The wily veteran Terry Holm once told me: “Never take more than three days off in a row from working out.”
And he was right.
When I was younger, I could get away without training during the off-season. But after I hit forty, I found I could no longer hibernate in the winter and easily get back into shape in the spring.
Many skaters move their training indoors or switch to ice skating during the off-season. But I like to take a break from skating in the winter and switch my training, primarily, to skate skiing.
In case you are unfamiliar with it, skate skiing is a style of cross-country skiing in which you push your skis to the side (like skating) rather than sliding them forward (as in traditional cross-country skiing).
Skate skiers use many of the same muscles as inline racers. That makes it’s a great way for us to stay in shape during the off-season.
And if you want competition, skate skiing has that, too. Last winter, I competed in my first Birkebeiner, a 52-kilometer cross-country race in Wisconsin that draws 10,000 skiers a year.
Unfortunately, with climate change, snow has been tough to come by for the last few years in the Twin Cities area, where I live. As a result, I have also added cycling and running to my offseason routine.
I ride a cyclocross bike on the LRT, a crushed limestone trail. And I run on a hilly single-track.
My off-season training keeps me in shape and gives me a welcome break from skating. And for me, a break is a good thing. A few months away from skating always makes me eager for the the new inline season.
Brent Bovitz won the Pro 40 (Pro Vet) division of the 2012 National Roller Cup. He is a member of Team Twincam and a technology coach for the Eden Prairie School District in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul.