(or how take a chunk off your Eurotest time with out changing your skiing).
Over the years I’ve done my share of race training and watched friends prepare for the infamous “Eurotest” timed GS race test.
I’ve also trained for and passed a similar test ran under agreed international protocols set by the European Ski Instructor associations for visiting Instructors working with clients.
Passing these tests is a significant challenge, especially as like myself many Instructors start training for these race tests without any previous ski racing experience. This has prompted me to consider how Instructors who do not have a racing background can give them selves the best chance of success and get the most from their Autumn race training.
Below is how I’ll approach race training the next time I head for the alps for Autumn race training with one of the race training companies:
1. Recognise that Eurotest is the only part of the Instructor qualification system which is ‘measured’ (with a stopwatch!). All the other elements are ‘judged’ by trainers and this requires a change of mind set. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, get the time. RACE !
2. Structure each gate training session on the hill to replicate the race. So:
- Confirm and practice my warm up routine as it will be on race day.
- Practice the course inspection as I would on race day.
- Practice remembering and visualising the course while riding the lift back to the start.
- Aim to to set my fastest times of the day on run 1 and 2. Ideally on 1.
- Once my practice ‘Race’ is done I’ll focus on whatever training the race coaches have for the rest of the session.
This way I get to practice all the elements of a race test day each day I train with the aim of being as fast as possible right out of the gate. It’s no good if I’m setting my fastest time on run 5 or 6 as I learn the course.
3. Spend time getting the start nailed. 1 or 2 seconds saved (or gained) at the start is 2 or 4 percent on a 50 second run. Bad weather cancels gate training ? Maybe an opportunity to fine tune starts.
4. It’s all about ‘Line’. All those technical skills I’ll be tasked to improve are a means to an end. That end is my ‘Line’ through the course. The better my Line, the faster my time. Perhaps less helpful if I’m running last in a rutted course but worth more time if I get to run early.
5. For my skill set and course for a given day there will be an optimum Line through the course. Being able to ski a Line accurately and consistently means I can get the best time on every run.
More on Line and what there might be learned from Motorcycle racing to follow.