Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cross training- Ski Nationals in Quebec

My favourite cross training for orienteering is definitely cross-country skiing, so much so that I am currently at the Haywood ski nationals in Mont-St. Anne, Quebec. The races started on Saturday with a Team Sprint on the Plains of Abraham, which was a super cool venue. Unfortunately, for this race I was racing at 9:30am, so it was super-duper foggy when I raced, so I didn’t get to see where exactly I was racing. Despite barely being able to see where I was going, or my teammate through the fog, we still did fantastic finishing up in third. Team-sprints are fairly brutal as they consist of a team of two, each person doing three laps of a 1km course. Definitely gets the lactic acid flowing; good practice for running up steep hills in the forest! After this hurt-fest the sun fortunately came out and I could see the magnificent view of Old Quebec while cheering on the rest of the team. Day 1 of racing finished!

Me racing through the fog

Sunday was a rest day spent testing klister skis in +15 degree weather. Although warm weather is usually not a horrible thing, it is definitely nicer to race in -5 weather instead. A fair comparison to orienteering is racing in +30 instead of around +15 – it is a lot nicer not to boil while racing. Monday: 5km classic day. Thankfully, I raced at 9:45am before the heat of the day, meaning it was +6 instead of above +10. Although the race being cooler did help, this was still a tough race. Pushing right over the top of every hill was enough to make me collapse and cling to the snow at the finish line gasping for every breath. Glad it paid off though as I was 9th junior Canadian in a very competitive field. Surely every orienteerer knows this feeling of complete exhaustion, maybe minus the snow at the finish line though.

This picture pretty much sums up what this nationals have been like so far (minus the 1st day) and most likely will continue to be.

So halfway done the week with three more races to go, and the exhaustion settling in I ask myself why I do this to myself? And the answer is: I love pushing myself to the utmost, the feeling when you have a good race is euphoric. When you have a bad race, knowing you can do better and strive for it, is what I live for. This is true for every sport, whether it be orienteering, skiing or any other. This is why cross-country skiing is such good cross training for orienteering, it has the same endurance, push yourself to the limit kind of feel. Pretty sure I’ll be in tip top physical shape for the orienteering season, we'll see how my technique will be. Will I be able to excel on maps like this? Hopefully...

This is a sample map from Slovakia for JWOC 2012. Looks like fun!


  1. Congratulations Kendra! Thanks so much for the post. It's great to read about your experiences at the xc ski nationals. Nice results!

  2. Wow - it sounds really hot. Bit of a change from Whitehorse! Good luck in the rest of your races there, and in getting ready for the orienteering season

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  4. Good skiing and good writing too. Really enjoyed reading it - I feel the pain, and the joy. Good luck for the rest of the races - and good luck in Slovakia this summer