This is the ideal workout for early summer or spring and is very easy to do, so long as you are not injured. With temperatures in Ottawa hovering in the high teens, this is a great time to get out into the woods or in my case the Gatineau Park and start hiking, walking or jogging. It isn't hard, just don't push the pace too high and don't start off with a four hour epic, just build up slowly as you would with any training.
A few suggestions..
Personally I did none of this last year due to an ongoing stress fracture in my foot, but this year it seems to be behaving and I have been lucky enough to run both of the above mentioned trails in the park. Nothing hard, just loping about for anywhere between 1.5 and 3 hours. I find this is fundamental training at this time of year that helps build the aerobic base for the rest of the season.
I did not use poles in this session as the terrain is very rocky and the poles end up being more nuisance than help. If the trail calls for it, using poles is a great way of increasing your heart rate, increasing the cross country skiing specificity by using the arm muscles and it doesn't really increase the perceived exertion.
The official training season has started, so get off the couch, stop patting yourself on the back for your stunning results last season and get ready for next year.
See you out there......