It wasn’t that long ago that the Canadian World Cup Team was on snow, but in the last month since its Aug. 11-29 camp in New Zealand, the national team has been hitting the dryland pretty hard.
About a week ago, its six skiers were finishing up camp in Truckee, Calif., and nearby Nevada City. One of two women on the team, Perianne Jones explained in an email that they had a great camp for the first few weeks of October. “We did lots of climbing, that’s for sure,” she wrote. “Flat roads were hard to come by.”
Jones and Dasha Gaiazova left a few days earlier than the guys – Gaiazova for a sponsor appearance and benefit in Colorado, and Jones to get on snow at home in Canmore, Alberta. Proudly termed Frozen Thunder, Canmore’s approximately 2-kilometer loop made from snow stockpiled since last winter, opened in earnest on Oct. 19.
Two days later, Monday marked the start of a weeklong Cross Country Canada women’s camp with Jones and the national junior and senior development teams.
“We are back on snow!” Jones exclaimed. “[Monday] was our first ski together, kind of a ‘get back into it’ workout.”
When getting back onto real skis and snow (as opposed to rollerskis and pavement), whether it’s your first time in a several weeks or months (or years!), it’s important not to go too headstrong into it.
Jones said her first workout on Frozen Thunder wasn’t anything too crazy, just skating around casually and working on technique between two stations. National-team coaches manned each – with head coach Justin Wadsworth focused on offset (V1), and women’s coach Eric de Nys watching their glide and positioning on the one-skate (V2).
“It was mostly about balance, and getting used to the feeling of being back on snow,” Jones explained. “For the girls from the East it was also an adaptation to the altitude.”
So if you’re about to go skiing for the first time – even if it’s not quite 1,500 meters (nearly 5,000 feet) above sea level – consider a technique workout like the following. You might not have national-team coaches to critique you, but you’ll probably notice areas that need some work.
The workout: Get Back Into It (snow skiing)
Warmup: 30 minutes easy Zone 1
Stations workout: Rotate through two stations on a loop (even 2 kilometers will do) for an hour and a half. If skating, consider offset and one-skate stations that hone in on the following:
- Offset (V1): Knee drive and weight over the ski
- One-skate (V2): Glide and getting the hands high
At the stations, bump up the intensity to Zone 2 or so, “just to make sure the movements [are] good,” Jones explained.
Cool-down: 15 minutes easy Zone 1
As for her first workout back on snow, Jones wrote it didn’t feel too foreign.
“We are lucky to have stayed in touch with the snow through the summer,” she wrote. “It’s always nice on the joints to get off the pavement at this time of year though!”
On Thursday night, Jones will host a Skiers 4 Schoolbox fundraiser at the Bill Warren Training Centre to support her trip to Nicaragua, where she and several other skiers hope to build a school in April.
“Education is a basic human right that many kids don’t have access to,” the fundraiser’s Facebook page states. “We want to do what we can to help!”
Among those joining Jones and her husband Joel Jaques are Phil Widmer, Emily Nishikawa, Zoe Roy, Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt, Mark Arendz, and Ruth Tamas from Jones’ hometown in Almonte, Ontario.
“We are still looking for a few more bodies to help us build our school!,” Jones wrote.