Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Beat the Blues Boogie Loppet & Demo Day

Bring it on! It’s the 2015 Fast Trax "Beat the Blues Boogie Loppet" and Demo Day on Sunday March 8, hosted by the Strathcona Wilderness Centre.

The tradition continues with this edition of the "Beat The Blues Boogie" to raise funds for cancer research in the name of Roger Tetrault, and a fun event to end off a great season of skiing! This is a free technique event; with a classic track for the sit skis and striders.

BEAT THE BLUES BOOGIE
Race Distances
  • 1 km Skate or classic: Bunnies
  • 2 km Skate or classic, 1 x 2 km loop: Jackrabbit Boys & Girls
  • 4 km Para: Sit Ski Open
  • 8 km Para: Sit Ski Open
  • 5 km Skate    1 x 5 km loop:  Youth Boys & Girls, Para Standing
  • 10 km Skate  2 x 5 km loop:  Junior & Open Men & Women, Para Standing
  • 20 km Skate  4 x 5 km loop: Open Men & Women
  • 30 km Skate  6 x 5 km loop: Open Men & Women

Race Categories*
  • Open Men - 20 and over
  • Open Women - 20 and over
  • Sit Ski Open - any age, LW 10-12 class
  • Para Standing – any age, LW2-9 and B1-3 class
  • Junior Men - 16 to 19
  • Junior Women - 16 to 19
  • Youth Boys - 15 and under
  • Youth Girls - 15 and under
  • Jackrabbits - 11 and under
  • Bunnies – 6 and under
*Youth, Junior and older Jackrabbits may register up categories

Start Time
  • 9 a.m. bib pick up @ Skiers Lounge
  • 9:55 a.m. race briefing at start line
  • 10 a.m. race start; Wave start by distance

Post-Race Bar-BQ
  • Smokies will be available after the event out front of the SWC Information Centre - Skiers Lounge side, starting at 12 noon
    • One free smokie and coke with race number
    • Additional smokies $3, additional cokes $1
      • Additional food tickets can be purchased from SWC Ski Services - (Proceeds donated to Cancer Research)
      • Note: there will be a veggie hot dog and fruit juice option
Awards
  • Awards will commence at the completion of the 30km event, at approximately 1pm

Entry Fee
  • $18 for Junior and Open
  • $8 for Youth and Jackrabbits
  • All proceeds donated to cancer research

Registration
Register on-line at www.zone4.ca  
  • Registration ends at midnight on Saturday March 7th.
  • On-line entries only please, no race day entries.
    • Type Beat into the Zone 4 search bar to find event faster.

FAST TRAX DEMO DAY
The following suppliers will be on hand to demo some of their products from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. out front of the SWC Information Centre - Skiers Lounge side.

*Salomon - Salomon demo skis, boots and poles including;
  • Equipe RC Skin & Aero 9 Skin ski
  • Equipe 8 & RS Skate Skis
  • S-LAB Carbon Skate skis & boots
  • S-LAB Carbon poles
*Madshus ~ Madshus demo skis, boots and poles.
*Fischer ~ Fischer ski and boot samples
*Rossignol ~ TBA
*OneWay ~ OneWay demo poles
*Swix ~ Swix pole samples and waxing demos ~ under Fischer / Swix tent!
*Exel ~ Exel demo Curve poles
*Vauhti Wax  ~ free top coats from 9:00-9:45am ~ Top coat TBA ~ under OneWay tent!
*Start Wax ~ free top coats from 9:00-9:45am ~ SFR99 block ~ under Salomon tent!

If you are not doing the event you can still come out and take part in the demos and the BarBQ.
  • Smokies will be available out front of the SWC-Skiers Lounge side, starting at 12pm
    • Smokies and Vege Burgers $3, juice or cokes $1
      • Food tickets can be purchased from SWC Ski Services
      • Proceeds donated to Cancer Research
Should be a fun!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Birkie Discusion #5 - Evening Edition

Fast Trax - Evening Discussion


The day comes to a close and we now trust in the forecast and that this rain will turn to snow and the grooming will turn this wet, glazed snow into fine grained / granular, but not very abrasive snow with 4-6cm of new snow mixed in just for good measure, making for a wonderful day on the trails.

After finalizing reports from various testing locations on the course not much has changed for recommendations from this morning.




Kick:

Base: Vauhti Super Base or Vauhti K-Base

Kick: Vauhti K15/K18, Ski*Go HF Violet or Swix VR45/VR50

Layering of kick: Aim for 6-8 layers of wax in total depending on your skis and what you normally apply for layers.

Waxing for glide:
  • 4-6 layers being the full length of your wax pocket
    • 2-3 layers K15 or VR50 / 2-3 layers K18 or VR45 or 6 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
  • 1-2 layers being in your klister pocket
    • 1-2 layers of the K18 or VR45 or 2 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
Waxing for grip:
  • 4-6 layers being the full length of your wax pocket
    • 2-3 layers K12 or VR55 / 2-3 layers K15 or VR45 or 6 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
  • 1-2 layers being in your klister pocket
    • 1-2 layers of the K15 or VR45 or 2 layers of SkiGo HF Violet

Glide:

Base: Rex RCF Pink or Swix LF4

Glide: Holmenkol Speed Base Matrix Mid, Vauhti HF Violet, Swix HF5

Top Coats: Vauhti Hpc15.1

Conclusion:
These are the most detailed testing results based on the testing yesterday, this morning and factoring in the forecast and I think they are a very realistic safe approach to your kick waxing but if you were unsure and felt you wanted to wait and see how things shake out over night your best bet would be to glide wax and base binder your skis tonight and have a selection of grip waxes for the morning.

At the end of the day as I said yesterday "it will be what it will be", "trust in the forecast" and everything will work out. With the weather we have been given and time and resources available these Birkie Discussion blog posts have been the best information we can provide and we hope they have been of value and we wish you the best on the trails!


Birkie Wax Discussion #4 - Early Afternoon Wax Recommendation

Fast Trax - Early Afternoon Wax Recommendation 


Interesting weather this morning, and more interesting weather on the way.



Drizzling rain for about an hour or so, -1 to +2 this morning. The Birkie trails had not been groomed yet at Waskahegan Staging Area where I was testing, but given the forecast for some precipitation of some sort, it is a good decision for them to try and groom tonight and/or early tomorrow morning depending on how much it snows overnight.

This wet, glazed snow will freeze tonight then go through the groomer, so expect some transformation into fine grained / granular, but not very abrasive. Then add in 5-10cm of snow / ice pellet mix and temperatures at -6 overnight.

Testing continues as the day progresses so I will have a further updates later today as time permits.

Kick:

Base: Vauhti Super Base (Vauhti K-Base would be a reasonable alternative if necessary)

Kick: Vauhti K15/K18, Ski*Go HF Violet or Swix VR45/VR50

Layering of kick: Aim for 6-8 layers of wax in total depending on your skis and what you normally apply for layers.

Waxing for glide:
  • 4-6 layers being the full length of your wax pocket
    • 2-3 layers K15 or VR50 / 2-3 layers K18 or VR45 or 6 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
  • 1-2 layers being in your klister pocket
    • 1-2 layers of the K18 or VR45 or 2 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
Waxing for grip:
  • 4-6 layers being the full length of your wax pocket
    • 2-3 layers K12 or VR55 / 2-3 layers K15 or VR45 or 6 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
  • 1-2 layers being in your klister pocket
    • 1-2 layers of the K15 or VR45 or 2 layers of SkiGo HF Violet
Other grip options: Start Synthetic Blue, Start MFW Blue

Glide:

Base: Rex RCF Pink or Swix LF4

Glide: Holmenkol Speed Base Matrix Mid - application of Speed Base Matrix

Top Coats: Vauhti Goldfox

Structure: Possibly in the mix, stay tuned...

Other glide options: Vauhti HF Violet, Swix HF5

Conclusion:
These are the most detailed testing results based on the testing yesterday, this morning and factoring in the forecast and I think they are a very realistic safe approach to your kick waxing but if you were unsure and felt you wanted to wait and see how things panned out over night your best bet would be to glide wax and base binder your skis tonight and have a selection of grip waxes for the morning.

Simple morning wax kit approach with a cork picking one wax company to work with to avoid confusion and making the selection process a little less overwhelming.

  • Vauhti K12, 15, 18, 19 and 21
  • Swix VR60, VR55, VR50, VR45, VR40
  • SkiGO HF Red, HF Violet


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Birkie Wax Discussion #4 - Preliminary Grip Testing

Fast Trax - Preliminary Wax Recommendation 

I was out this morning at Islet Lake doing base binder and preliminary grip testing. In terms of conditions at the time of testing it was -4 and it was new snow. The track looked to be a week old and had been pressed into the snow and not tilled. Once the groomers do their final pass we will most likely see a change in track conditions and possibly a change in grip recommendations but in terms of glide and base binder I feel the ones outlined below are the best options.

Tracks at 11am Thursday morning.
In terms of the forecast for Birkie day, at 9am temperature is forecasted to be within 3 degrees of minus 6C with light snow ending mid morning and temperatures warming to within 3 degrees of  Zero C by 2pm.

Kick:

Base: Vauhti Super Base (Vauhti K-Base would be a reasonable alternative if necessary)

Kick: Vauhti K15/K18, Ski*Go HF Violet or Swix VR45/VR50(Top coat VX43)

Other grip options: Start Synthetic Blue, Start MFW Blue

Glide:

Base: Rex RCF Pink or Swix LF4

Glide: Holmenkol Speed Base Matrix Mid - application of Speed Base Matrix

Top Coats: Vauhti Goldfox

Structure: Possibly in the mix, stay tuned...

Other glide options: Vauhti HF Violet, Swix HF7, Swix HF6 and Toko HF Yellow

Test fleet!
Conclusion:
These are the most detailed testing results from today and I will be retesting kick on the race course Friday morning with our final recommendation to be posted by noon on Friday. Stay tuned!

At the end of the day "it will be what it will be" and we will be there to guide you on the trail to perfect grip. We will also post info in terms of layers and application of the grip tomorrow, rest well:-)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Birkie Nutrition

Pre-Event Hydration & Fuel Testing

Fuel Needs
  • Sports drinks provide carbohydrate (CHO) fueling energy
  • Weather independent regardless of the weather you still have your fueling needs
Fluid Needs
  • Sports drinks also provide fluids, of which staying hydrated can maintain performance
  • Weather dependent(race day weather dictates sweat rate and fluid intake needs)

Correct CHO and fluid intake for endurance athletes?
Carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion during exercise has been shown to improve endurance performance but too much carbohydrate and fluid intake may lead to gastrointestinal disorders and therefore impair performance. Current recommendations are 30 to 60 g carbohydrate / hour in  a 6 to 8% carbohydrate solution

Hydration
It is normal to loose ~2 to 3% body weight during long duration training / racing but don’t OVER-hydrate! Urine needs to be pale yellow (not clear). Over-hydration can cause electrolyte depletion and sleep disruptions.

Practice the RULE OF 15
While training, long workouts, and racing aim to practice the following RULE OF 15.
  • 15 to 25g CHO every ~15 to 25min 
  • 150 to 200 ml of fluids (~8-15% carb solution) (~80 to 120g CHO per liter of fluids)
What type of sports drink?
  • carbohydrate concentration of 5 to 15% 
  • ideally a 6 to 8% on hot days, more concentrated on cool days, i.e. winter:-)
  • ideally a carbohydrate blend of of 2:1 glucose:fructose or maltodextrin:fructose. 
  • a sports drink or gel you have practiced with and have adapted to
  • ideally the same sports drink is available on race day, or accessible in race location
  • a sports drink that, after practicing, still tastes good
Key practical “take home” recommendations leading up to big event, #toolatenow :-)

8 to 10 weeks before target race:
  • always emphasis recovery after training
  • on very prolonged and high-quality sessions take in carbohydrate drink/gels
  • practice fueling and hydration in every long workout with different amounts of fluids and fuels, and different timing (every 10min vs. every 30min) track information.
Last 4 weeks before target race:
  • on every long workout practice fueling and fluids
  • refine & final practice of fueling and hydration race plan into several longer runs.
Week before, know your race course, plan ahead
  • 55km course
  • aid stations at 8km, 15km, 19km, 23km, 29km, 33km, 36km, 43km, 47km and 50km
  • 31km course
  • aid stations at 11km, 14km, 19km and 24km 

After the initial 10km's to start the race where you will not need to hydrate due to nerves you will see an aid station roughly every 5km where you  would aim to follow the RULE OF 15.

RULE OF 15

If carrying a water bottle;
  • 15 to 25g CHO every ~15 to 25min in
    • 150 to 200 ml of fluids (~8-15% carb solution) (~80 to 120g CHO per liter of fluids)
If not carrying a water bottle and using aid stations
  • Take at least 1 cup of water and sports drink per aid table or 1 to 2 gels with water
Post-Event Recovery
After completing the BIRKIE, #nicejobytheway, you should aim to consume high glycaemic index carbohydrates in frequent small doses of 20-30g CHO every 20 to 30min for the first 2 hrs combined with a small amount of protein based on your body weight.
  • 50 kg / ~110 lbs = ~15g of protein post race
  • 70 kg/ ~150 lbs = ~20g of protein post race
  • 90kg/ ~200 lbs = ~25g of protein post race
  • 110kg/ ~240lbs= ~30g of protein post race

Good luck and have a great Birkie experience. Remember keep head up in the corners and your skis in the tracks, #weareallinthistogether:-)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Birkie Wax Discussion #3 - final glide recommendation


Weather:


Cool air remains in place over much of the province & it's about to get colder tonight as the Arctic High slides in. That system isn't staying long. It'll slide off into Saskatchewan by Wednesday afternoon & areas from Edmonton west get into a warmer flow. Temperatures will slowly climb Wednesday afternoon & continue to rise Wednesday night. By Thursday afternoon, the Capital Region is sitting near 0. Daytime highs should remain near 0 through the weekend.


Trail Conditions:


By all accounts, the trails are in very good conditions.
Reports from various parts of the Birkie trail from this past weekend indicate very good conditions. At this point, no need for klister!

However, don't forget that the trails continue to have an extremely transformed base. Although the recently fallen snow has covered that nicely, warm conditions and tilling will bring that old snow back to the surface. 

Glide Recommendations:


At this point, we are ready to make a call on glide wax. Isn't that exciting?

Base layer:  Rex RCF Pink (see previous posts and video on application)


Race Paraffin: Holmenkol Speedbase Mid
  • This paraffin has a great range (-2 to -10) that will be great over the range of expected temperatures and snow conditions. 
  • Don't be afraid of the fact that the forecast high is a bit warmer = the slightly harder wax will give superior speed in the morning and increased durability. 
  • Application of Speed Base Matrix


Kick Recommendations:

Unfortunately, it's still too early to make a call on kick. We will post an initial recommendation on Thursday, with final details on Friday.

Testing Schedule:


Our testing schedule for the remainder of the week leading up to the race is as follows:
  • Thursday - initial binder and kick test, blog post mid-morning
  • Friday - final binder and kick test, blog post mid-morning
  • Saturday - early morning blog post to confirm and provide advice in the event of changing conditions

We've got some serious blogging to do.