Philippe: discovering cross-country skiing!

Far from the crowds of the downhill ski slopes, cross-country skiing offers you complete escape. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or looking for a hobby, this sport will bring you enjoyment. It is split into two techniques: classic and skate skiing.

SKATE

Philippe is an (ultra) sportsman. Ultra trail, ultra endurance cycling...
he is always willing to warm up the thighs. So cross-country skiing got him really interested ...

Why did you choose to take up cross-country skiing?

Cross-country skiing has interested me for a few years however I lived in Lille... Following a move to Sallanches, I could try out cross-country skiing.

This sport made me happy for several reasons!

I used to rollerblade at the skate park when I was young. I’ve always liked this gliding feeling and carrying out technical moves... And cross-country skiing reproduces a similar movement. I told myself that it would be easier to learn.

The other reason is that during my studies in the sciences and techniques of physical and sports activities (STAPS), I learned that cross-country ski athletes had the largest oxidative capacity. As an endurance sports enthusiast, I thought that this sport would be a great complement to winter training.

And then... watching the biathlon on TV finally convinced me. When you see the poise of Martin Fourcade and the struggle against himself...

Was it difficult to take it up?

I started with the first snow of the season at the end of 2017 with a colleague who already practised. He loaned me the equipment and took me along one day to learn.

I was lucky as he was also a good teacher.

Then I went nearly every day until the spring. I also watched tutorials to learn techniques, movements, etc. And I tried to imitate the athletes I came across with a good technique.

What were your conclusions after your first season?

Firstly, I had a great time! The poise, the technique is thrilling. It's a real endurance sport and you feel your thighs warming up... As well as the butt, abs and shoulders!

Cross-country skiing helps me a lot with cycling: I was in good shape for the season without having cycled all winter. The feelings are pretty similar: you struggle on the way up to enjoy the descent. I liked it so much that I want to sign up for races next winter

I’m even wondering if I might take up roller skiing...

Do you think it's a good sport for taking up exercise?

It depends on the reason why. Yes, if it’s to keep in shape and enjoy yourself. There is a real physical commitment. I think classic skiing might be better to start with as the technique is simpler. That’s what my other half did and that helps her with badminton.

And cross-country skiing is perfect for making progress with the bike in summer, the reverse is also possible. These are complementary sports!