Snow­shoe­ing Primer

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - RUN TRAINING - BY DAVE ROBINSON

Snow­shoe­ing has been a part of win­ter for hun­dreds of years. Fur trap­pers and hunters used snow­shoes to nav­i­gate over land in search of food, shel­ter and cloth­ing. It is es­ti­mated that over 1.5 mil­lion Cana­di­ans take part in some form of snow­shoe ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the win­ter months. Snow­shoe­ing is a re­ally good weight bear­ing aer­o­bic work­out that is easy to learn and rel­a­tively safe. Snow­shoe run­ning, or even brisk walk­ing, is a good al­ter­na­tive win­ter train­ing and rac­ing ac­tiv­ity for en­durance ath­letes, in­clud­ing run­ners, cy­clists, swim­mers and triath­letes. Mov­ing through snow on snow­shoes is slower than tra­di­tional run­ning, but it takes con­sid­er­ably more ef­fort and cer­tainly burns a lot of calo­ries. Be­sides the train­ing ben­e­fits, it is also great to get out in the woods for a good work­out. Here at Snow­shoe Canada, we are try­ing move the ac­tiv­ity for­ward from a mostly ca­sual hobby to a sport with or­ga­nized events, ath­lete de­vel­op­ment, of­fi­cials, coach­ing, cham­pi­onships and even prize money. The num­ber of events are grow­ing around the world, and ev­ery year the par­tic­i­pa­tion in­creases 20 to 30 per cent, so we are mak­ing progress in get­ting this ac­tiv­ity rec­og­nized as a com­pet­i­tive sport. The world cham­pi­onships will be held in north­ern Italy in early Jan­uary with an ex­pected 5,000 par­tic­i­pants. Over the last cou­ple of win­ters we have had some suc­cess in get­ting races off the ground, as well as work­ing with ex­ist­ing races to build up their par­tic­i­pa­tion. We will have five sanc­tioned races in south­ern On­tario this win­ter along with two in Que­bec and one in B.C. The other great news is the re­cent sign­ing of Ath­let­ics On­tario as a pro­mo­tional part­ner. Snow­shoe­ing is be­ing rec­og­nized as a win­ter cross-coun­try run­ning ac­tiv­ity which will ben­e­fit their en­durance ath­letes. The Cana­dian cham­pi­onship will be at the Craigleith Ski Club on Fam­ily Day week­end. We are ex­pect­ing a record turnout for the event. In ad­di­tion to stag­ing races, Snow­shoe Canada puts on clin­ics at schools, clubs and fit­ness cen­tres. They also pro­vide of­fi­cials and race di­rec­tor train­ing and elite ath­lete de­vel­op­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to snow­shoe­canada.ca Dave Robinson is the pres­i­dent of Snow­shoe Canada.

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