10/16/09 – Training

Morning: Skated in to work on my fitness skates. 5.5 miles of burn. Need to skate back to my truck at lunchtime, so I’ll have 11 miles in before the day is over. Less than usual, but at a high intensity level so I’m happy.

Wow!I forgot how much work it is to keep those 82mm wheels moving forward while you’re strapped into a high cuff! What a great burn. It was hard to stay low and make an active recovery at first, but like anything else, a few minutes on and it all came back. Even managed to get some exaggerated double pushing in. But what is that thing hanging off the back of the right boot?!

It’s only been maybe 2 months since I’ve been on my fitness skates. I don’t know why, but this time I was a lot more aware of how restrictive fitness skates are, and how much harder you have to work to achieve anything like proper racing form in them. Makes me pause to consider how much harder the guy in the picture had to work in Duluth this year.

Advanced Wave A in Fitness Skates

Advanced Wave A in Fitness Skates

We were in Advanced Wave A together. (He’s second from left mixed in with these elite women.) This dude tried to come screaming by me at the top of the off-ramp. I took one look down, saw his skates and kicked it into high gear! Granted, he’s on 100MM wheels, but he still had the cuff.  And now that I think a little more about it, unless you’re going to be out front pulling, or looking to take extended fliers throughout the race, you probably won’t worry so much about having you ankle movement restricted. The extra support may actually help you power through a little more in the paceline. For me, it’s pretty hard to maintain proper form when riding a draft. I tend to stand up more, can’t get down as low as I’d like without breaking the pace. Yeah, maybe he didn’t have to work all that hard during the race after all. But the sprint had to be difficult. Or so I’m guessing.

Today in my old fitness skates, I was very aware of the cuff. I was working a lot harder on “proper” form in these skates. And that’s always good. So I’ll definitely spend more time on my fitness skates this winter. My Rollerblade Aero 10’s with the 82MM wheels. But I won’t be skating casually, I’ll be working hard to exaggerate my form to get as close as possible to my racing form and speed. Why not at least try?

Noon: Another 5.5 miles to pick up the truck. The hills were particularly difficult, probably because I hadn’t eaten much in the morning. Was reminded that you shouldn’t just think you can roll over most debris on the smaller wheels. Oh, and low crossovers in high-cuff boots don’t mix so well unless you’re really, REALLY down in the heel!

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