Winter Cross Training in the Alps

Holiday Overview

A cross training week for rowing, running, triathlon, cycling or athletics clubs using cross country skiing in the French Alps.

If you are a rowing club, triathlon, running or athletics club or a stamina focused group wanting a break from the grey skies of England, but still want to keep your training schedule…then look no further!

For cardio training and muscle development there’s no better sport than cross-country skiing. It’s one of the few great full-body workouts that exists and is a brilliant complement to any club looking for an effective cross training experience and a break from their routine!! No sport comes close to providing such a complete and balanced workout.

Come and discover this beautiful alpine valley with over 100km of tracks….on skinny skis! Molesey Rowing Club did it their winter training week with us and it was a great success!

In the beautiful Champsaur Valley there are over 100km of cross-country ski tracks including one high altitude piste at 2300m. They pass through a variety of landscapes; forests, rivers, open snow meadows, under frozen waterfalls, and there are even a few restaurants en route for refueling! So there is plenty to be getting on with, and what’s more the valley has an excellent snow and sun record.

In the example itinerary, we have scheduled lessons on cross country skiing technique in the mornings and left the afternoons free so you can put your skills into practice by yourselves. Your passes cover the whole valley so you have a choice of where to go. This gives your trainers the opportunity to do long distance or high intensity sprint sessions in the afternoons to fit in with your training schedule.

We have also programmed in a 'rest' day snowshoeing but as you'll see this isn't really a rest - more of a low intensity work out and a stunning way to explore the mountains in winter! It is also possible to make this a snowshoe run rather than walk.

We have found this formula very successful and flexible enough to meet most club's needs. However, we can very easily adapt it and will work with your trainers and coaches to put together a fully tailored programme.

No previous skiing or snowshoeing experience is necessary for this trip as you can pick up enough basics from your lessons in the mornings to be able to make the most of cross country skiing's cardio qualities! As they say, a change is as good as a rest. You'll be going back to the UK feeling fit and inspired and ready to take on the world!!

Have a look at our cross country skiing kit list for advice on what to bring.



Your cross country skiing lessons will start on your first morning, so there will be no time for a lie in. For 2 hours, with a qualified instructor, you will learn the techniques necessary to get you started. You will then be split into ability level groups which can be changed during the week, keeping the spirit of competition alive!

There are 2 types of cross-country skiing; skating and classic. We will be aiming for skating as it’s the more dynamic and physically demanding of the 2 techniques. In the afternoon your coaches will have the opportunity to continue the hard work that you’ve put in and push you even further. You will be able to put into practice the techniques you learn in the mornings to conserve your energy and improve your performance.

Whether it’s a bit of steady state, threshold or intensity training, they can all be done on skis and in beautiful alpine surroundings. It will be hard to return to the grey skies once you’ve tasted the freedom and satisfaction of gliding through stunning alpine scenery…not forgetting the hard workout!

For your ‘rest’ day we’ve organised a day snowshoeing. We’ve found that it works well with this type of trip and people are always surprised just how aerobic this activity is! You will walk (or run) into the wild and climb a mountain ridge or summit, you may even see some of the local wildlife who live in this beautiful valley – chamois, golden eagles ... you may even spot the wolves.

You can also choose another activity from our winter activity list if you’d like to have a complete break and try something different on one of the afternoons. This is a very flexible itinerary that can be adapted to your club’s training plan.

At the booking stage, we'll have a chat to find out the average fitness level of your group and what your coach’s goals are and we’ll tailor a programme to suit you.


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January 2011

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Transport is not included in the price of the holiday as there are several possible transport solutions that will suit different groups.

We have found that most groups actually like to be independent transport wise so they have the flexibility to explore the area in their free time, whether that's following their training plan on the cross country ski pistes or sightseeing. However, if you’d like a transport included trip, please contact us and we can price that up for you.

The nearest major town with a rail link is Gap and nearest airports are Marseilles (MRS) and Grenoble (GNB).

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