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Skate Skills:


Mr. Miyagi's School of Speed

By Naomi Grigg
Tuesday, March 12, 2007

Lesson 1: Wax On, Wheels Off

Remove your front wheels, put on full protective gear. (I don't usually enforce protective gear, so I really do mean it on this occasion.) Then put on your skates.

Now skate.

Ha-ha-ha-ha ... you just fell and I'm laughing at you.

OK, now that I've composed myself, have another go at it. But this time concentrate on *not* grinding the front of your frame into the asphalt and thereby catapulting yourself head over heels.

Ooooh! ... Finding some new muscles, are we? Nasty, eh? It will feel as though these new muscles — in your butt, thighs, lower legs and feet — never stop working. You've probably never really thought about these muscles much before. Well, now you will!

Continue skating for a good 30 minutes, doing all your crossovers and usual stuff. You will find that in order to stay upright and skate successfully you have to keep your weight back on your heels and push out to the side rather than slightly to the back.

When you switch back to your normal setup, you'll find that you have new awareness and ability!



Naomi Grigg in lycra? ... We never thought we'd see the day!

Naomi Grigg is not only one of the world's top freestyle performers and instructors but a gifted speed skater. One of the workshops she offers is Mr. Miyagi School of Speed. In it, she uses tricks learned as a freestyler to polish the technique of speed skaters.

Here's her personal history of speed:

Entered the LeMans 24 hour relay on freestyle/rec skates and casual attire in 2002 and 2003, discovered I was pretty speedy, so eventually in 2005, bought some speed skates, a skinsuit, and two months later brought home silver at the British Indoor Speed Skating Champs. Then I won the British Marathon Championships later that year (actually only a half marathon!), and then returned to LeMans to help my team lift 3rd place trophy. The following weekend I managed to smash a helmet, together with my face and knees whilst getting silver & bronze medals in two of the British Outdoor Championship races.

2006 was so busy that I only made it to the Munich & Berlin Marathons, with my best result being 1h18 at Berlin, despite a delightful tumble about half way through. Munich was actually my first ever marathon.

I've been training through the winter this year, and plan on doing six races — five marathons and one half marathon: Berlin Half, Engadin marathon, Berlin marathon, and all three in the British Inline Cup.


Related reading:

Naomi's web page
Naomi's Freestyler column
Skate Tip of the Week Archive.
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing.
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating


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