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The Importance of Self Care

Mar 23, 2020 3:16:08 AM

Clarke crosses the finish line in first place at the Times-Union 5K in Jacksonville, FL back in January 2020. Photo Credit: Used with permission from Times-Union Half Marathon & 5K.

With all of the mayhem this pandemic is creating it is important to take a step back from the news, negativity, and stress. Stay aware of what's going on, but take some time to unplug and clear your mind. It is now typical that wherever you go places are closed and no one is to be seen. Although this eerie sight has become the norm, birds are chirping, the sun is still shining, and there should be even more of a motivation to get out and do something while still keeping a safe physical distance.

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1 Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Expert Tips Running By Clarke Shedd

Meet Clarke Shedd

Mar 22, 2020 5:20:00 AM

Meet Clarke Shedd

Hometown: Shelburne, VT

Years of Experience: 10 years of Running experience from trail/road racing, training, and coaching. I've been at Skirack since spring of 2019 within sales of running shoes, apparel and accessories. I am also the Assistant Cross Country Running Coach at South Burlington high school.

Certifications and Awards: Winner of Jacksonville, FL Times Union 5k (2020). Top Finisher awards from: Race To The Top of Vermont, Catamount Ultra 25k, Pine St. Mile, and Green Mountain Half Marathon

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Comments | Posted in Meet Our Staff Running By Clarke Shedd

A bike fitted properly will be more comfortable, be less prone to causing you injury and be more efficient. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

All cyclists can benefit from having a bike fit. That’s right, everyone. Whether you get paid to ride a bike to riding your bike casually on the bike path, a bike fitted properly will be more comfortable, be less prone to causing you injury and be more efficient.

Would you ride your bike more often if it were more comfortable? Ever think about that? Does your posterior bother you on a short ride? Do you experience any numbness, aches or pains while riding? Are these aches or pains only present on the bike or aggravated by the bike?

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Comments | Posted in Bicycling Expert Tips By Sean Whipkey

Selecting a Marathon Training Plan

Feb 20, 2020 2:32:37 AM

The 2019 Vermont City Marathon. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

If you have recently decided to run a marathon this spring, you will know the uncertainty of figuring out how to transform yourself from your current state into someone who can run 26.2 miles and maybe even stand up at a BBQ later. There’s no other race that inspires the same type of equal parts giddiness and terror. In my experience, locking down a training plan that works for you is the best antidote to some of these nerves.

After a two year hiatus, I am finding myself in this exact situation. From May 2017 to May 2018 I trained for 3 marathons. My plan for the second two looked quite different from the first and very extremely contrasting results. While I trained for my first, the Vermont City Marathon, I was doing a lot of speedwork with a track club in Boston. These workouts involved me running all out for shorter repeats like 800m. I built up to 20 miles on my own and continued to run hard on Tuesdays with the club. When Memorial Day weekend rolled around I ran 3:49 and felt like death for the last 8 miles. Shortly after this, I left the club and started training on my own.

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Looking out to Camel's Hump after skinning up Mt. Mansfield. Photo Credit: Jake Whitlock.

Alright so your cool skier friends have finally convinced you to give Alpine Touring or “AT” for short, a go. So, what should you do first? Well if you don’t have a set up then the first thing you should do is go to Skirack at 85 Main St. in Burlington to get your gear.

1. Boot Fitting & Ski Selection:

Take time to sit down with a Skirack boot fitter and let them help you decide what boot is best for your foot. Keep an open mind when it comes to brands and models. Even though your friends may have recommended an awesome touring boot, it may not agree with your foot profile. Listen to the boot fitters’ suggestions and work with them to get your fit dialed in. We can also recommend a great ski and binding that best suits your skier type. Ideally, we would want to go with a lighter ski to make the uphills a little less strenuous but if you still want that hard charging heavy ski - it’s up to you!

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Peering out across Colorado mountains from Leadville, CO. Photo Credit: Nic MacCulloch.

I remember setting down my first ever skin track in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine. We rode the King Pine lift up to the ridge that connects over to Burnt Mountain via a trail called Golden Road. From here, we transitioned our splitboards into touring mode and set out along the ridgeline. This first transition for me was unlike anything my normal snowboarding career had prepared me for. Moving my bindings around. Applying skins to my splitboard?! Riding skis?! I probably spent a solid 20 minutes on this first “transition”. That was 5 years ago, and since then I have dialed in my transition time and general skills as a backcountry traveler.

Here are 6 areas of focus to help you get more confident and efficient as a splitboarder:

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Chloe and Sara take a break from (having fun) cross country skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

My job at the Skirack is to help you have fun doing things outdoors, and that is rewarding for me.

Yes, I’m a gearhead. I love the things I sell, and I always have, but I never lose sight of the fact that in the end, it’s not about the stuff. It’s about the experience you have outside playing with the stuff. If you have fun, and do it more and more, then I have done my job, and that feels good.

You can be a gearhead too, and many people do enjoy the buying part of the process. However, my advice is that before you go to purchase equipment, take the time to visualize that part of the overall experience that gives you the most satisfaction and fun, then set out to maximize that part.

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A view of Kumbhalgarh Fort (left) and a Tea Hike in Munnar (right). Photo Credit: Jon Kohn.

Last January my family and I spent 6 months living and traveling in India. My wife Abby is a South Asian Historian at the University of Vermont, was on sabbatical, sponsored by a Fulbright Scholarship. Accompanying us was my wife’s nephew Ross who would become like a big brother to our son Zachary. We lived in Mumbai where Zach attended kindergarten and Ross 10th grade at the American School. The weather in India varies by region, ranging from triple digits and humidity to snow and cold in the Himalayas. In Mumbai, the temperatures range from the 70’s to low 80’s in January progressively climbing toward the high 90’s with increasing humidity hitting 80% as the monsoons approached in mid-June.

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In 1969, twin brothers Zandy and John Wheeler, along with a group of UVM ski bums opened up a small town ski shop and called it "Skirack".

50 years has seen a lot of changes in gear - do you remember leather boots and straight skis? What about the day-glow days?

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Comments | Posted in News Videos History By Skirack

2020 Craftsbury Marathon Waxing Tips. Photo courtesy of Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

It is time for the Craftsbury Marathon! Arguably the biggest cross country ski marathon in the Northeast, this weekend's event is shaping up to be a great time with ample snow, moderate temperatures, and the outstanding grooming Craftsbury is so well-known for. Regardless of your race distance or experience level, you will want some great wax on your skis to make the most of the event. The wax tips below are based on products that Skirack carries in-store. Many staff are racers and waxers themselves and can help provide even more guidance for interested competitors.

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