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Workout of the Week: The Spring Hangover Ski
By: Tom McCarthy (2005/02/03)
Workout Type: Intervals
Exertion Level: Easy
Skier Level: Any
Technique: N/A
Season: Off-season
Terrain: Rolling

Suggested Trails: Anyplace but the bar!

Equipment: Old stuff.


This particular workout happened during one of the last days of skiing at Cypress, before the torrential rains of January washed away all the snow cover. It happened to be pouring this Saturday morning. We began with an easy warmup to shake out the dizziness and remember how to move our limbs. The workout then followed a fairly typical, short-hard interval format: 4 intervals of 4 minutes, the first at zone 3 intensity and the others at z4 intensity. The terrain ranged over the remaining trails at Cypress that had not been closed, so there was a variety of uphill, rolling, and flatter intervals. The entire workout was performed in drenching rain, which added a strong element of sobriety to the experience.


This past weekend, myself and my roommate performed a tradition honoured by generations of skiers (and, I assume, other athletes close to college-age); we induced hangovers the previous night, and then hurt ourselves in an interval workout in the morning.

It is well known that the most effective method of eliminating the fuzzy headedness common of hangovers is to get out and do a hard workout. This type of activity shocks the body into clearing itself of all fuzziness, and leaves the skier alert and ready for a great day. I should say at this point, though, that the interval workout does not clear the stomach of all residual queasiness - be prepared for an on-going urge to vomit both during and for several hours after the workout.

This type of workout can be very effective in mitigating effects from the previous night. A couple of notes and words of caution: Drink LOTS of water; dehydrated takes on a new meaning during these workouts. Make sure your water contains lots of sports drink, preferably ones with lots of sugar and salt (such as E-Load, the premier sports drink for this occasion.) It is often hard to gauge the level of exertion during this workout, because your mind is not communicating very well with your body; be careful, but use this advantage to experiment with different exertion levels.

Finally, don't do too many of these; just enough to get ready for another big day!

More Workout Suggestions . . .
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