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Inline Skate Tips for Outdoor Training

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 6/29/2011

Roller skating with either quad skates or inline skates is an excellent cross training activity for runners, bikers and swimmers. Skate tips for outdoor training will keep you safe on the streets and give you a training boost when you are in a workout slump. Skating is fun when done correctly.

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    Outdoor training is how inline skating began. A hockey player from Minnesota wanted to continue training off the ice and invented Inline skates. Hockey players are not the only ones who use inline skates as a way to cross train. Inline skating cause 50% less impact on the joints as running and is great for both cardiovascular and muscle building.

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    Getting Skates Ready

    Skates come in a variety of styles and are designed for different levels of skating. Recreational skates are a good starting point for most people. Purchase quality skates for the best experience. Cheap skates are harder to use and will quickly discourage you from continuing.

    Remember that adult skates come in mens sizes only. Children's skates are the same as their shoe size.

    If you are primarily an indoor skater, it is a good idea to change into outdoor wheels before hitting the pavement. A soft wheel has more grip and will give a softer ride but can seem slow. A hard wheel gives a bumpier, but faster ride. Choose the wheel according to the kind of skating you do.

    Do a maintenance check before heading out to skate outdoors. Check that all the nuts and bolts are properly tightened and give the entire skate a good look over. Especially check the brakes. Toe stops can wiggle loose during the vibration of stopping.

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    Protective Gear

    Whenever you plan on skating, you must wear protective gear. Broken wrists are the most common skating injury that can be avoided by wearing wrist guards. These are hard plastic splints that protect this area when you fall.

    Knee pads and elbow pads prevent road rash and damage to your joints from a fall. Purchase a good pair of quality pads in order to get the full benefit from this gear.

    A helmet is the most important piece of protective gear. Skating on the road, or on a bicycle trail is unpredicable, sudden obstacles can trip you up and cause spills that have nothing to do with your skating ability. Do not feel that you are above wearing a helmet.

    Be sure the helmet fits snug and is fastened under your chin. Just placing one on your head with the straps dangling doesn't do any good.

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    Navigating Dangers

    Leave your iPod at home. Listening to music is a great way to pass the time, but being aware of your surroundings is very important when careening down the road.

    Skate on dry surfaces. Stay away from wet leaves, puddles and ice. If it starts to rain take off your skates. Not only will the road surface become too slippery, water can damage the parts of the skate.

    Wear sunscreen. Sunburns can occur before you realize when skating in the fresh air.

    Do not skate in traffic or on sidewalks. It is best to use a bike path or large, empty parking lot when training.

    Stay in control of your speed. Avoid hills until you are ready. Even then, use caution.

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