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Your Centre-of-Excellence for Outdoor Sport and Adventure

About Natural Fitness Lab

Natural Fitness Lab is a centre-of-excellence for outdoor athletes and adventure built around core technical competencies of:  trail running, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and venturing into winter triathlon, mountain running, adventure racing, cycling, ski mountaineering, obstacle racing, and ultra distance running.

 

A not-for-profit, with over two thousand members, the adult program is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Canada. Producing athletes for 30 years… Our roots extend back to the 1920s and the first organized ski programs in the Country.

 

We champion equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Provide a safe environment and positive experience.

Promote health, fitness and high performance.

It is the most fun you will have in the snow and mud this year.

Our comprehensive program offers coached group practices throughout the week year round:

  • Spring-summer-fall trail running Tuesdays, Saturday and Sunday  FREE

  • Speed Workouts on the track and workouts of the week

  • Roller skiing throughout the week FREE

  • Winter Snowshoeing Thursday evenings FREE

  • Winter XC skiing Tuesday mornings, evenings, Saturday mornings and Sunday Mornings $100/yr

We also provide Special Clinics, Semi-Private Lessons, Private Lessons, Personal Coaching and Individualized Training Programs as costed options. Contact us directly using the form below if you are interested in more personal coaching or instruction.

TRAIL RUNNING

Free your self from the roads and engage in a richer and more enduring experience.  Explore different trails in the park every week.  We offer group and route options depending upon speed.

OUR MOTIVATION AND ETHOS

 

We are dedicated to creating significant opportunities for healthy outdoor lifestyle, promoting natural fitness, physical literacy and inspiring long-term athlete development through direct grass-roots community involvement and global campaigns for gender and age equality in sport, multilingual, multiculturalism, accessibility, science education, leadership and coaching. 

OBJECTIVES

  1. Support personal goals in health and fitness;

  2. Foster long-term athlete development in the context of sport-for-life through participative coaching, imprinting and mentorship.

  3. Attract, develop and retain top-talent in high-performance sport; and

  4. Kickass.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Cross Country Skiers are some of most highly-conditioned athletes on the planet. XC skiing is a power- endurance sport combining cardiovascular fitness with full-body neuromuscular strength (legs, arms, core) speed, agility, balance and coordination. The low impact quality of the sport will help you build overall fitness that is directly transferable to your summer sport without risk of overuse injuries. Why stay indoors on gyms, treadmills and bike trainers. Cross-country skiing will open up a magical new world of outdoor adventure, discovery, sunlight and fresh air.

Fast track your skills, fitness and performance inclusive and friendly environment. Many participants have personal goals ranging from the improved skills, fitness, weight loss, finishing the Ski Marathons, to elite high-performance racing. The program is open for all levels and abilities, from total beginner to racer. It is the most fun you will have in the snow this year. Our competitive ski team regularly trains with the adult program and helps mentor developing skiers. 

We offer the perfect combination of outdoor sports to build applied core strength, cardiovascular endurance, aerobic power, agility, balance, and confidence in a pragmatic and natural environment. Our program builds power-endurance, core strength, coordination and a high-dynamic range-of-fitness within an inclusive group environment.

 

All initiatives have a fun social dimension ! Join us at natural fitness lab this winter - it will be the most fun that you will ever have in the snow.

 

Comprehensive Program

 

  • Training - The high-performance program develop athletes through well-designed group workouts.

  • Technique -  Mentors athletes during training, with personal coaching, ski clinics and lessons.

  • Touring - Empowers individuals with the necessary skills for ski touring while leading them on life-adventures.

 

We even have an immersion program - where we fast-track athletes in other sports with technique to train or race on skis.

 

Triathlete - As a triathlete, xc skiing it is like combining the attributives of all events (swim, bike, run) into one sport. Perfect cross-training for the multi-sport athlete. Most of the fastest triathletes in the region also xc ski. Hey! You can even race winter triathlons (skate, ski, snowshoe)

 

Runner - For a runner, XC skiing will deliver full-body workout. Everyone has heard of the benefits of cross-training. XC skiing will build upper body and core power while reconditioning amazing leg strength for climbing hills while allowing the legs to recover from pounding pavement. Most of the fastest runners in the region also xc ski. Certainly all the trail runners. 

 

Cyclist - Everyone has heard of the benefits of cross-training. For a cyclist, XC skiing will deliver that full-body workout that you can’t get from zwifting in the basement. It will build upper body and core power while reconditioning amazing leg strength for climbing hills. Most of the fastest cyclists in the region also xc ski.

 

We champion equality, diversity and inclusivity. Provide a safe, nurturing environment and positive experience. Promote health, fitness and high performance. 

 

We are dedicated to creating significant opportunities for healthy outdoor lifestyle, promoting natural fitness, physical literacy and inspiring long-term athlete development through direct grass-roots community involvement and global campaigns for gender and age equality in sport, multilingual, multiculturalism, accessibility, science education, leadership and coaching.

 

SCHEDULE:

 

  • Tuesday 10:00hr Cross Country Ski Training

  • Tuesday 18:00hr Cross Country Ski Training

  • Wednesday 18:00hr Easy Group Cross Country Skiing

  • Thursday18:00h Snowshoeing (All levels)

  • Saturday 09:00hr Cross Country Ski Training

  • Sunday 09:00hr Cross Country Ski EZ Distance

 

Special events and clinics will be run throughout the winter

Pathway into the Natural Fitness Lab Cross Country Ski Program

 

First time on snow, never ice-skated or skied before but am keen to try something new:

Join the snowshoe program and get used to slipping and sliding then arrange for private lessons on skis with one of our certified instructors.

 

Novice technique with low-medium fitness level and interest in joining the group program:

Try a private or semi-private small group lesson with club coaches and instructors

Participate in our EZ group session once a week (women’s and mixed options)

Sign up for ski technique clinics

Attend the first 30min warm-up with main group practices

Integrate as you feel comfortable

 

Beginner to novice technique with high-fitness level and an interest in joining main group training as quickly as possible:

Attend the immersion program and sign up for ski technique clinics

Do the first 30min warm-up with the main group

Integrate as you feel comfortable

 

Good classic skier training for CSM:

Join other people doing classic during practices especially Sunday’s long distance ski

Sign up for clinics and take lessons with our instructors to improve technique (downhill etc)

 

Intermediate to expert technical skills and good to elite fitness level. Interested in fitness training and technique improvement:

Jump right into the main program

Attend training camps and sign up for special technique clinics

SNOWSHOEING ADVENTURES

Normally the training consists of a variety of Fartlek or varied pace (run/hike) and terrain (slowest folks are moving at a fast hike). Discover a new snowshoe trail every week. Snowshoeing is a bridging sport between running and skiing. It eases the transference of skills from one activity and another while reducing the chance of injury coming off snow to earth. It is also a common ground where runners, cyclists, triathletes and skiers can compete in nearly equal footing.  Prevent injury and build power for your running season. Snowshoeing in the forest is an intimate experience, Instead of running on the roads this winter, let your adventure out!

ABOUT US

The principals of National Fitness Lab - Dave McMahon and Lise Meloche first met on the National Biathlon Team and formed a lasting personal and professional partnership centred around sport. Both Lise and Dave raced World Cup Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing for Canada.  Lise raced two Olympic games and 200 World Cups; winning 7 medals, including four (4) Golds.  Dave was Canadian National Biathlon Champion, ranked 3rd in the World for summer biathlon, and represented Canada at the World Snowshoe Championships and World Loppet circuit. Dave is a pro-elite winter triathlete and trail runner.  Together, Dave and Lise: wrote the cross-country ski manual; built an independent film production company; produced several award winning films on skiing; launched a skiing channel viewership of two-million subscribers; and mentored thousands of people to ski through natural fitness lab - the largest adult skiing, snowshoeing and trail running program in the country.  They recently released a feature-length IMAX film in theatres called “Oxygen” about outdoor athleticism, empowered by women. Look us up in Who’s Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 3 1999 by Bob Ferguson ISBN 1-894282-00-0.

HISTORY

Natural fitness lab has been operating as a not-for-profit for over thirty years but our origins date back over a century in the Gatineau Park and the first organized ski programs in the Country. We have a rich history and culture that was inherited from the Ottawa Ski Club and Trail Riders.

CONTACT US

 Stay in touch or ask us a question, book  a lesson or arrange for personal coaching.

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