Snowshoeing - Special Olympics Michigan

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Snowshoeing
Michigan
Training Guide
Events Offered
• 30 Meter
• 50 Meter
• 75 Meter
• 100 Meter
• 200 Meter
• 400 Meter
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Suggestions
• It is suggested that beginner athletes enter the 30-meter
and 50-meter events. Intermediate athletes should enter
the 75-meter and 100-meter races. Advanced athletes
should enter the 200-meter, or 400-meter events.
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Uniforms
• Athlete should wear appropriate winter sports attire. Warm
ski gloves or mittens, a hat, snow pants or bibs, scarf,
headband or ski mask, and sunglasses or goggles are
recommended.
• Clothing should be conducive to freedom of movement.
• Competitors must wear their assigned number in a position
visible to the officials at all times.
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Equipment
• All participants must provide their own equipment.
• The minimum length for snowshoes is 25 inches. Snowshoes
should measure at least 8 inches by 25 inches. SOMI
recommends a Michigan or Alaskan-style snowshoe. It is not
necessary for showshoes to have a “tail” provided that the
snowshoe meets these minimum size standards. Snowshoes
may not be altered in anyway.
• Athletes must use the same snowshoes during the time trial and
final competition. If an athlete is found to be wearing different
snowshoes during finals competition, the athlete will be
disqualified and given a participation ribbon only.
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Competition
• Only the officials and the athletes competing in the race are
allowed on the course.
• Athletes begin with feet behind the start line. All snowshoe races
will use the starting command, “5-4-3-2-1-Go!” At the same time
as the verbal start command, a flag will be dropped to alert timers
to the start and to accommodate hearing-impaired athletes.
Athletes must stay within their assigned lanes. Athletes continue
on snowshoes until crossing the finish line. Athletes must
complete the entire distance of this course with both snowshoes
on. In the event that one or both snowshoes come off, the athlete
must stop, put the snowshoe back on (at the point where it came
off), and then complete the course. Time is taken from the point
that the competitor’s torso crosses the finish line. The finish
referee is responsible for all such decisions.
Competition
• A competitor may not progress forward more than three meters
unless they have both snowshoes attached to their feet.
• An additional visual start indicator (flag) may be used to assist
athletes with a hearing impairment.
• Any competitor starting before the start signal is given will be
charged with a false start. A false start occurs when a competitor
significantly moves any body part before the start signal after
coming to a still set position after the “Racers ready” command
and before the starting signal. An official should identify and notify
the athlete that is charged with a false start. Any competitor
making two false starts in the same race will be disqualified from
that race.
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Competition
• Pacing of competitors is not allowed.
• Any competing athlete who jostles or obstructs another
athlete, so as to impede his or her progress, shall be liable to
disqualification from that event. The action must be judged to
be intentional and beyond incidental to result in
disqualification. The Referee shall have the authority to order
the race to be re-held excluding any disqualified athlete.
• A competitor must have both snowshoes on his/her feet
when crossing the finish line to be official.
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Course Set-Up
• Race Course Layout for 30 meter through 100 meter Race
course area should be as flat as possible and at least 30-100
meters long.
• A start line should be marked, which is 20 meters long.
• The finish line should be marked at 30 meters, 50 meters, 75
meters, and 100 meters from and parallel to the start line.
• Six lanes should be designated, and each lane should be 2.3
meters wide.
• Two 5-10 meter areas should be used for staging: one area
before the start line and one area after the finish line.
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Course Layout for 200-400 Meters
• The minimum size of the course layout should be 400
meters in length and 7 meters in width. The course should
be a continuous hoop over varied terrain. For the 200
meter race, the athlete will run over a portion of the 400
meter course. For the 400 meter race, the athlete will run
one lap of the 400 meter course.
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Tips for Technique: Warm up
• Walking on snowshoes requires that you take longer steps than
normal, especially uphill. You also walk with your feet much
wider apart than normal. Lightly stretching your hamstrings
(muscles on the backs of the thighs) and hip flexors (muscles in
front of the hips that lift the legs) will help your flexibility for
snowshoeing.
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Beginner Snowshoers
• Once there is sufficient snow cover to run the local trails in
snowshoes, racers should incorporate two to three
snowshoe 'workouts' each week. Beginners will notice
there is a tendency to alter their normal gate mechanics to
avoid 'clanking' their snowshoes together. Most racing
snowshoe models however, are narrow enough to
maintain a normal running stride. Although running in
snowshoes is pretty intuitive, it is important to remember
to pick your foot straight up after you've made contact with
the snow. All beginners fall the first time they run in
snowshoes because they tend to drag their tips. It only
takes one face first plant on the trail to learn this valuable
lesson.
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Getting Started
• Walk in your snowshoes as you would without. It is normal
to have some straddle, and you'll quickly learn where to
place the snowshoes moving forward (not too wide).
• Once you master walking, a great way to progress is to use
the run-walk
method and gradually build up your running time just as you
would with
a new running program. Run until you're out of breath, walk
until
you're bored (or until you've caught your breath).
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Getting Started
• Be patient. Snowshoe running is far more demanding than running. It
can be
compared effort-wise to that of a speed workout and your pace will be
much slower than your running pace.
• Start running and stay relaxed letting your feet land where they will.
Focus on running with your natural stride, rather than a wide
(straddle) as it can cause fatigue in your thighs, calves and ankles.
Stick with short intervals and work on efficiency. Running form for
snowshoe runners is vital to conserving energy management
(economy) and for avoiding injuries. Progress gradually and learn to
become at one with your shoes.
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Don’t Back Up!
• Avoid trying to go backwards - you'll end up on your butt for
sure. Instead, turn right or left to turn around. The cleats do
a wonderful job of keeping you moving in all directions
except back. To turn in snowshoes use the T step and place
one snowshoe at a 90-degree angle in front of the other
snowshoe. Then shift the rest of your body and the other
shoe alongside the lead shoe.
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Terms
• Binding- The part of a snowshoe that attaches the footwear to the
snowshoe
• Carrying Surface- Surface area of a snowshoe; the larger the
surface area, the more flotation and support for the snowshoer
• Crampon- The sharp pointed traction device that may be attached
to a snowshoe’s pivot hinge to prevent slippage. Generally made
from heat-treated aluminum or tempered carbon steel
• Fall line- Shortest distance down a slope. The direction
perpendicular to the ground that an object ( you, rock, snow) would
fall.
• Flotation- Ability of a snowshoe to limit sinking down into soft or
deep snow
• Frame- The rigid outer structural component of a snowshoe,
usually made of wood, plastic or metal
Terms continued
•
Claw- Like a crampon but with comparatively short serrations. Claws
are an angle traction device attached to snowshoes. They give a “grip”
comparable to that provided by the webbing of traditional snowshoes
and are used in conditions where ice or steep surfaces are not
encountered.
•
Decking- Solid or webbed pieces of nylon, rawhide or rubber-like
material attached to the snowshoe frame that provides flotation for the
snowshoer
•
Heel Strap- Part of the snowshoe binding that secures the heel. It is a
strap that wraps around the back of the snowshoer’s footwear
•
Lamp Wick- A 1 ½ inch cotton woven cord (oil lamp cord) used for
binding snowshoes.
•
Pivot Rod- Attaches to the frame and allows the foot and binding to
rotate as the snowshoer
•
Tail-The rear area of a snowshoe frame
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Terms continued
• Tip or Toe- The front area of a snowshoe frame
• Toe Hole- The opening in the front decking that allows the forefront
to pivot through a complete range of motion
• Tuque- A knitted hat adorned with a tassel on the top, the
traditional headgear for snowshoers
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