PDX Fall Workouts

Activity Menu PDF of exercises used in the PDX Fall Training Workouts (plus other ideas for groups and individuals).

UPDATE October 17, 2019 -- The schedule and workout info for 2019 is posted below. Saturday sessions from October 19 thru November 9. Hope to see you out there!

Participants can sign up and make a donation at the Teacup Lake Nordic Club website anytime this fall. You do NOT need to attend all or most sessions -- just come whenever you can. Please spread the word and let's have the biggest turnout ever for these great opportunities to get ready for winter!

What are PDX Fall Workouts?
All-age, all-ability workouts on four Saturday mornings from mid-October until mid-November 8 at Portland-area city parks. Workouts are 90 minutes long and take place rain or shine. Most sessions will be led by coaches and athletes from the XC Oregon race program.

Every workout includes a menu of ski-specific strength training, ski imitation exercises, technique drills, and more. No special equipment is required and you will not have to run to participate. You go as easy or hard as you like. We stay in small areas so no one has to wait and no one gets left behind. The program is suitable for beginner recreational skiers thru expert racers.

A nominal donation to cover any or all of the workout series is suggested by Teacup Lake Nordic Club (see link for details). Your donation helps to cover the travel and administrative expenses for setting up and leading these workouts. Participants are strongly urged to join Teacup and everyone participating MUST sign a liability waiver. Minors 14-17 years of age can participate for free as long as their family has a Teacup Lake Nordic Club membership and a designated adult chaperone also is present (ideally participating in the workouts) at all times.

The Teacup Lake Nordic Club operates groomed ski trails at the Teacup Lake Sno-Park on Highway 35, Mt Hood. Skiers are asked to either join Teacup or make a $5/person donation every day they visit the Teacup trails. The Teacup trails are operated under a Mt Hood Nat. Forest special use permit.

2019 Fall PDX Workout schedule:
(locations, times, and dates subject to change so check before any session!)

Saturday, October 19 — 9:30-11am ... Mt Tabor Park
(Note: Kick-off session led by XC Oregon Coach J.D. Downing)

Saturday, October 26 — 9:30-11am ... Hoyt Arboretum/Forest Park (above Zoo)

Saturday, November 2 — 9:30-11am ... Mt Tabor Park

Saturday, November 9 — 9:30-11am ... Hoyt Arboretum/Forest Park (above Zoo)

How To Get To Workout Venues:
Hoyt Arboretum -- Washington/Forest Park-- We now use the Shelter across from the Arboretum gift shop off of Fairview Road about a half mile above the Zoo parking lot. There is parking on-site (but be prepared for a fee). Alternatively you can take light rail or park in the Zoo/Forestry Center parking lots and then hike/jog about 1.5km uphill using the Wildwood and Overlook Trails to get to the shelter. Here is a trail map you might want to print out the map to get from lower parking/light rail locations to the shelter (look for upper parking in grey with star marking the shelter).

Mount Tabor Park in SE Portland. We will meet at the north end of the park near a combination basketball court, bathrooms, playground, and small amphitheater. To get to the parking lot by the basketball court/playground from north or west of Mt Tabor Park, drive south on SE 76th from Stark to Yamill. Turn right and drive west on Yamill. Yamill makes a short jog at 71st. Continue to 69th. Turn left and drive one block into the park. Bear right and drive about a half-mile to the parking lot and restrooms near the playground. If you are coming from the south or west, adjust the above directions to getting on 71st and then you should be able to locate the park entrance. We'll try and have a XC ski banner or two on or near a car so that you know you've found the right group.

What is included in each workout?
Weather permitting, every workout will include a variety of dryland technique drills (on foot), light specific foot exercises, and circuit strength. All drills and exercises are designed so that just about any level skier can complete the entire menu.All activities will be done in a small area (generally loops) to avoid any long distance running/walking. You do NOT have to run to take part. We welcome thus that wish to go at walking pace while others run. You go at your own speed...as fast or as slow as you like!

What if I'm late to a workout?
We anticipate that some skiers may arrive a few minutes late due to traffic and work/family demands. That's OK! The first part of every workout is a warm-up walk/jog done on your own so all you need to do is find the coach/coaches for that day. If you are arriving more than 10 minutes late, just start a search for the group in the immediate area around the designated parking spots. When possible, a workout plan will also be posted (but don't count on it). We'll never go so far that you can't find us within a few minutes. All that said, please try and be on time whenever possible. Note: If you are late to your first session, remember that you will be required to sign a waiver before you can hop into the group.

What about bad weather?
Assume every workout is going ahead as planned regardless of weather conditions. We will only cancel a workout if it is clear that continuing will represent a danger to participants. Even if the weather is really nasty, good workouts are possible...although we may shorten the time period slightly if the fun factor is going down.

Who should participate?
Any XC skier would benefit from these kinds of drills and exercises. Racers to backcountry tourers. Teens through super seniors. You need to be able to move on foot (run, skiwalk, and/or bound) several times up and down moderate to steep hills. For the strength portion you'll need to be comfortable doing various body resistance exercises in an outdoor setting. For technique drills you just need a positive attitude to do light walking and step drills on both grass/dirt slopes and flat areas. You can always go at your own pace, as easy or as hard as you like.

Who is putting this on?
These workouts are offered by the Teacup Lake Nordic Club and designed by XC Oregon Coach/Director J.D. Downing. J.D. is also the National Director of the American Cross Country Skiers non-profit masters association and the editor of xcskiworld.com website. All workouts will be led either by athletes or coaches in the nationally-recognized XC Oregon race program -- or -- Portland-area volunteers using an XC Oregon workout template. The goal is always to use this workout series as a springboard towards healthy and fit skiers come wintertime. Both XC Oregon and American Cross Country Skiers are happy to provide extensive help to individuals and organizations (commercial, non-profit, and public) that are interested in creating new local training groups. Just ask!

What about the Program Donation?
All participants in the Portland Training Group are asked to join and make a
donation to the Teacup Lake Nordic Club (a 501c3 non-profit organization). Non-members of Teacup can also participate with a suggested donation. Yes, if you want to donate larger amounts you are very welcome to do so. But our collective goal is to keep these sessions as inclusive and affordable as possible.

To keep this process simple, advanced registration is very much appreciated. If you sign up later in the fall, please bring your donation to the first workout you attend. These funds will be used to defray expenses faced by both the Teacup Lake Nordic Club and the XC Oregon race team (also a 501c3 non-profit) including travel expenses, insurance, exercise equipment, promotion, handouts, and more. All participants will be required to sign a Teacup Lake Nordic Club waiver before starting any workout session.

What should I bring?:
Please dress appropriately for active outdoor movements in any and all weather conditions (XC Oregon recommends our favorite Oregon clothing company -- SportHill sportswear -- for your active outdoor recreation needs). Come prepared with good running shoes for footwear...even if you just plan on walking. You do not need any special XC ski training equipment however ski poles suitable for "Nordic walking" or "pole bounding" are a good option if you have them. We will not roller ski at any point as part of this program. In wet weather (as if it ever rained in Portland!), it may be a good idea to bring a small blanket, towel, or tarp so that you can expand the number of strength exercises you can do on wet grass or patios. It is highly recommended that participants bring a dry set of clothes to change into following the workout. Since we'll at city parks, try not to leave valuables in your car...a small waistbelt is handy for wallets/keys/cellphones.

More info:
For more information and to sign-up in advance for this program go to: