Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Improve your Marathon or Half Skate in Cross Country Skiing

by Keith and Heather Nicol

Photo 1
The marathon skate is the skating technique that started it all back in the early 1980’s. As you can see this is the only skating technique where a free skate leg action isn’t used. Instead one ski stays in the track while the other ski performs a skating action. The marathon skate is used when the skating lane is narrow or when the groomed tracks are especially fast.  The key to this technique is to do a double poling action and to make the skating action short and snappy. To learn this technique start with one foot in the track and other ski angled out 20-30 degrees (photo 1).   A bigger angle is needed for slow conditions or for going up a slight hill and you will find a smaller angle works for faster conditions. Use a double poling action directed down the track and your leg push involves edging the skating ski and make sure that you push off to the side (photo 2).

Photo 2

Photo 3
    Common problems that I see with the marathon skate are pushing back with the skating leg.  Instead think about starting your skate from a foot forward position with push to the side. Also don’t spend too much time gliding away from the track that you end up doing the splits (see photo 3). Commit just long enough on the skate ski to push off of it and then glide on the ski in the track. Once you push off, be sure to relax and ride the glide on the ski in the track. This allows you to recover your skating ski back underneath your body and to bring your poles back for another double pole. This gives you a momentary rest which is especially useful when skiing long distances. Have a look at the following video to improve your marathon or half skate. A special thanks to Rossignol ( for their continued support.

No comments:

Post a Comment