Birkie Training Group Winter Extra

Course Content:

The focus of the program will be on building ski specific stamina and strength, and refining ski technique. Dryland training will be done until we have snow. Dryland will be directed towards muscle specific ski techniques. Running will not be used, but ski walking and bounding will. Bring poles, preferably ski walking length (about 10 cm shorter than your regular classic length).

Once on snow, classic ski skills will be reviewed and refined. Sessions will not be cancelled due to weather; rather we will move inside for topics such as waxing theory, race preparation, nutrition and hydration, race strategy, and strength and core exercises. By arrangement with the instructor longer ski days out at the Cooking Lake/Blackfoot PRA will be organized to help you learn whilst enjoying the trails and terrain in ‘Birkieland’.

You should have average to excellent fitness and have a couple of years cross country ski experience. Bring poles, preferably ski walking length (about 10 cm shorter than your regular classic length).

COVID 19 protocols may be in effect during all Birkie training classes. Instructor will email you prior to class with any instructions.


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14 weeks for one and a half hours on Saturday mornings starting October 23, 2021 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

Minimum 6 to run the course
No refunds if the course is run, including for illness/COVID


Lower Gold Bar pavilion (10955 50 Street) unless otherwise notified by the instructor.
Long ski days from 9:00 – 11:30 am at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, or Strathcona Wilderness Centre Dates and locations of long ski days will be arranged by mutual consent, based on weather and ski conditions.

Mary Ann Merritt, CANSI Level 2 has been a long-time Birkie instructor as well as an instructor at various ski clubs in and around Edmonton. She’s skied the Birkie many times.

CANSI = Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors