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