Q – “I’ve been using your Intermediate and Advanced Skate for Fitness Online courses. I still have difficulty climbing steep hills. Will this be solved as I progress? At the end of the S-curve, my support leg doesn’t turn sufficiently inside and my push becomes somewhat backwards. Is this right?”
Shu Yoshino, Japan
A – Most skaters don’t skate up hills efficiently because it demands a different skating stride from the 2 Strides you are learning in the online courses.
Here’s a summary.
There are 2 kinds of skating in my opinion;
- Accelerating skating (done for a short time)
- Cruising skating (maintain constant speed)
We need both kinds of skating to skate well. For distance skating, speed skating, fitness skating and races etc, we need to reach a high speed and then maintain it as long as possible, so we should mostly focus on type 2 skating. This is the Intermediate fitness stride and the Double Push to some extent (although the DP can also be used to accelerate, but lets say now that DP is like top gear, fast and constant speed). In these strides the set down is straight ahead and NOT in V.
In accelerating skating we absolutely NEED the V letdown position for as many strides as we need to reach our ‘high’ speed and then we switch to cruising (straight ahead set down).
The V skating of accelerating we also need in the following situations (any situations that more intensity or more ‘umph’).
Into/against the wind
ALL of those situations will then have a V-ing setdown and a fast cadence (tempo) and yes the push goes diagonally backwards so the strides must be shorter and faster. The forces come off the inside of the pushing foot/skate.
We should accelerate for a few fast strides eg 5 or 7 or 9 and then switch to cruising skating and stay there.
Most people do not differentiate their skating into these two kinds of strides accurately enough. They mix the 2 kinds of skating and do neither efficiently. They do slow motion V-ing (with long slow strides and big pushes) to accelerate (not correct or efficient acceleration) and then don’t fully ‘switch’ to cruising skating and keep some of their V-ing (also not efficient for cruising).
I don’t have an acceleration lesson anywhere online (its in my street skating course which is in process). But imagine that in accelerating skating you take twice as many strides as in cruising skating. It’s the high tempo that creates the acceleration, not bog strokes.
I hope this helps. Focus on practicing both strides in different situations and terrains. For you it sounds like you’ve been focussing on your cruising skating and training hard. Maybe now switch to uphill training or mix some uphills into your usual training route.
Want to practice your cruising skating with some Free Drills from me? Pick your level and enjoy your training.
Click Free Trial next to the trailer video on these pages;
Basic Beginner Stride
Intermediate Fitness Stride
Double Push Advanced Stride