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Improve Your XC Skiing: Adult & Masters XC Ski Groups in Ottawa-Gatineau
By:  Team XC Ottawa   (2016/10/11)


We are lucky to have many programs in the Ottawa-Gatineau area for adults wanting to join others for outings, improve their xc ski technique, train, or race. Options range from purely social groups to groups with more intense training and structured workouts. Most have pre-season and winter cross-country training options to choose from. We’ve gathered some information from their websites to put together this resource. Please let us know if we’ve missed something!

Hopefully one of these programs will suit your schedule and help you to prepare for the upcoming ski season so you can enjoy skiing even more this winter.

Masters Specific Group Training and Racing

Natural Fitness Lab/XC Zone

The adult xc ski program is a comprehensive program. Many participants have personal goals ranging from the improved skills, fitness, weight loss, finishing the Ski Marathons, to elite high performance racing. The program is open for all levels and abilities. The program will tune your technique in either skating or classic disciplines. Fast-track your skills this season.

XC Ski Technique Lessons $150/yr (Drop-in Fee $20)(Students Free)

MONDAY 18:30-19:30 “Dry-land Skills” Mooney’s Bay 03-31 October.

  • SUNDAY 13:00hrs-14:00hrs "Learn to Ski" technical sessions classic or skating for all levels and abilities. Place: P9 Gatineau Park. 04 December to 27 February.

XC Skiing Training and Coaching $100/yr (Drop in fee $10)

  • TUESDAYS 18:25hrs - "Train to race" Normally consists of a variety of interval and intensity sessions to develop power-endurance and specific strength. This workout has a training focus for novice to expert skiers.

  • SATURDAY 09:00hrs-Noon. Longer conditioning session for racers. We also use this time to have special events or clinics.

  • SUNDAY 09:00hrs-noon - Distance training for intermediate+ racers. The ski tour starts from a new location every week and explores new trails.

Visit Natural Fitness Lab  more details of the program.

XC Chelsea Masters

The XC Chelsea Masters is a club for both competitive and recreational masters cross-country skiers (i.e., age 30, give or take a few years, and up) run by local coaches in Chelsea, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario.  It offers a structured training program that is designed to bring masters skiers to a fitness level and technical ability that will allow them to improve their performance in ski races of short and long distances, ski loppets, touring events and recreational skiing. Many masters join in order to get in shape for the Gatineau Loppet or the Canadian Ski Marathon. Others simply want to get in shape for the ski season and learn to be better skiers.

Who can join?
To join the club and participate in the regular programming (e.g. Tue and Sat dryland, Tue and Sat ski practices, Strength Training for Masters, the Racing Program, Roller Skiing Clinics), you should have a minimum of 1 year’s experience skiing, either classic or skate. We will not be teaching you how to ski at our regular practices. You also need a minimum level of fitness, i.e., be able to sustain 2 hours of continuous aerobic activity in zone 1 or 60% of your max heart rate, be able to perform interval training, and be able to perform regular strength training, including exercises such as push ups, core exercises, squats, deadlifts and assisted pull ups without risk of injury.

Dryland training has started and goes on till the snow arrives.

Visit www.xcchelseamasters.com for more details about the program.


Kanata Nordic

Kanata Nordic offer adult ski programs for Kanata Nordic members (ages 14 and up) to learn to ski and to refine their skiing technique. The programs include: Adult Novice for those first learning to ski, Adult Intermediate for skiers with some experience, and an intermediate level Touring program. All three on-snow programs run for ten weeks starting in January and are taught by experienced and trained coaches.

Visit http://www.kanatanordic.ca/ski-programs/adult-programs/ for more details about the program.

Nakkertok Nordic Ski4Life Program

The Nakkertok Ski4Life program is a fall and winter fitness programs for Nakkertok members (18+) who are interested in keeping with the theme of Sports Canada's program 'Fit for Life'. The general focus of the program will be to develop a greater physical literacy in xc skiing. The program will have a three fold objective:

  1. increase physical fitness;

  2. develop better ski technique in both classic and free (skate) skiing;

  3. have some fun socializing in group events (skis, wine &cheese, etc...) and/or competing together in a few local Loppets.

The emphasis of the program will not be on competition, however the program is not for beginning skiers but for intermediate skiers and advanced recreational skiers. It is OK if you have limited skate skiing experience. The program consists of dryland and on-snow training on Tuesday nights.

Dryland (strength training, agility drills, pole walking technique and games (more agility), yoga.

  • Location: Mooney's Bay

  • Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

  • Duration: September till snow flies (November?)

On-snow (ski technique enhancement both for classic and skating. This will be done through technique and agility drills, short speed work, games and skiing.)

  • Location: Nakkertok South (same location as Nakkertok Racing Team)

  • Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

  • Duration: From snow (December?) to early March


We have a core group of Nakkertokkers with many years and varieties of experience skiing and coaching experience to guide you to improving your fitness and skills in a fun, challenging environment.

Register on Zone 4 (you must register as a Nakkertok member before registering for the program).

Skinouk Programme pour Adultes (Ski+)

Club Skinouk has a variety of programs for adults of all abilities. Some of the dryland activities have started but don’t hesitate to contact them for more information.

Program Details:

- Mise en forme et sorties récréo-sportives pour adulte, groupes mixtes.

- Entraînement pré-ski à l'automne

- Entraînement de ski de fond à l'hiver

- Cours de ski de fond

- Cours de ski privé

- Entraînement printanier


- Ces cours s'adressent à tous: débutant 1, débutant 2, intermédiaires 3 et entrainement 4.
- Préalable : bonne santé et capacité (variable) de marcher/courir/skier selon l'activité.
- Activités extérieures.
- Équipement nécessaire selon l'activité: équipement de ski de fond, de ski à roulette, bâton de marche nordique, chaussures de course, vêtements appropriés et sourire.
- Vos instructeurs veilleront à adapter les exercices en fonction des capacités de chacun.

Inscriptions:  http://ski-plus.skinouk.ca/Home/horaire


Skiers over Fifty in Training (S.O.F.I.T.S)

When: Fridays from mid September until March. The larger group trains together on Fridays at 11:00, and a smaller group of "keeners" also meets Tuesdays at 10:00.

What They Do: Weights, core strength, agility, speed work, balance, technical drills, hill work, pole work, video analysis and intervals. It’s the usual Dryland stuff but geared toward older masters. They indulge in generous amounts of complaining, chatting and laughter, and relish stares from passersby! The format builds gradually from week to week, switching to skiing as soon as there is a thin layer of snow. The training is oriented to general ski fitness, as well as to preparation for the ski Marathon or Loppets. There are training plans available for those who wish to train toward specific events.

For whom: Women who are committed to training together once or twice a week. They are aged 50 or older, active, reasonably fit and comfortable on classic and / or skate skis. No beginners, please. Their athletic backgrounds are varied and include triathlon, running, cycling, mountain biking, orienteering, swimming, hiking, paddling, boot camp, yoga and sailing. Each has her particular strengths and weaknesses, but all share a love of training together outdoors. The summer months see many Sofits splitting into informal groups to cycle, run, swim and mountain bike together.

Where: The group trains mainly in Gatineau Park locations. They meet in all conditions and have their most memorable workouts in the foulest weather!

Registration: Sofits is at capacity for this year, and capped registration in early September. However, if you are interested for next fall, or wish more information, please contact Jo-Ann Holden (jholden@musicianonskis.ca).

Women on Skis

Women on skis aims to encourage women of all levels to get out and enjoy winter, to network with others who have similar interests and to experience some of the best cross-country trails in Canada.  Women on Skis is a non-profit program run by a group of experienced volunteer skiers who raise funds for women’s health and social issues.

Come and join us in our 34th consecutive season for x-country ski outings in various ski areas around Ottawa/Gatineau. ‘Women on Skis’ welcomes a wide range of skiers: some experience on skis is expected. You will receive skiing tips, meet new friends, have fun skiing and enjoy après-ski lunches..

FEES (2016 info): Registration for the season is $30. This includes 5 outings: Terry Fox Centre, Nakkertok Ski Club (x2),P9 Gatineau Park, and Kanata Nordic Ski trails. You can also register for individual sessions – Terry Fox is $20 and all others are $7. Registration Form 2016

Additional trail fees apply to Gatineau Park, Nakkertok Ski Club and Kanata Nordic trails.

More information here.


Mooney’s Bay Ski Center

Mooney's Bay Park (Terry Fox Athletic Facility) has 5 km of groomed and well-lit trails. They offer  lesson packages for all levels in classic or skate skiing. Mooney's Bay Park has it all. Perfect for after work. Perfect for the entire family.  

Registration Information here.



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