Racing team updates

This is our small town team that trains year round with only 30 days off in April. ‘Off’ to us means active recovery, just being active without a structured plan. And we did ski until late April, and yes, it was ridiculous.

Official summer training started April 28 this year, with some physical tests to set individual benchmarks. The main focus early on is to rebuild aerobic capacity lost in the racing season, which remains 80 to 90% of overall training. Our young skiers go through a rigorous intensity program in the heat of the summer that involves many aspects of speed and strength and progressively longer LSD (long slow distance) sessions. Our skiers constantly come up with fun stuff to make the coaching more interesting.

 Matjaz, Shayna, Malcolm, Emily, Jason, Lindsay. On the ground Emily, Tomaz, and ShaylynnMatjaz, Shayna, Malcolm, Emily, Jason, Lindsay. On the ground Emily, Tomaz, and Shaylynn

Team at Active Living Fair in McKellar for a long, strength, ‘Lappe’ ski walk, and roller ski session on public display.

Our skiers – six girls and five boys – are aged 13 to 16. Three older skiers have left the team for more adventures. Shayna and Claire will continue to ski at the varsity level. Jason has decided to focus on running. New skiers from the Racing Rabbits and a high school skier joined us this year. One high school skier rejoined the team this year.

Welcome all!



Noah and Malcolm helping Lauren to get downhill on single roller skiNoah and Malcolm helping Lauren to get downhill on single roller ski

Someone else had to carry the broken ski. But the boys immediately assisted in getting this skier safely down the hill on the road. Should they have given her one of their skis? That was out of the question for her.

The most interesting part of coaching a team like this is the variety of goals each skier sets. This actually helps team cohesion as respect for each other increases.

Goal setting. Yes, some are quite open about it, but its okay if they remain secretive. We have alpine-oriented skiers who like the physical challenge of nordic skiing. We have outdoor lovers, paddlers and bikers on the team who can go on and on all day long at a good pace. Nordic skiing fits the bill not only during the winter.

Parry Sound is a hockey town. Is this an issue? No, only if parents make one sport a priority. It’s simple. Let the kids decide, and let them do both. Specialization before age 16 is a fun killer.

Let me rephrase the question. Can a hockey player benefit from nordic training?

Yes. An example is when we practice nordic walking. It’s a mixture of skill and hard work and be assured, nordic walking can be just easy as in running zone 1. You can make it much harder if you go low and really engage core and all limbs. Zone 3 is no problem, if done in “Lappe” style. Higher heart rates are targeted in hill work.

Depending on their goals, they can reach the kind of fitness level only found in a year-round program.

In November we are in several phases to prepare for skiing on snow. Racing is just one more thing in all of this preparation. For some, it’s about meeting the medium term goals, for others the entire season is merely a test for bigger things to come.


No poles skiing is part of becoming aware of weight shift and many other “self checks”.

Equipment. Classic and skate – any condition rock skis, - better training skis, - best racing skis. Some have only one pair for each skiing style, or only one pair period. First and second year-on-the-team skiers have full access to a lot of our team equipment. Mainly racing skis. Later our skiers buy their own stuff. Two skiers are sponsored this year with Rossignol and OneWay. No free ride in our sport though, even if it’s a good deal, they still pay quite a bit for their stuff.

Technical clothing for all kinds of weather, we ski in almost anything. Races are only cancelled at -20 and colder. Rain, blowing snow, zero visibility ain’t no reason to call it.

Skiers need a lot of carbs for fuel, water in freeze proof bottles, before, during, and after training and racing. Each skier has a waxing kit they get to know well for training and racing at local races.

These kids will make exceptional coaches some day, if given a chance to lead.

Thanks to our parents, not only for getting our skiers to practice and racing, but also for dealing with most of the logistics required to attend events. Accommodations, registrations, travel, and lots of meetings, help with setting up at events, waxing, and much more. High five, folks!

This team is in its fifth year. Karen and Tim Johnson sponsored our first wax bench. That was an important boost of confidence for the young skiers that first year. We travelled all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon that year. Unforgettable memories.

If all goes well we shall return to those historic trails in 2016, famous for having hosted the famous Canadian Firth sisters many times.

You helped make that happen, Karen, Tim, and many others!

It takes a village to raise these kids, no kidding.

New this year in racing:

The Southern Ontario District Board of Directors are proud to introduce a new racing series for elementary, high school, college and university students. One of the distinguishing features of this racing series is that it is focused on having fun and skiing fast, without relying on fancy high end waxes. That’s why it’s called the SOD Paraffin Series – the only type of wax skiers will use for this racing series are the more basic paraffin waxes. Keeping it simple, and keeping it fun!

The Sounder is part of this, check our calendar.

Any questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All events including Georgian Nordic events, school races, SOD, Ontario Cups,

University races, Masters events are regularly updated on the calendar.

Stay tuned!