Hello skaters and welcome to the NorthShore Inline Marathon blog! Here in Northern Minnesota, we are finally coming out of 5 long months of winter. And whether you live in the frozen North like us or you’re a new skater or someone looking for tips to improve, now is the time of the year to get started. We are 5 months away from The NorthShore Inline Marathon on September 17th so let’s start preparing together!
The first thing we need to work on is our ankle strength and flexibility. Every spring the most common complaint skaters have is that their ankles hurt or their ankles are out of shape. While there are several reasons for ankle pain and ankle instability the number one reason is that most skaters simply put on their rollerblades in the spring and go skating.
We’ve all been guilty of this mistake. The snow is melting, and the sun is shining, and we want to get out and start losing some of our winter weight and enjoy the beautiful weather. The problem is that many of us have not done the necessary work to make sure our ankles and support muscles are ready for skating. If you skip this step most likely you will end up with blisters, pain or even injury. Skipping this step can also keep you from reaching your season goals and setting a new personal best because you start skating with improper technique and then you keep reinforcing that bad technique throughout the year.
Now that we’ve pointed out the problem let’s look at some solutions. We’ve included a video link below from Viktor Hald Thorup. Viktor is a 2-time Olympic Long Track Speedskater as well as an elite inline marathoner. Viktor has a great series of instructional videos on Youtube to help skaters of all ability levels. Today Viktor is going to start off by showing us some simple walks we can do to stretch out and strengthen our ankles and then he’ll progress to using different types of gym balls and balance boards.
Most of these exercises can be done at home or at the gym. We recommend doing these activities as much as you can before you put on your skates this spring. The ankle walks are also a great activity to add to your warm-up routine before each skating session. The last piece of advice we have is to keep early-season skating sessions short. Do your warm-ups and then skate shorter distances and gradually work your way up each week. A good rule is once you start getting out of the skating position or if you feel a blister forming then stop! You can stop and sit down for a few minutes and give yourself a break or maybe you need to be done for the day. Don’t feel bad if you can only go for a mile or two at the beginning of the season. Another great way to start the season is to skate around a parking lot. This way you can stop whenever you need to.
We hope this helps and we can’t wait to see all of you on September 17th at the NorthShore Inline Marathon!
The NorthShore Inline Marathon is North America's largest skating event. Hosted on the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior, NSIM offers 8 unique races for all skill types. To learn more about the NorthShore Inline marathon check out their website at www.northshoreinline.com.