Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lap Skating (updated)

After I recovered from my knee problem, I'd been off the ice for 4 months, and only poking around delicately at skating for 2, when I realized I had the leg muscles of yogurt. Now age and weight wise I'm probably at the extreme end of 'people who skate'. But I've noticed a lot of skaters (kids included) don't skate continuously. They do a few elements, then stop and do a few more. Only the most determined are continuously on the move.

So a couple of weeks ago I started lap skating. This means continuously skating, no breaks for an hour. Forwards, mostly, due to crowding on public. But if it's light, I'll go backwards.

When I get off the ice, I'm like this:
It's really exhausting
But on the other hand, after the third session, I was delighted that not only had my leg strength returned, but my power and  skating skills were better too.

The downside of lap skating is the tedium.

Hey! I'm passing the gate again!
But I notice that I now skate with more power and better confidence.
Hey! Going faster now!
The trick to lap skating is having a playlist to set the beat for your stroking if your rink will let you wear earphones. Run through your music collection until you find music that makes you do this:
Don't make it too fast. Remember you're in it for the long haul of an hour.
You can also check the Podrunner website for some free podcasts cut to specific beats per minute.

What am I listening to now? Some Queen, a couple of Kanye West songs, some Hans Zimmer soundtracks, and some workout music cuts.  Whatever you like is what suits you best.

Just remember there's only one rule for lap skating: Don't Stop!


  1. What a fabulous idea. I've been thinking about adding a 4th practice day per week...this would work, on a public. It'll probably take a LOT of discipline to not stop. Lap skating is kind of boring. Maybe I'll start with a half hour and build up.

  2. Good idea. I agree with the above comment though - starting off for half an hour then build it up. Requires mental grit as well as physical!

  3. As long as they play the right songs, I could stroke forever. Good posture and extension (the ice dancers way) kill my calves the next day, but it pays off ;)

  4. I skate laps for most of the publics I go to, currently I'm doing about 45 minutes to an hour then break rinse repeat about three times per public while I'm breaking in my new skates, but usually on a public I skate mostly laps (occasionally doing other elements if there is a merciful break in the crowd, especially for left crossovers. Sees open space at end of rink, skates there really quick, starts left crossovers resulting in travel counter to the ice tourists, and suddenly every child and unstable adult decides to cut the oval short and I only get one cross over in.) for about 3-4 hours with only a few five to ten minute breaks. (please excuse the mini rant.)