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Fitness/Workload/Recovery for "Older" Skiers

jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,357 Mega Baller
Yo ballers. Requesting your input/advice regarding workload and recovery for "older skiers". Appreciate anyone's input, but especially that of "older" skiers and any fitness/nutrition experts out there. A friend of mine ....... No, just kidding. It's me. I'm 60. 6' 190 lbs. Been skiing forever (since the early '60s, in the course since the mid-'70s). Mostly battle with 35. On a 67" Evo. My skiing is characterized by others as "hard". Has been forever. Hard turns, lots 'o load, speed, etc. I've been slowly getting a little more efficient in my skiing since ZO showed up, but I'm not a light-load skier.

So, on that background - I'm really battling a roller coaster of feeling pretty dang strong one day and like an absolute f'ing beat dog the next. I ski on average 5 days a week, mostly one slalom set after work and a couple per day on the weekends. Oh, and I got a new knee back in February and it's awesome. I don't think it has anything to do with my fatigue. Been back on my ski since mid-April. The knee is not something I feel or think about anymore.

During the water ski season I find it really difficult to keep up any of my other fitness routine - weight room, swimming, and riding. In season I pretty much just ski because that's all I feel like I can handle. So, are any of you in a similar boat, dealing with similar off and on fatigue? I guess the simple answer is probably just more recovery time, proper nutrition (check), low alcohol (check), and more off-season fitness. I'm just wondering if any of you older skiers that still go at it hard (and I know you're out there) have any secrets to how you manage your in-season strength and hold off fatigue. You can tell me if I'm just a p---y. Thanks.
"...all of the basic fun banter"


  • thagerthager Posts: 4,906 Mega Baller
    @jimbrake Same as you. Feel great skiing and wiped out the next especially early in the season. Usually takes 2 days afterward for full recovery. I am 62. Am also looking at knee replacement in the fall. How long was your recovery period?
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,075 Mega Baller
    I'm 57 so you've got a few years on me. I've noticed over the last 4-5 years I don't recover as fast as I once did and have less energy overall. Rarely ski 2 sets in a day. It's not that I can't ski 2 sets but found it better if I ski only one. Usually one set 4 days per week in season; Tu/Th/Sa/Su. I cleaned up my diet, lost a little weight, and added a little exercise a couple years ago mainly to improve my performance skiing but partially in response to lower energy. Really helped on all counts. On days I don't ski I usually to do the "7 minute workout" and 10 minutes of rowing. On days I ski I try to stretch in the morning.

    Truthfully I have more energy on days I workout but don't have the strength I need to ski my best. I expect lower energy and longer recovery time year over year moving forward. Seems to be the trend. I think breaking up your ski sets into single set days would probably help by giving you better recovery between sets.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • Calisdad57Calisdad57 Posts: 23 Baller
    Have you ever had your Testosterone levels tested?
  • GarnGarn Posts: 547 Crazy Baller
    I'm 58, weigh 185, 5'11". I don't ski every day like you do. A couple of times a week is a good week for me. But I work out pretty much every day. I get up early and go to the gym where it is mostly resistance training (weights). I also will swim laps a 2 or 3 times a week on lunch or after work. The only time I skip my morning workout is if I'm going to ski that morning or around lunch time. But if I'm going in the afternoon I will still work out. I've been doing this for 20+ years so I see no reason to stop. But the only time I get fatigued is if I don't get enough sleep. I don't think people take getting enough sleep as serious as they do other things like working out. To me it is just as important. And the older I get the more important it gets. Just my two cents worth.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,626 Mega Baller
    It's way easier to say than to do, but I believe you'll do better if you cap your skiing at 5-6 sets per week and then add in some abdominal and dynamic strength work (such as jumping or running or kettle bell).
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 383 Crazy Baller
    I am 62 and usally I ski 3 to 4 times a week (not now, I had a shoulder dislocated and I am off for 2 months) but when I ski and I have a good night sleep and go to sleep before 11pm, I recover much better than if I sleep less than 7hours. And I work on my cardio more during ski season and less on strength. And I am very carefull with my diet too, espacially if I have a tournament on the week-end.....I do check my iron on my blood every year too + magnesium....etc...........
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,242 Mega Baller
    I find that when I ski after work, I feel fatigued a lot sooner, and sometimes do not even want to jump in. I always ski much better on the weekend after a good night's sleep.
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,357 Mega Baller
    Thanks guys. Forgot to mention that I think my sleep is generally in the good range although I wake up feeling like pretty much total s. After a shower and especially if I can give myself time to stretch in the morning, I feel pretty dang good. It seems to be a blood flow and oxygenation thing.

    @thager - knee replacement. Well worth it. I didn't do it because I was having trouble going up and down stairs or putting my pants on, which is what most TKR orthos want to hear before doing the surgery. I did it because my old knee was really affecting my snow skiing negatively and starting to affect water skiing pretty severely, too. The first couple of weeks post-op are challenging. At around 4 weeks I could see that things were going to progress to where they are now, which is "great". I surfed at 6 weeks post-op and was water skiing at about 10 weeks. I was, and continue to be, motivated.

    @Ed_Johnson - ha! I hear ya, man. I have been paying the price of this level of activity for many years. Ibuprofen and IPA.

    @ski6jones - when I can drag my ___ out of bed and do a stretch and light workout first thing, then I feel better, too.

    @Calisdad57 - yeah, but not lately. Might be good to check.

    @Than_Bogan - been doing some core work including Bubkas.

    @chris55 - hmmm, i should probably get my Fe and Mg checked. Something in blood chem could be out of whack. I take some pretty good supplements though.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • jerrymjerrym Posts: 74 Baller
    @jimbrake - great thread ... I too struggle with the fatigue thing. I'm skiing 3-4 days per week, 2 sets per day, plus a couple of nights of hoops for cardio (and fun). I'm finding fatigue to be an issue for evening sets after work, like @A_B . I'm only 58 but notice I do not have the stamina on the court that I did 5 years ago. Too much work and not enough beer...need to re-balance !
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,626 Mega Baller
    Bubkas rule!!!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,357 Mega Baller
    @markn - do you lift or do anything else during the ski season? Do you supplement with testosterone? I eat pretty low-carb and am down 10 pounds from last year and maintaining there. I crave red meat (and cabernet), but don't eat it that often. More chicken and some fish. Good amount of fruits and veg.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,906 Mega Baller
    50s were easy. 60s is tougher.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,357 Mega Baller
    @Cent - agreed. I should be in the weight room now pounding out heavy squats for this winter. That will have to wait until the fall.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 388 Crazy Baller
    An abscessed tooth once caused me loss of energy, and I did not not even know I had a dental problem. A medication side effect is making me tired presently.
  • GarGar Posts: 314 Baller
    Good point @dbutcher good check up is worth it head to toe!
  • skinutskinut Posts: 424 Solid Baller
    @markn you are my hero. I don't think I could've skied that much in my teens!
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @jimbrake -chet raley, who is old and skis every day at a very high level, convinced me to purchase and use a stretching regimen called ' magnificent mobility '. when i stick to the pattern of taking ten minutes before and after skiing that fatigue you describe is cut down to hardly noticeable. don't knock it till you try it.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,691 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Man, what a bunch of geezers;)

    I’ve found that just skiing during the season really beats up the body. Supplementing with a few days of cardio and a day of light weight, high rep workouts makes a huge difference in maintaining strength. Many times it’s better to skip skiing in favor of cardio or weight workout. Yeah it’s hard when the lake is right there and calling.

    Outside of that stretching or yoga will do wonders too.

    Oh yeah it sucks getting old!
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,906 Mega Baller
    @Bruce_Butterfield You forgot to mention that you hate winter.....
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,357 Mega Baller
    @mwetskier - I will look into that specific stretching regimen. I have a pretty good one I do to warm up before a set and I'm a believer in stretching and yoga in addition to traditional strength training and cardio. I can always do more stretching though.

    @Bruce_Butterfield - I think you are on to something. I may replace a couple of sets per week with my normal off-season riding and swimming to see how that balance works. The problem with water skiing is the repetitive load on the same muscles over and over, pass after pass. Very little variation. It's like doing one exercise only - dead lifting. Cross-training the muscles in-season might really help.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 364 Solid Baller
    Some people stretch before they ski, however, most people do nothing after they ski.
    At least for me it makes a difference. At least 5 minutes, maybe longer.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,691 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @thager you’re thinking of someone else. Winter in Texas is the first 2 weeks in January. I take off from skiing from late fall to early spring.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • marknmarkn Posts: 324 Crazy Baller
    Jim, Yes, during the season, I still lift 3x per week to maintain strength. As far as testosterone supplement, my wife is also a doctor and would NEVER let me do that. In that I live in central Florida, I try to ski at least once per week during the cold months and run instead. I was a vegetarian for years and realized as I got older needed more protein and less carbs. My weight has not fluctuated more than about 2-3 lbs. in the last 25 years Really feel lucky to have good health. Again, because of my dad, I have exercised my whole life, weights, ran marathons, raced bicycles, triathlons, but skiing is the BEST. Hope I can do it until.....
    MWN #entrancegatesmatter
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,906 Mega Baller
    @Bruce_Butterfield You're right, guess I was thinking of Hambone. Sorry!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 592 Solid Baller
    edited July 2018
    In the summer Im replacing cardios with SUP - one hour of race style paddling. Cardio + balance training in one go.
    Im 59 and found that I do not feel like spend one hour for weight lifting any longer - now doing HIIT with free weights and kettelbells with 30-25 reps for 15-20 minutes a day. It does a magic for me.
    Ski approx 10-12 sets per week, though my skiing is surely not that energy demanding like short line skiing.
    Is here any who is after 70 and skiing regularly? How it feels?
  • DanEDanE Posts: 916 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2018
    About that knee, starting some research to do the same myself allthough I'm a bit too young (51) but at the rate it has deterioated the last few years I don't think I can make it to my sixties. Was it a partial or tkr? Does the procedure and/or implant have a specific name. Your front or rear knee? Obviously you being happy with the outcome as a skier got ne curious.
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