I have previously mentioned that this is the year of technique. In reviewing all of the media I found from the Apostle Island Inline Marathon, I found two really interesting photos, and an pretty good video. First, the photos (sorry, links only, photos by Ed Monroe):
The second comes from a helmet camera video shot by Pat, another advanced division skater and all around good guy.
All of this skating was toward the beginning of the race, at least, as far as I can tell from the pictures and video. This means this is what my technique looks like in the early part of a race when my legs are still fresh. You only need to really watch the a couple minutes of the video. First, the good things. I have a good strong glide. This is evident in the video and the pictures. It looks like I have good control early on of my glide foot and I am controlling the skate well on one foot. Second, my hips are staying pretty level. This is where the power comes from. At this point in the race, from the video, we were moving around 2o miles per hour. I was able to hold that pace within reason in the draft (something I probably couldn’t do solo). Generally, I don’t have a lot of upper body noise, so there isn’t a whole lot of movement, which is ideal.
Now the bad things. The pictures show this pretty harshly, I am not any where near as low as I should be. Drafting in the pace line or not, I need to bend my knees and get my but down more. I think I was doing a better job of this later in the race, and sprinting at the finish, I looked pretty good and low, but generally, skating in the pack, I look like I am standing strait up. I need to work on that for sure. Ideally, I should be working on this in my shorter technique oriented skates and tempo skates. I am getting to the point where I have good power. In a full sprint with solid double push and arm swing, I hit 24 miles per hour on my tempo skate last week. It is a work in progress, and I am happy to see results so quickly. Something else I could work on based on these videos: more under push in my double push. The video shows I am really just carving on my glide leg. I thin this is something I need to work on longer term to build strength in my my legs where needed.
By way of training and race schedule update, I haven’t been able to skate or train much in the last week because of life circumstances that have taken precedence. I did spend a very short time lifting this week, and increased my power clean and rear squat lifts by 5 pounds for new personal record lifts, the power cleans at 145 lbs x4 reps and the rear squats at 185 lbs x6 reps. I think I am also ready to increase my dead lifts, but didn’t get a chance to try because of time constraints. New personal best wall sit to failure is up to 105 seconds. Training, though limited, is on-going. Roll for the Roses may be off the race calendar this year, but I have to play that one by ear. I hope I get to make it and that it doesn’t rain. Watch for updates.