Jul 132010

Do you go to roller derby practice a few times a week and routinely skip the optional outdoor skating endeavors that your team hosts? Why do you cheat yourself of this great cross training alternative? Outdoor skating is an excellent training option for these reasons.
• You can push your cardiovascular development and speed work.
• You can try different wheels than the usual rink or indoor surface variety.
• You can improve your agility and footwork as you maneuver around obstacles.
• You can find peace and serenity from skating in an environment that you find beautiful.
My favorite outdoor skating venue is Audubon Park in New Orleans, LA and Central Park in New York, NY. As a Louisiana native, I frequent Audubon Park more often. Audubon Park features a paved course for bicycling, walking/jogging, or skating. It is very shaded and features beautiful wildlife and nature. I enjoy choosing a distance and then timing my completion. Since I’m also a runner, I think it is fun to pick a running distance – like a half marathon. I calculate the number of laps that I need to do to reach 13.1 miles, and get after it. Then, the next time I return, I try to beat my previous best. Though I’m very careful of obstacles (especially after breaking my ankle during a rough road outdoor skate earlier this year), I also find myself becoming more and more comfortable jumping sticks, cracks, and acorns with each trip. This improves my agility and confidence. I’m confident that it translates to better performance in the game of roller derby.

Here’s a link to find outdoor roller skating areas across the United States.

photo credit: http://www.auduboninstitute.org/visit/parks


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