Winter to summer transition for Nordic Skiers

by Ingrid Mitchell

Summer transitionIt’s been another wonderful winter of skiing at Sun Peaks — great snow and super conditions. The Sun Peaks Nordic Club shared eight Wednesday afternoons with a group of terrific masters skiers this season who were committed to skill and fitness improvement in both skate and classic.

At Sun Peaks, there’s continuous evidence of “middle agers” who are dedicated to taking on new challenges while pursuing active, healthy lifestyles. Now, the snow is melting, and it’s time to put a coat of summer wax on the skis and exchange the ski boots for bike shoes, hiking boots, and running shoes. This is the beauty of living in a world with distinct seasons. Just as one fitness activity may be getting a bit stale, another myriad of possibilities opens up. With so many choices available, how do we decide which one(s) to pursue? Let’s look at some of the options, with more detailed information on each one in subsequent issues of SPIN.

Running is the simplest choice, requiring only a good pair of running shoes. Once you have those, you can be straight out the door, onto roadsides, trails, sidewalks or wherever you can put one foot in front of the other. But wait — not so fast! Your body has been enjoying smooth, gentle, and low-impact skiing all winter, so go slowly into running, alternating with walking, and very gradually increase the time spent running. Too much running, too soon, will result in joint/tendon injuries.

Mountain biking is a great choice at Sun Peaks, once the snow is off the trails and they’ve dried up a bit. We have good terrain, and the transfer from skiing to biking is typically smooth. In the next issue we’ll talk about the pros and cons of the “29er” versus the “26er.” There will be a group ride every Wednesday throughout the summer, meeting at 4:45 p.m. at the Umbrella Cafe.

Swimming is an excellent cardio workout that is non-weight bearing with no impact, making it very therapeutic. We don’t think of swimming as part of the Sun Peaks lifestyle, however, last summer, while needing to train for the “Across the Lake” swim (Lake Okanagan), we discovered the joy of swimming in Heffley Lake. A wetsuit is recommended, but the swimming was wonderful. Stay tuned for some group swims in early July.

Hiking at Sun Peaks is a given, with so much terrain and such spectacular scenery. We met our goal of hiking to all three peaks last summer, doing two of them several times. Mt. Tod has the added benefit of the Sunburst chair to carry us most of the way down, saving our knees. Good shoes or hiking boots, plus a supply of water are the only requirements.

Ideally, we can do all of these activities. Variety keeps our motivation fresh, as well as reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Also ideally, we share the experience with a partner or group. We’ll notify of any group heading out on these ventures over the summer months as they are set up, so stay tuned.

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