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Indoor Speed Skating 101

An introduction to indoor speed skating for skaters who have never tried it before, by Jim Fink (part 1 of 8).

INDOOR SPEED SKATING 101

by Jim Fink

First, a disclaimer: I am not a speed skater per se. I know and have seen real, competing speed skaters and I know, solidly, I am not one of them - yet! I should also point out that the date of this article marks exactly my second year on inline skates, so the wheeled world is still in front of me. However, by this time I find that my skills are somewhere between the recreational skaters and the speed demons, so I guess I can feel a bit proud of myself.

Between ski trips, I spent most of the past winter skating indoors and I found myself getting involved with an indoor speedskating group. And what a world it is. The first word that came to my mind was "humbling." The second word I came to respect was "workout." Competition racing is not a real-life goal for me at this time, and I must agree with master skater Sam Weaver when he says, "For me, the fun is derived from the competition with myself. If I can do one more interval, or one more anything, it's a blast!" I came to open my mind to a different type of skating exercise, a genuine workout in a regimented and specialized setting.

For many outdoor skaters, skating around in a circle (turning left all the time) can be perceived as quite tedious and roughly pointless. I can understand that viewpoint, because I was an outdoor skater who felt the same way. But if the indoor skater is well coached, that circle turns into a ring of truth and growth. There are several characteristics of indoor speed skating that any intermediate skeeler can take advantage of.

What Indoor Speed Practice is Like
  • The Drills
  • Other Skaters
  • The Workout
  • Falling

  • Pack Skating
  • The Equipment
  • It Takes Time

  • I enjoyed my experience with indoor skating, and I will continue to make it part of my overall skating experience in the years ahead. At least that's my intention. This Winter, I discovered many of my limitations and I conquered some of my fears. I can see that indoor speed skating will be a very nice compliment to my developing outdoor skills. The indoor world is different than the outdoor world, but a good number of the skaters I know are skilled at both and I'm glad I can now be counted among them.

    See you at the rink!

    Part 2: The Drills -->


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Fink is a Seattle speed and fitness skater and part time jazz musician who loves to write about topics that interest him. Jim was a member of the Seattle Skate Patrol for many years, and he describes himself as "a nice guy and the father of three great kids".



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