Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Treat Your Feet

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Photo of feet on beach blanket, ocean in frontYou should be relaxed and resting on your laurels after a long day on skates, especially if you managed to avoid getting blistered or bruised feet (see my review of eZeefit ankle booties for those complaints). But for some, tired or crampy feet or lower legs can be painful or distracting enough to ruin that well-deserved lounge time.

Listed in short- to long-term order, here are some tips to treat the most common foot-related after-affects of a long roll, and perhaps even head them off in the future.

When Outdoors is Out of the Question

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

It’s getting to be that time of year again.

A few years back, I purchased a ProFitter 3D Trainer because it would allow me to work on building strength and balance along with my cardiovascular fitness. This is an ideal sport-specific workout that’s perfect for when the weather is too ugly to train outdoors.

Pro Fitter 3D photoFor skating, the slide board-like action reinforces the  side-directed push that’s key to stroke quality. This directly works the  muscles that deliver  efficient, powerful strides.

Breathing Lessons

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Do you need breathing lessons? This question might sound ridiculous, but if you want to skate long distances efficiently, you must be able to get all the oxygen your hard-working body needs.

Here is how to find out how you currently breathe: sit up straight, place your hands on your stomach below the belt line and take a very deep breath. Did your hands move in toward your spine? If yes, you have just filled only the top portion of your lungs. Your diaphragm stayed tight, blocking the path to a full intake of air. Inline skaters (and all humans)  need a rich intake of oxygen with every inhalation.

Fuel for Serious Skaters

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

In the past, I have not shared my written opinions about eating for performance because my dietary guidlines are tailored to my own body and my current knowledge about sports nutrition. But because I was asked and answered this question recently for Paul Korankye, (remember the Hidden Stars Skaters Dream Club in Ghana?), I decided to risk a possible blog backlash by posting a simplified version of my personal guidelines here.

Healthy lunch

Healthy eating, simple and fresh

Off-Skates Fitness

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

I love taking great care of my body, I love playing and exercising outdoors, and I love exploring the places I visit away from home in a human-powered way. The past six weeks have been busy in exactly this way for me and Dan. To summarize, we:

  • Skied three full days (in winter conditions!) at Mammoth Mountain over the Memorial Day holiday
  • Biked 40 miles and walked a few more during a 4-day visit to lovely Victoria BC, Canada
  • Hiked  up and down steep Las Trampas Ridge in our back yard, and skated (me) and biked (Dan) the Iron Horse Trail during the work weeks

From Spin to REAL Biking

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

For the past 30 years, I can count the times I have ridden a bicycle out in the world on one hand. That’s one reason I got so deeply into inline skating. Dan would bike and I would go for a skate.

Within a few weeks of meeting Prince Charming Dan, I mounted my own bike on a stationary stand and never looked back. I knew I’d always be a sissy on the downhills. Dan and I already had a physically competitive relationship, and I could see he was a serious biker. I could not compete in this area and did not want to be an annoying lagger.

Teacher, Mind Your Attitude!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Heads up fellow inline skating instructors. Whether intended or subconscious, the attitude you display toward your students has a big impact on how much they learn and how much fun the activity is—for you and them. Here’s a personal experience from the receiving end that drove this home for me.

By the time our  one-hour Thursday Spin class had ended, I’d decided there was no need to follow the substitute teacher’s directives because, really, that class was all about her, not us. Within half an hour, I felt disengaged from her and the group experience, and decided I’d have to get the best workout I could on my own.

Beginner Spinner No More

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Now that my leg fitness is catching up to my heart and lung fitness, I am faring better as Erin drives my heart rate well above my anaerobic threshold several times during Spinning class.

I guess it’s the techie in me but unlike my fellow spinners, I keep my training zones chart in view next to the heart rate monitor that I strap onto the handlebars. I like to make sure my heart is slowing back down to 70% of max or less before our next push to 85% or higher. My tools tell me if I need to linger a few extra seconds at the recovery rate before charging up the next “hill” at the moment Erin kicks in with the pace music.

Getting the hang of spinning cleats

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Finally! Santa Claus granted my wish for a pair of cleated spinning shoes. I was unable to try them out until mid January, after I exchanged the shoes for a larger size and had a pair of cleats installed at the local bike shop. A bad cold further delayed my first day of trying them out.

Last Thursday I settled myself on the single spinning bike available in the aerobics area of my gym. I was still suffering from a cold and I didn’t want the whole spin class as an audience or to feel competitive as I learned how to clip into the pedals.

Spinning is getting both easier and harder

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Our instructor described the day’s route as though we would really be out riding the local greening hills: so many minutes of climbing, jogging and even sprinting to a finish line. Installed on a decent bike, I was ready to attack the course as she called it out.

I believe my body is finally beginning to adapt to this new physical challenge. Spinning along with the group, I checked my heart rate frequently, and was gratified to notice that as I worked the bike’s tension according to Erin’s directions, it remained in reasonable ranges. My legs were feeling better doing the work, with less burning. As we got near the “top” of a long, steep climb, I was able to keep my momentum and rhythm but began gasping for air. (Good thing the music is so darned loud!)