IS IT FOR YOU?
Are you looking for an effective exercise, that will give you measurable fitness benefits, that is kind to your body, especially knees, that you can do all of your life, and that is insanely fun? Science shows that Nordic Walking (like cross-country skiing, but on sidewalks and roads), reliably gets better results than almost all other exercises. And it is convenient and affordable…… and FUN!
MY VISION is to create a Nordic Quad league in Victoria, BC. It will be the first of its kind in the world!
We tested the idea in 2016 and 2017 by participating in the ESQ 5km and the TC10km. The team experience was fun far beyond anything we could have imagined! And now the time is ripe to roll out this vision in an even better form… a league of our own!
THE PURPOSE of the Nordic Quad league is to help people get fit for the long term in a way that appeals to their needs, which I believe to be more social connections and more fun. There will be one fun 5km event each month followed by a social.
A team consists of 4 people in the “quad” and up to 3 “outriders, (kind of like the Calgary chuckwagon races, with outriding horsemen). The quad members work together to navigate like a snake through the 5 km course. The outriders can assist the quad team in several ways to negotiate more successfully their path through the course.
It is up to each team to find like-minded buddies, and to put in their fitness training each week. With Nordic walking, fitness results start to accrue at three 30 minute sessions each week. Training for a 5km event will take maybe three 45 to 60 minute sessions each week to be very competitive. The groups will buy their proper Nordic poles from Linda and book one or more training sessions to learn the most beneficial Nordic walk techniques, and quad racing strategies.
This Nordic Quad league will work for you. It matches the ability, time and energy you have go get fit. First, it’s so convenient to get fit with Nordic walking…before work, after work, at lunch time…just walk out the door to do your (3x week) fitness training. Chose your team of buddies, supporters, fitness partners…they will become lifelong friends. Enjoy the monthly 5km race-challenge. After the race, look forward to the monthly social of like-minded people. Fun.
MY NUMBER ONE GOAL IS TO HELP A WHOLE NEW GENERATION IN VICTORIW GET FIT WITH NORDIC WALKING. Best way to do that: friends, fun, and an exercise that delivers big results. (MY SECRECT GOAL is to put Victoria on the map as the original center for NORDIC QUAD TEAM EVENTING. Once other areas find out how much fun this is, they will want to do it too.)
It takes leadership and vision to create a league, impossible to do on your own. With my Olympic background, and experience teaching over 2500 people to Nordic walk, it’s my passion, and unique skill set to innovate something this brilliant! Bring your friends and work mates. Join me! It will be fun, AND create great fitness results!
1) Read through this page to see if this quad league appeals to you.
2) Talk to your friends, relatives, workmates, and acquaintances to start forming your team.
3) Contact Linda (Linda4success@shaw.ca) to set up an info meeting with your group.
4) Get started with poles and a Nordic walk lesson. The proper poles cost $91. A private lesson is $80. A lesson for a team of 4-7 people is $40 per person. Once you know the skill, you are on your way for a lifetime.
5) Prepare for the first 5km event! Have fun. Enjoy the after party social. Set new team goals for the next month.
(NB Keep scrolling for more details.)
SPECIFIC DETAILS OF NORDIC QUAD LEAGUE
WHAT IS IT?
NORDIC WALKING QUAD LEAGUE RACING is a fun off-shoot of Nordic Walking. Groups of 4-7 friends, form a “quad” plus up to three outriders. The quad snakes its way through the 5 km course, strategizing to optimize their team members in the quad, plus maximizing their successful route through the course. The outriders can help the quad by protecting the rear or “blocking” in front to help open a path forward for the quad. Fun!
Teams are formed by a group of like-minded friends getting together to get fit. The team could be all men, all women, or a combo of men and women. Optimally each individual will train/exercise with Nordic walking at least three times a week. Training alone is really convenient and training together as a team is fun. A 5 kilometer event takes about 50-70 minutes to complete, so training needs to build fitness up to that volume. There is no age limit. It is always fun to be number one, but it is always exciting to beat that one team in front of you.
LEARN THE SKILL OF NORDIC WALKING
Each individual needs to learn the technique of Nordic walking from an instructor (currently Linda Schaumleffel). Each individual can take a private lesson ($80) , or the whole team can arrange a group lesson ($40 per person). The proper Nordic style poles are required, and are available from Linda Schaumleffel ($91 includes tax)
FRIENDLY MONTHLY COMPETITION
Once a month all teams are invited to a friendly competition. The “quad” team works together like a snake, and strategizes its way through a 5 km course. The “outriders” follow individually at the back, can substitute into the quad to relieve a member if necessary, and can help the team advance by “blocking” in front. The winning team is presented with the crystal “Best Team” trophy, and everyone is invited to a no-host social at a nearby establishment. The event will be a Saturday at 8:30am currently at the Esquimalt Course (see map below).
Here is the starting order of participants in monthly event:
1) Individual 5km (lone stars, or people looking to join a team)
2) Nordic Quad League 5km (trophy)
3) Nordic Heart League 5km (those people who have had heart surgery) (trophy)
4) Individual 3km (individuals with lower fitness who love to participate)
WHO IS IT FOR?
If you can walk, you can Nordic walk. This exercise, taken from cross county skiing, uses 90% of the body’s muscles. It is not highly aerobically demanding, but is one of the best exercises on the planet. If you have like-minded friends/acquaintances/co-workers/relatives, you can form a team, with a minimum of four members and ideal of seven members. Age and sex do not matter, but it is likely most appealing to people 30-70. Men will love this new sport! And people with sore knees will love it!
There are countless published studies extoling the virtues of Nordic walking. Straighter posture, stronger core muscles, weight loss, fun…. insulin control, better sleep, less depression, are the first benefits to emerge. And fun! How great it is to catch up with friends each week, while involved in a fitness activity.
For an extensive list of published studies, ask Linda Schaumleffel or google Nordic Walking benefits.
The most health benefits accrue when individuals/teams train 3x week for at least 30-60 minutes. A 5-km race takes approximately 60 minutes may require a bit more fitness training to win the trophy.
HOW TO START
Email Linda4success@shaw.ca to express your interest. We are starting NOW! This is a great time to find buddies to join you, and learn classic style Nordic walking from Linda. Get the proper Nordic style poles with the necessary “glove straps” from Linda. You can set set up an individual or group Nordic Pole walk instruction session with Linda. Research shows that benefits start to accrue when you Nordic walking three times a week for at least 30 minutes, and working up to approx an hour per session is a good goal. A good practice is to train 1x week on your own, focusing on improving your technique, 1x week with a buddy just for fun, and 1x week with your entire team to practice the quad strategies and moves.
COST TO START
You need the proper Nordic poles ($91 includes tax) and a skill lesson or two and you can get both from Linda. A private individual 90 minute lesson with Master Instruction Linda is $80. For your team of 4- 7 members, the cost for a private group lesson for your team is $40 per person. Email Linda4success@shaw.ca to book a lesson. (As time passes there will be more tips, exercises and strategies included in this website.)
For each monthly event, there is a $5 per person registration fee.
Teams are encouraged to become identifiable with a distinctive hat, bandana, shirt, shorts, or….. (Michael’s is a great source for bandanas and colors/sizes of t-shirts.) Be creative; have fun!
MAPS OF CURRENT EVENT COURSE
Participation 3.0km route
This is a scenic course with a distance just right for many participants.
Competitive 5 km route
This is a fabulous course that has many opportunities to test each team’s fitness and strategy.
EVERY NORDIC WALKER IS WELCOME!
The start line-up will look like this:
Individual 5 km Nordic walkers (love to participate, or looking for a quad team)
QUAD TEAMS, & their outriders (QUAD TEAM TROPHY)
HEART QUAD TEAMS, & their outriders (for individuals who have had heart surgery) (TROPHY PLANNED)
Individual 3km Nordic walkers (love to participate)
MONTHLY TROPHY PRESENTATION & PARTY
The monthly event will be held on the last Saturday morning each month. We will assemble at 8:30am and start at 9:00am on the Esquimalt course. At the conclusion of the event, the BEST QUAD trophy, and BEST HEART TEAM trophy will be awarded to the winning quad teams. Then participants are invited to gather at BROWN’S CRAFT HOUSE (100-184 Wilson St Corner of Bay Street and Tyee Road, Victoria) for a no host party.
NB: On race day, each team is invited to supply one marshal to help assist the participants on the route at specific points in the course. These marshals have an easy but critical role in the safety and success of the event, and will be rewarded.
OTHER FUN OPPORTUNITIES
Quad teams have already participated in the Esquimalt 5km event in March, the TC10km event at the end of April. The Oak Bay 10 km event in May and the 8km event in October are two other good opportunities to participate. It is always a thrill to strategize through a larger crowd of walkers and runners. (For the TC10km event, register under the POLE WALKERS division!)
NORDIC QUAD TEAM “PLAYBOOK”
The purpose of this playbook is to educate you and your team as to some of the strategies involved in Nordic Quad Team Racing. It is a team event. Your success depends on two things: the fitness of each team member, and the strategies used to get the team ahead on the course. Your team will develop its own ‘language’ and methods over time, but the hope of this playbook is to get you up to speed quickly and to agree upon some common procedures to keep all teams safe, competitive, and happy.
- Find people who want to get fit in this fun way with Nordic walking and the monthly event plus social. You need a minimum of four people; a good working maximum is seven people which means even if one or two people are away for whatever reason, the team can still go on!
- Go to the website to get more information. www.nordicpolewalkingvictoria.ca TAB Nordic Quad Team.
- Book a meeting with Linda and your group. All questions can be answered, the correct poles purchased from Linda ($91/pair includes taxes), and a game plan developed for your team. At this time you can book a team Nordic walk lesson for your group to learn the skill of Nordic walking (approx. 1 ½ hours at your convenient location, $40 per person.)
- Start getting fit with Nordic walking individually and as a group. Although science says health benefits start accruing at three 30 minute sessions per week, to be competitive in a 5 km event, training time needs to build up to the point where 60 minutes is easy.
- Practice your quad team tactics once a week. Depending on how many people are at practice you can work as a team of four and a team of three, two teams of three, a team of five, one team of three. Working and communicating together as a team is the fun part!
STRATEGIES vs TACTICS
Every event presents different challenges depending on such things as how many other participants, the weather, the course, the fitness of each team member, and the availability of your team members.
The main strategy is be fit and go fast. Tactics are opportunistic decisions along the course that gives your team an advantage. The big thrill of racing is to apply your team strengths and tactics to the current situation and finish first!
- QUAD MEMBERS: a team of four Nordic walking individuals (all men, all women, mixed) who work together like a snake to navigate the course.
- OUTRIDERS are one, two or three more solo team individuals who Nordic walk independently from the QUAD. Their purpose is the support the quad. They can do this in several ways: spread out behind the quad and make it more onerous for another quad to pass, be available to sub into the quad at any time for any reason, or work in front of the quad to help make quad strategies succeed.
- POSITION CHANGES: the idea is to systematically rotate the lead walker back into the team, so that the team can put the right ‘specialist’ in the front to lead the team through specific challenges like the start, hills, mid-course strategies, the finish, etc.
- THE STRATEGIST: some teams like to have the same person at the back, the strategist who can see everything, and only rotate the first three people.
The purpose of the team in an event is to work together to maximize its potential. When team members work together, the quad usually moves faster and farther than any one individual can do. It’s like ‘drafting’ where the team energy pulls the individuals along, like they do in cycle races. The most important thing in working as a team is to have an effective, efficient, clear language to communicate with all team members. The other big secret is to cheer each other along at every opportunity. The team that communicates well, has the best chance for success. You’ll see that when you at the front leading, it is like you are the only person on the planet; it the communication and cheers from behind that keep every member connected.
- THE POSITIONS IN THE QUAD ARE NAMED: from the front, one, two, three, four. So, for example, an outrider could sub into three spot.
- CLICKS: a unit of speed. Speed up or down one click means that the whole quad changes speed a little bit. Three clicks means maximum speed up. Two clicks means for example serious passing speed. Most speed changes are done with one click.
- PEEL: this is the term used when the front walker wants to move back in the quad because of fatigue or job complete. The communication is as follows: #1 Ready to Peel. #4 looks behind the quad to see if any other race participants are about to pass or if it is safe for the change. #4 says either WAIT or SAFE TO PEEL. When it is safe to peel #1 moves laterally 1 or 2 feet, fades back and rejoins the quad in #3 spot. #2 becomes the new leader.
- SUB OUT: if any member is feeling that the race pace is pulling him outside of his physical comfort zone, that member needs to slow down. If a team has no OUTRIDERS to sub in, then the whole team has to slow down and give up this race’s competition. If a team has OUTRIDERS, the first person says I NEED TO SUB OUT. The whole team slows down one or two clicks, the outrider comes up and moves into position #3, saying I’M SUBBING IN, and the person needing out moves out of the quad and follows behind as an outrider (or walks). NOTE: IF ANY PERSON START TO EXPERIENCE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, STOP THE QUAD, CALL 911 GIVING YOUR LOCATION, AND LOOK AFTER THE PERSON IN DISTRESS.
- CHEERING: the best strategy to build a cohesive team is to always be cheering the walkers in front positions, and the walker peeling back. This internal communication is the elixir that makes the team work.
PASSING STRATEGY & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
- When there is a wide road, passing another quad is not a safety issue.
- When there is a narrow road, passing strategy is more important for safely and success.
- LINDA’S BEST PASSING STRATEGY. The quad would communicate to their outriders that a pass was imminent. The outriders would then work their way to a position in front of their quad, and then in front of the quad team which is to be passed. Then my quad would announce loudly to the team to be passed, “PASSING ON YOUR LEFT (or right)” At this announcement the team to be passed cannot change lanes to a position in front of the passing team… in this case, the team to be passed cannot move to their left and block the passing team. Then the passing team speeds up to pass. If the opposing team were not blocked, they could speed up too and ward off this attempted pass. But the passing team has their outriders in front of the team to be passed, and when the announcement is made, “passing on your left”, the outriders in front of the opposing team can start to slow down, thus slowing down the opposing team, and helping their own team to pass quickly and successfully. I love this part! Strategy at its best.
- MOVING IN FRONT OF ANOTHER QUAD. Operating a quad is like driving on the highway pulling a trailer and you must take into consideration the length of your “trailer” when moving in front of another team. Here’s how to do it: Let’s say you have successfully passed another quad and now want to move into the lane in front of them. A good rule of thumb is to leave the space the size of two pole walkers in front of the team being passed before moving into their lane. So #1 will move into that lane first, #2 will keep walking but wait until there is good space to move into that lane. The same goes for #3 and #4. In reality the quad could look “bent” until all four members have safely changed lanes.
- All participants will sign a LIABILITY WAIVER before the event starts.
- CARS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY ON THE ROAD. The time and location of the event is such that there should be few vehicles, and there will be course marshals to keep key intersections safe.
- MEDICAL EMERGENCY: if any personal starts to experience a medical emergency, stop the quad, call 911, and look after the person in distress.
OFFICIAL FINISH REQUIREMENTS
- Every participant will have a paper “donut” with their team name, category, and participant name on it, which they pick up in the pre-event registration package. The end of the race happens when each individual (crosses the finish line) puts her donut on the finish pole. This is a super low tech way to determine finish placements, and there may be a finish line-up to put the donut on the pole. It is the fourth person in the quad that determines the team’s placement, so team members 1, 2, 3, cross the line first, then the participant holding donut 4 crosses. The quad must keep its linear shape across the finish line, and the outriders finish behind the quad.
End of NORDIC QUAD TEAM “PLAYBOOK”