Tell us in brief who you are?
Hi, my name is Eric Marcotte – I live in Arizona, in the United States. I am a Doctor of Chiropractic as well as a professional cyclist for the pro-continental team Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling. I’ve been in clinical practice for nearly 11 years now, mostly caring for the endurance community which includes cyclists, triathletes, runners among others. I’ve also been racing at a professional level for this will be my fifth year, and highly competitive prior. I’ve won a National Championship in the United States PRO road race, as well as the Criterium disciplines. I’ve also done the same at the elite Amateur level.
Are you a outdoors nut? Does anything make you stay inside apart from sleeping?
This is funny because it’s true!! I’d also say that at my office caring for patients is indoors. I quite enjoy my time outside, as it is something I go to so regularly and helps calm my mind and put things in perspective.
Why did you choose roller skiing to be your conditioning sports? **
Because of my profession, as a health care provider caring for and testing endurance athletes, I saw the regular imbalances and issues that comes with being so good at only one thing. That sets us up for issues in the long run, and one of the biggest thing is the lack of coordinated movements, especially in the lateral movements.
So, we are regularly getting patients to do band work to regain strength in the core and trying to help stabilize the area, so they can stabilize, generate, and dissipate the forces well. Instead of overwhelming the weak areas. I saw the Marwe roller skis checking a lot of the boxes with coordinated movements and the stimulus of lateral stability.
One caveat, it’s that as you know, technique is key – and if you have weakness or injury, doing this complex of a movement pattern may strengthen or reiterate a poor pattern.
Why should one start roller skiing?
- I would go back to my question above for starters – it can help set up an amazing base of what a true core is, done correctly.
- Another is that it can help maintain or improve cardiovascular fitness as it is a technique that includes virtually every muscle in the body.
- Getting outdoors is always great way to work out and you don’t have to pay for a gym!!
What kind of gear do you use for roller skiing ?
I use the Marwe 620XC skating skis with SNS bindings, Salomon S-lab skate boots and Yoko poles. Usually I wear my team gear while training, of when it’s hot in the summer in Arizona, I may just go out in a pair of shorts and no shirt 32°C is hot!!
How should one stretch and flex their muscles and body after a workout?
Of course, I cannot give individual medical advice, but I can give a little tip or hints that may help people navigate staying well and ahead of injury.
Let’s say you get done with your roller ski training, and you do a regular stretch routine. Most people do this to say “lengthen” the muscles – ok, that makes sense, but the length is predetermined – the tension of the muscle is really what you’re working on. With you in control of the contraction and relaxations of your muscles to accomplish movements (like skiing, picking up the garbage, running, even simply waving hello), you can turn muscles on and off to accomplish these things.
So, one should question, why can’t I turn off the tension in a specific muscle? (Like a hip flexor, hamstrings, low back etc.)
Most, not all, of the time it may come down to that the muscle is either staying tense to provide stability for you to accomplish the skiing, or it is staying tight to protect you from using another area that may be irritated or injured.
So, when you do your stretch routine, do a very comprehensive one, that involves many planes of direction – so you may check in with what muscles or areas are tight, have lost range of motion, or are irritated/injured – that way you can begin addressing these things.
And as you do, those areas of tension and restriction will begin to let up if you are on top of the problem. See, therefore it’s important to understand these things and not reiterate a bad habit or pattern of movement just to exercise.
Do you occasionally ski cross country, like when you were younger?
When we are young, we would occasionally ski into our camp/cabin in the winter. But it wasn’t a lot and it wasn’t training. In the winter of 2007/2008 I skied from November to March 5 days a week because of where I was living and working. It was all that was available. I really enjoyed it and then looked to get the Marwe roller skis after that to keep it apart of my training.
Have you considered tri/penthatlon or roller ski biathlon racing?
I have of course, because I am competitive by nature. Perhaps when I step back from racing professionally on the bike I will look more into it. But there isn’t a lot of it near me currently.
Tell us a little about your roller skiing routes and routines
For sure it’s pretty much the same route, it’s a great circuit that I choose as it has varied terrain, and you must know in the USA drivers are crazy!! So, this is a safe route. I usually do 1:30-1:45hrs each time I go. Probably 20-30+ Kilometers and 200-300 meters of climbing.
Do you check the weather before skiing for hard winds or even thunder storms?
You are correct, it is rare to rain where I am. So, I don’t check weather. Even if it’s rain, I go. I love it that much to start my day.
Weather-wise, is summer your favorite time of the year?
I think that because I am in Arizona where we do not get snow, it may look like summer a lot. But I really like all the seasons as they bring about change and can let you appreciate the differences.
Is cycling still your passion, do your cycling routes differ from your roller skiing ones?
Right now, yes, it is my passion and what I focus on. I have goals and other ambitions when I can spend time exploring them. For sure the amount of time varies greatly for the bike versus the skis.
You enjoy electronic music during training. Any Finnish artists that suit you taste?
I’d say it is a lot of techno I haven’t found any yet that hit that same unique tastes, but I have found some do sets from some of my favorite artists playing in Finland.
Finland is far from AZ. Tell us three things what come to your mind about Finland ?
My grandfather was from Finland before he moved to the United States, my ethnicity is Finnish, French and Swedish. So, we grew up taking saunas and jumping in the water or snow while doing them. It is a place I’d love to spend time in and look forward to.
Thank you, Eric, for your interview, and all the great information from a very professional sense of view! Good luck to the coming cycling season and keep on roller skiin´ Marwe – The feeling of skiing.
Folks, do check out Eric´s Instagram @ericdmarcotte, all the images here are from his account, and taken mostly by him. Also, his other social media platforms will interest anyone who wants to know more about sports and health benefits and issues related to it. And of course, moving on big and small wheels!