Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Off the Pitch

Steve Schafer, DRA - East

With soccer season taking a winter break, your challenge is to maintain your referee fitness. Waiting until the spring soccer season to workout is a recipe for disaster. What to do with snow on the ground?

Several referees I know downhill ski (or snowboard). While it’s not quite the same cardiovascular wise as refereeing, downhill skiing is still a good workout. Just walking in those boots from the parking lot should count for something. Along with the ski areas, several stores in ABQ rent ski equipment. You should probably take a lesson if you have never skied before. Also, realize downhill skiing is not cheap. Along with the equipment, ski area lift tickets typically cost >$40 for the day.

I do a lot of cross country skiing. While it’s not as fast as downhill skiing, it is less expensive (no lift ticket) and can be more of a workout. A more advanced form of cross country skiing, skate skiing, is a huge cardiovascular workout. Going up the road to Sandia Crest (536), you can ski on the trails starting at 10k, Ellis, or the Crest parking lot. Note, there is a $3 parking fee. REI has information on trails, rental equipment and lessons.

I also do a lot of snowshoeing. I use the same trails as for cross country skiing. Snow shoes today are made of modern materials (aluminum and Kevlar), are reasonably priced (~$100) and are much smaller than traditional (wood and gut) snowshoes. Snowshoeing requires little skill or coordination (that’s why I can do it). You don’t need lessons to snowshoe. Just walk or jog with a wider stance to avoid tripping yourself (okay, some coordination is needed). REI has rental snowshoes available.

Tell me your workout ideas. What do you do off the pitch (besides 12oz. curls) to stay in shape?

You can email Steve Schafer with workout ideas or questions about this article.