Editor’s note: Just like many of you, my summer consisted of probably a few too many post single-track beverages, and not enough gym time. With the snow guns blowing at Stowe, I took my splitboard out for the first time of the year. My legs felt it a bit more than expected, and I decided it’s better late then never to get started on serious training. To get started, I reached out to one of the best in splitboarding/fitness there is, Bibi Pekarek, for some pointers.
Bibi is a self professed fitness/health nut and physical therapist. Year in and year out rides some of the biggest, heaviest lines there are, much thanks to her offseason training. Her and her husband, fellow big mountain rider Mitch Toelderer, launched their own fitness training program Go-Pro Fitness to help riders get ready for the winter months. Recently, she took a few moments of her time to talk about how she preps for splitboarding, staying motivated and what you can do to get in shape to get after it this winter.
On the importance of training in the off season and what she’s been up to:
Let’s put it like this: the fitter you are, the more you are going to enjoy, the less mistakes you make, and the less likely you will get injured. I wouldn’t say that it’s mandatory to train for snowboarding or splitboarding if you are an active person the whole year. However, the stronger you feel, the better you will ride. Hiking or climbing specially for bigger lines is exhausting and if you want to charge on the way down you need to be as fit as possible and also you need qualities like strength/explosivity and coordination skills. I want to get the most out of the run I am hiking for, which I only can if I still have power in my legs.
For the endurance I do a lot of mountainbiking and trailrunning. Riding down single trails with the bike is not just fun but also a great training for your coordination skills and for handling speed, there are a lot of parallels to snowboarding! For strength training we created our own functional training programs, mainly focusing on core and lower body power and coordinative skills. To prepare my soul I go on a surf trip.
5 Keys to stay motivated:
1. Get a partner: My first tip is to get a friend or training partner to work out with, This helps a lot to keep up the motivation. Last week my group classes of Functional Winter Preparation Training at my physio and training gym in Innsbruck/Austria started again. People love to work out together!
2. Don’t be reliant on a gym: Second thing is to have exercises you don’t need to go to the gym for. Some days I have half an hour time and I do a quick routine in the living room. Like that, I don’t have the “no time” excuse.
3. Switch it up: Third thing is to do versatile programs and exercises which are challenging themselves. Like this, training can get even kind of addictive. Nothing worse than doing the leg press every time.
4. Have a good play list: Key number four is to listen to good music, with motivating beats.
5. Have a goal: There are also individual ways to keep up motivation. Mitch, for instance, told me that when the work out gets really hard and the time interval would not come to an end he is visualizing riding a heavy line…It’s always good to have goal in mind, to know what to work for. That could be like “This season I want to splitboard this specific mountain with my very fit friend. And I will keep up with him.”