Cross training equivalent - ski touring vs biking

Hey - would I be right in thinking that I could substitute for e.g. a 4hr endurance training ride with a similar length of another activity (e.g. Ski Touring) - assuming I look to keep to the recommended HR zones (2) etc.

On top of that - it’s pretty hard to go for a 4hr ski tour without getting to the top of the mountain - so I would also be splitting the 4hrs into 2 or 3 pitches during the day. I would assume that that is also fine?

There are other longer rides in the plan that include a few Z4/5 short efforts - again if I did this on the skis I would assume it’s mostly about getting the HR up briefly before settling back into Z2.

(I live in a ski resort, so pretty much locked to 4hrs riding on a trainer or no riding at all - at least for the next 6-8 weeks or so)

I’m training for an event in the Summer, so will be able to get plenty of specific bike training in as the event nears.

Yes and no, but I think in your case yes. It will be good for your overall health and fitness, but won’t build bike specific muscular endurance or the endurance you need to sit on a bike for hours (although trainers are more brutal on that front than riding outside). So if you have time later to build the bike specific endurance you’ll need for your event, enjoy the snow.

That’s what I figured… Keep the aerobic systems going for the winter months - then more bike specific stuff can come later when a 4 hour ride can take place outside!

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I think ski touring is great cross training, and while you can use your cycling training plan as a loose guide on what to do on skis, there are a few things to keep in mind. Use your cycling HR zones loosely- your HR will probably be higher on skis, considering its more of a total body activity compared to cycling. You’re also climbing pretty steadily, so similar to climbing on a bike, your HR will probably increase quickly and may continue to rise the longer you climb. And yes, splitting 4 hours into 2-3 climbs is fine.
While it’s great for you both physically and mentally to take a break from the bike, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to maintain a little bit of cycling in your program. If you stop riding completely, then try to do a 4-hr ride outside in the spring, you may find it surprisingly difficult. You don’t need to do 4 hr rides on the trainer, but an hour or so once a week will help when you transition to outdoor riding later on. If you feel like riding indoor a little, great. If not, just know the adaptation period when you transition might be a bit rough for a couple weeks! Enjoy the snow!

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