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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old August 21st, 2013, 07:24 PM   #1
theDonnybrook
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Default Hobby Athlete Training Plan?

This is a question that came up by way of tangent in the Training Log post.

Basically, most of us, probably 90% of skaters, are not professional athletes, meaning we have life and obligations outside of skating like employment, family, and other social activities. My question is how to develop a training plan when you can't really stick to a specific set of days per week to train or even work out?

Right now, my schedule changed so that I won't get a work out on Monday, could get a work out most weeks on Tuesday, will likely work out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, will work out on Saturday and Sunday. I train for marathon distance on speed skates, so I have used Publow's "Speed on Skates" as a guide, but it is hard to adapt his 5-6 day plans to this hit or miss schedule. This week, for example, I couldn't work out Monday due to a schedule conflict, I couldn't work out Tuesday due to family obligations, will likely do a tempo skate (shooting to average 15-16mph) Wednesday, intervals Thursday, rest Friday, do a long hill skate Saturday, and a recovery skate on Sunday. Will it work? Is it ideal? Are there better options?
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 01:57 AM   #2
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Will you skate in the rain? That adds a whole "other" factor!
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:12 AM   #3
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Say!

And I would skate them in a boat!
And I would skate them with a goat...
And I will skate them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good so good you see!

So I will skate them in a box.
And I will skate them with a fox.
And I will skate them in a house.
And I will skate them with a mouse.
And I will skate them here and there.
Say! I will skate them ANYWHERE!
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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This week, for example, I couldn't work out Monday due to a schedule conflict, I couldn't work out Tuesday due to family obligations, will likely do a tempo skate (shooting to average 15-16mph) Wednesday, intervals Thursday, rest Friday, do a long hill skate Saturday, and a recovery skate on Sunday. Will it work? Is it ideal? Are there better options?
DB, what are you fretting over? Conventional logic says train 5 days a week with two rest days. So, "S" happens, and this week you have an extra rest day. Are there better options, you ask? Sure there are.
FIrst and foremost, performance is maximized if you are relaxed and confident. So, go with it, and make it work, you are strong enough to adapt to a little challenge like this, and buck up on those opportunities you do have to work in a world class training sessions. Will you? Well, you sure as hell won't if you fret over it. And after all, it is frankly better to be a little undertrained but be fresh and eager than to overtrain and be wiped out. So use this to your benefit.
Next thing to consider is that all your workouts do not need to be on skates. Cross-training may just be more do-able to fit into your schedule, and if you're like me, it's just a whole lot easier to fit in a quick run at lunch time or before work, than to skate. The bike on the trainer is a good late night substitute workout. Or maybe some squats, lunges, abs, and plyos in the living room after everyone goes to bed. These are very real alternatives, or can be used to supplement your on-skate workouts.
When you have kids that are really young, finding the time is difficult, and it does get a whole lot easier as they get a little older, so keep the faith. That is a whole discussion unto itself. There are many really effective ways to structure time to incorporate a workout, with a little imagination.
Lastly, if you have to forego workouts, forego the least important ones. In general, the quality workouts yield the greatest benefit, so fit those in, and drop out the long distance or recovery sessions, if you have to.
Hope you can keep it light and keep it fun, like it's supposed to be. What do you think?
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Old August 27th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Mine is simple. Bowl skating is merely going out and playing and doing tricks. I simply go "play" every day at lunch, never taking it too seriously. Usually it's just me, my headphones and some kids on skateboards and BMX bikes.

The occasional, "Wow How long have you been skating?" question merely cements my lust for rolling. When a kid younger than your own son asks you if you're a pro, or if you're sponsored really does something for your ego.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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O/I, thanks. I have been sitting on a response partly to evaluate why this question is stuck in my mind. I also have goals for what I want to do with my skating, like personal best marathon goals, etc. Also, with the ebbing of this sport, it seems like most of the pro skaters in the USA all have to be, to some degree, hobby athletes, because skating doesn't provide a viable living, unless your Jimmy B. who makes boots, too. Partly, I am curious to know how the top marathon guys train, but also to get ideas for what I can do with my limited time. I agree quality is better than quantity. I think, for the foreseeable future, that needs to be my modus operandi. Like F2B, I need to just go out and have fun, but with something that resembles a plan and a purpose. Eventually, I might get to skate with the fast guys.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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I keep reminding myself that it sure beats the hell out of sweating at the gym with the fatties!
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Old August 30th, 2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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For what it's worth...I am very time crunched so I have had to do various things. One is if I am going to miss a skate for some reason I will use ten minute breaks to do dry land drills. One legged squats. Balance with non support leg out a few inches off the ground and with my support leg hold for as long as I can, then rest walk it off a bit and do it again with a squat. Oh you will feel it and it is not so easy to do properly. Stay in low speedskater form while doing this exercise. Believe me it has improved my skating speed and endurance 100 fold. My technique has improved so much that I can now look at a video of me and not cry. Actually feel proud.

I looked at the videos of Joey Mantia who just looks awesome skating and try to do his exercises just as slow as he does. He pays such a great amount of focus on technique, so that is what I mimic.

The great thing in doing this is ten to fifteen minutes goes a long way to self improvement, repeat this two to three times daily and you will have a whole new skating experience the next time you put on your skates and go for a long one.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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For what it's worth...I am very time crunched so I have had to do various things. One is if I am going to miss a skate for some reason I will use ten minute breaks to do dry land drills. One legged squats. Balance with non support leg out a few inches off the ground and with my support leg hold for as long as I can, then rest walk it off a bit and do it again with a squat. Oh you will feel it and it is not so easy to do properly. Stay in low speedskater form while doing this exercise. Believe me it has improved my skating speed and endurance 100 fold. My technique has improved so much that I can now look at a video of me and not cry. Actually feel proud.
I want to make sure I understand this exercise and am doing it correctly. You start standing up, and on one leg lower yourself into speed skating squat. The leg not in use is kept straight and extends to the side (like a side push) but held off the ground a couple of inches. Is that correct?

Sounds like a great exercise. May be worth adding in some wall sits, too.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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You got it!

I promise you it will improve your skating tremendously and it takes such little time. It also was very hard for me to do and still is actually.

I play little games with it. One is I try to hold it for as long as I can. Big hurt. Then do short little squats developing into deep squats.

If you can do ten minute jaunts and do this a few times a day if you can. Once you've done this for a few weeks go out and you will fly.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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DB, time to transition into race mode, with Duluth just 2 weeks out. You want to start lightening up on your volume in a definite, significant way. That needs to start now. You've put in the long sessions and high training volume by now, and have built your endurance (or not, and if not, it's too late to start doing anything about it now). So, in the goal of being fresh, passionate, rested, and hungry on race day, you need to keep training, but ease up just enough so that the tired, overworked, stressed out feeling is replaced with a sense of 'holy-crap, do i ever want to do this!' Trust me, if you just go short and sweet for the next two weeks, you will feel like you can do anything, and want to.
Mentally, think low-stress and confident.
At this stage, you can't save a bad season of training (no matter what you do), but you can screw up an otherwise good season of training (if you were to over-do it, or stress yourself out).
Don't take on any new plyos at this time. Bad timing for resistance training, even if it is resistance training using your own body weight.
Enjoy the next two weeks and be looking forward to the race!
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 01:59 AM   #12
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OI, that is basically my plan. We got a group of guys (which around here means there were 4 of us) to skate today on our long route, 22.5 miles, and we did it in about 90 minutes, with a 5 minute break in the middle. Good pace, about 14.8 mph. Felt good. I am taking tomorrow off, will do a light, short skate, Wednesday, a tempo Thursday, another long skate Saturday, take Sunday and Monday off, bike Tuesday, and to some easy miles Wednesday before taking Thursday and Friday next week off before race day. I am looking forward to the race, but worried I won't be able to keep up with Wave A2. I guess we will find out. I know there are always people to skate with at NSIM.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Race went well, stuck with my wave until the final hill and last .75 of a mile or so. Great race even if it was slow due to the wind.

Looking at the off-season, and taking a quality over quantity approach, I think I have devised something that might work as it has a lot of flexibility. I want my bare minimum training to be three days per week, but, if I have time, it can be expanded based on what I feel the schedule needs.

Day 1: Weights
Day 2: Dry land/Slide board
Day 3: Volume cardio

Volume cardio is a longer cardio workout or a more intense workout, depending on time. I am hoping to add LT Ice into the mix, so I can keep skating during the winter once skating inline outside is no longer an option.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 02:50 AM   #14
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Day 1: Weights
Day 2: Dry land/Slide board
Day 3: Volume cardio
That seems reasonable early in the season (assuming you are starting for next year). Drylands and slide board are kind of a mix of strength and technique, which gives you two strength days and a technique day. I would recommend high weight reps during the weight day for now.

As the season wears on, you will want to switch it up. Move from fewer high weight reps to more low weight reps on your strength day. Maybe drop the dryland/slideboard for an extra cardio. Maybe not every week, but with some frequency.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #15
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That seems reasonable early in the season (assuming you are starting for next year). Drylands and slide board are kind of a mix of strength and technique, which gives you two strength days and a technique day. I would recommend high weight reps during the weight day for now.

As the season wears on, you will want to switch it up. Move from fewer high weight reps to more low weight reps on your strength day. Maybe drop the dryland/slideboard for an extra cardio. Maybe not every week, but with some frequency.
That is the plan at the moment, lift with high weight to build power. As I get into next year, January or so, the focus will start to shift towards volume cardio, higher rep lifts and power lifts, and weighted plyos to build those fast twitch muscles for sprints. March, the shift will be more toward volume cardio, technique drills, and hopefully skating in April/May for the first race in June, if I can make Apostle Island. Otherwise, once skating starts, it will be volume miles for endurance and hills, hills, hills, to get ready for Chicagoland.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 01:32 AM   #16
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Feel free to crucify me... But total load is total load. For lifting purposes... Failure is failure, be it technical or actual. Lower weight higher reps done to an extreme is cardio. HIT, once you are prepared, will do more in less time... It is a dangerous approach so you need to work up into it so rotators and smaller muscle groups can handle the shock and awe campaign...
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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #17
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Feel free to crucify me... But total load is total load. For lifting purposes... Failure is failure, be it technical or actual. Lower weight higher reps done to an extreme is cardio. HIT, once you are prepared, will do more in less time... It is a dangerous approach so you need to work up into it so rotators and smaller muscle groups can handle the shock and awe campaign...
Lower weight that you can sustain indefinitely is cardio. I was at the gym the other day, and one woman put very low weight, put a song on her iPod, and lifted every couple of seconds for about three and a half minutes (on the machine I wanted to use), and she looked like she could keep going. That isn't what I mean.

In my terminology, low weight is weight that you could only lift about 20-25 times in a row, and you actually do it 16-20 times. This isn't so low that you are doing cardio, but it helps build lean muscle that is good for endurance. You wait about two minutes between sets.

When I say high weight, I mean weight you could not lift more than 9-10 times in a row. You do that 8 times, wait 5 minutes, and repeat. This is good for building muscle mass, increasing total strength, and building explosive strength (doing squat jumps right before these apparently helps the explosiveness even more).

My teammate lifts an amount he cannot lift more than 4-6 times, and he lifts it to that point. This builds even more explosive muscle, but when you get that close to your failure point you have to be more diligent about your lifting technique. When you are about to fail you are more likely to have bad form, which increases your chances for injury.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 01:31 PM   #18
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Lower weight that you can sustain indefinitely is cardio. I was at the gym the other day, and one woman put very low weight, put a song on her iPod, and lifted every couple of seconds for about three and a half minutes (on the machine I wanted to use), and she looked like she could keep going. That isn't what I mean.

In my terminology, low weight is weight that you could only lift about 20-25 times in a row, and you actually do it 16-20 times. This isn't so low that you are doing cardio, but it helps build lean muscle that is good for endurance. You wait about two minutes between sets.

When I say high weight, I mean weight you could not lift more than 9-10 times in a row. You do that 8 times, wait 5 minutes, and repeat. This is good for building muscle mass, increasing total strength, and building explosive strength (doing squat jumps right before these apparently helps the explosiveness even more).

My teammate lifts an amount he cannot lift more than 4-6 times, and he lifts it to that point. This builds even more explosive muscle, but when you get that close to your failure point you have to be more diligent about your lifting technique. When you are about to fail you are more likely to have bad form, which increases your chances for injury.
GRRRRRRRRR!!! That's a pisser. I always stand directly in their line of sight and start tapping my watch, looking directly at them. Then when they get the message and turn off the tunes, I ask in a polite voice, "Mind if I work a set in? I have to go back to work today."

Mix it up. I always do my light sets (all the way around) for the old warm up drill. Then crank it down and get my high sets in thereafter. Some use the pyramid approach.
1. Light set
2. Medium set
3. Heavy set
4. Max set
5. Heavy set
6. Medium set
7. Light set.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #19
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Heavy lifts for me usually involve weight that I can only lift 4-6 reps, and towards the end of last off season, that was a nearly 200 pound Romanian Dead Lift. I expect to best 200 pounds easily this year, but I will need to invest in more weights. Considering switching to an olympic set so I can do power cleans. Lighter lifts tend to have weights where I max out around 15-20 reps. The goal is to start heavy, build strength, then transition to lighter weight with higher reps and build in power lifts and weighted plyos, like squat hops with the bar. I have also had good experience with tuck jumps before or after a squat set, and my late off-season training this year alternated between weight lifts and plyos that activated similar muscle groups.

I slacked pretty big on cardio, though, so I spent a lot of the early season trying to rebuild my cardio. That mistake I want to avoid this year, and stay on the cardio train throughout the off season.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #20
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No question, once you pass technical failure you are risking injury... And I do it... Not smart. Muscles don't get any longer than your parents made them. Muscle gets bigger or smaller, not really longer or leaner. There are plenty of ways to make muscles bigger. 20 reps to failure is a longer route to the same end, failure. For safety's sake, I like the old standard, lift what you can do 8 times. When you can do it 12 times add weight and go back to 8. Do 2 sets. Repeat indefinitely. I use a lot of HIT myself, I like it. Sets of 8/6/4 and 6/4/2. You will get stronger alright. I do these with power lifts more, squats, deadlifts and bench... Ploys are working different systems. A ton of what I do lifting, like anyone else, has limited utility to skating. Ploys are the opposite. I didn't focus enough on mod intensity ploys last winter. I did get after endurance and it was a big help, but I removed some targeted core and back cable lifts because I was getting tendonitis and I felt it in my back all season. They are going back in. I am working on my winter plan now.
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