Skiing / Snowboarding Season

Hi TrainerRoad Friends,

I know this topic has been touched on in other threads but wanted to ask about it more generally…

My two loves are snowboarding and biking and we’re soon getting to the time of the year that’s always the trickiest… Ski season!

Usually I do a pretty good job balancing the two. On my bike during the week, shredding during the weekends. But inevitably / if I’m lucky I’ll have a few extended boarding trips, anywhere between 5-9 days.

I’m not a crazy competitive athlete, I’ve done some Ironmans and this year I’m shifting my focus to gravel racing. I don’t need to win, I just want to have fun… But I also want to continue becoming more fit than I’ve ever been on the bike. My question is - is my training going to suffer significantly if I don’t touch a bike during those trips? I can accept that I might take a performance hit after a big ski trip, but I don’t want to feel guilty about it if it’s not really that big of a deal. I also don’t want to find some random indoor bike at a local gym if I don’t have to. I’ve taken my trainer with on week-long trips to Tahoe before, but never used it because I was so gassed after each day of boarding. I wonder if this is just a case of me being slightly neurotic with my training and that I should just chill, have fun snowboarding, and get back on the bike when I’m home.

The second and maybe more problematic question - what about weekend trips? If I’m consistently missing out on my weekend long ride – how can I best manage the fitness hit I’m taking?

Thanks for all the help, massively appreciate the community and the amazing podcast.


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I’m in the same boat. My solution is simple: I use low-volume plans, and train in the morning, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the latter being the longer workout.


I ski most weekends from December to April. I rearrange my plan so that Saturdays are off the bike and Sundays are easy in the evening when I get home. I add about 100TSS for a full day of skiing and just adjust if I’m tired. I don’t bring my bike/trainer as I don’t like the added guilt if I don’t get a ride in the morning or am too tired. Skiing all day is hard work and I think it adds to my training more than it detracts. And mentally it’s a great break from the trainer!

Over Christmas I plan to be away for ~3 weeks, for that long of a period I plan to bring a bike to keep myself sane and keep my fitness progressing along with skiing.

If it were me, for a couple ski trips I’d leave the bike behind and just enjoy the trip. In the grand scheme of things it’s a short trip and most of us don’t do this for a living. Enjoy the POW!

For context I race XC mtb and CX so I don’t need that early season fitness as much as some others.


I think you pretty much nailed it. I maintain my training during the ski season, but prioritize the snow. If there’s a powder day, I’ll reschedule or skip my workout.

With a training plan and adaptive training, you can just schedule your trips as “time off bike” and it will work around you.


Wear a fitness tracking watch that just has HR and see what a good workout it is. Even lift served alpine riding is like a threshold interval session.
Also listen the the TR guys and a lot of Pro XC MTB’rs and backcountry skiing is their jam. Such a good workout and balances out the very quad dependent sport that we all love and activates glutes more.
I used to feel guilty about my skiing (i’d get home from skiing at night and hop on the trainer for a “real” workout) but then really started to track the workout and realized its a great compliment to riding bikes.


Lots of good answers. Just figure out what plan allows you to be consistent over the winter and then have fun in the snow.

No amount of ftp increase would entice me to give up skiing, something I love. I’m here for a good time, not a long time.


Thanks for all the answers. Great stuff. I think I’ll have the most consistency with a low volume plan stacked in the week and add in more if I can / when the soul wants. Love the idea of getting more data while boarding to get a better comparison. It does feel like it could help vs hurt. I ride a lot of park at Northstar in Tahoe and on the average 5 minute run you might hit 25-30+ features. At the end of each of those runs you are gassed, especially once you’ve done 7-12 of them. Super interesting comparison to a threshold interval etc, maybe even a VO2 max – not quite sure on either of those but you get the point. I’ll have to report back after I track it a bit more closely. I have a whoop so I should be able to get some decent data back and see how how things line up to my HR zones.

Just need to watch out to not go so hard you’re barely able to walk/ride the next day. But even then… super chill recovery ride mode!

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