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Fundamentals of xc skiing technique


What to pack for a Cross Country Skiing day trip

Are you a list person?

Here are a few good lists of what to bring (and what not to bring) on a cross-country skiing day trip:

Don’t forget that membership fees increase after November 30th.

See you on the trails.

What’s in your lunchbox (reprised)?

How to fuel yourself for a day of cross-country skiing:

  • In the morning before you head out, have a good breakfast with fiber and protein – think oatmeal, pancakes, fresh fruit especially bananas, eggs, potatoes.
  • Packed lunch –  carbohydrates for energy, salty foods to replenish salt lost to sweat, and lean proteins; e.g., a turkey sandwich with cheese, tomato lettuce; a fresh fruit; some kale chips or nuts; chicken noodle soup in a thermos with crackers on the side.
  • Snacks – think hearty and portable to fit into pockets or small backpack.  Some things I like to bring are beef jerky, chocolate covered almonds, granola bars, energy bars, dried apple rings, mango or other fruits, fruit bars, string cheese, cheese and crackers…
  • Liquids – the usual cold water but I also like to bring hot water in a thermos and then a package of cider or hot chocolate mix for apres-ski.

For more ideas, see:

Remember – Trakker’s Open House is this Friday, 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia.

See you on the trails.

Cynthia’s Banana Bread Recipe

I was briefly part of a community orchestra a few years ago.  The best part of this experience was the most amazing banana bread that was being served for the refreshment break. This is Cynthia’s recipe for banana bread that she has been making since the 70’s.  This would make a good snack when you’re out on the trails.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 4 small loaf pans.  Arrange oven rack to upper 1/3rd position.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Stir in mashed bananas and 250 ml of the flour. Add sour cream and remaining dry ingredients. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the 4 loaf pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes (if using one large pan then bake 50-55 minutes). Test for doneness by inserting toothpick into center of the loaf and see if it comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing. Then place bread on wire rack to cool before wrapping or serving.
  4. Loaves can be frozen for about 1 month if well wrapped.  Thaw on the counter for about 10 minutes then slice while still partially frozen. Allow to thaw for another 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Trakkers is holding its annual open house this Friday (Nov 17th) from 7-9 pm. Come out to find out more about the club, the weekend trips and to meet other club members!

See you on the trails.

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How do I get into shape for cross-country skiing? (aka pre-season conditioning)

Cross-country skiing is more fun if you’re in reasonably good shape – this means good aerobic conditioning, flexibility, balance, and muscle endurance.  If you’re busy and don’t have a whole lot of time, here is a simplified approach to getting ready for the ski season.  None of these require any specialized equipment and can be done anywhere. Note: as with any exercise program, see your physician for medical clearance before starting any type of new exercise.

Aerobic Conditioning

How often: 2-3 times per week

How long: 1 hour or more

What: Work your heart at 65 to 75 per cent of maximum through activities like running, hiking, cycling, or swimming.  Longer duration is more important than faster.  If you choose running, 65-75% of maximum means that you can comfortably hold a conversation with a fellow runner.


4 simple stretching exercises that you can do daily and anywhere for

  • neck and shoulders
  • back and sides
  • upper legs, hamstrings
  • lower legs, feet

are listed here:


Muscle endurance

  • Lower extremities: Lunges, alternating calf raises
  • Upper extremities: arm swing “pole plant”

nicely described here:

That’s it!


Don’t forget to attend Trakker’s Open House on Nov 17th, 2017, 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.

See you on the trails.

Top 10 reasons to try cross country skiing this year

10.  An excuse to shop (for new gear).

9. Look stylish without risk of helmet head.

8. It’s easy.

You can get started with a single lesson. Trakkers offers ski classes on Sunday trips. After one hour, you’ll feel confident enough to get on the trails.

7. It’s safe.

It’s very hard to injure yourself. It’s low impact and you can ski as slow and on as flat terrain as you want.

6. There are no queues.

5. It’s inexpensive.

$6- $20 for an all day trail pass, and $15-$25 to rent gear.

4. Equipment lasts for years.

If you decide to buy, Xc ski equipment can easily last decades. If you spend $400, this translates to $20 per year or less.

3. It’s an amazing workout.

Low impact, strength training, superb cardiovascular, a bit of flexibility and balance all rolled into one.

2,  Eat more.

With all the calories you’re burning, you can afford to slip in a few more snacks (without guilt).

1. Clear your head.

A great excuse to get out of the city— there’s nothing like the calm and peacefulness of being out in the woods, surrounded by snow covered trees, the sound of nothing, and the exhilaration of fresh chill air.

Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds!


Don’t forget to come out to Trakkers’s Open House on Friday November 17th, 2017 @ Swansea Town Hall, Bloor West Village —

7PM – 9 PM, 95 Lavinia Avenue

See you on the trails.