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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:03 PM   #21
ice princess
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I'm wondering what tactics and behaviors the rec/fit skaters consider OK or not OK. I wonder what kind of cooperation could be initiated and cultivated during the race. During a race last year one of the pack leaders took it upon himself to encourage the pack to keep 'fresh legs' pulling and it worked out well for everyone. This year it seems the skaters didn't want to hear anything from anyone... they were content to have their seat on the bus and ride it to the finish line.
Don't expect anything in a rec/fitness wave. The only sure thing is that everyone awake on the last mile The most not even know how to efficient rotate and keep the pace high.

All I usually do is:
1. good start from the front
2. lead as you can but don't overpace
3. after the lead, don't step back too late in to the pace line
4. avoid crashes

Last time even a start from the 2nd line was bad, 'cuz many rec skaters (as me in earlier years ) don't accelerate hard enough. So if there are fast guys in front, it will be hard to catch up if you lose at the start.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #22
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Get aquainted with where exactly to push a person. At several NSIMs in the rec division waves of 1, 2 and higher waves, there are a lot of people that don't understand how to push. Do call it first b/c you just don't know if the person knows how to draft. I have gone as far as calling "I'm going to push you a little, just keep on skating."

And don't grab the person's water bottle in the process of pushing, push under the bottle just above the tailbone versus over it on the middle of the back. I can't tell you how many times I got pushed.... well shoved downward... with an open palm to the middle of the back and catching me offguard causing me to catch myself from toppling forward. Usually happens from a bigger guy who is afraid to touch a woman from behind. Oh, and two hands to the buttocks of a woman.... not cool!!

And never, ever grab a person's water bottle, even lightly. A person did this to me once and you can bet she got a nice chewing out from me "LET GO OF MY WATER BOTTLE!" when I noticed my jersey being pulled to the side. If they fall, their reaction is to grab hold and pull me down with them. Not to mention that not only are they wheelsucking off me, but also getting a tow.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #23
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Agree with Donnybrook. At NSIM, I try to stay toward the front b/c with pacelines so long if you pull and then drop off, the train runs by and often it can be hard jumping back in. If you get stuck toward the end there is so much pushing and accordioning (slowing, catchup, slowdown, catchup) going on that it is tiring.

I also notice in the rec/fit divisions that you really have to look for people to match strides with. Everyone has a different technique, but the skaters that kick their skate up behind them before setdown makes for a more difficult draft vs the push to the side. I have had to increase distance from what I usually draft to keep from getting my shin clipped.

Also, be wary of those breakaways and know when to jump. I have often seen people jump out of the paceline and skate ahead, and then peeter out and our paceline would pass them again.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #24
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but the skaters that kick their skate up behind them before setdown makes for a more difficult draft vs the push to the side. I have had to increase distance from what I usually draft to keep from getting my shin clipped
on the other hand... I skate with folks that come out of long track ice and we practice long pushes with a 'D' recovery to help rest the leg. I have difficulty with folks using short quick choppy side-only strides. We call them 'grinders'. When my friends and I sync up stride we draft every bit as tight as side-only pushers.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 04:42 AM   #25
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on the other hand... I skate with folks that come out of long track ice and we practice long pushes with a 'D' recovery to help rest the leg. I have difficulty with folks using short quick choppy side-only strides. We call them 'grinders'. When my friends and I sync up stride we draft every bit as tight as side-only pushers.
Don't think the "D" skate is what they had in mind. I have been behind some that realy kick back. I have been kicked.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #26
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Don't think the "D" skate is what they had in mind. I have been behind some that realy kick back. I have been kicked.
No, the D recovery is different. The skaters that do that keep their skates lower to the ground and glide longer. I'm talking the people who really kick up in back when they have finished a stride. I don't know why... but the skaters that do this remind me of hockey players.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #27
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No, the D recovery is different. The skaters that do that keep their skates lower to the ground and glide longer. I'm talking the people who really kick up in back when they have finished a stride. I don't know why... but the skaters that do this remind me of hockey players.
I think it has to do with the direction they push, I think. The ones who kick up high on the return tend to be pushing back more than to the side. The resulting toe flick forces the leg up higher in the air to recover. This is especially the case if they are bending over forward, as the body weight/balance displacement would require the recovery leg to lift off the ground higher to maintain balance. Just musing on a cause, though.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 07:31 PM   #28
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No, the D recovery is different. The skaters that do that keep their skates lower to the ground and glide longer. I'm talking the people who really kick up in back when they have finished a stride. I don't know why... but the skaters that do this remind me of hockey players.
That's what I was saying.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #29
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How can someone skating like that hold any sort of speed for long distances?
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Old July 18th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #30
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How can someone skating like that hold any sort of speed for long distances?
Just imagine how fast they would be with better technique!! lol.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #31
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How can someone skating like that hold any sort of speed for long distances?
Not sure they can, but some people do strange things.
If you watch any of IDN you might have seen "stand up Joe" I don't think you will ever see worse form, He's not winning but stays in the mix.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 08:23 PM   #32
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How can someone skating like that hold any sort of speed for long distances?
With drafting and practice. They do tend to be among the first dropped during a sprint, both because they are tired from overworking themselves with poor form and because their form is so inefficient they can't sprint as fast.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #33
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What kind of things do folks do to keep warmed up as they are lined up and waiting for the starting gun? I'm always concrerned about trying to push it too hard before my legs can handle it... and the start is so important to be able to get in with the right group.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #34
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Bjvircks, I rarely warm up right before the race. At the start of a lot of races, you have to stage, so even if you warm up for 20 minutes prior to staging, you are going to be cold by the time the start gun goes off. This year, I skated a little bit before getting in line at the Metrodome for that marathon. We have to go up stairs to get to the start line. There wasn't a good way to stay warm other than to keep the legs moving. I had similar experiences at Chicagoland (though the stage time is much shorter) and the MN Half. Northshore provides a similar problem with staging, but if you are in a wave closer to the front, like A or B, you don't stage as long as the numbered waves. All that to say, just keep moving to stay as warm as possible given these issues.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #35
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I am still considering doing the Northshore this year.

As a quad skater, though, I have even more issues, on top of all the ones already described in this thread relating to the normally less than stellar pace line abilities of typical rec skaters, despite my speed is being good enough to match with average rec inline skaters, and being able to match cadence too, .

Though I have skated in a pack a lot at indoor speed class with a mixed quad & inline group, outdoor pace line skating it is so much more of a challenge to make it work for me. One of the biggest issues is the fact that quad skaters, with only two axles, are so much more vulnerable to poor road surface conditions, and really need to see in advance what might be coming at them, but skating properly close in a pace line makes this impossible.

In the 2012 Chicago Inline Half Marathon, I had managed to join a pace line that was a stretch for me to stay with, but with optimum form I was hanging in for a couple miles at the early stage of the race. Then, I had the bad luck of hitting a significant dip with no warning, and right at the point where my lean was as far over my under push as I could be. I ended up going down and taking another skater down with me. I felt very guilty, and to this day, I am not sure I belong in a pace line with inliners, unless they are my friends and can be counted on to call out warnings of rolling surface issues ahead, before they arrive.

Aside from that concern, I also have the problem of the fact that inlines roll down hills faster, and they tend to gain more speed from even the gradual outdoor slopes than I do on quads. So, I have to really work extra hard on downhills to match the amount of speed gain that the inliners seem to gain while appearing to be taking it easy. This also introduces the issue that I am needing to increase my cadence while they are backing off on theirs.

Then there are the pace line erratic speed changes, for which, after slowdowns, as a quad skater, I have to work harder to recover back up to the pace speed, and inliners often leave me behind as they more easily accelerate from these frequent slowdowns.

So, it seems I always end up skating nearly the whole of my races all by my lonely self, at an ~13-14 MPH pace, and lately I don't even try joining up with more than a single other skater, since that makes it too hard for me to monitor the road conditions ahead.

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Old August 19th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #36
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Did you ever think of tuning the quads? Maybe using inline wheels (some plates looks like being able to take 80mm) but I haven't quads in my hands since 30 years. Also you could use longer axles and mount really big wheels more beside the boot, like the landroller. Then it would not be a "real" quad skate, but I would not torture myself trying to keep quad wheels (62mm?!) on a acceptable speed over 42km. Once I had one set of inline wheels down below 75mm, the speed suffered noticable. Think about "cheating" with the wheels
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #37
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well, 'Donny' maybe young punks can get away with cold starts... but us old farts pushing 60 can get hurt easily and stay hurt for too long! And so, I draw my knees up one at a time or squat down in order to keep a bit warm. I kind of wish I had 'tosser' pants.

Armadillo... from my perspective, its unfortunate you fell but I don't think you should feel guilty about it happening inside a group of ininers. Thoughts from other inliners? I have no experience around quad skaters.


NOW! back to tactics! I'm looking at the 6 mile drop at the start of NSIM and wondering if I should try to goad just a pinch more speed out of the group during this downhill. If a few good men would hang tight and all push forward just a bit I figure it would be good for a couple of 'free minutes' at almost no effort. Of course, it would have to be the right guys... comfortable in tight at speed. Do the elite work significantly on this drop or conserve strength for later?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 01:11 AM   #38
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Did you ever think of tuning the quads? Maybe using inline wheels (some plates looks like being able to take 80mm) but I haven't quads in my hands since 30 years. Also you could use longer axles and mount really big wheels more beside the boot, like the landroller. Then it would not be a "real" quad skate, but I would not torture myself trying to keep quad wheels (62mm?!) on a acceptable speed over 42km. Once I had one set of inline wheels down below 75mm, the speed suffered noticable. Think about "cheating" with the wheels
Those are called quad-lines, you can buy them.
I do know a man that skated a marathon on normal quad skates with 80mm wheels years ago. Other then the wheels rubbing the plate mounting bolts with each push they worked fine.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 02:33 AM   #39
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Did you ever think of tuning the quads? Maybe using inline wheels (some plates looks like being able to take 80mm) but I haven't quads in my hands since 30 years. Also you could use longer axles and mount really big wheels more beside the boot, like the landroller. Then it would not be a "real" quad skate, but I would not torture myself trying to keep quad wheels (62mm?!) on a acceptable speed over 42km. Once I had one set of inline wheels down below 75mm, the speed suffered noticable. Think about "cheating" with the wheels
Thanks ofr the suggestions, ice princess.

I am already rolling some of the most fully outdoor optimized quad speed skates in the world with 76mm OD and 32mm wide contact patch narrowed longboard wheels, yet still <1040 grams:



The deck height of this custom build even allows for wheels going up to 80+mm, but weight goes up fast, and benefit starts to drop off beyond 76mm.

Quads wheels need enough surface contact width to produce sufficient grip to handle the more laterally directed stroke force of quads, so inline wheels just slip and slide until they are shredded flat out to near their full width, and even then may not offer adequate grip.

Minimum needed quad wheel width, depending on firmness, seems to be in the 28-32mm range, so I may still narrow these wheels a bit further.

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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #40
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Quads wheels need enough surface contact width to produce sufficient grip to handle the more laterally directed stroke force of quads, so inline wheels just slip and slide until they are shredded flat out to near their full width, and even then may not offer adequate grip.

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Not so, inline wheels give more grip per mm of width. The man I talked about above had no trouble with grip and when he skated the same set up with 78mm wheels no trouble with rubbing. He just thought to use the 80s with out testing them first.
Still, the course was 27 miles with up and down hills, one long steady climb, cross roads etc. The winning time was 1:25.48
The guy with the "quads" came in at 1:42.50
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