Too old to start skating?

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Justinvs
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Too old to start skating?

Post by Justinvs » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:25 pm

Hi all. This is my first post here, so I hope I'm not asking a dumb question. I've been classic skiing forever, or at least since my early twenties, but here I am in my fifties thinking hard about getting into skate skiing. (It always looks like so much fun when somebody else is doing it, right?) I have, like everybody else, played around skating on my classic skis, never very far obviously, but at least I know the basic motion. I usually ski at least an hour a day when we have snow, and run 2-4 miles the rest of the time, but I'm still wondering if 56 is just too old to start something as challenging as skating?


The good news is, I ski right out my back door and have access to enough machines and fields that I could really build some fun tracks!

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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Pat » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:47 pm

Well I'm soon to be 62 and just a few months ago started doing some roller ski skating. Like you, a lot of experience running and classic skiing. It is probably a lot better to adapt to skating on snow vice concrete and asphalt, but I've found to have no muscle/tendon type issues with picking up skating. As a matter of fact I'm amazed how light my legs feel when I'm done doing the skating -- different than how they feel doing classic. So I'm just a hack at it but I'd say go for it -- new tricks keep us happy and interesting (at least to ourselves.....)

Pat

Justinvs
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Justinvs » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:04 pm

Cool!
Thanks for the reply. That's just the kind of advice I was looking for! There is a new ski area about an hour and half from where I live that supposedly has skate skis for rent, so as soon as I get a chance I'm going to break loose and give it a try.

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Neuro
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Neuro » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:57 am

Yeah it will be fun, just be careful the shin muscles can get overloaded, even some World Cup racers have issues with this. It's the one that works to keep you on balance. Getting stiff boots (carbon) and tightening them properly will help.

Some techniques like V2 are quite tricky so don't be disappointed if you don't even get close to it.

Justinvs
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Justinvs » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:41 am

Thanks for the info!
Yeah, I'm just interested in it for the recreation, so I doubt I ever get very good at it. But damn, it looks like fun!

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Neuro
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Neuro » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:51 pm

Great fun with the extra speed, but a bit more tiring, especially uphill.

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Montana
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Montana » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:57 pm

Justinvs wrote:...There is a new ski area about an hour and half from where I live that supposedly has skate skis for rent, so as soon as I get a chance I'm going to break loose and give it a try.
I'm always looking for new Montana cross country ski areas with groomed trails. What's the name of the new place near you?
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Justinvs
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Justinvs » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:56 pm

.[/quote]
I'm always looking for new Montana cross country ski areas with groomed trails. What's the name of the new place near you?[/quote]

Sorry I missed seeing this. :oops: Homestake Lodge is the name of the area. It's about half an hour from Butte, going eastward on I90. I've been there in the summer - they rent the lodge for weddings - and the terrain looks really promising, but haven't had a free day to break loose and try their trails out yet. Here's their website: http://www.homestakelodge.com/

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Neuro
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Neuro » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:31 pm

The most helpful trick when I learned skating was to turn the head to face the ski going forward, maybe it can help you too. (It was actually what I overheard the national coach insisting Therese Johaug should not keep forgetting to do).

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Montana
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Montana » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:57 pm

Justinvs wrote: Sorry I missed seeing this. :oops: Homestake Lodge is the name of the area. It's about half an hour from Butte, going eastward on I90. I've been there in the summer - they rent the lodge for weddings - and the terrain looks really promising, but haven't had a free day to break loose and try their trails out yet. Here's their website: http://www.homestakelodge.com/
I've skied at Homestake a number of times. They groom well and have some pretty nice trails. The lodge is very nice. Let's hope for great snow this winter!
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FrontRunner
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by FrontRunner » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:16 am

Never too old! You might think about a lesson from a certified instructor. They can get you started and make sure you do not develop any bad habits.

If a lesson is not practical, then start on a slight downhill and ski without poles to get the side to side weight shift and rhythm down.

At it's best, it is the closest thing to flying without wings!

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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by gradualstudent » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:57 pm

56 is definitely not old for skating, it's just the key thing is it's way easier when you're in good enough shape to run 3-5 miles comfortably (see https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/trav ... -hard.html) . Once the high school ski teams clear the trails after the meet, i'd say the majority of people on the trails are the same people you'd see road biking in summer, mostly 40-65 y/o -- grownups who can afford the equipment and the time.

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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by JeffOYB » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:38 pm

Really, "all skiing is one." It's the same! The skate body position and even the action is the same as classic. You kick down the same but the legs go to the sides. So you're good to go! Watch a bunch of how-to videos. Take a class. Read a book. (...Mine! "New Wave Nordic.")

It's not any harder. It is indeed a "bigger gear." It's a slower tempo. So it needs adapting just like riding a bike in a bigger gear than usual wd need some adapting. For uphills just keep it light and don't bog down. You don't have to work any harder than you feel like. Grannies do it. It's not "harder."

The slower tempo is because you glide during the kick and then you glide a bit longer on the glide phase. This is why shins can get tired: you're gliding more, meaning your feet are doing micro-balancing more.

Take it easy. Start short. Stop at first sign of fatigue. You'll be able to go farther each day as your tendons and such catch up to the new way.

Bring both sets of gear out so you don't cut your outing short. Just gradually change the ratio of skate-to-classic until you can happily do a whole outing in skate w/o stress or "losing it" technique-wise. The new balancing muscles do fatigue and we get sloppy after a short time when learning.

Steeper climbs are where skating has least advantage and where it's toughest to feel the positive nuance. So pick easier trails for the first year. Don't spoil the fun with lame waddling. Avoid the waddle. If you can't then just kick back and take it easy.
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gradualstudent
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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by gradualstudent » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:54 pm

One more note did classic XC only my whole life but took a skating lesson three years ago. The first lesson got me winded, but after spending money on actual skate skis, I then discovered that skating is more a mode you can do on any ski in the various conditions. When the snow is crusty frozen in March you can skate on long touring skis. When the snow is slushy you can skate on shorter backcountry XC skis. When you're on a groomed XC trail, you can skate on any ski. And learning to skate makes getting around flats on downhill skis so much easier I never take poles any more.

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Re: Too old to start skating?

Post by Raubie » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:54 pm

Great question!

If you've been classic skiing for 'decades,' you're in for a treat. Classic skiing is to 'zen' as skate skiing is to ENDORPHINS. I love both, but a day out on skate skis and you can't wipe the the smile off of my face. It was a revelation to me after a decade of 'grind out the miles' classic.

Jeff's suggestion to bring both sets of skis for your first season is sage advice. That's what I did, though I had been skating on my classic/AT skis forever. There are tons of great videos on youtube, as well.

Give it a go.

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