After a long cross-country season spent skiing and competing, week in, week out, how soon should you start training again? What should you focus on?
For former professional athlete and ODLO ambassador, Ursina Badilatti, the list is simple. But before training resumes, everyone – serious skier or not – needs to do one thing first.
“At the end of a long block of training, everyone needs to chill out,” she says over a phone interview. “You can’t start looking ahead to an upcoming season without first closing the book on the last one,” she laughs.
Introspectively, Badilatti reflects on her own career and the end of her racing seasons, which always culminated with two to three weeks in April or May of doing absolutely nothing. Sleeping in, eating and drinking, and spending time outdoors – even just relaxing. Nothing structured. Nothing serious.
Now a full-time yoga instructor and coach, it’s the same approach she recommends for everyone.
ON THE MAT – YOGA FOR BALANCE AND STRENGTH
Most professionals – skiers, cyclists, or runners – end both hard training blocks and long grueling seasons with a couple weeks of rest. A bit of “do nothing” time, says Badilatti, to properly let the body and mind recover. But what next?
While less common while she was a professional, many athletes today start with a routine that incorporates yoga or Pilates year-round, but specifically in the off-season, too. The performance benefits are manifold: a strong mind, greater awareness, focus, and a stronger core, arms, and legs. The added flexibility from practicing even a few times a week is also a major benefit.
“Really activating and feeling your feet and toes is one of the immediate differences skiers notice after an off season that includes time on the mat doing warrior and standing poses, for example,” she explains. Arms, upper body, shoulders, legs – everything is awakened through regular practice and will pay dividends when the season resumes, says Badilatti.
Ever tried a leg strengthening yoga class? Try this one with Ursina for free.