7 Ways To Manage Balance

7 Ways To Manage Balance

Happy Memorial Day!  All gave some, Some gave all. Thanks to all the veterans!

Balance is a fine art.  I like using the analogy of walking on a beam.  Skating on a 1.1 milimeter blade would also suffice.  Falling from time to time, it is part of life, so is pain.  With time, I am more sensitive to being off-balance.  Being able to stay in balance for longer periods of time is a great reward.

Balance is essential to my life.  We all know the effect of being off-balance.  We are out of focus, inefficient, unproductive, exposed to injury and disease, stressed.  Being in balance is just the opposite.  We are focused, productive, efficient, healthy, happy, content and serene.  This is what I strive for.  Making the necessary corrections to stay on the beam is easier as I get older.  It has been a learning process like anything else.  The benefits are applicable to all areas of my life.  I must give it the priority that it deserves, top.  It is interesting that most of us spend about 90% of our time looking over the edge and trying to stay in balance.  Focusing on the good parts of being in balance, and continuing what works.  By finding out what works, keep doing it, refining it little by little, I make progress.

Priorities are the foundation of good decision-making.  I have done a lot of work to keep them straight.  By priorities straight, I can make good judgements about where I am, where to go, and how to get there.  If I am confused about my decisions I can revisit my priorities and usually the decisions become clearer.  Keeping my priorities in the order of God first, family second, work third and recreation fourth.

I know people who are very busy but always seem to have time for the most important things.  That to me is an example of having my priorities straight.  There is an old saying that anything that is urgent is rarely important, and anything that is important is rarely urgent.  Sometimes the best ideas are also the simplest.

  1. Keeping priorities straight
  2. Revisit goals regularly
  3. Get outside help and reference for proper perspective
  4. Figure out what works and keep doing it, discard what does not
  5. Be constantly vigilant for being out of balance
  6. Accept and forgive yourself for being out of balance sometimes
  7. Express gratitude for your balance and your ability to make changes

This week has been a challenge.  Since starting 777 school, I have had to travel and balance all aspects of my life.   God, family, work (training on a new airplane), skating training, are all aspects of my daily life that need attention.  Making time for the important parts of my life is a joy, not a chore, with great rewards.

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013

12 Ways To Cross Train

Speed skaters are great cross trainers.  We only have long track ice for about 6 months of the year.  We train almost year round, so we have to be good at doing other things that can translate to the ice.  Unfortunately there is no true substitute for long track speed skating.  The only way to get better is to do the real thing.  We can build our motors off the ice, but developing the correct and most efficient technique can only be done on long track ice.

Here are some groups of things we can do at this time of the year to help us be a successful.

1. Weight training.   Weight training is essential.  This is my time for heavy weight training.  A hard on ice speed skating session is like a hard weight workout.  When we get on the ice in late summer and early fall I start phasing out my heaviest weight workouts.

2. Cardio training.  This can take many forms.  Running, cycling, swimming, cardio tennis, stairs, etc.

3.  Slide board.  We can do short track, but it not quite the same as long track.  We can do slide board to stay in the skating position and concentrate on technique.  We can do imitation skating (dryland).  We can do cross over turn strokes up the side of a hill.

4.  Inline skating.  I personally do not inline.  A lot of people do, and find it beneficial.

5.  Yoga.  Spending an hour or so each week doing yoga helps in so many ways.

6.  Competition.  In the past I have participated in other competitive events, running, triathlons, etc.

So here are my 12 ways I train without being on the ice.

What do you do to build your motor as well as help your technical expertise of skating?  I would love to hear from you!

P.S. I am heading to Denver this week for 777 Captain school.  I will have to be creative with my training.  Being in Denver and home for a couple of days each week will be a challenge.  I am looking forward to a new phase of my career at United.

Bruce Conner on the ultraslide!

Bruce Conner on the ultraslide slideboard!

Full Speed Ahead!

Full speed ahead!

This is the start of the third week of training for this season.  This week had some challenges with scheduling.  Being able to adjust is very important while still getting the work done.  A couple of weeks ago I took my dog for a run of about 3 miles.  I don’t run very often so It took some time for me to get used to it.  Then a few days later I did a 90 minute cardio tennis workout.  It is fun to hit a lot of balls and this workout helps keep my heart rate up for an extended time.  All of this pounding took a toll on my left knee.  No running or tennis for a while.  Weights, slideboard, swimming, yoga, biking, all good.  Icing at night does the trick and one week after, my shift I am as good as ever.

Ready for another hard week and building intensity.  Staying on track.  I am also looking to fine tune my goals for the season.   They must be specific, measurable, have a time frame, and be realistic.  Focus this year is on the Olympic trials starting on the 27th of December in Salt Lake City.  My goal is to be better than my previous trials in 1975, 2005, and 2009.  The 500,  38.95.  The 1000, 1:16.00.  Based on my most recent races these times are very realistic.

Having specific goals helps me to set and stick to my priorities.  This is an Olympic year.  There are a lot of very motivated athletes that are training very hard for their lifelong dreams.  Being a part of the Olympic movement has a special importance for me.  I get a great boost from the younger skaters.  Most of training now is solo but later in the summer I will be with my group.  Then when we return to the ice this fall we will all be together as a family.

Full speed ahead……

This video is from Masters World Sprints in Salt Lake City 3/16/2013.  This short video clip is from the second turn of the 1000.  This is the fastest we go on skates, about 35 mph or 56 kph.  I love to CRANK this turn!  Enjoy, more to follow….