Monday, June 4, 2012

The Ski to Sea Experience by Matthew Liebsch

This past weekend I was able to race in the Ski to Sea multi-sport relay race. 500 teams with 8 racers per team compete in the following order: cross-country ski, ski mountaineering, running, road bike, canoe, mountain bike, and sea kayak. The event is huge! 50,000+ people come out to either race, support, or spectate. 

Ski to Sea race Start
 I was privileged to race for Team AeroMech.  AeroMech Incorporated provide industry leading aircraft engineering and certification services to aircraft manufacturers, airlines, operators, modification shops, and military customers worldwide.  After all 93 miles, we finished in 2nd place, only 7 seconds behind, in the closest finish in the history of the race! 

2nd Place Champions
The cross-country ski leg was a lot of fun with competitors of all backgrounds. I saw everything from first time skiers on 40-year-old touring skis to elite racers. 

Lead Pack - Matt Liebsch and Brian Gregg
 The same is true for every leg of the race. On the elite side you have pros with $10,000 carbon bikes, surf skis, and carbon canoes – then on the recreation and family teams you have heavy wooden boats and bikes with banana seats! The diversity of competitors is vast, but everyone is keen on having fun! The race atmosphere is great and I am already looking for to coming back next year.

Matthew Edward Liebsch

Gait Analysis By Lev

Two Thumbs Up!
As an avid cross country skier I spend a lot of time obsessing over technique and making myself as efficient as possible. It's staggering to compare the amount of time I spend cross training versus the amount of time actually spent on snow in the winter. I don't know about you, but besides rollerskiing the two cross-training activities I engage in the most are cycling and running. I decided that having a gait analysis with Lev would be beneficial, because becoming more efficient in the activities I enjoy 75% of the year will all in all make me a stronger, faster skier.

The Gait Analysis process takes about 30 or 40 minutes, and is based on your own personal goals. Many people use the information they receive for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and to determine a good shoe fit for their feet. That being said, if you are just starting to run or a seasoned competitor - everyone can benefit from this service. Lev starts off by taking some initial video footage of your running form, and administers some basic strength tests. He then demonstrates and helps you practice drills and exercises that help improve your running style. This is followed by a second video which you will view side by side with the initial footage. It is absolutely incredible to see the changes you are able to make in such a short span of time!

Lev goes over the finer points of Jenny's run form
Advanced Motion Capture!

The main component I realized during my gait analysis is that everything my parents and teachers have told me is true – I am unique. Everyone is! We all have different running styles, and issues. Some natural tendencies we have can lead to injuries later down the line. Having your gait analyzed using video is extremely helpful in the sense that it makes these tendencies visibly apparent. I am one of those people who imagines herself running as flawlessly as Carrie Tollefson, however seeing myself on video helped me discover that is not exactly the case. But! Making changes is incredibly simple with the help of a knowledgeable professional. Lev has given me some daily exercises and short drills to add to my routine before running.

Run Strength Drills
For the cost of $40.00 this is a very affordable option and an incredibly good investment. Personally, I would much rather pay a one time fee versus paying the medical bills for an injury later. The bottom line is - whether you run competitively, for cross-training, or just as something to get you out of the house gait analysis is something that runners of all levels can benefit from – it makes the activity significantly more enjoyable!

Lev is awesome because:

He has a Masters in Exercise Physiology from the College of Saint Scholastica and is a member of The Fix Studio team. The Fix Studio staff has 45 combined years of experience working with athletes training for events from local 5k's to the Olympics.