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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 20th, 2013, 04:04 AM   #41
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I should add that you may not want to push as hard as you would on inline skates.
On inline skates you get lean on the wheels, with them mounted on quads they stay upright all the time and may tend to pull the wheel off the hub.
I haven't seen this happen but I have ripped a wheel off the hub doing "rink" races on wheels that weren't made for racing. They had little lights in them, 3 of them still do.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 06:47 AM   #42
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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
The curved pointy crown shape of inline wheels works well for grip only when the lean of inlines puts the wheel contact patch more off the point and onto the sides, where a larger area of contact with the rolling surface develops, which is better supported by adjacent urethane, compared to when wheels are vertical to rolling surface.

Using inline wheels on quads keeps them vertical to rolling surface all the times, up on their tippie toes, and in this orientation they have too little grip to keep from slipping with any decent low angle power stroke. The PIC below shows wear on a set of wheels skated on quads outdoors for just one (1) hour. Wheels were not at all flatted at the start of that workout.




I do not know how someone could quad skate with inline wheels at any kind of a fast pace marathon time unless the inline wheels would be already well flattened at the start of the race.

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Old August 20th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #43
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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...

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?
Thanks for the compliment. I don't if I can qualify as a young punk...

What wave are you in and what pace are you thinking about setting? If memory serves, the down hill at the beginning of the race isn't that steep, so it may not provide a significant benefit other than reducing the effort needed to get speed up. The Elite helmet cam footage from last year showed the open guys averaging around 36 mph for the first 10 minutes or so of the race. That seems crazy fast. For your suggestion to work, you would need a group capable of skating really well together such that the end of the pack could get a really good rest while the front two guys do the lion's share of the pulling. They would all need to be able to skate at the same level of ability, too. Sounds like a fun idea for sure.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #44
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I'm in B1 this year. data from last year showed I was hitting 30mph from time to time in the opening miles... and as I recall we weren't pushing much, mostly just coasting and keeping legs moving. I skate here at home with some old school long track ice people. From time to time we have all 4 of us (now only 3) push forward lightly with our fingertips. It doesn't take much but with everyone putting in power we just fly. Touching keeps us close with low drag, each pushing a tiny bit turns us into a freight train.

And so it comes down to cooperation or competition... collaberation or clobberation
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Old August 20th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #45
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That sounds like a great strategy. I am in Wave A2, and at least one of my team mates will be in that wave, also. I don't think we would be able to pull off the push maneuver. Being in that wave may be a bit of a stretch for my abilities, but you need challenges to stay motivated. If it works, your tactic might be sound for the start of the race.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 12:29 AM   #46
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unfortunately... I'm the only one in B1. My wife is in W1 and our friend (if he were doing NSIM this year) would be elite 40-49. So... if I were to try to get a group to form up tight and move out... it would be a real crapshoot during lineup figuring out who's game to try it and if they are capable of it.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 01:06 PM   #47
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There should be some fast skaters in Wave B1, but it may take a couple of miles to find them. It seems like lines take a little while to form at NSIM in the open categories, whereas at the other races, the open/advanced groups tend to line up fairly quickly. Lines formed really fast at Chicagoland this year, and we were lined up within the first mile at the MN Half.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 02:29 PM   #48
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considering the drop is only 6 miles long... it would be a shame to throw away a huge amount of advantage by screwing around for 1/3 of it
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Old September 15th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #49
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For me at NSIM'13 the only tactics of any value were (In order of importance!)
1) mental toughness going in and throughout (know the wind is going to be brutal)
2 draft as tight as possible
3) get around gappers
4) be ready for the 'slinky' effect (can turn you into a gapper)
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Old September 16th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #50
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Two questions.

I use a double bottle carrier for training, but from reading this thread is seems like a bad idea using it in a race if rec skaters are going to be tempted to push down on me because of it.

Second: who should I try to hang with? I skate about 13.3 mph solo for a marathon, and tire quickly. My 10k paces are like 15mph for the first 10k, then 13-14 for the next two and 12mph on the last. So, like, do I ask zround for 15mph skaters at the start line and try to stay with them the whole race?
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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:17 AM   #51
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Two questions.

I use a double bottle carrier for training, but from reading this thread it seems like a bad idea using it in a race if rec skaters are going to be tempted to push down on me because of it?

Second: who should I try to hang with? I skate about 13.3 mph solo for a marathon, and tire quickly. My 10k paces are like 15mph for the first 10k, then 13-14 for the next two and 12mph on the last. So, like, do I ask around for 15mph skaters at the start line and try to stay with them the whole race?
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Old September 16th, 2013, 03:53 AM   #52
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I use a double bottle carrier for training, but from reading this thread it seems like a bad idea using it in a race if rec skaters are going to be tempted to push down on me because of it?
I don't know. At first glance, you should be better off with that than the single water bottles I normally see. The problem with those is that there is one bottle right where the hand naturally goes. There is no flat place to put your hand, so it naturally wraps around the bottle. What you have there gives a nice flat surface in the center of your back, not a natural handle. My guess is that you would be fine, but you might want to find a couple of skaters to form a mini pack at least a couple of times to figure it out.

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Second: who should I try to hang with? I skate about 13.3 mph solo for a marathon, and tire quickly. My 10k paces are like 15mph for the first 10k, then 13-14 for the next two and 12mph on the last. So, like, do I ask around for 15mph skaters at the start line and try to stay with them the whole race?
Are you used to skating in packs? If not, I would not go with the ones at the fast end of your range. A pack will make you go faster, but you have to get close enough for the draft to make a difference. That means being comfortable being around moving feet at speed. In addition, if a pack of skaters averages 15mph, there are going to be short periods where it is higher during break aways, lead changes, natural accordion effect, etc. It sounds like your training is more-or-less constant rather than any intervals, so this will wear you out, even with the drafting.

I don't know how many people will know how fast they go long distances on their own to the same level of precision you do. A lot of skaters practice with a pack. Others only track their total times. I can't even tell you to start out at X% effort and tuck in with the other people at that speed, since most people take the first mile pretty fast to get into the right position. Finding the right pack takes practice. It is easier to go hard at the beginning and wait for the right speed pack to catch you than to start out too slow and then catch up. Just don't push yourself too much or you will be too worn out to tuck in when they go by.

As an aside, if you want to compete, I would recommend training distances longer than the race rather than the exact same. That way you have some extra energy at the end come race day.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #53
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As an aside, if you want to compete, I would recommend training distances longer than the race rather than the exact same. That way you have some extra energy at the end come race day.
I would recommend a different approach since you probably train with max time you have available. Train shorter distances but include a lot of intervals. That means at least 1 or 2 Thabatas (20 second sprint, 10 second rest for 3 minutes then 7 minutes resting skate) per training with some increased sprint's (for example first is 10 second sprint, then 15, then 20, then 25, then 30, then 30 again...), because this will really help you with pack skating.

I would also not suggest you go with 15mph guys if this is your max limit unless you know how to handle your energy well (meaning when you see they have too high pace for you, just drop to pack behind and get rest in between). This can be risky tactics even for a guy like me, so you are better off starting with 14mph guys as most people start fast, but try to determine which guys started too fast and which will keep constant pace on front. If you're new to pack skating you can be a bit more in back end of pack to see how they are pushing and moving. It will give you a feeling and for that you need a pack that will not put you to limit at that time.
Basically most people start as fast as they can and then drop pack's, so start at 90% and try not to drop pack
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Old September 24th, 2013, 10:11 AM   #54
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BTW I'm interested in how it went - which tactics did you pick, etc.?
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Old September 24th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #55
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for my comments see post #49

Needed to keep constant close watch for gappers to make sure you can get past them before they gap too far and everyone behind them gets dropped. Fighting slinky is tough enough without having to face the stiff headwind outside the pace line frequently for more than short jumps ahead.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 12:12 PM   #56
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for my comments see post #49

Needed to keep constant close watch for gappers to make sure you can get past them before they gap too far and everyone behind them gets dropped. Fighting slinky is tough enough without having to face the stiff headwind outside the pace line frequently for more than short jumps ahead.
Ye but when did that happen? How did you start? Did you go 100% at start and then try to hang around, or you took the 90% start and then wasted energy trying to pass gappers?
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Old September 24th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #57
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started at about 75% to 80% and fell into first pack within 1st mile. Jumped to 2nd line as it moved past the my line at about mile 3. Stayed near or at the back of that lead pack for the rest of the race until a strong calf cramp caused me to drop at mile 20. Never had opportunity to pull. During major part of race would jump gappers 1 or 2 at a time. At the early part of race I'd guess line was 25 or 30 long. At the end of the race the line was about 10. I finished about 3 minutes behind the last of the lead pack and about 4 minutes ahead of 2nd pack. If there was one or two things I'd do different... 1) I'd jump ahead to middle of line instead of just jumping gappers at end.
2) Drink a lot more water and take my gu & salt capsule at mile 14 instead of mile 18

both of these actions would have gone a long way in preventing the cramp that slowed me down at the end.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #58
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Well it sounds like this kind of tactic paid off after all.
Good to know, I think I might try something same at this year's Berlin...
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Old September 24th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #59
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I had a similar experience as Bjvircks. I went out about 70-75% because I knew the wind would be a factor. I learned from my race at Chicagoland that being at the front on a fast start was a recipe for disaster later on, but also knew that I could hang with the group if I managed to keep pace. That said, off the start, the pack was pretty big, easily 50 strong. I moved up with a team mate in order to avoid a gap building with the front 5-10 skaters. We stuck with them, and I hung toward the front of the pack for most of the race, pulling 3 or 4 times. Because of the wind, staying in the draft was essential. On some of the pulls where I was second in line, the guy in front was still really strong, and was pulling away from the pack. I couldn't keep pace, or when I did, we gapped the line behind us. Really, this was the race to learn pack dynamic and tactics for me. If you weren't with the line, you were wasting energy. Wasting energy meant you had a lot less for the end sprint. I started cramping around half way into the race and dropped farther back into the line to get some rest. The pace was as consistent as it could have been given the circumstances. Going into the end of the race, the last 5 miles has a couple of steep but short hills. Knowing my legs were dead, I moved up as far as I could in the line so when I bogged on the hills I wouldn't lose much time on the Pack. It worked for hill 1, as I managed to get back towards the front. Hill 2 not so much, as the pack skated away from me. However, the front group gapped and it allowed me to finish about 30 seconds off the lead pack and about 30 seconds ahead of the second pack. Times were slow because of the wind, and this race was really all about finishing. I finished about where I wanted to, though I would have liked to be in the finish sprint for the top guys in the wave. Tactics worked well. Now I am looking at off-season training to build for next year. For ice guys, the summer makes their season, for inline guys the winter makes our season.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #60
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I wonder if a 'Pull Czar" would have been helpfull for this particular race because of the headwind. By Pull Czar I mean someone in the group who actively pays attention to how the pulls are going and then encourages more frequent turnover to keep fresh legs up front. I was never close enough to the front of my line to know if this was happening. I know this was done in a race I was in last year with good results. With this year's headwind I would suspect shorter pulls by more people at a faster speed would have significantly reduced times. As I read about the Elite skaters... they frequently slowed down a large amount when nobody wanted to be out front.
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