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OTHER ITA SITES:
Inline Skating Technique -- Longer Strides and Glides
Sometimes, especially on trails longer than 20 miles, and in high heat in the middle of the summer, you may start to fatigue due to dehydration or if your caloric burn has exceeded your caloric intake for the day. Under these circumstances, it�s good to have a way to conserve your energy until you reach the end of the trail.
One approach is to use longer strides and glides. Let me explain!
The Three Forces
There are a number of forces that act on an inline skater while he or she is in motion including rolling friction, wind resistance, and
the force of gravity. When skating longer distances, we�re primarily concerned with rolling friction and wind resistance. Let�s tackle the frictional force that�s developed when your wheels roll over the pavement, and leave wind resistance for a future article.
Reduce the Rolling Friction
Rolling friction is defined as a force which opposes the motion of any body which is rolling over the surface of another. In our case, the body is the inline skater and the surface is the trail itself. The frictional force is applied against the skater�s wheels when they come in contact with the surface of the trail.
In addition, this force is in the opposite direction and hence opposes the force exerted by the skater to move him- or herself forward. The greater the rolling friction, the more force the skater needs to apply to overcome this resistance. What would happen if the skater were to reduce the rolling friction?
In this case, he or she would need to exert less force to move forward. Since work is equal to force times distance, it follows that the skater needs to do less work to travel the same distance. The skater conserves energy by doing less work. So, how does one reduce the rolling friction? Good question, let�s find out!
Enter Longer Strides and Glides
You can employ a technique dubbed, Longer Strides and Glides. The idea is to minimize the time you spend rolling on both skates, or conversely, maximize the time you spend rolling on only one skate, which in turn serves to reduce the rolling friction.
Longer refers to a greater amount of time for the striding part of the maneuver, as well as a greater distance for the gliding part of the technique. Let�s see how it all works.
To skate using longer strides and glides:
Key Benefits of the Maneuver
This technique affords two, key benefits when skating on longer trails. First, it reduces the rolling resistance since you�re now spending most of your time on only one skate, either the right or left skate, but not a lot of time on both skates at the same time. This means you�re conserving much-needed energy, because you�re doing less work to travel the same distance. Second, you�re giving your leg muscles a break by keeping one leg suspended in the air followed by the other leg. Trust me, even these short breaks feel good after 20 miles on the trail.
Use the above maneuver when you need to conserve energy and maintain a fluid style on the return leg of a trail that never seems to end. Until next time, good luck and get fit on the trails this summer!
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