Four Recovery Go-to's from Professional Skier Tyler Wallasch
What’s up Rhone Family! My name is Tyler Wallasch aka @TJWallasch and I am a professional skier from Mammoth, California I compete in a discipline called Ski Cross. Its a fairly straight forward sport: multiple skiers going down the mountain over jumps, rollers, bank turns and off-camber turns. The first two through the finish line move on to the next heat until there are only four skiers left and you race all out for the win.
With my World Cup competition season kicking off this past November in France, I was looking back at all the hours and days spent training in the mountains this pre-season. I spent nearly two months in the southern hemisphere during the northern summer in both New Zealand and Australia and then went to Europe at the beginning of October to begin training on the high European glaciers in Switzerland and Austria. Looking back at all the days drilling, training, and learning I discovered one of the most important aspects of this training is my recovery. It's being ready the next day to do it all over again.
All the training I do on the slopes wouldn’t have been half as beneficial if I didn’t put the time in after training to get my mind and body ready to do it again. I spent almost all this time in my Rhone gear and decided I would try to pass along some of what I do to train and recover. These are my four go-to’s every day.
Spinning or Running
I always start out with 25-35 minutes of either spinning or running. Usually pretty light, just to get everything moving and the blood pumping. I’ll throw in a few sprints every few minutes!
Movement is a big part of my recovery, possibly the biggest, and sure that sounds broad, and it sort of is! I get bored stretching (especially after an action-packed morning on a Ski Cross track) , so I’ve implemented more “mobile stretching” into my training. Basically I just try to move, find weird body positions, I find its a great way to stretch with some core stabilization and just fun to see ways your body can move!
I will leave two limbs ( two hands or two feet) in one spot and see how many ways I can move around them finding spots that are tight ( usually my hips and my back) and work through them. I will start with my feet in a wide stance and then walk my hands around my body and find interesting ways to keep moving. That's it. Just keep moving. I’ll often spend as much time as I can doing this until I’m working up a sweat and feel loosened up!
I'm all about tricking myself into recovery.
Another fun way to do this is to find a buddy and give them a stick.
Then start on all fours. Have your buddy point to a spot on the ground, and you have to move any of your hands or feet to the spot while leaving the other three in place. The only rule is you can’t move the same body part two times in a row.
Repeat until you fall over! Let your friend push you! As long as you can get a hand or foot to the spot its fair game! And you’ll be surprised what you can get into and out of!
I often have one of my coaches do this and we spend a ton of time trying to make pretzels out of each other. We haven’t gotten a name for it yet, but we’ve been calling it stick twister. If you think of a better name Let me know and how it went!
No not your teeth (but do that too!) I'm talking about flossing your muscles. I started doing this during recovery from a knee surgery a few years ago and haven’t stopped since. I use multiple brands of flossing bands but basically it's a long stretchy band. In skiing, I use my quads a ton! So I start with the band above my knee and tightly wrap it up my leg. From what I understand there are a couple of benefits to this! One it lets the muscles rub against each other, helping break up lactic acid, and then when the band is released you get a rush of blood flooding the areas promoting recovery. I almost always use it on my legs, but it's great on your arms as well! An example of how I use it would be the following:
Wrap quad with flossing band. Tuck in the end underneath the last loop to hold it tight). Stand up and walk around.
Do 10- 15 deep squats.
Do 10 lunges.
Continue walking until you feel like its been long enough (usually around 5 minutes). Then grab the end of the band and quickly unwrap band!
Jump around, do some squats and walk it off and then repeat with the other leg!
Almost all athletes Ice bath, fill a tub with ice and water and hop in! For me it became a trick as well! All you have to do is NOT get out until the timer goes off and you accomplished a goal. How easy is that! But, I started getting bored of just a cold tub and Being a winter sport athlete its usually pretty easy to find some snow runoff or some freezing river, so I try to take my ice baths outside! ( check out my instagram if you want to see some Ice bath inspiration)
Here are a few ice bath tips.
Control your breath when you get in! You’ll feel that chest tighten and your body says, "What are you doing dude!" But a few good breaths should control that!
The first minute is the worst, always. Get through that first minute, don’t get out! Once you get through that, you’re golden!
Keep body temp in mind. Because I’m often outside icing I try to keep my core temp in mind. If I am just icing my legs no need to worry about it. But if dunking my head and up to my neck, I'll try to warm up slowly. Get some clothes on and warm up once you get out (I find its a great excuse to watch a 30 minute Tv show in bed.)
I can’t give a great tip on how long to stay in, but when the air temp is around 0c or 32f ill stay in chest-deep for 10 to 15 minutes but 5-8 minutes is a great goal to shoot for!
Thanks to Rhone for being a huge part of my training and my recovery and letting me share it with you! If you try any of these or have any questions reach out to me @tjwallasch. I would love to see some people try these out and let me know how they work for you.