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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 1st, 2010, 05:20 PM   #1
Myuu
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Default 20 days to shave half an hour off--suggestions?

I'm fairly new to the skating scene, but there's an upcoming race that I've been eyeing of late (Mt. Carmel Fitness Challenge), which I've just registered for. It then occurred to me to check last year's finishing times...

...

I skated my first (and only) half-marathon a couple of months ago to end up with the somewhat (but not unexpected!) fast-as-frozen-molasses finish of 1:27:andchange. Obviously, that's not going to cut it for this one (the fastest time was a third of that and no one came in at over an hour). I have 20 days remaining to me to gear up for this race, but due to several overriding academic factors, not a whole lot of time to hit the trails. On the other hand, I do have more or less 24-hour access to two local gyms. I'll have the time to, at most, unfortunately, skate twice a week--once with the short track club and once outside on the trails, barring rain (it's a good 40-minute drive).

I'm not expecting any miracles, but if you guys have good suggestions of things I can do (targeted or otherwise--other than, say, "lose 70lbs, buy some industrial velcro, and find a pair of nitro rockets"), I'm all ears.



Note: Prior time established on 80mm rec skates. I anticipate skating on my 100mm Jets this time, but I'm still very much in the break-in process. Current prospective outdoor route. Oh, weird. If anyone gets that to work, let me know. It's pretty much a giant chunk of the north coast inland trail between elyria and kipton, OH.
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Last edited by Myuu; August 1st, 2010 at 06:34 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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I might be very well wrong here, but no amount of off-skate training will significantly improve your speed if you are not proficient/familiar enough on your new skates... Try to find some closer trails and put more time on your skates instead of gym.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gabi View Post
I might be very well wrong here, but no amount of off-skate training will significantly improve your speed if you are not proficient/familiar enough on your new skates... Try to find some closer trails and put more time on your skates instead of gym.
The bolded part is what I've been having trouble finding for months. Despite this city being surrounded by some 60-miles of paved trails, I have yet to find one that either a) isn't ridden with potholes or b) doesn't meet intersections with death-inspiring downhills (or c) isn't actually 'paved' with gravel).

I'm beginning to contemplate hitting the local outdoor running track even if it is that soft spongy mess... then again maybe that'd be a great exercise in wheel-eating quad burning...
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Old August 1st, 2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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BTW, there is absolutely no shame running a half maraton in 1h27min on 80mm rec skates...
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Old August 1st, 2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gabi View Post
BTW, there is absolutely no shame running a half maraton in 1h27min on 80mm rec skates...
There is if you came in behind a guy on foot....
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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When you skate, skate in the new skates only.

Ride a stationary bike.

Use the elliptical if you can stand it, but don't hold the handles. Put your hands behind your back.

Do your best and have a good time. Don't worry about the clock. It will take care of itself if you work hard and enjoy yourself.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:39 PM   #7
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Default Skate at or faster than the race pace you want to achieve

In order to dramatically shift your race pace this much faster in 20 days, your only option is to spend the maximum possible amount of your skate workout session miles skating AT OR FASTER than the desired race pace.
Your only hope is to rapidly acclimate yourself to this faster pace ASAP. This will require a minimum of 3 sessions per week of at least 13 miles, where, for example, at the start you may skate several miles at (or a bit faster) than the desired race pace or however long you can handle it, and then you back off to as fast as you can still manage to go to complete the rest of the 13 mile (or more) session. You then steadily extend the distance at the start of the workout where you maintain the pace of equal or faster than planned race pace. If you put in enough sessions and ratchet up the race pace portion of the sessions steadily, you can achieve this goal.
Find a closer access loop that is 1-2 miles long and where you can skate maintaining a pace without much outside interference to slow you down. Establish timing checkpoints along this loop so that you can monitor your speed closely. Make it a game of steadily hitting your time checkpoints in slightly shorter intervals of time. Good Luck!

I just finished using this technique for 2 months to train, and I completed my first 1/2 marathon ON QUADS in Chicago => time 1:15 (adjusted for dropped water bottle loop back and getting messed up on the course route).
This was a windy day on a hilly course too. BTW, I am 61 years old.
You can do it!

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Old August 2nd, 2010, 03:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabi View Post
BTW, there is absolutely no shame running a half maraton in 1h27min on 80mm rec skates...
OK, no shame, and a lot depends on the course and the fact this was your first time.
Not much time, but working on your form is most important. Knee bend, pushing to the side (NOT BACK) with all your wheels (helps some to think of pushing with the heel)
Try to think of keeping nose knees and toes inline when pushing.
Control the upper body, no twisting.
would help if you could learn to draft behind others, but that takes more time.
In the gym you can work on legs.
I would not worry about taking to much time off, just think about doing better then last time.
MOST IMPORTANT: let us know how you do!
Oh, and keep your weight off your toes so you don't trip on small stones etc.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 05:30 AM   #9
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Speed work is how you do it - Not so much increasing your distance. Making no assumptions of your shape, or abilities,

But yeah, interval training - So you do say, 8 miles (since you are training for a half marathon), and say every other half mile go all out like, 110 percent of your normal pace, then relax

Seriously, speed work is the key. You obviously can handle the distance, so that shouldnt be where your focus in training is
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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I would say that you are trying to do two thing at once that are not mutually compatible - breaking in speedskates is a timely process, and right now you need all the time on skates that you can get. Forget the gym for now. The gym is a good for honing your training, but it is no substitute for time spent on skates, and many very good and speedy skaters have never set foot in a gym. Pick whichever skates that you can skate the most in, strap them onto your feet and just skate as much as you can, as often as you can. Whether or not you will eventually hit your target or not, this is the only way to give yourself a chance.

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Originally Posted by bubbaskate View Post
But yeah, interval training - So you do say, 8 miles (since you are training for a half marathon), and say every other half mile go all out like, 110 percent of your normal pace, then relax
I'd argue that interval training is more important the faster you get and are more serious about racing. But 1hr for half marathon is pretty relaxed, and the focus should just be on maintaining good form at a consistent pace, not the sort of race-related shenanigans that concerns more advanced skaters.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 07:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myuu View Post
I skated my first (and only) half-marathon ... finish of 1:27:andchange.
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilzzz View Post
But 1hr for half marathon is pretty relaxed,
Hey, good news, myuu. A one hour half marathon is a relaxed pace. So just go out there and relax, and I am sure that you will finish in under an hour. Great advice. Make sure not to work so hard like you did for that 1:27 finish. Sheesh.

As far as new speed skates vs old 80mm, I was faster in the speed skates the very first time I went out, as compared to 80mm skates. Maybe the same is true for you.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 07:32 PM   #12
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I think it you put your mind to it, Myuu, you can do it. It's good to have a goal to push you in the right direction. As Bill said, I think there will be a noticeable jump just with the speed skates. Put in some hours before the race and it's a reachable goal.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
When you skate, skate in the new skates only.
Check!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Ride a stationary bike.

Use the elliptical if you can stand it, but don't hold the handles. Put your hands behind your back.
I tried this the other day and I think there may be some hope for me yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Do your best and have a good time. Don't worry about the clock. It will take care of itself if you work hard and enjoy yourself.
Will do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadillo View Post
In order to dramatically shift your race pace this much faster in 20 days, your only option is to spend the maximum possible amount of your skate workout session miles skating AT OR FASTER than the desired race pace.
Your only hope is to rapidly acclimate yourself to this faster pace ASAP. This will require a minimum of 3 sessions per week of at least 13 miles, where, for example, at the start you may skate several miles at (or a bit faster) than the desired race pace or however long you can handle it, and then you back off to as fast as you can still manage to go to complete the rest of the 13 mile (or more) session. You then steadily extend the distance at the start of the workout where you maintain the pace of equal or faster than planned race pace. If you put in enough sessions and ratchet up the race pace portion of the sessions steadily, you can achieve this goal.
Find a closer access loop that is 1-2 miles long and where you can skate maintaining a pace without much outside interference to slow you down. Establish timing checkpoints along this loop so that you can monitor your speed closely. Make it a game of steadily hitting your time checkpoints in slightly shorter intervals of time. Good Luck!

I just finished using this technique for 2 months to train, and I completed my first 1/2 marathon ON QUADS in Chicago => time 1:15 (adjusted for dropped water bottle loop back and getting messed up on the course route).
This was a windy day on a hilly course too. BTW, I am 61 years old.
You can do it!

-Armadillo
Yeah, as much as I'd like to have it just magically happen, I do have to put a lot of work into it. 1:15 in Chicago with all those hills is epic in my book. I did manage to find a much closer loop which is both more and less ideal than what I had in mind previously. Downsides: It's 0.29 miles with light pedestrian traffic, but completely flat. Also, people have been accosted/robbed/raped in that area (which is ordinarily quite safe, I'm told). Benefits: I pretty much never have to stop and there is 0 chance of being hit by a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowsk8 View Post
OK, no shame, and a lot depends on the course and the fact this was your first time.
Not much time, but working on your form is most important. Knee bend, pushing to the side (NOT BACK) with all your wheels (helps some to think of pushing with the heel)
Try to think of keeping nose knees and toes inline when pushing.
Control the upper body, no twisting.
would help if you could learn to draft behind others, but that takes more time.
In the gym you can work on legs.
I would not worry about taking to much time off, just think about doing better then last time.
MOST IMPORTANT: let us know how you do!
Oh, and keep your weight off your toes so you don't trip on small stones etc.
I'm glad you mentioned this. I have a tendency to zone out, but today I tried to keep all of these things in mind. I think it worked out pretty well today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbaskate View Post
Speed work is how you do it - Not so much increasing your distance. Making no assumptions of your shape, or abilities,

But yeah, interval training - So you do say, 8 miles (since you are training for a half marathon), and say every other half mile go all out like, 110 percent of your normal pace, then relax

Seriously, speed work is the key. You obviously can handle the distance, so that shouldnt be where your focus in training is
Well, I can barely handle the distance, if that first race is any indication. I was dying at mile 10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilzzz View Post
I would say that you are trying to do two thing at once that are not mutually compatible - breaking in speedskates is a timely process, and right now you need all the time on skates that you can get. Forget the gym for now. The gym is a good for honing your training, but it is no substitute for time spent on skates, and many very good and speedy skaters have never set foot in a gym. Pick whichever skates that you can skate the most in, strap them onto your feet and just skate as much as you can, as often as you can. Whether or not you will eventually hit your target or not, this is the only way to give yourself a chance.

I'd argue that interval training is more important the faster you get and are more serious about racing. But 1hr for half marathon is pretty relaxed, and the focus should just be on maintaining good form at a consistent pace, not the sort of race-related shenanigans that concerns more advanced skaters.
Hmmmm. I've been noticing that my cardiovascular health isn't the greatest and both my endurance and quad strength are a little on the miserable side. The short track team had me doing basic position drills/wall sits for a while, but they killed my knees, so really the gym was just a focused quad-building exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Hey, good news, myuu. A one hour half marathon is a relaxed pace. So just go out there and relax, and I am sure that you will finish in under an hour. Great advice. Make sure not to work so hard like you did for that 1:27 finish. Sheesh.

As far as new speed skates vs old 80mm, I was faster in the speed skates the very first time I went out, as compared to 80mm skates. Maybe the same is true for you.
It would seem so, but I think I'm still getting used to them. I'm a little terrified of attempting crosses in these, but then again, I threw myself into the ground the last two times I tried that in rec skates so I may have become a little asphalt-shy. Working on it, though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skaterdog View Post
I think it you put your mind to it, Myuu, you can do it. It's good to have a goal to push you in the right direction. As Bill said, I think there will be a noticeable jump just with the speed skates. Put in some hours before the race and it's a reachable goal.
I think I might just be able to pull this off. Or get a time not that far off from an hour.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:49 AM   #14
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It would seem so, but I think I'm still getting used to them. I'm a little terrified of attempting crosses in these, but then again, I threw myself into the ground the last two times I tried that in rec skates so I may have become a little asphalt-shy. Working on it, though!
I think I might just be able to pull this off. Or get a time not that far off from an hour.
The good news, for most out door distance races you might not need to cross over, (OK, speed skaters I know it helps to keep as much speed as possible but she is not trying to win, just do better.)
If you feel you can't handle them don't risk a fall, you have a long way to make up the speed, not like indoor that is all about the turns.

I think you can pull it off too, just having done one before lets you know what to expect. The new skates will help if you get used to them in time.
Good luck and KEEP US POSTED.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Hey, good news, myuu. A one hour half marathon is a relaxed pace. So just go out there and relax, and I am sure that you will finish in under an hour. Great advice. Make sure not to work so hard like you did for that 1:27 finish. Sheesh.
Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your post?
My point is that you can be more relaxed AND faster if you spend the time on your skates and practice to become a better skater as compared to a working out in the gym to become a fitter skater. There's no substitute for spending time on your skates. All the problems with those aches and quad strength that you think you can target in the gym can easily be improved just by spending the time required on your skates.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 04:51 PM   #16
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My point is that you can be more relaxed AND faster if you spend the time on your skates and practice to become a better skater as compared to a working out in the gym to become a fitter skater. There's no substitute for spending time on your skates.
See, that is a much nicer thing to say, and much more helpful. No need to make disparaging comments about someone's current level of achievement.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 10:35 PM   #17
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With 20 days, practice chasing down someone who you can draft that is 30 min faster! Once you catch him/her do not loose them.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:11 AM   #18
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With 20 days, practice chasing down someone who you can draft that is 30 min faster! Once you catch him/her do not loose them.
Best advice yet, seriously. Find a big tall fat guy who can relax his way to a 1-hour half marathon. Finding the right person to draft is crucial. Be ready to start fast, so that you can get on to a good line, and so that if you fall off that line, you can catch the next line that comes by.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #19
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Yes...look for the fattest guy you can find and ask him how fast he can do the half. You might cut more than a half hour off.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #20
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Best advice yet, seriously. Find a big tall fat guy who can relax his way to a 1-hour half marathon. Finding the right person to draft is crucial. Be ready to start fast, so that you can get on to a good line, and so that if you fall off that line, you can catch the next line that comes by.
And make sure that the big tall fat guy knows it is ok if someone skates close behind you (aka- experienced speed skater). It doesn't help if they freak on you and keep moving out of the way so you have to play cat and mouse.
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