ROLLERSKI NEWSLETTER - 23rd September 2008

ROLLERSKI NEWSLETTER - 23rd September 2008

'Without the specific nature of rollerskiing, a skier's body simply cannot be adequately prepared for the demands of ski racing.'

This quote is from a recent article in a leading cross-country ski magazine (the link is below) and shows just how important a part of the training mix rollerskiing is - especially for us Brits, with such limited time on snow.

Winter is fast approaching, and so now really is the time to get in the rollerski preparation for skiing and racing on snow. This is the time when cross-country skiers the world over shift their training from general fitness and strength, to more ski-specific training.

On this newsletter we have details of our courses, but also various ideas for rollerski training, so you can get onto snow with better technique, balance, fitness and stength. I'd like to welcome the new rollerskiers who joined us in Dorney last month, and also the large group of novices who started in Hyde Park earlier in September.


Our first Dorney session of the autumn will be a quiet one - we haven't so many bookings for this one (probably due to other courses / races taking place) so if you would like to be in a smaller group, this will be a good one to come to. Instructors include Ekaterina Rachel and me.

Full day -
2-hr session only -


This starts on Saturday 3rd October, with 3 weeks classic, followed by 3 weeks skating. You can sign up for just the classic or the skating parts, and if you miss a session you can make it up by doing another session at a later date. See


Our autumn programme is now online, see



The nights are drawing in, and so now is the time to start 'after-dark' training. If you are reasonably competent at rollerskiing, have a head torch and flashing bike light on your back, Richmond Park in South West London is an excellent place to train. With 10k+ of tarmac trails - which are all shut to traffic when the park closes - it is rollerski nirvana. Caution is advised on the downhills - it is probably worth taking rollerskis off and walking down - and you may want to cycle the circuit first to become familar with the terrain.

See for pictures of the route, taken on a recent traffic-free day rollerski tour. We will do more of this training, on the first Sunday of the month.


Rollerski racing is a great way to experience something similar to cross-country ski racing on snow. A relatively new race on the rollerski circuit is the Wessex Sprints at Castle Combe, a race organised by the England's only civilian biathlon (skiing and shooting) club and now in its second year.

The race is on Sunday 26th October, and offers skiers a choice of 3k / 6k / 9k indvidual distances, and team relay races. This race is the concluding fixture of the GB Rollerski Race Series, and is the only race to be supported by the British Army which, until recent years, was the dominant force in British cross-country skiing and rollerskiing. Everyone is welcome, whether you have raced or not.

If you would like to join our team for the races, go to

You can see results from other recent rollerski races here -


An article from 'The Master Skier' on the importance of rollerskiing -


Not all the training you do should be on rollerskis. Cross-country skiers also do a mix of 'dryland' strength and imitation exercises. Throughout the summer we have been doing circuit training - essential for building up good core and limb strength. Now our focus shifts slightly to 'ski ganging' which is running with ski poles up various different gradients.

Here is an article on ski bounding -


It's always great to hear about different folks' winter challenges. Interestingly, we are helping people from two competing teams training for the Amundsen South Pole race!

This is a 600km race over 20 days, with 3,000m of climb - see

Other challenges some our skiers are preparing for include the Engadin Ski Marathon, Vasaloppet, Birkebeinerrennet and the Ganghoferlauf (which we are doing ourselves - see )

There's nothing like a ski race to focus your training, and the ski marathons are good fun and very accessible to new skiers. See for ski marathon ideas (this will be updated for 2009 in the next few weeks).


As cross-country skiing is a power-endurance sport, any exercise that builds up stength and power is well recommended. I have been doing a lot of mountain biking this summer which really helps with cross-country skiing. Swimming, rowing and general circuit training are also well recommended - but don't forget the ski specific training too!


I think this is enough for now, but if you would like more ideas, I would recommend taking a look at the 'PRE-SEASON 2008' articles on the MasterSkier website. These articles are written by respected US ski coaches, and include information on such topics as ice baths, balance, rollerski safety, diet and tyre dragging. See -

Best regards,

RollerSki News - September 4th, 2008
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