30 tips for successful cross-country flying
#27: Use the winter – physical fitness helps
In autumn and winter many pilots don’t go out because “it’s not worth it”. And if you don‘t get on a plane to fly south to get some airtime, you can quickly find your glider has been packed away for a few months. But as soon as spring comes, the thermals return and with them the first ambitious cross-country pilots. I have experienced this a lot. The thermals can be small and punchy. It is demanding flying, but normally you can already centre in the thermals. The first 200 km FAI triangles of 2019 were flown in March!
It used to happen to me regularly that on my first flights of the year I got tense or had aching muscles the next day. Since I started doing a lot of cross-country skiing in the winter, I don’t experience that. It doesn’t have to be a full gym workout every day, but to stay active in winter and maybe do a bit of groundhandling definitely helps. Then you are ready for spring.