Weekly e-mail preview:
When: Tuesday May 31st, 6:30pm
Where: Battle Creek Water Park
What: Classic Rollerskiing
Coaches: Ben P, Mike N
Classic Rollerskiing - look out, here we come. Learn to do it, or specific strength DP for those more advanced.
Got myself some Pursuit Rollerskis from Rollerskishhop.com and the last pair of Salomon Pilot bindings from Backcountry.com. I do have to say that I am a little worried about this: concrete and blacktop are quite a bit harder than even icy snow. But I am trusting that our able instructors Ben and Mike will be conveying the necessary skills and I am also going invest in some protective gear.
There was a surprise when I arrived, apparently Ben had gotten hurt at the very end of our last session. He tore a muscle in his calf, just while standing and supervising us. It sounds like he won't be able to do anything strenuous for three months and sure enough, he showed up with a leg brace and compression sock.
Since I don't own classic or combi roller skis I skated. There was a short warm-up in the water park lot while waiting for the stragglers. A few wobbles but nothing too dangerous. My main issue using rollerskis for the first time was putting them on. No problem with ski one, but ski two was problematic. At the car, I sat on the back, hatch open, and later, trail side, I used a fence post for support. No real problem and shaking the skis off wasn't an issue, either.
Warm-up continued when rolling from the water park lot to Lower Afton Rd. I was a bit worried about down hills but there was nothing major. After we got to the Lower Afton Rd. lot the real work began.
Series 1: 7 reps of legs only, emphasizing glide with one ski off the ground and bringing ctr. of gravity above push-off ski.
Series 2: 4 reps of crunch double poles, working the core. No help from the arms, not too much follow-through! Of course I hadn't been listening and used my arms too much. Both Mike and Ben yelled "you're cheating." I got closer to good form in the further sequences.
Series 3: 3 reps of full arm push, crunch and follow-through.
Cool down completing the loop back to water park. There was at least one downhill with a sharp turn at the bottom. Twigs and leaves on the ground didn't do anything to increase my comfort level but I made it.
A word about my Pursuit Rollerskis: they worked great though I will invest in a pair of the slowest wheels. They did seem quite a bit faster than the Marwes, which almost everyone else was using. After getting used to being on rollerskis, they felt nimble, very similar to being on actual skis, allowing to maneuver by quick stepping. I do miss that full snow plow, though ...