Getting ready for winter…it’s time to get fit!

We’re having a beautiful and very colourful Autumn again this year, very cold but following last weeks Snowfall it’s been predominantly clear and sunny.

I’m in full on prep for the winter which includes getting all my kit together, organizing courses and getting into shape for the season ahead.

For the past year I’ve been following a super easy morning stretching ritual. I basically start at the top, my head, and work my way down to my feet rolling and flexing all my joints through the movements ranges that they are made to make on a daily basis. Through experience I’ve found that if you have a morning workout that is to vigorous then you grow to dread following it and after a while you start to miss one or two out and then eventually its history. This time, I made the ritual super easy, it takes 20 minutes and you can add to it if you have more time. Because its easy and does the job I’ve managed to follow it everyday now for over a year. It’s definitely helping and fits my Dad’s lifestyle mantra of KISS – Keep it simple stupid!

Since getting back to Chamonix I’ve also started running. The weather has been cold and clear and so I’ve been getting out for a good run up and down the valley with the dogs and Ruth, who is a better runner than me, comes out every now and then to up my pace and kick my ass. I’ve never enjoyed running before but its to cold for the bike and I’m actually really enjoying it at the moment and I try to get out everyday for an hour or two. I’m going to try to keep it going through out the winter if I can, so anyone coming to Tignes on the pre season courses, bring your running shoes if you want!

I’ve also started to do a lot of plyometric work, working with natural movements and body weight, lunges, one legged squats, split squats etc. and I’ve added upper body work back into my fitness routine with pull ups and press ups. Again, no weights just body weight exercises working on perfect form and free movement.

I’m trying to work on natural movements and promote good natural health and so far it feels great…well in a really painful stiff legged morning sort of way!

I’m trying to think about how I move and how I use my body a lot, trying to break routines, stand up differently, get dressed differently, break habits and learn new movement patterns which promote a more balanced muscle memory pattern and I’m looking forward to applying all of this to my riding this winter.

Well its not long until kick off now and so, if you’ve not already started, its time to get your health program going or to ramp it up a notch. Nothing to strenuous that will cause a last minute injury but something that will make it interesting and keep you at it.

I have places on my pre season Slackcountry Splitboard course in Tignes so if you’re after a pre season split fest give Ruth a shout…oh and don’t forget your running shoes!

Neil.