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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old May 27th, 2016, 03:07 PM   #1
SkaterAmal
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Default Usua Queries about Rollerskating from a beginner

Hi awesome skaters,
I am 41,from Mumbai ,India and a half marathoner. Never skated before but began Rollerskating a month back without any rhyme or reason. Started skating on a lonely flat tar road and joined a weekend class after 15 days of daily skating. Can pretty much skate without a fall now. (6k @ 6mins/km pace). My q is that how long does it take to get perfect control over the skates,to become a pro, for the muscle memory to kick in for smooth rhythm. Been watching lot of skate Vids. Do you guys practice for hours daily? Also my coach says my right leg doesn't bend and my body is still too stiff. Any tips for this? Would Rollerskating tangibly help my long distance running ? I skate thrice a week for about a total of 3 hours. TIA
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Old May 27th, 2016, 03:59 PM   #2
Mort
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Things that will greatly help is
#1 having a lot of other high level skaters to skate with.
#2 watching videos of high level skaters and comparing their forms to your own form. Video yourself and SEE what you are, or aren't doing.
#3 making your skating smooth. Like when watching a martial arts movie and the movements of the choreography flow well.
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Old May 27th, 2016, 07:22 PM   #3
Derrick
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Originally Posted by SkaterAmal View Post
Hi awesome skaters,
I am 41,from Mumbai ,India and a half marathoner. Never skated before but began Rollerskating a month back without any rhyme or reason. Started skating on a lonely flat tar road and joined a weekend class after 15 days of daily skating. Can pretty much skate without a fall now. (6k @ 6mins/km pace). My q is that how long does it take to get perfect control over the skates,to become a pro, for the muscle memory to kick in for smooth rhythm. Been watching lot of skate Vids. Do you guys practice for hours daily? Also my coach says my right leg doesn't bend and my body is still too stiff. Any tips for this? Would Rollerskating tangibly help my long distance running ? I skate thrice a week for about a total of 3 hours. TIA
And yes,of course, time. Not daily, but more than 3 hours a week.
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Old May 28th, 2016, 02:33 PM   #4
CKS
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Would Rollerskating tangibly help my long distance running ?
Maybe. It has helped mine in two ways. First, I had to quit running because of horrible knee pain (starting within just a few steps) that started up after my kids were born. After about a year of skating, that disappeared completely and I can run again. Second, and more likely to be of help to you, hills are a lot easier to climb now. There isn't a good place to practice running hills around here, and I'm not fond of them anyway, but skating hits enough of the hill-climbing muscles that I just zipped up the hills (relatively speaking) in the last 5K I ran.
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Old May 28th, 2016, 04:29 PM   #5
Armadillo
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One of the most important things to remember, for skating speed/distance, is that, performed properly, it is a ONE FOOT DOWN at a time process.

It also works best when your relaxed skating stance keeps your hips close to the ground by maintaining the down leg's knee bent to at least 30 at all times. So, developing the leg strength to comfortably stand on one leg with knee bent ~45 (tougher, so 30 feels easier) for at least 5-10 second intervals, id critical.

The transition interval going from one down skate to the other, while both are down at once, only lasts for the briefest moment, so the first thing to master is being able to balance and STEER when you are rolling at speed with only one foot down.

Even though outdoor distance skating on trails rarely requires doing crossovers, I still advise using them as a practice drill to sharpen up your one foot down rolling balance & steering. This means finding a nice smooth open area and start skating in a large circle doing (or learning to do) crossovers going both ways (clockwise and CCW).

Beginning skaters usually can't skate very long/far with one skate down, especially if the path to be followed is a curve, so circle skating is a great impetus to accelerate your mastering of one foot down rolling balance and steering.

The other payoff of crossover circle skating drills is that it reinforces another key concept, which is the fact that your down skate, while pushing, needs to always be CARVING along a slightly curved arc during most of the pushing interval, even when your skating DIRECTION is STRAIGHT FORWARD, and not going in circles.

So, by skating continuous circles in either direction while doing crossovers, you are embedding the concept of your push always CARVING ALONG AN ARC. If you can't yet do crossovers, there are plenty of other threads here, and VIDs on youtube, that can help with that.

One final concept to grasp is that, once you reach cruising speed, your leg push force must stop going to rear and switch over toward being directed sideways → straight to the left & right. As you get better at maintaining your leg push force going straight to left/right, also try to add a bit of falling & leaning to the opposite side from the pushing leg.

This leaning over motion helps to ensure that the skate follows a curved arc path as your leg force goes down onto the ground, and adds more of an acceleration boost to your leg push force from gravity assist.

IMO, the fastest way beginning skaters (more advanced too) can make real progress with developing their skating technique is to spend 10-20% of their skating time just doing circle crossover drills. Beginners, maybe even 25-30%.

You can mix up your circle drills a little by skating them at different skating speeds, by altering the body position transitioning rate with more or less crossovers per circle cycle (slowed body motions, but still rolling at decent speed), and by steadily reducing the diameter of the circle down to a little as 10-15 feet once you get really good.

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Old May 28th, 2016, 11:53 PM   #6
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Strictly for running performance, I don't think skating will help any more or less than any other well-balanced cross-training activity. Pick one or a few and do them regularly when your running muscles are worn or you feel an overuse injury encroaching.

Light, running specific weight training, calisthenics, stretching/yoga, changing running surface occassionally, and a proper runner's diet (there are many books written by ultrarunners on the subject, Eat and Run by Scott Jurek is a very good one that I recommend http://scottjurek.com/) will help more than the choice of cross-training activity in my opinion.

So will it help your running? Probably. It depends on your training routine, schedule, and the other things you are already doing to make yourself faster. Should you skate to improve your running? Of course!!
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Old June 6th, 2016, 06:50 PM   #7
SkaterAmal
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Thanx a ton Mort Derrick Cks Armadillo and Trixton for the valuable pieces of advice. Its been 45 days that I have been roller skating now. Body is still stiff. I still roll consciously and although I dont fall now its still not a fluent motion. But I am enjoying it I plan to stick to it till I get the finesse. I will be posting another query on purchase of better skates and I hope to get more insights on that. Happy rolling everyone.
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Old June 6th, 2016, 11:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SkaterAmal View Post
Thanx a ton Mort Derrick Cks Armadillo and Trixton for the valuable pieces of advice. Its been 45 days that I have been roller skating now. Body is still stiff. I still roll consciously and although I dont fall now its still not a fluent motion. But I am enjoying it I plan to stick to it till I get the finesse. I will be posting another query on purchase of better skates and I hope to get more insights on that. Happy rolling everyone.
Concentrate on skating the circles both ways and learning to do crossovers as you skate the circles. Nothing will improve your skating skills faster -- trust me, NOTHING!

Until you are comfortable rolling and CARVING ARCS with only one skate down, you are not really skating -- you are only TRYING to skate.

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Old June 7th, 2016, 03:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Armadillo View Post
Concentrate on skating the circles both ways and learning to do crossovers as you skate the circles. Nothing will improve your skating skills faster -- trust me, NOTHING!

Until you are comfortable rolling and CARVING ARCS with only one skate down, you are not really skating -- you are only TRYING to skate.

-Armadillo
Circles and figure eights with crossovers, two skate slaloms, and one skate slaloms. Any of them, all of them for fast advancement. Then do them backwards
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Old June 7th, 2016, 07:26 AM   #10
Mort
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Circles and figure eights with crossovers, two skate slaloms, and one skate slaloms. Any of them, all of them for fast advancement. Then do them backwards
Then forwards, on one foot on one axle, then backwards
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