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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 August 14th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #1
Clemens
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Default Fastest stride frequency?

Hello,

following the thread "Exploding off the line" I had a look to one of the linked videos http://www.fihp.net/world2004/clips/300sm.mpg. I tried to find out the stride frequency of Luca Presti and had difficulties to count as fast as he made his skating steps. A good approach seems the following count: Presti
did ca. 46 strides (=92 steps of both legs) within the 25 seconds of his race. That's a frequency of 110 per minute, almost two per second!

Watching this the following questions came to my mind:
What is the optimal stride frequency for e.g. a marathon race?
What is the average stride frequency during such a race and how big are the variations?
If I train on bicycle or an ergometer: Should I try to use the same range of stride frequency? Or faster? Or slower?

Thanks for any useful answer - and any useful additional question.

Best regards
Clemens
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Old August 15th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #2
buzzinghornet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemens View Post
What is the optimal stride frequency for e.g. a marathon race?
It depends on pavement, terrain, wind and your personal taste. Everyone has his/her optimum frequency, and you will find yours during a long long skate. But when you skate with others in a pack, you have to match the guy in front's strides. So, you will need to get used to skating with frequencies other than your favorite/optimum one.

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What is the average stride frequency during such a race and how big are the variations?
Probably way lower than the 2 per second you mentioned. But again, depending on how aggresive the packs are, the variation can be huge. It is often possible to do a race with very little sprinting except the start and finish, just stay at the same speed with a couple of you buddies. Or, you may end up in a pack where everyone has different things on mind, and someone may want to play some "cat & mouse" game, and there will be surging and slowing down all the time. The key is, be prepared for anything possible.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemens View Post
If I train on bicycle or an ergometer: Should I try to use the same range of stride frequency?
Short answer is no.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #4
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Default Short

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisspeed View Post
Short answer is no.
Short question: Why not?
Longer question: Which frequency/ies should I go for on the ergometer?
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Old August 16th, 2006, 03:06 AM   #5
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Not sure about the egrometer but for a bike cadence varies depending on the rider and the type of ride. My legs feel the best when im spinning 95 or so on a road bike. Sometimes I will mash a gear at 70 RPM to change it up for rest, sometimes I will spin 110+ to rest as well so it varies.

Lets say two riders are going along at 30mph but have a different cadence:

Lower cadence = less stroke but must press harder (and pull up harder as well) = needs fast twitch muscle fibers

Higher cadence = push light on the pedals but takes more rpms to match speed = needs slow twitch muscle fibers

I am from the school of thought that thinks its bad to mash a gear at lower cadence of 75 or lower for long. This action recruits too many fast twitch muscle fibers that would be better used later in the ride/race for chasing down breaks and or sprints to the finish.


Relating this to skating my cadence is around 60-80 SPM (strokes per miniute). This is a HUGE guesstimate on my part because I have never really counted but pretty much I fire a stroke around every second. As with cycling sometimes its a little slower sometimes a little faster depending on how I feel. Also like cycling I find it easier to keep a higher "SPM" than to really push hard taking less strokes per minute.

If you do opt for a higher skating cadence make sure you are still "hitting the edges" when skating and not making short little jab strokes looking like a turtle scooting across a hot road.


Very quick reply cause my Vista install keeps crashing... hope it makes sense.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemens View Post
Short question: Why not?
Longer question: Which frequency/ies should I go for on the ergometer?
Skate to skate and ride to ride.

If you want to maximize the benefits of spinning, focus on the spin and focus on what you are doing. I think it's a mistake to try to morph every activity into a skating drill. The value of cross training is minimized when you do that. It's completely different on purpose. Riding is a beautiful thing in and of it's own right. Savor the beauty of it and enjoy it.

Memphis hit the nail on the head and clearly has done some riding. I agree with his sentiments completely. Everyone has their own internal rhythm for any motion. While it is beneficial to be able to skate effectively at different cadences in order to match strides in a pack, ultimately you must skate to your own beat. Riding has different cadences just like skating with the difference being that you can shift gears on a bike in order to maintain the same cadence (if that's your desire). In skating, it's more like a single speed bike with the cadence variations being the way you "shift gears". More proficient skaters shift gears without thinking about it and do so frequently, particularly when on roads where there is frequent grade changes. Keeping the same cadence on varying terrain will kill your legs or get you dropped. The more flexible you are with your cadence, the more easily you can adapt to changing environments. That flexibility comes from practice.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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Anybody ever try matching strokes to bpm (music)? I've been listening to this series of mixes by this dj, called Podrunner - he makes mixes specifically for runners to match their cadence to the beat and use that as a training tool. I've found that 140bpm is a good match for longer skates. I have 140 and 145 on the same disc and I noticed the slightly higher cadence actually made me slower during my long workout. Now if I could only find more than one continuous 140bpm mixes - this one is starting to get a little old
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #8
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Talking Have you ever went over a friends house to eat...

I do it all the time at session. That's why there are good songs and bad songs and not everyone agrees on every song because of the variance in internal rhythms. I'm a little too modest to start boogeying on the bike trail. ...skip dive what can I say, can't fit 'em all inside my OJ so I just take half and bust them out I give the rest to Master Gee so he can shock the house...
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Old August 17th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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Default X to skate / train for higher cadence

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedysktr View Post

Skate to skate and ride to ride.
Well spoken.
Nevertheless: In reality I cannot "skate to skate" whenever I would like to. Where I live, skating is not possible for some months during the winter. That's why I ask for the best way to prepare for skating on the ergometer. As I told in another thread, I want to prepare for a 100k race in spring. Therefore I have to make the best out of winter.
What is your proposal for this? What is the best "X to skate" - besides X=skate? (I especially would like an X which I can do at home or directly start from my home door).

I noticed that my cadence is slower that those other skaters mentioned here, around 50 per minute. And I noticed in my last race, when I finally fell out of the group, that I was not able to keep their significantly higher cadence (my guess: 60).
How can I train to increase my cadence without becoming memphisspeed's short stepping turtle?
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Old August 17th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #10
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Run sprints.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemens View Post
How can I train to increase my cadence without becoming memphisspeed's short stepping turtle?

When you train just up the cadence. Make sure the stroke is fast (compared to what you are doing now) with a nice snap at the end. Dont worry about how much force or power you are putting into each stroke for now.

I use a lower cadence just to get up to speed (not sprinting just out for a skate). Once I am there my strides become more frequent and less effort/power is put into the stroke. Its easier and more efficient to maintain my pace this way.
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