Early Season Tips

With the fresh snow fallen and grooming imminent, here are a few tips to help make the transition from fall training/roller skiing (yuck) to snow (real) skiing:

1. Make sure to refresh the fundamentals before you spend too much time on snow. Check body position- forward lean, hips forward, and knee and ankle drive/angle to name a few. Make sure your fundamentals are in place so you start the season with a solid foundation.

2. Don’t go too hard. It is exciting to be skiing, but simmer down and make sure you are level one. It is very easy to ski a little too hard the first couple times out and get overly tired. Skiing is harder than roller skiing so remember to relax and make sure you are skiing easier than you think you should. Your body needs time to adjust.

3. Make sure to ski easy on snow 7-10 times before doing intervals/intensity (short speeds are okay). Skiing motions and speeds are different than those of roller skiing; your body needs time to remember what skiing feels like. You will be well served to spend some time finding your bearings on snow before trying to put down the hammer.

Go out and enjoy the start of winter


Great Visual

Torin Koos; Xcellent Classic Technique. Remember this picture when you are skiing.

Skiing Weekend

Every skier in Tahoe probably heard about the great news. A snowstorm coming in this weekend supposedly bringing enough snow to Ski for a while! So for me it’s finally time to make the transition from dry land to snow practice. I can’t wait to feel the exciting feeling of gliding on snow again! Definitely one of my favorite moments of practice.

I’m also excited to see the Pros racing this weekend in the Gällivare (SWE) Cross-Country Worldcup. See who had the best off season preparation and of course cheering for my sister and my homeboy Dario =). But also for the US boys of course!

Bring it on!


The Hypocrite- “do as I say, not as I do”

Disclaimer: I am not a blogger, tweeter or even a frequent status update-er, by nature.  I am just trying it on; so any blogging faux pas I may make in the future-I claim ignorance (and innocence)!

I have recently begun assistant coaching with Jeff at the Sugar Bowl Academy.  It has been incredibly fun and I find myself seeing the training mistakes I’ve made in the past or my still lingering bad habits in technique showing up in the kids skiing.

Naturally I try to nip all this in the bud with “hips up”, “when you slip, stand up”, “if you are feeling sick or have an injury, take 1 day now rather than 1 week later”…etc, so on and so forth.

A few days ago I was bouldering inside, had a heel hook, it slipped and I slammed my ankle quite hard against a hold.  It was sore but not bad; no swelling or bruising… I thought nothing of it but it became apparent the next day when I tried to put a skate boot on that something was not right. It was unbearably painful.  Long story short(er), I proceeded to ask the advice of my roommate, who is an Athletic Trainer.  At some point during my explanation to her on how the pain was persisting, she asked, “well have you iced it?”  I probably don’t need to tell you that I had not, in fact, the thought had not crossed my mind.  Had it been anyone else, especially one of my athletes, I would have immediately hounded them about rest and ice.   To say the least, I am a hypocrite.  I can make myself train until the cows come home. However, I loathe waxing skis or dealing with the mundane details of ski and boot fitting.  I despise taking time off for sickness and injury, not to mention I need a coach to tell me when to take time off, just as my SBA athletes must be told, “keep your hips up”.  Although in theory I am well aware of the equal importance of these activities to training hard, in practice I am poor at best.

It is something I am making an effort at-practicing what I preach. Wish me luck.  Excuse me, I need to go find a bag of ice.

Gus’s Top 10 List

Hi all,

I wanted to say that I’m stoked to start skiing this season, and I hope to see you out on the trails very soon. I’m also drawing a blank as I try think of things to say in my introductory blog, so I’m going to post something I wrote for a scholarship application three years ago. I didn’t get the scholarship, but I stumbled upon it on my computer a while back. The guidelines were to write a top 10 list of things you want to accomplish in under 250 words. It’s funny to look back on the goals I had. I haven’t changed much

*Finish this list in the specified parameters. Seriously, I can already tell that I’m going to run out of words. I might have to start cutting articles and prepositions pretty soon, or declare death to all modifiers.

*Reduce my carbon footprint

*Become fluent in a foreign language

*Figure out a good answer for “What do you do with an English Major?”. You know, one that puts both my chemical engineer grandfather and my diet-coke-drinking-Mary-Kay-makeup-saleswoman aunt Connie in their place. (if you hyphenate it it’s technically only one compound word. clever way of saving space if you ask me)

*Write a song

*Qualify for NCAA Championships in cross-country skiing

*Don’t let school get in the way of my education. That’s not saying I shouldn’t excel in school. Grades are important to me. I just want to cultivate a childlike curiosity in non-academic fields as well so that when school ends I am not stuck in a degree-requiring profession.

*Run a Marathon

*Mentor somebody (I might even become a cross-country ski coach for kids)

*Never pick a favorite song. Favorites are too permanent. We have too many emotions to settle on one. A favorite should be an ephemeral feeling that fits the situation. My favorite song is the one that gets me where I am going and fits the mood I’m in currently.

There you have it. I did it; and under 250 words too! Lamentably, a few of my modifiers were lost in this response. Their alterations and colorful flare will be missed

Turkey Trot

With ski season coming soon (next week in West Yellowstone to be precise) I really need to kick my running habit. For a last hurrah I raced in the Auburn Ski Club’s Turkey Trot today. It’s a 7 mile roadrace around Donner Lake with just a few short hills in the first half of the race. I had fun with the race, and I was grateful to Jesse Regnier who pushed me for the entire race to run 39:14, a 5:36 mile pace. This compares favorably to a 10k Los Angeles roadrace I ran in August, where I ran a 5:37 pace. I ran a slightly longer race at a much higher altitide and came out faster than 3 months ago. Racing head-to head probably helped.

For the record, I finished second after Jesse, who put 30 seconds on me in about the last half mile. Oy vey.

Check out the event photos and results.

Skiing in Idaho

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures, however there is skiing in Sun Valley,  ID. Actually, to say there is skiing IN Sun Valley is not completely accurate: the skiing is about 20 minutes north of town at the base of Galena Pass. Coverage is fairly minimal but the skies are clear and blue, the snow is white, and the air is cold. Good for skiing.

For anyone planning on the annul trip to West Yellowstone, MT there is some snow there now, but not enough… Pray for more.