It's been a remarkable, almost unreal, start to the year for British skiers. I've been skiing on Hampstead Heath,
and reports reach me of rollerskiers enjoying the snow in almost every corner of the UK. Sub-zero conditions in
London mean Wednesday's snow still hasn't melted 4 days later.
Hopefully the country is learning that the best way to get about, is cross-country skiing! It was great to ski up
and downhill in the park, picking up some pretty good speed - it was interesting to zoom past Alpine skiers and
snowboarders struggling for speed on the slopes of Parliament Hill. I've been sent pictures of skiing with labrador
power in Oxfordshire, skiing on frozen loughs in Co. Down and skiing out of snowed-in villages near Henley.
The downside is that this isn't great for practicing rollerskiing! Usually it's the busiest time of year for us,
preparing skiers for ski holidays and races in Europe. We cancelled today's Dorney Lake course - the first time ever
- as well as yesterday's Richmond Park session, and Hyde Park was a bit icy. But, we can't really complain - best
to enjoy the snow while it lasts, and get back to rollerskiing afterwards..
We hope you can join us for rollerskiing in the weeks ahead, and wish you a great year of skiing in 2010.
NEW YEAR'S COURSES: Hyde Park
Skating 4-week beginners' course: now starting Saturday 16th January, Hyde Park, see http://rollerski.co.uk/events2.html.
Classic 4-week beginners' course: starts Saturday 30th January, Hyde Park, see http://rollerski.co.uk/events1.html.
NEW YEAR'S COURSES: Dorney Lake
1-day skating & classic courses, for beginners and intermediate / advanced skiers: Sunday 17th January, Sunday 7th February, Sunday 7th March
(more dates may be added in February), see http://rollerski.co.uk/events3.html.
ON-SNOW COURSE: Hochfilzen, Austria
A week of classic and skating skiing, followed by the Koasalauf ski marathons. Expert instruction on both techniques
from former British cross-country ski champion, Alan Eason. Very small number of places left, see
JUNIORS' ROLLERSKI CLUB
Our rollerski club has grown steadily over the past couple of years, drawn from the skiers who make
it to our sessions in Hyde Park, Central London. This year our new initiative is to introduce junior (teenage) skiers, in South West London. This programme will be run by Felicity Bertram, who coaches junior rowers at Tideway Scullers, with Yevgeniy as head coach. For more info, see http://rollerski.co.uk/events30.html
I've added profiles for instructors Yevgeniy (at long last), Adam and Felicity here:
BRITISH CROSS-COUNTRY SKI & BIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS
These take place at the end of January. This is a great test, and always attracts several hundred British skiers,
drawn primarily from the British military. There is a 15k classic race, a pursuit race (classic followed by
pitstop then skating) a 4x10k cross-country ski race and plenty of biathlon races. It's always great fun,
and it is very well organised by the British Army. You can find more information at
EX-RENTAL BOOTS FOR SALE
Prompted by a flood of requests from people anxious to get skiing on snow - and having replaced all
our boots recently - I have put the ex-rental boots on sale. Although not ideal for rollerskiing
(they have lost a certain amount of stiffness and support), they will at least get you moving -
Prices from £15 including delivery.
REVIEW OF 2009
Some of the milestones in the rollerski year: http://rollerski.co.uk/nr078.html.
SOME ROLLERSKI WORKOUTS for when the snow goes... Consider your level of fitness before attempting any of these:
- * STRENGTH: find the steepest hill you can, double pole up it x 5, 3+ minutes if you can manage it.
If you live in London, Swain's Lane N6 is extremely good, next to Highgate Cemetery (and my flat).
I did this session here last week and was amazed how good it was. Also, you can do the same thing
legs only, skating as well as classic.
- * INTERVALS: if you do the British Champs, the course is very much uphill followed by downhill,
and it therefore becomes a bit of an interval session - so you need to train in a way that reflects this.
It's very easy to do double poling or skating intervals on rollerskis, less easy to do diagonal classic
intervals (ski ganging = running / jumping with poles is better for this).
- * LEVEL 3 TRAINING FOR SKI MARATHONS: worth throwing in a session at Level 3 - 80-90% of max heart rate.
I do these sessions classic or skating in Richmond Park after dark, usually 1 hour (2 x 3/4 laps).
You can also do this running if you like running (which I don't).
For advice on heart rate levels, which is very important when doing this training, there's a very good article here:
SKI MARATHONS & WINTER TRIATHLON
I know I keep banging on about ski marathons, but these are great. They're much better than running marathons,
as they're faster and don't destroy your body. In fact, every time I've done a ski marathon I've been out skiing
the same day or the next day. So if you'd like to do a different race this year, give it a thought.
Always better to start with a shorter one - 21k or 42k - but each year there are always some very fit people who
take on the Vasaloppet 90k with no previous ski racing experience.
For more ski marathon info, see http://rollerski.co.uk/nf003.html
(This year's Engadin Skimarathon in March already has over 120 GB entrants.)
GB NORDIC SKI TEAM SUCCESS - extract from press release:
Callum Smith (17) from Inverurie won the Under 18 title in the Campra 10km Classic in Switzerland at the end
of last month. He came 9th overall in the main 10km Juniors Race in a time of 29:11.3, which was won by
Jonas Baumann (19) from Switzerland in 27:37. This achieved the magic 100 FIS point barrier, his best so far.
With 100.26 points Callum is just 0.26 short of the GB Oympic A level qualifying standard, but well within the
B level standard. Only Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young have achieved the A level Olympic qualifing mark so far.
Fiona Hughes (19) from Huddersfield was in excellent form, taking a well deserved 2nd place in the Ladies 5km Junior
Classic at Campra. This podium place gained her World Cup qualification for the first time with 112.66 FIS points,
something she has been striving for these last 2 seasons. Well done! The race was won by Suisse racer P
atricia Sprecher (18) in 16.07.8 from 26 starters.
for more info on the team.
Being updated with recent images of cross-country skiing across the UK:
BRITAIN UNDER SNOW
You've probably seen this already, but in years to come we will remember the 'Big Freeze of 2010' with this picture:
As usual, I've probably written too much... good skiing from Iain & the team.
Roller ski instruction & rollerski shop
M: 07968 286129
T: 020 8348 2540
Hochfilzen 2010 - XC ski on snow -
Rollerski courses coming up -
Club Facebook page -
The Rollerski Co & Rollerski Instruction 2010