The off-season is no vacation; training doesn't stop, it just changes. The goal is to recover, then prepare for the next season. While the majority of my training is done on my bike, the winter is a great period to mix things up and get some cross-training in!
For the past few years I've been working on
improving my cross country skiing technique. It's a great personal
project that gives me a goal and focus beyond cycling and
competition. Cross country skiing is excellent for cardio
endurance training, and is a super strength building activity that
perfectly compliments what a cyclist does, and needs on the bike.
Cross country skiing also helps improve balance and
Waxing classic skis is an art. If the grip wax in
the center of the ski, that allows you to push off and go forwards
isn't perfectly suited to the snow conditions, the ambient
temperature and the humidity, it won't work. There are lots of
different grip waxes and getting the mix just right is a challenge
for me. I typically stick with skate skiing (also known as freestyle
skiing) which is a heck of a lot more forgiving in terms of waxing.
One of the best places to ski in all of Québec is the Parc National
de la Mauricie (my favorite place to ride my bike in this part of
Canada). The terrain is perfectly hilly for a challenging workout
but the course isn't technical enough to be frustrating for an
athlete who prefers going in a straight line for a long