Ski and Snowboard Cardio and Endurance Training

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Ski and Snowboard Cardio and Endurance Training

Interval training is the best way to build cardiovascular endurance and best mimics the cardiovascular stress one is subjected to when skiing or snowboarding.

Interval training should only be done 2 -3 times a week during the snowboarding or skiing preseason or midseason as it requires at least 48 hours for the body to fully recover from the stress. Constant intensity cardio should be done in between the days of interval training. For example, a typical cardiovascular training program would be as follows:

Monday: C, 45+ minutes
Tuesday: I, 20+ minutes
Wednesday: X
Thursday: I, 20+ minutes
Friday: C, 30+ minutes
Saturday: C, 45+ minutes
Sunday: X

C= Constant Intensity I = Interval Intensity X= Rest


Constant intensity cardiovascular training is bringing your intensity level up to a comfortable but challenging range and holding it for the allotted time; in this case 30+ minutes or 45+ minutes.


There are there are two ways to set up an Interval Program, one uses time and heart rate, and the other uses just time.

Time Interval cardio Training Structure
Time Interval = 5 min (warm up) + [2 min (high intensity) + 4-5 min (low intensity)]
Done for 20+ minutes

When using only time to determine your interval periods, start with a 5 minute warm up before starting your first interval. When your warm up is complete, start increasing intensity of your cardio exercise to a very high intensity for two minutes, followed by 4-5 minutes of low intensity to recover; then start again. Get through as many of these as you can for your allotted time (20 minutes or more).


Using heart rate for a cardio interval workout
Time & Heart Rate Interval = 5min (warm up) + [1 min (85-90% max heart rate) + 2-3 min (65-70% max heart rate)]
Done for 20+ minutes (including bringing heart rate up and down)

When using time and heart rate you use almost the same time set up but you don’t start the high intensity interval time until you hit your target heart rate. For example you might have a target heart rate of 165 bpm for your high intensity interval and 130 for your low intensity interval. When you start into your first interval you do not count the time until you reach 165 bpm; then you hold that heart rate for one minute. After that minute is up, you drop your intensity and do not start counting time (for the lower intensity interval) until you reach 130 bpm; then you hold that heart rate for 2-3 minutes, and repeat.


This cardio training plan is part of a series of three; be sure to follow the Ski & Snowboarding Strength Training Plan, and Stretching Routine, as well.

How to find your Heart Rate Range Percentages:


Max HR = 220 – age =_______ Min HR = heart rate in the morning, lying in bed= ______

HR Range = Max HR – Min HR = _______

90% max = (HR Range x 0.90) + Min HR = ________bpm
85% max = (HR Range x 0.85) + Min HR = ________bpm
80% max = (HR Range x 0.80) + Min HR = ________bpm
75% max = (HR Range x 0.75) + Min HR = ________bpm
70% max = (HR Range x 0.70) + Min HR = ________bpm
65% max = (HR Range x 0.65) + Min HR = ________bpm
60% max = (HR Range x 0.60) + Min HR = ________bpm