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Inline Skate Frame Position: Friction and Burning Feet!

eebee's picture

My skate frames have been in the wrong position all year!!! What an idiot. I finally felt like I had the time yesterday to tweak one of them and go for a spin. I set the right skate frame further inwards - where they had been all last year when I had no boot problems whatsoever - set off skating and got such great leverage off that right leg that I almost pushed myself over in the other direction.

That sounds uncomfortably like bragging, as in 'I'm in between movies', or 'I'm doing research for my next novel', and I'm sure this doesn't now mean I'm suddenly fast, but man it felt good to feel some of that leverage I felt last year. About ten seconds of disasterous skate memories from this 2008 training season flew through my brain, along with the explanation and ahah! moments about mysterious leg and foot problems I've been having all year. This explains my not being able to climb hills worth a flip, my burning feet sensations just one hour into a long skate, a consistently high heart rate and my nagging left knee pain. I've basically been pronating with both feet and both legs all year since Memorial Day weekend!

After the first day of the Hartwell Challenge of the Centuries bike event this past May's Memorial Day, I was rotating my wheels out in the hot sun and got hot and bothered to the point of throwing one of my skates down in the parking lot (yes, I know, very lizard-brained). This moved my frame. I picked up the skate and put the frame back where I thought it should go and realized then that the frame of the other skate was 'wrong' too. Ok it was hot out there in the midday sun. So I basically realigned both frames in the exact opposite position to what's good for me and my legs. My frames have stayed that way since the end of May this year. 

When I picture my odd-shaped legs attempting to get 'on top of my wheels', much less getting any kind of underpush, it all becomes clear and helps me understand how I've been so exhausted all summer and never seemed to get any fitter. Clairem is right about it being all about the frame placement!

In addition to my knees needing all the help they can get to achieve as near a straight line over my set-down (front view) as they can manage, the flat, outside edge of the soles of my feet don't need to have juddering frames right under them, either! With the frame situated under the arch of my foot, most of the vibrations are absorbed elsewhere in my boot.

In my euphoric, one-frame-correct skate yesterday (I went back to my car to excitedly change the left frame too and lost my best skate tool in the process! Aargh!), I rediscovered a somewhat natural recovery portion of my skate stroke. I was aware that my incorrect left leg was still exhibiting jittery convulsions instead of a smooth, effortless D shape. No wonder my legs have been aching all year. 

This is such happy news right before A2A. Last year's event didn't give me any foot pain at all and I have been utterly daunted this year knowing that from mile 15 to 87 I would have been in agony the whole time.


roadskater's picture

Yes the Frame's the Thing

I have had some changes too after not marking on the boot where I thought the frames were at their best. With my old beloved Verducci V-Tek boots I used to develop a callous on the left inside heel. When I got the Powerslide C4 boots early this year I think it was, the callous disappeared. One day in the park I lost that perfect positioning and since have developed that same callous again. Like you, I've put off trying a different position. Perhaps I will tonight. I'm sure I won't get the huge gains you're getting, but anything would be good. Congrats on getting the feeling back again. It's a good idea to keep a Sharpie around all the time in the skate kit I guess! Did you put the front between the big and second toe? Did you put the heel all the way inside or halfway from center or so? Thanks for posting this.
skatey-mark's picture

Against my better judgement,

Against my better judgement, I am also tweaking my frame position. Normally, I'd never do this so close to A2A. But I have been having trouble with my left-foot set-down for months. I'm pronating horribly unless I consciously think about each and every set-down. That's just not practical in a long event like A2A... Or, with my attention space, anything more than 5 minutes or so. (I just "zone out" when I skate...) Anyway, so I cleaned my bearings this morning and rotated my barely-used wheels. While the wheels were off my skates, I slid the left frame towards the inside... My right boot has been perfect, so I didn't touch it. Interestingly, while I thought I might have had my right-frame "toed-in" it was actually "toed-out". I put the left frame in a more-or-less neutral position with regard to "toed in/out". I'll be skating later tonight (if it doesn't rain) and carrying some tools with me in case I need to tweak it some more. I did 75 miles on the old frame position at TTT, so I could have skated on it as it was. But I'm hoping to make A2A a bit less painful... Every little thing adds up, after all... - SM -
eebee's picture

Has to be better

I agree with you, Skatey-Mark, it does seem a bit late in the season to mess with frames. But it sounds like you were in the same boat as me, and at this point for A2A, we don't need to be pronating and wasting all that energy over 87 miles. I still have to move my left frame tonight. I lost my wonderfully perfect tool somewhere in the cavities of my car, but found some old ones last night cleaning up my apartment for A2A guests from out of town!
skatey-mark's picture

Yeah... I figured it was

Yeah... I figured it was worth trying *something*... I also figured I couldn't make it worse... :-) So I did adjust my frame on Wednesday, just before the weekly ATT skate. I think it's better. If anything, I might be slightly supinating on the left foot now. I'll still need to tweak it some more, but I think it's "good enough" for A2A now. I also replaced the insoles with new ones, and they're great! Walgreens Double Foam Insoles rock! They're only about $4 a pair, and I think them much more than the more expensive ($10/pair) insoles I've been using this year. So... New wheels (with maybe 50 miles on them now), clean bearings, new brake pade, new insoles... A lot of little changes -- hopefully they'll make a positive difference on Sunday! - SM -
roadskater's picture

I'd Say So! 5:33:55 15.6MPH 87 Miles!

I think that says it all. OMG. I figured you had a killer time since you didn't say a word. I intentionally waited as long as I could to ask, and the longer you didn't say anything the more convinced I was it was killerdiller. But to be honest, as much as I was certain you'd have a super time, I didn't really think about how super. Amazing stuff! Congratulations and thanks for wearing the Roadskater.net jersey!
skatey-mark's picture


Yeah, I don't know what the heck got into me that day! The stars were all lined up properly, or maybe it's just my new lucky jersey! I just realized this morning that I didn't have any of the ankle or shin fatigue that I had been dealing with in the events leading up to A2A, so the frame adjustment must have worked... I'll post my A2A adventure soon... Already thinking about next year! :-) - SM -

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