Saturday, September 18, 2010

Training off the Track - Part 1

Or at least how I train ... or should be training.  Sometimes when people join roller derby, they say "Wow!  I am out of shape!"  There's a few important athletic qualities for derby girls.  My two favorites: endurance and powerful abs and legs.

I've written about my running escapades in the past, but to be honest, I have not run that much this summer besides the few 5Ks I participated in.  It was too hot!  But fall is coming and soon I won't have an excuse.

I believe that running has helped my endurance and cardiovascular capabilities in general.  Believe me, I was NOT a runner in high school or even college.  But now I can huff and puff out about three miles - even though that all started with a single step, which led to being able to jog a quarter mile at a time, to running a mile in under 15 minutes, to completing a 5K (3.1 miles) in about 34 minutes.  I'm not a fast runner, but I can skate in every other jam.  I can also catch up and make my way to the front of the pack if I fall behind.  Believe me - you don't want to be lallygagging in the back of the pack.  To the other jammer, you're an easy point - and possibly the only point if the other jammer is right behind her.  Don't be that only point!

So what can you do to improve your endurance?  If you can't run, take a walk. Or ride a bike.  If you can run, no more excuses once the weather cools down!  (Disclosure: this may also be a self motivating post -- oops!).  Start small if you want.  1 mile every other day or so is achievable.  You can do it and you will feel great afterward and soon you'll notice an improvement in your endurance

If you just can't bring yourself to walk or run, head to the rink (technically you're not on the track, you're just on the rink) during open skate.  Rollarama is open almost everyday.   If it's not too crowded, skate as fast as you can for different time intervals: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes (?!).  Take breaks in between, but the shorter your interval, the shorter your break, OK!?  You want to be conditioned to skate every other jam at least.  And during a game, that means a 30 second to 3 minute break at the most.

Roller derby is a sport and roller girls are athletes.  Small things off the track and outside of practice can (and will) make you a better athlete and the sport even more enjoyable.

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