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Fitness Tips & How To

Get Ready for the High Mountain Altitude

High Altitude Backcountry Snowboarding in Montezuma Colorado

It’s starting to feel real finally! I’ve been out to the local slopes in Minnesota twice now and have been warming up on my new setup this year. We are closing in on my first trip of the season! Ben, Jerry, and I are off to Utah and Colorado to use our Mountain Collective Pass and hit up some backcountry terrain on our snowboards. Living in Minnesota I don’t have a high altitude to worry about, and I don’t have many big hills to climb either. In preparation for this trip (and another in January) I will be hitting up the gym more frequently with some specific workouts to help me climb and prepare my body for the high altitudes.

ALTITUDE PREP

There is no perfect method as the high elevation can treat everyone so differently but I thought I would share what has worked for me in the past. Please note, I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer I am simply sharing my own experiences and what I have found works well for my body.

Warming Up

Before every workout I do, I make sure to do a warm-up on the treadmill. I begin by elevating my treadmill to a 1%-2% elevation to avoid shin splints. The plan is to start at a jog by setting the treadmill speed at approximately 4.5 and every two minutes I will increase the speed by 0.3. I do this for 12 minutes which turns out to be slightly over a mile for my warm up. After the warm-up run I will take 5 minutes to stretch it out and lower my heart rate.

I do this specific warm up and cool down to jump start the fat burning process. It is also a great way to train your heart for endurance and your body to use it’s nutrients effectively.

Running

I got into running only a few short years ago by starting with fun races, read how here. There are so many benefits of running including it being a HUGE help when out in the mountains. By running a few miles every week you will begin to train your heart to work more efficiently for a longer period of time during this (and other) strenuous activities. This is what will help you catch your breath quicker while in the high altitudes or not tire as quickly as you may have in the past.

Running helps with your endurance which is the key factor. When running on the treadmill I will keep the treadmill at a slight incline to avoid shin splints. I will vary my runs throughout the week between long and slow runs to short interval sprints. Intervals are what will help with quick recovery and faster times when running. The long runs will help with overall endurance.

Running is not for everyone and that is okay. If running isn’t your thing, think about biking instead.

Biking

Biking is another great way to help with endurance and also build leg strength. If running isn’t for you or maybe you’d just like some variety hit the stationary bike up. Like the treadmill; biking can help with recovery, speed, and endurance when done right. Mix up your routine by doing a long ride one day, then intervals the next using the tension adjustors. Also switch up your ride by getting out of the saddle and standing to work different leg muscles.

Stair Stepper

Do you have some hiking planned? Even if not, the stair stepper is underrated. This is a must for anyone heading to the mountains. Work up a sweat by continuously climbing. This machine will work the large muscles in your butt and legs such as your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. This machine is a calorie torture due to all the muscles you are working at once. It’s also a cardiovascular exercise too helping with endurance.

GET INTO A ROUTINE

Doing this once or twice before your trip isn’t going to make a difference in the high altitude. Make sure to get into a good routine a few weeks before. Personally, my goal is to get to the gym 5x a week using a combination of these workouts on top of some weightlifting routines (coming in a later post). Happy shredding!

Fitness

Trick Yourself into Enjoy Running

The weather is cooling down and we are almost upon my favorite season, winter! However, I do enjoy the fall now that I have found different outlets to stay out of my usual rut. I find myself in a much happier state of mind making me extremely productive. A big part of this is due to running. I have found running to be my biggest stress and anxiety reliever. The fall is my favorite time to run as I am able to go longer distances without the summer heat beating down on me. Also I love the beautiful colors fall provides us with, it’s like I’m running in a whole new world.

Never in a million years did I think I would enjoy running. Had you said to my high school self that one day I would run a half marathon by choice, I would’ve laughed in your face! Truth is, I have come to love running. It all began with signing up for a fun 5K race. The Run or Dye in Fargo North Dakota. I was living there at the time, fresh from college. Fast forward to the present, I have now competed in several fun races, including obstacle courses, half marathons, triathlons and this year I raced in an unique event, an “Adventure Triathlon”, check out my experience racing in an adventure triathlon here.

Though running can seem long and grueling at times, I have come to love it. I also use it as a tool to release my anxiety as I mentioned earlier and a tool to help me progress in my favorite sport, snowboarding. Throughout the summer I train on hills to help with strength for hiking mountains for those fresh backcountry lines in the winter and endurance to better acclimate in the mountains. Here are a few ways, if you are a social butterfly like myself, you can trick yourself into enjoy running.

SIGN UP FOR A “FUN” RACE

A great way to get into running is by participating in a fun event. There are many of what I consider “fun” races out there. Some with colors, others with bubbles and some with mud! These races are all about creating a unique experience and having a good time. These type of races are generally advertised as a walk/run race as they are not timed or competitive with the exception of some offering a competitive wave. Set an attainable goal and have fun!

Runners after Run Or Dye 5K Fargo

Some of these races include:

  1. The Color Run
  2. Warrior Dash
  3. Electric Run
  4. Bubble Run
  5. Insane Inflatable 5K
  6. Espirit De She <–Women only, one of my favorite races, you even get champagne at the end!

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This will give you a small taste of the world of running. Trust me, once you start participating in races you will want to find more!

BUY SWEET RUNNING GEAR

Getting new goodies is always fun! The racing community has a lot of running specific clothing, shoes and accessories. Find gear that makes you both feel and look good, it will help encourage you to get out and run! Some of my personal favorite places to shop for running gear are are:

  1. The Running Room
  2. Old Navy
  3. Under Armour
  4. T.J. Maxx

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JOIN A LOCAL RUN CLUB

Begin by utilizing both Facebook and Meetup to find local running groups. You also can check out your local running store to see if they host any social runs throughout the week. Here in Minneapolis I have a store called the Running Room in multiple locations. Each host a social run on different days of the week that are FREE with varying distances for runners of all levels.

You will also gain great endurance from this and you will find yourself having conversations while you run with others.

GET HIGH NATURALLY

Ow ow lookin’ good!!! Okay the biggest benefit of running is it produces happy endorphins! This is why I also personally use it as a remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety. You will often hear me complain when in a stressful situation that I just want to go run around the block. When you are in a good mood, you glow.

Once you get into running and start going for longer distances you will also experience this natural phenomenon of a runners high. I usually hit mine at about the 6 mile mark, but for every runner it’s different. I cannot put this feeling into words, but once you hit it you will understand what I mean. It takes work to get to distances but don’t let it discourage you. I think it took me personally two years to hit this point, but the fun races and the great gear had me hooked to continue on this journey.

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STAY HEALTHY

CAUTION – Side effects of running:

  1. Endurance
  2. Muscle Growth
  3. Happiness
  4. Possible Weight Loss

Honestly, what have you got to lose? Except maybe a few pounds. Keep track and don’t forget celebrate all gains.

Fitness

A New Unique Workout To Improve Your Shredding Skills

I’m going to let you in on a little not so secret.

Boarding, whether it be wake or snow, isn’t just about your time riding and practicing.

Wait, what!? Did I just put you into shock?  Yes, I know I’ve said in the past snowboarding is a great leg and core workout (also arms and shoulders if you’re wakeboarding). Even though boarding is both a skill and a great workout, by doing other types of workouts outside of the actual sport is crucial to improving and keeping your body healthy overall.

My goal here and the next few posts (while I am in between seasons here in MN) is to show you how you can continue to grow your skills even though you are not on a board. How to not loose your mojo in between seasons!

This last weekend I got out of my box, well lets face it I’m an adventurer there is no box it’s more like a giant circle called earth. Either way I tried something new! I checked out a local place in Northeast Minneapolis called The Aivery. A friend of mine decided she wanted to do something different for her birthday celebration and got us all to try Aerial Yoga!

It was a fun unique way to celebrate, getting a workout in before a night out that didn’t feel like a normal workout…until the next day. I fell in love with this form of yoga for several reasons:

  1. It’s a challenge, which is how I picked up snowboarding in the first place. I enjoy the challenge.
  2. The fabrics worked out kinks in places I’ve been struggling with in my shoulder, neck, and back. Kinks that I’ve gained from snowboarding all winter, along with a few falls from trying new tricks. See my last post for a fails video!
  3. There’s constant room to grow! Once you’ve figured out a pose you move to the next, tougher version.

WARNING: Aerial Yoga can give you bruises. It’s like when you get a deep tissue massage. But it’s so worth how amazing you feel the day after!

IMPORTANT: Yoga isn’t just for women! It involves a great deal of strength along with balance on top of improving flexibility. Also the breathing techniques taught in yoga can improve athletic performance. By breathing properly we can better deliver energy to our cells. I personally find this extremely helpful when I am training for half marathons and especially snowboarding in the high altitudes of the mountains.

Okay, I know it’s quite the stretch to ask you to do Aerial Yoga if you are a yoga virgin so I am including a few great beginning poses to get you introduced to the practice. Please note that I am not a certified instructor, just someone who loves the practice.

Below in order we have Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, Forward Fold, Chair Pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and Child’s Pose.

Next is one of my favorite warmups for any activity. It’s part of the Sun Salutation A. I love moving through this sequence several times before a workout. Get’s your body stretching and moving all in one! It’s also great to get your body moving in the morning. Don’t do this as fast as the image though, be sure to breath deeply in and out through each position.

Frozen_Or_Thawed_Yoga_Sequence

Get out there and switch it up! Try this out and you will quickly see how the teachings of yoga are beneficial to your boarding sports and more. Remember to not only be flexible  in your workouts but your day to day decisions. You may find yourself on a new adventure.

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Don’t forget, wake season is almost upon us! Check out Chelsie’s Consider Yourself Challenged post to get that beautiful boootay to show off this summer. Post your results to our Facebook Page or tag us on instagram @frozenorthawed.

Know other workouts that are great for boarding? Comment below or tweet me @frozenorthawed. I’d love to try it out and create a post around suggestions!

Tata for now!

Kaitlyn