Ice In August! Yes!!!


Ice In August!  Yes!!!

This is an Olympic year.  A special year.  Speed skating takes a main stage this year with the Olympic games in Sochi, Russia during February.  The Olympic trials also will be a main event for my sport.  There will be 13 hours of TV coverage between short track and long track events.  The long track trials start December 27th in Salt Lake City.  I will be racing the 500m on the 28th and the 1000m on the 29th.  The short track trials follow and are done on January 5th.

Since this an Olympic year we get ice early in Milwaukee.  In non Olympic years we get ice around the middle of September.  The US Olympic Committee helps the Pettit Center with the extra cost of opening early so we can train longer on the ice before the trials and the games.  This year we will have ice on August 15th.

Pumped about getting on the ice this year, training with my group of Olympians.   Getting to apply the off ice work to skating.  The weight workouts, the hard bike training, the slide-board, yoga, swimming, recovery, all working in harmony to apply to the ice skating that feeds my soul.

Loving every part of this process.  Refreshing cold. Smell of the ice.  Speed.  Wind in the ears.  Pressure into the ice while balancing on a 1.1 milimeter blade.  Back together with my skating family, coach, and training partners.  The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of speed skating are what feed me.  I get to utilize all my tools for skating.  Building a network for support, goals, nutrition, coaching, training, competing, balance,  mental support, and courage all are in play.  Juggling all the pieces and getting the most out of the effort.  Being rewarded on  the journey my making me better.  Happy in doing this work, joyous in my pursuit of excellence, free in being totally absorbed in the moment.  Total concentration on skating, single-minded effort, peace in the knowledge of what is right for me.  Doing this work that feeds me.

Skating this week!

Masters Us Single Dist Championships January 2012, photo by Steve Penland

Masters Us Single Dist Championships January 2012, photo by Steve Penland

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….