Get in shape for summer at Summit County rec centers |

Get in shape for summer at Summit County rec centers

A young climber reaches for a hold on the climbing wall at the Breckenridge Recreation Center. Before summer, experts recommend strength, cardio and sport training in the controlled environment of a gym.
Summit Daily file photo |

Rec in the off-season

Summit may be stuck in seasonal limbo, but your workout routine shouldn’t be. It’s why gyms exist. Before hitting the singletrack, here’s a rundown of the best off-season rec specials around the county.

Breckenridge Recreation Center

Buy the Triple Play Pass between now and June 15 to get full rec center access in June, July and August. Cost is $130 for adults and $45 for youth (10 to 17 years old). Offer open to residents and non-residents.

Silverthorne Recreation Center

Two options: the Adult Seasonal Access Pass grants full access from May 25 through September 7 for $105. The School’s Out Pass grants access (plus pass holder rates for summer and fall programs) from June 2 to Aug. 23 for local students (7 to 17 years old). Both passes are available until June 30 and open to residents or non-residents.

Frisco Bay Marina

This weekend marks the soft opening at the marina, with full access to all rental equipment except for stand-up paddleboards. The water is still a bit too chilly for that.

Frisco Adventure Park

The FAP is cranking into high gear, with the disc golf course, ball field and hiking trails ready for use. The bike park is still drying out, but park officials hope to open smaller jumps this weekend and larger jumps by June 1, weather pending. Watch the park Facebook page for updats.

Dillon Marina

The marina, dock store and boat slips are open for summer, along with sailing school and boat rentals. Rent a boat this weekend and get a free rental in September. The newly remodeled Tiki Bar is also open, with grub and brews from the folks at Pug Ryan’s.

It’s been a long, weird winter, yet even with warm conditions and sketchy snowfall you never once hit the gym.

Or maybe you did, but you stuck to the weight room for strength training and rarely tempted the treadmill for a bit of cardio. Or maybe you did the exact opposite.

Either way, skiing is a much different beast than hiking and biking and the bulk of summer sports.

“When you’re transitioning from one sport to another, remember that you’re changing over to a new type of movement,” says Will Kruger, a physical therapist with Howard Head Sport Medicine in Frisco. “This is a new sport and a new season, so you can’t assume that you’ll be able to run or bike for six hours straight, even if you were able to do that on skis during the season.”

Right now — the otherwise dull and dreary shoulder season — is a sterling opportunity to get ready for summer recreation, Kruger says, and it begins with a low-key gym routine.


Let’s start with cardio. Unless you spent the past few months skinning up Arapahoe Basin, chances are your endurance has taken a dip since last summer. Skiing is built around core strength and lateral movement, whereas running and cycling are built around endurance and repetitive movements. All three rely on the core (more on that to come), but only one has built-in breaks.

“Skiing has a lot of downtime,” Kruger says. “When you sit on your bike for an hour and a half — you might even be climbing the entire time — your heart needs to provide oxygen to those massive leg muscles. You can definitely bring cardiovascular into your gym program.”

Kruger suggests starting with a 30-minute hill climb or interval program on a stationary bike. From there, boost the time limit and difficulty level, and be sure to mix standing with seated pedaling.


Next comes strength. Douglas Roessel, owner of Elevation Fitness in Dillon, says weights are often the most intimidating part of any training regimen, particularly for outdoorsy types. But it shouldn’t be overlooked.

‘The stronger your muscles are, the stronger you will be everywhere — a stronger runner, a stronger cycler,” Roessel says. “Every little movement uses a different muscle group, but if you haven’t been in the gym it can be intimidating and daunting. It’s important to plan your attack.”

And “attack” doesn’t mean six days a week at the gym, Roessel says. He recommends a relatively simple plan: two days per week for 45 minutes to an hour each day, maintaining constant activity throughout. Try a mix of cardio, weights and calisthenics (aka bodyweight exercises) like abdominal planks. Start by holding the plank for 10 seconds, with the end goal of eventually getting to one minute without wobbling or arching your back. When that gets easy, add variations like lifting a single leg.

If you don’t know where to start in the gym, find a personal trainer. Roessel and crew at Elevation can schedule one-time-only appointments to go over form and a brief workout routine.


Last comes stretching. Even though most athletes are familiar with warm-up stretches, Roessel says the majority forget or simply forgo post-workout stretching. It lasts five minutes and can help prevent muscle strains or injuries. It’s also part of Roessel’s perennial workout mentality: When you find a routine, stick to it, no matter the season.

“This is a really strange time of year,” Roessel says. “You really see the crossover between winter and summer. It’s a transition season, so what we try to do is help people stay fit all year longer, rather than drop one thing for another.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User