3 Reasons why Runners should Skate Ski {and my experience as a beginner}

3 reasons to skate ski

3 Reasons why Runners should Skate Ski 

1. Strength Train without knowing it

2. Cross train during a healing running injury

3. Get in more Miles = A Stronger Base

BONUS- Experience Winter in a new and exciting way

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Don’t get me wrong, we are runners and absolutely love running… everything about it, even running in the snow and winter!

But the thing is I don't know my body could have handled going back into running full on at this point, my knees are still not back to top condition after my 100 miler back in October. But I want to get back out there and run in the fresh air, absorb the sunlight, see the snow and have fun - and I do not want to wait for my knee to tell me I can run.

And so I found skate skiing. We have been staking for about 10 days now and I am totally hooked! It has not been easy adjusting to the demanding physical and aerobic sport - which keeps so many away due to its difficulty.. but I am happy to say that I am finally getting the hang of it!

So here are my 3 reasons to Skate Ski

 

1. STRENGTH TRAIN WITHOUT NOWING IT:

Skate skiing is essentially Hip, Glute, Core and upper body strength training in disguise!

The first day I remember being so tiered, going so slow and just thinking HOLY CRAP this is HARD! A different hard than running, no impact on the joints or anything but man were my Glutes on fire and my lower back was really hurting from the strange position it puts me in when climbing up hills… I should mention that we started out in a very mountainous area, with nordic trails that are for experts, not for beginners at all.. so it was bound to be challenging. But that is how we like it!

Finishing my first few sessions I was really feeling it, my Glutes were dead, my back was sore, my arms were sore from using the poles and my shins were sore from the skis/boots/angle of the motion! I was thinking that I cannot wait for this hard transition period to be over and for this to actually be easy and fun! (I knew that it would become easier and fun, and that it would take time)

The first 2 days I was only going about 4-6 miles each time which would take me about 90 minutes to do so.

The next 3 days I was really getting better with each day, and was able to go further in the same amount of time and it was feeling so much easier. 

Soon I found myself enjoying an easy 2 hour session before breakfast, taking it easy and going at a pace that feels good to me… but I can totally feel it the entire time that it is really working my body! 

(My tip is to wear a heart-rate monitor and keep your heart rate around 130 - 140 which helps me be consistent and know when to slow down on those crazy hills).

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2. Cross train during a healing running injury

This is just crazy because honestly running doesn't feel perfect for me right now, tight IT band, and knee issues that are taking FOREVER to go away - but Skate Skiing feels amazing on my legs! I do not feel any of the past injuries, tweaks or anything! It is insane.. If I would have had access to this months ago I probably would have taken a month off after my 100 miler than probably would have been fine jumping into skate skiing. 

To test this theory, I ran for the first time in a while yesterday, only an easy 3 miles; it felt ok but afterwards my IT band was killing me and even now the next day it is so sore! This is actually abnormal and goes to show me that my body needs to a bigger break from that impact. 

I feel that I am training longer and becoming stronger all without running, but still in a very similar way to running!

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3. Get in more Miles = A Stronger Base

Shit guys, we can pack in the miles/hours on the skate skis and feel great.. day after day! So my first big day out on skate skies was 3 hours 28 minutes (19 miles) and I was expected to feel kinda beat up after and pretty tiered and sore the next day.. but NOPE this did not happen! I felt tiered the entire day after- yes, but sore.. NO! And the next day I felt great and was able to go out for another big day of 2 hours 45 minutes, and the same thing the next morning felt fine!! I had to hold myself back though and only went out for 1 hour 45 minutes today. 

But there is something to this, the no impact thing, gliding over the snow, strengthening my legs, feet, ankles and hips without pounding them into the ground.. my body likes it and is allowing me to do WAY more training, more hours, more time on my feet than I ever have been able to running.. And I am just a beginner!! I only started 2 weeks ago! It is blowing my mind and I love it, and I cannot wait to see how far I can go while continuing to feel amazing.

 

BONUS REASON- Experience Winter in a new and exciting way (SUN- SNOW)

Did I mention I am in love with skate skiing? Even if I had to buy the nordic trail pass ($180) and could only go up and skate ski 4x per week I would do it in a heart beat. It is the best investment I have made in so long. I am able to experience winter in a totally different way than I ever have and it is addicting. Down here in the valley many days are cloudy, gloomy, even rainy at times (though mostly snow) and running can get limited due to trail access… But now that I am able to ski the nordic trails up at Schweitzer, it is like a huge winter wonderland that I never knew existed!!! The sun is usually up and blue bird skies, even when it is cloudy down in town.. The sun on the snow makes me feel so good, the sparkling shimmering snow makes me happy, and it is silent.. so silent as I ski around wherever I want to go, exploring and moving through the forest at a new pace, which allows me to see different things.

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IT ALSO MEANS WE GET TO EAT MORE SKOUT BARS, WHICH IS ALWAYS A PLUS!!!

Because we are doing so much training, we need to fuel up after about an hour ( well we don’t need to always, but we sure do want to) and we feel so good about it when we get to eat a Skout Bar! We even named our spot where we always wait for each other and eat a Skout bar together - Skout Point! :) 

USE OUR DISCOUNT code and save 25% on all Skout Backcountry orders: KGPPSKOUT

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Love you guys!

-Katie