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First Annual Masters International/USA Masters Single Distance Championships in Speed Skating Milwaukee WI 2011

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This article is a stem of eebee's fine piece on women who are skating Roller Derby Lite for fun and fitness here...


...and the discussion, leading to a mention of Milwaukee's 400m speed skating track by timv here... 


The Petit National Ice Center 400m track hosts the first annual Masters International/USA Masters Single Distance Championships this weekend. 


Masters are age 30 to 75, distances 500m up to only 5000m, so no 10,000m. One notable master, Bruce Conner, trains at Petit. He's the oldest to qualify at the US World Cup/Olympic qualifier I believe, at age 53. 

Conner went on to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials at the age of 49 and again at 53. He holds three world records for his age group in the 500m, 1000m and samalog (a combination of 2 x 500m and 2 x 1000m). He keeps in shape by working out 12 times a week, with Sundays off and he credits his great physical condition to healthy eating, good rest and constant activity. Olympic ambition runs in the Conner family as his brother Bart Conner achieved success as an Olympic gold-medalist for gymnastics. 

He was in the New York Times after the qualifier...

Perfection would elude Bruce Conner on this night. He fell on the third turn of his second 500 meters in a matter of hours and did not finish. It didn’t matter. What counted was that he started, and in doing so became, at age 53, the oldest skater to compete in the World Cup long-track speedskating trials, which is the first step toward qualifying for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
http://vancouver2010.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/still-speedskating-at-53-bruce-connor-defies-time/ [sic: url misspells his name]

Conner has a website too and he lists these upcoming events: 

  • Masters American Single Distance Championships January 8-9 2011, Milwaukee, WI
  • Masters World All Around Championships, February 25-27, 2011, Calgary, Canada
    http://brucewconner.com/ [edited slash to hyphen in first line]

I don't know how long this content will last but here's a link to a cached copy of info on Conner's training schedule. [I'm quoting a huge portion here, more than I normally would, even for educational purposes, in case this data may become lost. If the proven copyright holder contacts me I will remove it or make the quotations more selective.]

Conner’s workout schedule, customized by Cruikshank and his organization, DC Powerskating LLC, provides one day off — usually Sunday, unless it’s a racing day. A weekly workout starts tough and alternates with milder evening workouts.

Monday morning includes a tough weight workout, mostly on the legs and some core work, about 90 minutes altogether. Leg work includes repeats of front and back squats and step-ups. Conner uses a bench, with one leg on the bench and one leg on the floor, dumbbells in hand, he steps up and down. Leg work also frequently includes an exercise unique to skating called a “wooder,” named after a former skater. Conner stands three feet facing away from a weight-lifting bench and places the toe of his rear leg on the bench. He lowers himself to the skating position then straightens up – fast. He sometimes performs this exercise with another skater on his back. “You want some explosion,” he explained. “Wooders are not fun, but they work.” 

Core work includes sit-ups and balance ball exercises. An especially tough core exercise involves putting your feet on the ball in the push-up position, then walking around the ball. Conner’s evening workout on Mondays might include 90 minutes of medium hard riding on his stationary bike, followed by 20 minutes of dry land skating, which mimics the push and back and forth techniques of ice skating on dry land. While he’d rather bike outside, the weather in his home outside Chicago often doesn’t allow it during winter months.

Mornings are reserved for the 75-mile drive to an ice rink in Milwaukee and 90 minutes of long intervals and tempo work on the ice. The evening session back home involves about 50 minutes of bike sprints.


Another day at the rink for Conner, who puts in 75 minutes of technical skating work. His evening workout is 90 minutes of leg work and some upper body weight work.

While skating days are generally tough workouts, Conner uses Thursdays to cut back to 85 percent effort with some on-ice tempo work at the rink. The evening workout slows down to 30 minutes of stretching or yoga.

Conner does his third weight workout of the week and also incorporates his traditional leg, upper body and core exercises for his usual 90 minute session. No evening workout as he rests to prepare for racing or a rink workout Saturday morning.

About 75 minutes of speedskating sprints fill the morning, often it’s an organized race. These are tough, demanding workouts, and Conner always refuels within 10 minutes of finishing, using the protein powder mix Endurox R4. Hard morning ice sessions are followed by an easy, 30 minute bike spin on Saturday evening.

Conner tries to take one full rest day a week — sometimes the same day he reports for another intercontinental flight schedule. 

Hope this info helps!

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