Cross-country skiing can be a fun way to get in your day’s exercise, but it’s important to prepare before setting out for the first run of the year. After all, you can’t just slap on a pair of cross-country skis and expect magic to happen without taking the proper steps first. That said, cross-country skiing is relatively low-maintenance as far as winter sports go, and doesn’t have to be difficult to prepare for. The following are just a few tips to help you prepare for getting out and skiing cross-country, even if you are completely new to the sport.
Get Your Skis Ready
The first thing you should do when preparing for a season of cross-country skiing is to get your skis ready for use. There are a variety of things that need to be done to a pair of skis on order for them to perform well when taken out into the snow; waxing, for example, can make a great deal of difference in terms of performance. The best way to go about preparing your skis for use is to take them to a local ski shop and have them do a tune-up. Tune-ups are generally inexpensive (usually $30 or under), and can ensure that your skis are ready for use for the entire season ahead.
Ensure Your Equipment is in Good Standing
While getting your skis tuned is certainly a crucial part of preparing for a season of cross-country skiing, it’s important not to forget your other equipment. Cross-country skiing often involves spending a fair amount of time out in the cold, making it important to ensure that your gloves, hat and winter coat are all in good shape before setting out for a run. In addition, pay attention to the quality of your boots and poles, which can have a rather large impact on your ability to cross-country ski in an effective manner.
Get in Shape
Cross-country skiing can be great cardiovascular exercise, but those who set out to explore the sport without getting into decent shape beforehand will likely find the exercise to be rather stressful and difficult to complete. Getting into shape doesn’t have to be difficult, and typically requires little more than running on a treadmill for 30 minutes, three to five times per week. The better shape you’re in at the beginning of the season, the easier it will be to travel long distances when cross-country skiing.
Buy a Hydration Pack
Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance when setting out to cross-country ski. While carrying a water bottle can be difficult, many people find hydration packs to be very effective. Hydration packs are easy to carry on your back or waist, and allow you to drink water and ski at the same time. When setting out to buy a hydration pack for cross-country skiing, ensure that it is properly insulated so that the water inside does not freeze. While these packs are not always cheap, they serve as worthy investments for those who spend a lot of time cross-country skiing.