Category Archives: Canada

Montreal Instructor Training Course

Upcoming program for Francophone fitness pros

Earlier this week, in sharing news of an upcoming instructor training and certification course in Toronto, I praised Canada for its adoption of Nordic Walking in greater proportion to the population than the US. As if to underscore my compliment, move one provinced to the east and shift the language to French, and you have Marche Nordique‘s next training and certification weekend. (On its logo, the orgranizaton is spelled Marche Nordik.) In any case, the program is designed for professional trainers and fitness instructors who want to add the skill set of Nordic Walking, not for recreational Nordic Walkers who just want to improve. The minimum requirement to participate is with physical education or kinesiology degree (students in these fields are also welcome) or a certification as a group or personal training instructor.

The dates are November 7-8, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days. Leading the INWA program will be France Paquin and Patrice Duclos, who is an INWA national coach. The location will be the Bois-de-Belle-Rivière, 9000 Route Arthur-Sauvé, Mirabel, Qué. The cost is CDN$320 per person. Call Marche Nordique 514-773-7103.

Marche Nordique has recommended nearby lodging at Impéria Hôtel et Suites, 570 Rue Dubois, St-Eustache, QC J7P 4W9; 450-472-3336.

Toronto Instructor Certification Course

INWA Nordic Walking course coming to greater Toronto

I have admired Canada’s embrace of Nordic Walking on this blog more than once. I’ve come across pole-friendly races, courses, groups and instructors from British Columbia to the Maritimes — certainly in greater proportion, population-wise, than the US.

It is logiccal that instructor certification opportunities are picking up too. INWA North America’s first instructor training and certification course in greter Toronto is coming right up on October 17-18, a a convenient location lfor some of the northern US too.The two-day course promises lots of video review and analysis of individuals’ NW technique. The cost is CDN$300, including a large selection of poles of different brands and styles for participants to explore during the course. The program starts on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Dundas Lions Memorial Community Centre, 10 Market Street South (south of King Street South), Dundas; 905-546-2260. Click here for a map.

To register or for any further questions, contact INWA National Coach Anna Ekstrand, or 613-759-4689.

Fighting Parkinson’s with Nordic Walking Poles

Canadian paper profiles New Brunswick Nordic Walker Bill Trewin

I am familiar with Bill Trewin for his enthusiastic support of Nordic Walking through his occasional posts on Nordic Walking Maritime Canada. He was recently featured in “Runner Adjusts Stride with Onset of Parkinson’s” in the Times-Transcript published in New Brunswick, Canada. The words may be a tad flowery — but then, eastern Canada still is a bit English in speech and habit — but Trewin’s story is uplifting. He took up Nordic Walking some six years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

After the diagnosis, wrote Pat O’Brien, “Bill discovered Nordic walking, hiking, photography and volunteer work. He also poured his heart and soul into raising awareness for PD and organizing Nordic walking as a legitimate fitness and competitive activity. And what a force he has been. Eighteen half marathons and one full marathon later, Bill has taken Nordic walking to new heights. Along with his merry band of followers from all walks of life, they are a mainstay at most long distance events in southeastern New Brunswick and beyond. Nordic walking has emerged as a year-round event and I invite you to visit our local YMCA most any Saturday morning (early that is) to witness this crowd hit the roads.”

To read his story in his own words, click here for the LEKI personal stories page and scroll to the second entry, which is Bill’s. His photo on the right is from that site. He concluded his story with these words: “”I have Parkinson’s……… doesn’t have me” ” And those are the ones that lead off the Times-Transcript piece.

SparkPeople Post A Succinct Intro to Nordic Walking

Canadian fitness site features excellent Nordic Walking overview

If you ever need to answer someone’s question, “What is Nordic Walking all about?” point him/her to “Nordic Walking for Fitness & Fun: An Introduction to Walking With Poles.” Health and fitness writer Leanne Beattie has done a great job in boiling the basics down to their essence, and I thank Nordic Walk This Way’s Rhea Kontos, who always seems to have her finger on the Nordic Walking pulse, for alerting me to the SparkPeople site, published in Canada. The site has activity groups, including one on Nordic Walking, whose members earn points for minutes walk. The team currently has 89 members. You can join by clicking here.

Weekly Group Walk in Ontario

Ex-Olympian Waves Flag for ‘New’ Sport,” the title of an article in the York Region News, which might still be a print newspaper or might only be available online, indicates that another local news source and another reporter have just discovered Nordic Walking. The article features Gerry Faderbauer of Aurora, Ontario, who leads a group of people on a free one-hour Nordic Walk on a loop course from a Stouffville reservoir. Faderbauer, a rower, began Nordic Walking while training tool for the 1996 Olympics. Now a personal trainer, he came to Canada seven years ago, the reporter noted, and founded the Canadian Nordic Walking Association, “which now has close to 200 members,” reporter Michael Hayakawa noted. The walks alternate 10 to 15 minutes of walking with stretching.

I truly applaud Faderbauer’s effort and hope that he has recruited a cadre of committed Nordic Walkers, but I sighed when I read, “Mr. Faderbauer has plenty of trekking poles to lend out for the walk. Purchase price is about $60.” That indicates the reporter didn’t get the difference between trekking poles and Nordic Walking poles. And I sighed even more deeply when I read that in all this time and despite all this effort, CNWA only has 200 members. Yes, I know that Canada is a big country and that there are other organizations, trainers, coaches and instructors, and yes, I know that one does need to belong to an organization to be a dedicated Nordic Walker, but still…..

Nice Words from Nordic Walking Maritimes

Glowing recommendation for my Nordic Walking book

Bill Terwin (right) from Moncton, New Brunswick. blogs as Nordic Walking Maritime Canada, which is devoted to Nordic Walking in the Atlantic provinces. There’s a lot to write about, because Nordic Walking seems resonate with folks there. There are classes, groups and footraces that permit poles. Terwin found time to read my Nordic Walking book and write a review that is short but oh-so-supportive. He wrote:

“What I like most about Claire’s book is her honesty. She tells you from
the very start that she’s not an expert on Nordic Walking. She does what she
does best………learns as much as she can about the topic, finds the leading
experts on NW as to fitness, equipment etc. and brings them into the pages of
the book. Well done Claire.There is something here for everybody. I recommend
this book.”

Thanks, Bill. Your recommendation means a lot. You are quite a guy yourself. You sign your Emails noting that Bill Trewin is from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is in his late 50s, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 49, and has completed one full marathon and 18 half marathons. He writes that he “feels the exercise especially Nordic Walking continues to provide him with very positive effects.”

Nordic Walking Notes

12 Weeks of Free Nordic Walking Classes in Boston

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy has begun providing a free 12-week instruction in Nordic Pole Walking, Instruction and equipment are free. Every Tuesday at 12:00 noon on the Rose Kennedy Greenway through September. Meet on the Wharf District Parks across from the Rowes Wharf. It is possible that walking sites may change. The Conservancy is at 617-292-0020.

Liverpool Intro Class Scheduled Too

Up in Nova Scotia, instructor Connie Banfield leads an introduction to Nordic Walking Workshop on August 11, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Seaside Recreation Centre, Beach Meadows, Liverpool. She will cover the history, benefits, proper technique and required equipment. It will include warm-up, walk, and easy stretching,and weather permitting, be an optional outdoor walk. Families are especially welcome. The cost is $12, including pole rental. Call 902-354-2497.

Cross-Country Skiing and Nordic Walking Connections

Run Four Snow is a multi distance footrace coming up on August 16 in Elver Park in Madison,Wisconsin. Distances in this new event are a 5.5K Walk/Nordic Walk, plus trail runs of 5.5K, 9K and 14.5K trail run and a special trail run for kids. All proceeds go toward the Adopt an Athlete Program started by the Central Cross Country Ski Association to support help talented skiers to pursue athletic excellence in the Winter Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, some Eastern cross-skiers have been using Nordic Walking for their off-season training. Eighteen regulars and eight to 10 racers are participatig the New England Nordic Ski Association’s summer session for “special” workouts during five-day weeks with at least three hours of training, and every other week, NENSA holds a mini-camp for those who live farther away.

Train for the Birkie Trek with Classes in Minnesota

Nordic Walk This Way has still has some openings on August 18 and 20 for Nordic Walking training. Aug 18th and also Aug 20. Instructor Rhea Kontos is really enthusiastic about the Birkie Trek in Hayward, Wisconsin, on Sept 26 and tailors training for either either the 5K or 21K distances. For more information, contact her at

Nordic Walking Cited as Part of a De-Stress Routine

The London Evening Standard ran a feature called “De-Stress with an Austrian Workout” on ways to ease up. For some people, simply being in the Alps with their clean air and awesome sceney is enough, but reporter Alice Hart-Davis wrote about specific de-stressing practices recommended by an Austrian-style Mayr Clinic in Italy’s South Tyrol, which in fact was once part of Austria, which is reportedly where “disgraced prime minister Silvio Berlusconi” is or was being treated. Hart-Davis dissected the Mayr approach to this “all-round, holistic anti-stress programme, involving diet, exercise and therapies that are more results-orientated than soothing” and recommended places in London where these components, including Nordic Walking, are available. I just hope that the paparazzi catch good shots o Berlusconi and his Nordic Walking poles.

Nordic Walking in Upper Bavaria

Once again, European Nordic Walking resources impress me. In Upper Bavaria, the “Nordic Walking in Oberland” guide lists 15 tours created in collaboration with the Olympic silver medalist and now Nordic walking specialist Peter Schlickenrieder. The tourist promotion organization writes on its website:

“Plenty of Nordic Walking instructors take care in teaching bavarian
walking fans and tourists. The instructors have been taught in the only training
centre of the German Nordic Walking Association at Chiemsee. In Wildsteig and
Pfaffenwinkel brand new Nordic Walking Active Centres have been developed . Bad
Tölz and Bayerisch Gmain also have Nordic Fitness-Parks. Since the end of last
year there is a 120 km long Nordic Walking trail in Auerbergland, which connects
several routes of different ability levels. There is also a new course at the
nature reserve “Inzeller Moor”, where signs inform you about the right pole

Because so many people from Munich escape to the mountains on weekends and holidays, the Upper Bavarian tourist site adds that the city itself has ” dozens of institutions, from the Adult Education Program to the Gymnast Association, [that] offer Nordic walking programs.”

I keep wondering: When will Nordic Walking achieve such a profile in North America?

Free Nordic Walking Clinics

Upcoming introductory sessions in Canada and Michigan

In Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Amica at Mayfair, a seniors’ residence, is offering a free senior fitness focus day on Thursday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Among the free fitness classes offered throughout the day is a Nordic Walking intro from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. Participants can take one class or all of them. Free healthy snacks (and also free lunch) are part of the program too. Call 604-552-5552 to register.

Mark your calendars, Michiganders. The third annual Natural Health and Wellness Expo on Saturday, May 9 at the Traverse City Civic Center, will include free Nordic Walking clinics by SkiWalking founder Pete Edwards. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Edwards will present a seminar, “Walk you Way to Better Health with Nordic Ski Walking” at 10:30. Other vendors, exhibitors and presenters will show delicious organic and local foods, alternative health services, yoga, natural health, sustainable products and more. Call 231-941-8215 or 231-944-8351 for more information.

Marathon Training Schedule Available Online

Veteran coach lays out 10-week training from start to marathon distance

The next big pole-friendly marathon in North America is the Vancouver International Marathon, coming up on Sunday, May 3. If you haven’t started training yet, it’s too late now — except perhaps for the half-marathon. However, if you are considering events farther down the road, you might want to take a look at a guest post on’s walking site written recently by Pete Edwards. Edwards, developer of the SkiWalking system and a long-time skiing and running coach, outlined his approach to preparing for a Nordic Walking marathon. Click here for the entire post, which also summarizes the benefits of walking with poles from entry-level to elite marathoner.

The linchpin of Edwards’s race training advice and schedule, which includes cross-training, is:

“Long Slow Distance (LSD): The foundation for all endurance sports is LSD –
long slow distance. If you are focusing on a marathon, be sure to gradually
build up your miles and be sure to toss in less intense recovery days and a
recovery week once in a while. Please note that there is little you can do the
week or two prior to ‘crash course’ for a marathon. The foundation needs to be
thoughtfully planned out weeks in advance.”

Edwards goes on to outline “a simple 10-week road map for building up your mileage, without tearing you down.” He starts with walking three to four miles a day at the beginning of week one, peaking on one gruleing 10- to 15-mile Nordic Walking day and tapering off again as the marathon itself approaches. Click here for his full, day-by-day suggested training schedule.

For further reading on marathon training,’s Walking Guide, Wendy Baumgartner, assembled a list of books on that topic. Click here to see that list.

Winter Walking Clinic in Ontario

Never let it be said that snowbelt people wimp out in winter. Runners Den in Port Dover, Ontario, has scheduled its final fall Nordic Walking clinic for December 18 and starts its winter program of Nordic Walking and running clinics on January 6, 2009. The store is currently offering a 20 percent discount on custom-fitted footwear. Also in December, every purchase is entered into a drawing for a $500 prize package, courtesy of Nike, that includes an Apple iPod, Nike performance footwear and a Nike+ Sport Kit. The winner’s name will be drawn on December 23, 2008. Runners Den is at 361 Main Street, Port Dover, Ontario; 519-583-3100.