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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #1
73skater
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Default Cool down routine?

For the last 8 months I have been paying the price for a lifetime of disregard for tight hamstrings, quads, you name it. I have been making a lot of progress lately on releasing the trigger points, muscles, and tendons. I am back to exercising and skating, but not at full capacity yet. As I increase the intensity and distances, I am trying to make a New Year's (...or New April's) resolution to do a much better job of cooling down, stretching, massaging, etc.

I'd like to hear if anyone has paid a similar price of muscle tightness and if a dedicated cool down routine has been helpful? What is your routine?
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Old April 26th, 2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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73, foam rolls work pretty well once you get the hang of them. There are smaller more local spot work tools that work well too. Unfortunately, skating alone, while great exercise, will not help much on that front as it will continue to tax specific muscle groups. You will need another form of exercise in your regimen. I have a short series of warm stretches and cool down stretches but I don't do either religiously. They focus on hamstrings and hip rotators. I struggled with this problem until I got much more invested in dry land training, now, I don't hardly need to stretch. I need to cool down though. In fact, if I don't, I get a weird over caffeinated jittery thing for a while... Even just 5 minutes of half intentioned skating with some form posture and hip rotator and slow exaggerated push techniques make a huge difference. But the real deal is off skates. There are a few sources I really like but they will all assume a conditioning program that accompanies their recommendations as they are designing the flexibility component around strength, endurance and sometimes weight loss protocols.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Default stretch after skating

Ohh - that's a tough price to pay!

I don't really have a cool down routine...I just slow down a bit or walk around a bit. Not too helpful I'm affraid.

Here are some easy things to do BEFORE you leave EVERY TIME YOU SKATE -- I mean do them right by your skates. Don't leave without doing it.

Stretch your achillies and calf by placing the foot either on a wall with toes upward and heal on floor (bit hard for me cause my ankles dont like it) OR stand with one leg behind you and bend the upper body into a wall or a chair with the weight on your stretching leg -- you may bend the knee or keep it straight (not locked - so it's best to keep your quads working if you're doing this with a straight leg). Find the happy spot with minor adjustments and hold for a while -- keep it even when you switch legs.

Buns/hips - Sit with a straight back and place one ankle ontop your other thigh by the knee (keep your foot flexed - like pulling your toes toward your knee). Slightly bend forward with a straight back (like folding at the waist) -- leading with your chest. If you can get all the way down without burning your butt --- stay there for a few minutes. If you can't get all the way down go as far as you can comfortably stretch and stay there for a few minutes. Big muscles take longer to stretch.

For your hams. either stand up straight and bend forward with a flat back until you feel a good stretch OR sit on the floor and fold forward with a flat back. It is VERY helpful to use a towel or dirty sock or whatever looped around your feet with your hands holding either side to help you fold. DONT BEND YOUR BACK keep it straight (it is very vulnerable in this position). Keep your toes flexed toward your knees.

Quads - stand and hold your foot behind you with a bent knee. Keep your back nice and long. Tip your pelvis slightly forward (tilting your tailbone toward floor) to find a happy spot.

There's always more.

Not stretching when warm or after working out can cause tightness, cramps and back issues (tight hamstrings are major cause to low back pain).

Best of luck!

PS we are naturally tighter in the AM and more flexible in the evenings. SO, if you're a TV watcher at night. Sit on the floor with a towel folded under your hips and stretch the hamstrings like above. Put your snack (mine is popcorn and wine) past your knees and bend for it.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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I don`t really have a cool down recipe after my workout. After I get my intended miles in I just coast and do light pushes and stretch the calfs, quads and hams. I also make sure I get me my protein drink in me. Muscles need to get plenty of protein after a good workout.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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Default PrePlanning

Hi 73skater,

You know things change as you learn, experience skating.

I think the thing you are missing is preplanning, and pre_training. Skating demands a lot and all your leg stuff from hip down has to work well. When it all works well you are just tired with no real pain points. OK the foot is a special case and needs special work.

Cool Down is OK, yet it is like putting the horse back in the burning barn with the lantern. So do Cool Down if you wish, YET make sure you do Pre_Planning exercises or cross training so after skate is lots easier.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old April 26th, 2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MANY_SkatingDave View Post
Cool Down is OK, yet it is like putting the horse back in the burning barn with the lantern.
Don't think I get that one. You should cool down the horse before you put him in the barn, oh and best to make sure it's not burning down first.

But to the question, we often spend the last few min. of training skating clock wise at an easy pace. Helps to cool down and work on turning right too.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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The foam roller suggestion is a good one. I've started using one recently to help stretch the IT band and the edging muscle, and it really seems to help.
Apparently if you neglect this, the overdevelopment of your skating muscles can lead to uneven pressure on your knees.
It's also great as a general massage - just roll it all over and around your legs.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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Default Pre_Exercise for Skating

Hi Slow,

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsk8 View Post
Don't think I get that one. You should cool down the horse before you put him in the barn, oh and best to make sure it's not burning down first.

But to the question, we often spend the last few min. of training skating clock wise at an easy pace. Helps to cool down and work on turning right too.
My Quote: "Cool Down is OK, yet it is like putting the horse back in the burning barn with the lantern."

You should not just go out there and skate like mad if your body is not pre_prepared for skating. Particularly if you have a weak body. OR You want to move up to Pack Level TOO fast. Most of us do and then we get into physical problems if we are pushing to keep up to the younger or the 'naturals' that just happened to be lucky with their body. Skating demands a lot from our body and our joints and we should train independent of skating.

SO I say cool down is OK, yet dang it learn how to train your lower body outside of skating. Particularly if you are having problems or pains.

I am currently working on everything from the hip joints down to the ankle. All are needed for no_pain in the night or the day after hard skating.

Again pre_planning. Just like the right wheels or bearings or cleaning technique.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old April 29th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #9
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I've never been one to warm up or cool down.

But I'm noticing that as I get older a little stretching warming up and cooling down helps.

Currently (I do the same for speed, dance and figures)I roll around. A little slowly, then I stretch gently. After practice I roll around slowly and do some stretching.

If I notice any tightness I might spend a little more time on that group of muscles.

After speed I stretch my legs, after dance and figures usually it is my trapezius.

Katy
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Old April 29th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #10
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Death. Death will be my cool down. Until then...

At indoor our cooldown was typically stopping skating, maybe some light stretching. Similiar for outdoor, though we usually chill the last couple minutes and finish with individualized stretching. Most people I know do not do a formal cool down. Most athletes I know do some sort of instinctual after workout movement and stretching. I finish runs with a walk, rides with an easy spin and skating as mentioned.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the responses. After reading everything, my primary conclusion is I just have to listen to my body...cliche admittedly, but true. It appears several people do not need a formal cool down (or warm up) and it works for them. For the past 25 years of athletics, that worked for me too. Now, at 39 years old, my body sent me a message loud and clear...your training methods and lack of muscle maintenance ain't working for us anymore...WE QUIT! With that, my muscles and tendons went on strike. At the worst point (February), I'd say I had 50% normal range & usage of my left leg/knee. I'm back up to about 80% now with a plan that is producing steady results. I can exercise regularly including skating...but the regimen also includes stretching, rolling/massaging tight muscles, and a willingness to listen to the feedback my body is telling me...I just love growing "less young"!
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Old April 30th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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I think it also depends on the intensity of the workout. If you've just hammered a bunch of intervals, there definitely needs to be some sort of cool down. I typically try to build that into the workout. As luck has it, the places we do intervals and hill repeats are both a couple miles from where we park so you get a little warm up on the way there and a little cool down on the way back. If you're on a recovery ride/skate, you generally won't need it. Another factor is what you're doing immediately following the effort. Sitting in a car for 5 hours driving home from a race? Yeah, you might want to cool down a little more carefully. If it's 10 minutes home and in the shower and you know you're going to be moving around afterward then you might be good to go with no formal cool down. As 73 said, listen to your bod. It may be worth it to experiment and see what happens.

I just discovered epsom salts. After a 5 hour karate seminar on a gym floor, my feet were freakin' killing me the next morning and we had another 3 hours to go that day. The epsom salts were like a miracle cure. Feet felt amazing afterward. I really couldn't believe it.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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I always cool down...no matter what I am doing - It helps to stomp out the stiffness - Would you run a mile and jerk to a stop? or slow down past the line gradually... For that much do we see world class sprints stop where they are...or do they again, slow down gradually


If its outdoors - we do about a mile, easy cool down - Your "cool down" is a good opportunity to work on your form and technique as you will naturally be slowed... and a little fatigued - If you are pushing right when you are tired.. you will push right when you arent , because the more tired you get, the more you need to think about form, and technique

This is why at indoor practice too, I have us all do the last 5-10 minutes with 3 or 4 steps per corner, depending on the floor, and to concentrate on knee drive in... push through, etc -

Both Approaches, allow your muscles to somewhat naturally stretch too - and more importantly, it allows you to control bringing your heart rate back down

Cool downs are always helpful - whether or not you have stiffness, you should be doing a cool down anyways, if nothing else, for the reasons I just specified
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Old May 1st, 2012, 03:31 AM   #14
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Default An interesting Observation Point

Hey Love your Note

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post
Death. Death will be my cool down. Until then... o -o I finish runs with a walk, rides with an easy spin and skating as mentioned.
Yep, Yep, and Yep again. A Real Interesting addition to this tread.

In long distance running (Cross_Country) when a kid, or hard organized walking I did cool downs cause I was told to. Never did it after biking cause I did that solo. I mean they were neat cool down exercises and seemed to add value.

Yet STILL - - I DO NOT do Cool Down after skating, nor do most I know that are long trained to skate hard with all they got. OK I got Speed Skater Dan that does them, yet he might be doing them for form. Dan does have some neat stretches. I have always felt a bit guilty that I don't do them, yet it seems like I am so loose and feel so good I didn't know what stretches would add anything.

This might be a pre_training thing or a Long Term Skater thing. When you are as trained (long term) as skaters I know personally or speedysktr Cool Down might not matter that much. NOW still you have to have proper fluid/food intake after hard skating.

Anyway Interesting.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave

Edit-01: OK I am so far behind on SLF it is crazy. SO I decided to mostly add value to the music tread under Session for 2011-2012 songs. Please no one PM me.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 03:44 AM   #15
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Yep another here of the no real formal cool down.

Except for after doing the hard laps etc, just a nice easy roll around, maybe some light stretching.

But one thing i always do is to put on the track daks and hoodie, keep the muscles warm as long as possible so they cool down slowly.

But as Many Skating Dave says, preplanning, warming up and stretching before a workout is far more important.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 03:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post
I think it also depends on the intensity of the workout. If you've just hammered a bunch of intervals, there definitely needs to be some sort of cool down. I typically try to build that into the workout. As luck has it, the places we do intervals and hill repeats are both a couple miles from where we park so you get a little warm up on the way there and a little cool down on the way back. If you're on a recovery ride/skate, you generally won't need it. Another factor is what you're doing immediately following the effort. Sitting in a car for 5 hours driving home from a race? Yeah, you might want to cool down a little more carefully. If it's 10 minutes home and in the shower and you know you're going to be moving around afterward then you might be good to go with no formal cool down. As 73 said, listen to your bod. It may be worth it to experiment and see what happens.

I just discovered epsom salts. After a 5 hour karate seminar on a gym floor, my feet were freakin' killing me the next morning and we had another 3 hours to go that day. The epsom salts were like a miracle cure. Feet felt amazing afterward. I really couldn't believe it.
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