efforts shorter and the rests longer and as you build your fitness you can build up your effort time.

As this type of training is intense then a proper warm up and cool down is even more important, warming up and cooling down for at least 5mins, building it up or down slowly.

The following is examples of a running and cycling based interval session.


  • Warm up building to a steady state eg 10km/hr -5mins
  • Fast eg 12km/hr – 3mins
  • Steady state eg 10km/hr -2mins
  • Fast eg 14km/hr – 3mins
  • Steady state eg 10km/hr -2.5mins
  • Fast eg 12km/hr – 4mins
  • Steady state eg 10km/hr -2mins
  • Fast eg 14km/hr – 3mins
  • Steady state eg 10km/hr -3mins
  • Fast eg 16km/hr – 1.5mins
  • Cooldown – 5mins

Although here we have used speed as the variable, you could if outside use hills, running up for the hard section and then down for the recovery.


  • Warm up, building to a steady state 90rpm eg level  5 -5mins
  • Hard 90rpm level  7 -1.5min
  • Fast 120rpm level 5 -1.5min
  • Steady 90rpm level 5 – 2mins
  • Repeat  x 5
  • Cooldown – 5mins  

All the levels and speeds are an example but intervals are done at around 85% of max effort and the recovery should not be so long you return back to a complete rested state. Its important to start at a pace or level specific to you and build up the intensity slowly as your fitness increases. Adding  one or two sessions a week to your current program will make significant fitness gains and transfer to fresher stronger legs on those harder runs when you hit the slopes.

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