Speedrunner
Speed Skating versus Running 1/31/2010 7:48PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
With the Winter Olympics coming up, I was wondering how much Speed Skating had in relation to running. ie in terms of training, skills, etc...
TDF
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 1/31/2010 8:00PM - in reply to Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think it compares favorably to cycling. A female Olympic Speedskater used to join us for some runs years ago. Her thighs were massive. The amount of training she did was incredible.
jhafsodh
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 1/31/2010 10:17PM - in reply to TDF Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How much time could she actually spend on the ice a day? Did she get a rink to herself?
*stipe
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 1/31/2010 10:44PM - in reply to Speedrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Chris Witty, an Olympic speedskating medalist, was a world class track cyclist. Eric Heiden became a pro cyclist and competed in the Tour de France. I think that speed skating develops extremely powerful legs that would definitely transfer more directly to cycling than running.
eh!??
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 6:10AM - in reply to jhafsodh Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

jhafsodh wrote:

How much time could she actually spend on the ice a day? Did she get a rink to herself?


Speedskaters do not skate on rinks, unless you´re talking about short track skating.
Well......
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 6:25AM - in reply to eh!?? Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

eh!?? wrote:
Speedskaters do not skate on rinks, unless you´re talking about short track skating.


Almost all speedskaters in the US skate short track. There are very few opportunities to skate long track in the US, so it's safe to assume the OP is asking about short track.

As other posters have said, speedskating is a more natural cross training activity for cyclists than for runners, as it's more of a power sport, and the pack tactics are more in line with cycling and inline skating pack tactics. When I was racing a few years, the longest event was a 1500. Most of the adults on my team were bike racers or inline skaters in the spring and summer, and were using speedskating as cross training. We also had a good number of juniors who went on the skate with the national team (both long and short track)

Having said that, it's a lot of fun and worth trying if you have the opportunity.
lucKY2b
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 7:06AM - in reply to Speedrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I agree with the earlier posts that speedskating is a much better match to cycling than running. I skated and ran during my high-school years back in Wisconsin in the '70's, and almost all the people I trained with were cyclists or soccer players during the other seasons. They also all had more massive thighs than I had. At 6 feet, 130 lbs, I was the skinniest guy on the oval. I could fair OK in the 3k to 10k races, but was woeful at the shorter distances.

My only athletic claim to fame in life is that I used to kick Eric Heiden's butt....in our running workouts ;-). So that tells you something, considering I was a good, but not outstanding, runner. I think it is hard, therefore, to be a world-class speedskater and competitive distance runner simultaneously. Beth Heiden did go on to be a pretty decent cross-country skier, but her build was anomalous (very petite) for a world-class skater.

I should add that, aside from Eric Heiden who was great at every distance, most the better distance speedskaters I knew were not as bulky as the sprinters (as you might expect), but they still had pretty well-developed quads.

Even so, there are a few benefits for runners: 1) great for developing lateral stability/hip strength, 2) can help for cross-country, if you run a lot of hilly courses.

All my discussion is in regard to long track. Short track pack-style skating is even further removed from distance running. The pack-style racing always favors sprinters, because of drafting and the importance of the final sprint. I was always worse at short track.
Master baiter
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 7:50AM - in reply to *stipe Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

*stipe wrote:

Chris Witty, an Olympic speedskating medalist, was a world class track cyclist. Eric Heiden became a pro cyclist and competed in the Tour de France. I think that speed skating develops extremely powerful legs that would definitely transfer more directly to cycling than running.

_____________________________________

Eric Heiden is one of the most successfull Olympic athletes of all time.
Bartman
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 7:57AM - in reply to Speedrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Speedrunner,

I am responding to your question as a former speedskater and US record holder for the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. My experience internationally goes back to the mid and late 1960's so a lot has changed in the skating world since then.

Most of my training was done while living in Norway where running was considered the best all round conditioner of any activity. Most skaters would include a considerable amount of running in their training. For example, one summer I logged over 3,000 km of running preparing for the skating season. During this time I could run 5k in the 15:30 to 16:10 range, and 10k in 32 - 34 minutes for testing purposes and there were other skaters who could run faster. Running was combined with weight training and dry land exercises directed towards developing the skating muscles. A typical training day was usually about 4 hours, sometimes more. I believe most skaters today are able to spend much more time on ice due to the artificial ice tracks now available, so this probably has had considerable impact on how much running a skater would now do.

Technically, skating is far more difficult and demanding than running. You can be in great shape but if your skating technique or timing is off your condition will not transfer to the ice in the form of good times no matter how good you are running, cycling or rowing.

I hope this answers your question.

All the best,
Bartman
danm
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 10:59AM - in reply to Bartman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Bartman and lucKY2b I would be curious to know who you guys are...? I skated for the Glen Ellyn team from 1971 to 1984 and our paths probably crossed.

If you grew up skating in the 70's (like us) you most likely skated all disciplines (short track, long track and pack style long track). Running was a HUGE part of our training but only a part.

I was a sprinter and back then Diane Holum (the national team coach) had us doing long runs which I HATED! But a lot of the guys I skated against (Dave Besteman, Nicki Thometz, Tom Cushman, etc), all came from a cross country running background. This definitely helped them with their aerobic conditioning and, I think, gave them an advantage. If I had the chance to do it again I would have ran track and X-country which I did not do...ever)

As I recall, Beth Heiden held the national 8th grade mile record of 5:01. She probably could have been a nationally ranked runner or perhaps even internationally had she been directed towards a running career.

Dan
ukathleticscoach
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 12:57PM - in reply to Bartman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Great post Bartman.

Do you reckon the more recent short track speed skating is closer to running? They seem to have a slimmer build and the leg turnover looks quicker?
TDF
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 2:51PM - in reply to danm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
danm said "Bartman and lucKY2b I would be curious to know who you guys are...? I skated for the Glen Ellyn team from 1971 to 1984 and our paths probably crossed."

Danm, then I would guess you would know to who I was referring above since she was from the area. That would be Nancy Swider. I was amazed at the stories of the training and traveling she did and the various workouts. This was before cross-training was even a word in anyone's vocabulary.
lucKY2b
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/1/2010 5:50PM - in reply to danm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Danm, I started late (8th grade) and only skated one year after high-school, so I only skated for 6 years (1974-1979). Of those, I only started getting decent my last year or so, and I ended up getting badly injured which forced me to withdraw from skating and running. Mike Plant was my contemporary. Dave Besteman was on our club (Madison), but a few years younger. He had been skating from Pee Wee days, and there were few skaters I'd seen that were as efficient as Dave. It seemed like he could get incredible speed off very little effort. Even though he was pretty scrawny, he was exceptionally quick, and had great instincts for pack-style skating. He always excelled more indoor. I don't remember him as a runner though. But again, I think I was a senior by the time he was a freshman in high school.

I also trained a couple of years with Diane when she was training with the Heidens in Madison. We did a lot of our summer workouts on the Univ. of Wisconsin outdoor track. Be it circuit training or track reps or fartlek runs, that's usually where we started. Eric was a machine when it came to anything involving strength. Absolutely unbelievable quad strength; I swear his thighs were as big around as my waist was at the time. We'd also go for century bike rides. In all of the strength type training I always ended up lagging, I just couldn't keep up with Eric (shocking, I know). On any of the runs that we did, however, be it 300m reps on the track, fartlek runs, or just plain distance, I always had to run ahead of the group and ended up by myself. The pace was just too slow. So that's the perspective I have. I know the europeans had better distance skaters than the americans, at that time, so bartman has better knowledge on how those guys ran in comparison. I never got to train off ice with Mike Woods or Dan Carroll, who were the best distance skaters the US had back then, so I don't have that data point.

Good memories, ValZ
danm
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/2/2010 5:04AM - in reply to lucKY2b Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ironically, Dave Besteman did eventually make the Olympic team for long track and perhaps once for short too. I would room with him at most camps. I roomed with him for one year of college at N. Mich. when they added a skating program.

I would come up to the Madison camps each summer. I remember Diane, Dan Carroll and Bob Corby coaching those and Bob was our national team coach when we trained out at Colorado Springs.

I ran into Tom Plant a few years back.

TDF, Nancy lives here in Wheaton. I see her husband around town more than her tho.

dan
Dump the Winter Olympics
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/2/2010 6:06AM - in reply to Speedrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
They should totally dump the Winter Olympics and use the money to fund a new international police agency with full-time career investigators, police, and scientists to catch dopers. Also dump horseys, guns, and leisure games should be banned from the Summer Olympics.
Bartman
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/2/2010 7:54AM - in reply to danm Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Dan,

Please email me at run.bart.259@hotmail.com. It would be fun to touch bases with you.

From 1964 through 1970 I trained and skated exclusively in Scandinavia. US speedskating on the international level was a pretty loose knit group in those days and we were pretty much on our own. But we would form a team when we could and hit the major events through the winter.

I had the pleasure of meeting the US team in March 1980 when they were wrapping up the season at Savalen, Norway. They were awesome team and a great bunch of people. I cannot help but feel that Eric and Beth Heiden were the dynamic forces in welding the team into the united group that beat the Soviet and Norwegian teams (much to the shock and dismay of the Norwegian public) at the 3-way meet held earlier that winter in Trondheim, Norway. They were truly a team and not just a group of individuals that happened to have skating in common.

By the way, Eric was probably one of the best athletes the world has ever seen. He top speed on ice was amazing and once he had perfected the first 100m of the 500 and conditioned himself to handle the 10,000, he was a world beating competitor at any distance as the Lake Placid Olympics eventually confirmed. Though the comparison is not completely fair, it would not be unlike Bekele beating the world's best at 5,000, 1,500, 800 and 200m. Without doubt, Eric's five Olympic gold medals in 1980 is the most under rated performances in Olympic history.

All the best,
Bartman
lucKY2b
RE: Speed Skating versus Running 2/2/2010 8:34AM - in reply to Bartman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Bartman wrote:

Without doubt, Eric's five Olympic gold medals in 1980 is the most under rated performances in Olympic history.




I would have to agree. Even though it shouldn't have, it seems that the defeat of the Soviets by the US Hockey team unfortunately overshadowed his singular achievement. I think his low-key attitude and unwillingness to promote himself afterward also contributed to moving his achievement out of the limelight. Just ran across this nice article on Eric by Paul Newberry:

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/01/29/3829339-best-ever-heidens-feat-holds-up-30-years-later?category=sports