Birkie Training Group Winter Session

Course Content:

The focus of the program will be on building ski specific stamina and strength and ski technique refinement. Dryland training will be done until we have snow. Dryland will be directed towards muscle specific ski techniques. Running will not be used, but ski walking and bounding will. Bring poles, preferably ski walking length (about 10 cm shorter than your regular classic length).

Once on snow, classic ski skills will be reviewed and refined. Sessions will not be cancelled due to weather; rather we will move inside for topics such as waxing theory, race preparation, nutrition and hydration, race strategy, and strength and core exercises. By arrangement with the instructor longer ski days out at the Cooking Lake/Blackfoot PRA will be organized to help you learn whilst enjoying the trails and terrain in ‘Birkieland’.

You should be fit, have at least 2 years of cross country skiing experience and be able to ski a minimum of 10 km to register for this course. Bring poles, preferably ski walking length (about 10 cm shorter than your regular classic length)

Registration: Three spots still available.


Other Benefits:

Discounts off Birkie event registration

Dates and Times:

15 sessions on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 10:30 am, starting October 12, 2019 (October 12, 19 and 26; November 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30: December 7 and 14: January 4, 11, 18 and 25: and finishing on February 1)

Long ski days from 9:00 – 11:30 am at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, or Strathcona Wilderness Centre with dates and locations arranged by mutual consent, based on weather and ski conditions.

Combined Wrap-up celebration for all Birkie Training Groups: Evening of Feb 10 or 11, 2020 (TBD), hosted by Alley Kat brewery (food and drink provided).

No refunds if the class is run


Lower Gold Bar pavilion (10955 50 Street) unless otherwise notified by the instructor

Lead Instructor and Coordinator:
Roy Merritt has a Bachelor of Physical Education degree, has his NCCP 2 certification, is a CANSI Level 3 instructor and has almost four decades of experience. He’s been a long-time Birkie instructor as well as an Edmonton Nordic Ski Club coach, instructor and wax tech. Roy has skied the Birkie, as well as numerous other loppets, many times.

CANSI = Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors
NCCP = National Coaching Certification Program