Friday, November 2, 2012

Rhythm & Tempo

Rhythm &Tempo
1. This part will show what rhythm is.
Everyone thinks of a song.
I do the YMCA and see if the tempo of their song is faster ski poles up or slower ski poles down
My dance is rhythm
2. This part will show how different people ski at different rhythms.
Pick a partner and ski behind them and compare the rhythm of your skiing to theirs. Switch leaders and do again
Ski poles up if partners rhythm is faster, ski poles down if slower
Relationship of glide to Rhythm
1. This show the relationship of glide to rhythm
Ski normal rhythm
Ski faster rhythm using shorter glide
Ski slower rhythm using longer glide
2. Take this to a shallow hill to show how length of glide on terrain changes rhythm.
Ski a terrain change where going up a hill will speed up the rhythm.
Relationship of Power to Rhythm
1. Explain how adding or subtracting power as the terrain changes so you can hold the same rhythm
Go from flat to slight up adding power to hold rhythm while climbing.
Go from flat to down hill subtracting power to hold rhythm.
2. Now explain how now you have different gears you can use while going over varied terrain. 
Play with the power while skiing to vary the rhythm of your skiing.
 Relationship of Balance to Rhythm
This is where beginner skiers working toward intermediate needs to work. The ability for a skier to balance over each ski and place it down when you choose and coronate the polling timing of your choice makes a smooth rhythm. Always falling to the new ski makes a choppy rhythm.
Rhythm, Tempo and polling
In classic skiing your polls and skis will be at the same tempo creating rhythm and flow.
In skating using all poll timing except diagonal skate your polls will come forward as your ski lands on the snow. As your forearms point toward the snow you will transfer on to the new ski. This will create a rhythm between your polling and ski movement.

Why this matters
Your tempo will affect your breathing and heart rate. If you are racing you can use these ideas to keep you heart rate in the zone you wish. If you are touring for the day, you can use these ideas to keep your skis gliding along enjoying where you are at while still being able to talk.  

Monday, April 9, 2012


This is the most important aspect of skiing. We teach stance static, but while skiing we are always in motion. We are always moving through stance.
What is a good stance while skiing?
· Weight centered just behind the balls of your feet.
· Ankles flexed and soft
· Knees flexed and soft
· Hips vertical and forward so you are past the balls of feet. If you were standing like this you would fall forward. This is one of the keys of efficient skiing. Is your tail bone tucked under? It should be.
· Core engaged. Your legs and arms are moving you forward; your core has to stay stable so you have some where to work from. Think of sucking in your belly button back and up.
· Your torso will have the same angle as your lower leg while moving through stance.
Beginner drills to find stance.
· Jump up and down, when you land with flexed ankles and knees you will be in stance.
· Slouch, you are a teenager with a slacker attitude.
· Think of a sport you do and relate that to your stance.  All sports have a stance you work from.
Intermediate stance drills.
We come through stance when we land on our gliding ski as it is being driven forward. In teaching beginners we talk of stance on both feet. Let’s work toward stance on one foot as it is landing while skiing.
1. Start with range of motion in ankle and knee while standing. Have partner watch to see what range is what number.
·         Ankles and knees with slight bend becomes 1.
·         Ankles and knees with max bend become 5. Remember to stay in proper stance.
·         In the middle are 3.
·         A little to either side of 3 becomes 2 and 4.
2. Ski double poll working between 2 and 3slowly with partner watching to check for this.
3. Ski double poll working between 3 and 4 slowly with partner watching to check for this.
4. Ski slight downhill working between 2 and 4 slowly on own. This will help to work on fluid and soft stance.
5. Ski landing on gliding ski to see where you are at on scale of 1 to 5 to see you land. Have partner watch for this.
6. Work on landing at different positions to see how this affects your skiing. Does a lower stance allow for a better drive through?
Advanced stance drills.
 Let's look at where we are at in the front to back of our weight is on our skis.
In position 1(see above)
  • lean back so you are over you heal and front part of foot is lifted.
  • Lean forward so heal is lifted and you are over your toes.
  • Now come back a little so you are on the ball of your foot, no weight on the heal and toes of your foot.
This is the idea place from where you should be skiing from.

Let's take this a step farther


Repeat drill above but do it in position 1-5. See how being lower in your stance affects where you are at front to back.


Let's take  this idea to moving on our skis.
  • Double poll or find a small hill that allows us to glide along playing with the drill above. See how this affects the feel of your skis.
  • While skating or diagonal stride where are you landing on your new ski?
  • While loading the old ski to transfer weight to the new ski, where is your weight at?
If you spend some time playing with this idea, you should find that you are centered over your skis. This will give you greater control over your skis.


Friday, March 23, 2012

My First Trail Run

Warning, this is an addictive sport. Mike, our WAC president, last year ran more races in one year than I have trail running.
Years ago I used to help out with the basic climbing class. One of the instructors, Richard Corry, had talked about this 50k trail run, Cle Elum ridge.  ( he did. I did not think too much about it at the time. I have always been a runner. I have played around running on trails for something different. Some of my past climbing partners might accuse me of running while we were packing in or out of some destination. I think I was walking, I guess that is up to interruption.
One day I was talking to Richard and he asked me if I had considered running a 50k. My answer was, 31 miles? That is a long way to run.  He asked me two questions that lead my life in a new direction.
1. (Richard) How far do I hike when I am out climbing some peak? (Me) Low 20+ miles.
2. (Richard) How much weight do I carry? (Me) Around 50 lbs. for alpine rock climbs on the approach.
He said that if I had five lbs. on my back how far could I go? There are aid stations about every six mile with food and water.  I had to think about this. It seemed reasonable that I could cover the 50k distance.  I gave this some thought. I talked to another friend that had run this race. She told me about Seattle Running Company, now Fleet Feet. (   I decided to take this on as a new challenge. I went to the store, bought some shoes chatted with the experienced staff and went on some of their training runs.  Found a marathon training schedule on line. I modified this schedule to fit the 50k distance.
It is race day and it is raining out. Richard and Andrea are there. Richard is watching their child and Andrea gets to run this year. One thing about trail races, they are like an extended family reunion. Everyone seems to know everyone else. Everyone is standing around the starting line chatting. The time comes and someone says GO. Everyone slowly moves forward, keeps chatting and down the trail we go. I am thinking, wow that was low key. In the couple other road events I have done, people would be long gone. Here I guess with 50k to go what is the rush.  
The race goes on and I finish. I got to see places I never would have gone hiking or climbing. It rained almost the entire run. I was very wet but was still warm. I got to run through some cold streams and lots of mud puddles. It was a satisfying thing to finish my first 50k. I hobbled over to my car, changed and took a short nap. They had a dinner for us there at the finish line and awards ceremony.  People asked me how it went. For two weeks after it swore I would never do that again. I will live to eat those words a few times in my life.  One month later I am thinking of this 50 mile run called White river in July the following year.