Four of our Langley School Kayaking Academy students (James How, Tim Dowden, Toby Booth and Ridwan Kirke) and two coaches (Tim Scott and Harriet Hicks) set off for the Black Forest in Germany for a cross country ski training camp. Cross country skiing is extremely effective as a sport that can develop cardiovascular and muscle fitness using both upper and lower muscle groups, and the cross over benefits to flat water kayaking are immense.
On arrival to the cabin in darkness, there was no rest for the travellers, fire wood had to be chopped and dinner needed to be cooked. This would be home for the next five days. The next morning after breakfast those who had been before spent some time reacquainting themselves with the skis and teaching Ridwan who was skiing for the first time the skating technique. After initially breaking a ski Ridwan got on well. The group explored the undulating trails in perfect conditions skiing between 25 and 35 kilometres a day which included big uphill’s and challenging terrain. The athletes covered a maximum of 135 kilometres over the four days of skiing which included four 2.3 kilometre time trials on the last day which recorded average speeds of 16.5 k/h over a hilly course. The group finished the camp with a well-earned trip to the local water park, to use the high diving boards and steam rooms.