Friday, September 11, 2009

Rollerskiing! Spandex!

It was a long week at the store I work at. It was busy with the holiday weekend and on my "Friday" I went home completely drained. I wasn't able to workout three days this week so I was amped for some training.

Today Sue was kind enough to let me borrow her rollerskis and boots yet again. I'm still acquiring my own rollerski set up, but I'm not far from finally owning my own rig. Rollerskiing seems to me the ultimate summer time sport for rando racers. Plus you can get away with wearing spandex! Everyone knows we can't get enough skintight clothing.

I had worked fairly hard over the previous two days, running some hill intervals and doing some ski walking intervals on a fairly steep trail, so today was supposed to be an easy to moderate roll.

As per usual it was an easy jaunt for Sue and an absolute beatdown for me. I'd like to say it's because she's on the faster roller skis. On the bright side we got some pictures of ourselves to evaluate form.

We worked on double pole technique today. If you're unfamiliar it's a technique where your legs remain motionless and you use your poles to roll yourself along. It works nearly every muscle in the upper body, but focuses especially on the abs and triceps. Dynafit has stated that racers often produce 50% of their uphill force with their poles. Obviously double pole workouts will be a boon to poling power.

As far as technique, here are the key points. Keep your head up and your body in a forward fall. Your torso can move up a bit, but should not become upright. As you pole think about locking your torso to your arms. Compress your upper body toward the ground, but not so far that it becomes parallel to the ground. Arms should be close by your sides to keep the poles pushing straight back. My upper body looks fairly good in this photo.
My leg positioning could use some work. Hips should be over the ankles and knees should be over the toes. My knees need to come forward a smidge and my hips need to come forward quite a bit. As for the photo up top... yikes. Those knock knees are downright grotesque. The other glaring error is that my arms need to be in next to my body.

Sue could also move her knees and hips forward in this photo. If you haven't taken rapid fire continuous photos or video of yourself skiing, you're missing out. The first few times I saw myself on video I dropped my jaw. "I ski like that!?" The things that need to change about our technique never seem to feel significant until we see images of ourselves. Images of ourselves seem to make a special connection. Suddenly we begin to work on improving our habits. If you're not up for seeing photos of yourself looking like a gaper, don't worry- I'm a master at it. And I put my photos on the internet.


  1. JON! This website is great! I think the thing I like about it the most is that I feel like Im hanging out with you as you are explaining your training efforts. Great voice and the usual Jon sense of humor: hilarious and informative! if you need a running partner any time let me know!

  2. Thanks for the compliments, Michela. I wasn't even sure if the comments section worked until now. I'll just keep writing and hopefully more people will feel like sharing. Running partner? Heck yeah.

  3. Yummy...Seriously.