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Performance Findings After a 2 Month Break from Inline Skating

eebee's picture

Some interesting self-assessments after taking a break from any kind of exercise for 2 months (except climbing the 40 or so steps to my apartment about 4-6 times a day!), and after throwing all caution to the wind regarding healthy eating :-0

  • I lost only approx. 30 seconds per 1.65 mile loop in my local park (slightly hilly, but not very)
  • I gained about 30 bpms average on any given terrain, comparing my performance with what I remember my HR being on those same hilly or flat sections of the course. That's a lot of bpms! But I know it doesn't take but 2-3 weeks regular skating to get that back down again.
  • Overall muscle-tone was pathetic! My brain remembered what a 'good' skating stroke was supposed to feel like, but my quad, glute, shin and ankle muscles did not comply! This led to...
  • Chronic pronating and supinating. I found it hard to stay on the tops of my wheels. This created inner-ankle bone bruises, probably compounded by the extra 9lbs gained since Oct 7th!!!

So not a total disaster, at least. But this helped me understand the definition of 'overtraining injuries': in other words, you mangle your feet in hard speed boots if your leg muscles can't handle the load you're suddenly imposing on them.


andrewinnc's picture

Re: Performance Findings

I can sympathize with you on this. This past labor day week, I took a vacation and it seems like I took a vacation from my skating as well. I couldn't skate everyday, like I usually do, and it was really noticeable when I got back home. My heart rate was way up on my usual training route and my time was slower as well. It didn't take more than a week of steady skating to bring it back but it sure is disheartening when it seems like you could lose your conditioning that easy. I am sure this is part of the reason I have been so reluctant to give up on my current level of fitness since it turned cooler. Not being able to get out everyday, I am trying to do more working out indoors. Weights, slideboard, etc. I can still remember how horrible it was last spring when I first started skating and doing a couple of miles was a workout, as well as the sore legs from muscles that had been unused for the most part for several years. I know it won't help your cardio, but several skaters I know wear their skates around the house, for balance practice as well as just the feel of having them on. Speed boots are hard and unforgiving, especially when you haven't worn them in a while.
eebee's picture

Skating in my apartment

Thanks for the commiserations (huh - I would've thought it would be spelled 'comiseration' due to the co-misery). I've done this pretty much without fail these past 8 years of skating - gotten in good shape in the summer (compared with the rest of my non-skating peers), only to self-sabotage in a spectacular way each fall and winter! So I'm not worried about losing my conditioning because each year I can get it back again and then some. But I am annoyed at myself for going that route again! Each year I have a vague idea about how much conditioning I lost, but I didn't really pay attention to the figures until this year. The freak-out-factor compares to putting on weight but not logging the figures: if I log the figures, take a step back and look at the big picture, it's not as drastic as my run-away imagination would have me believe. An unlogged, two-pound weight gain balloons into a very unhealthy body-image in my mind, whereas in black-and-white on a graph, it's barely even noticeable (as well as to the rest of the world)! Likewise with my loss of conditioning. I think I can deal with losing only 30 secs/lap in the park on average over a typical hour of skating. Beforehand I'd be comparing myself either with others who never took a breather after A2A, or going by how puffed-out I felt, and just get defeatest about it all. I used to wear skates in my hardwood-floored McMansion, but after ditching that in favor of an 800 sq. ft, carpeted apartment, I think I'd probably cause myself a worse injury than overtraining! I'm so cramped up these days, I have actually considered foam-padding all table- and counter-tops to avoid more elbow and thigh bruises. But don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE living in a miniscule apartment, and so does my personal net worth! However, I have noticed that a little bit of windex on my kitchen linoleum goes a long way towards creating a small, but slick slideboard. I just have to remember to spill orange juice on it again afterwards so my son and I don't knock our teeth out on the kitchen sink. Otherwise, it's probably not a bad idea at all to have your skates on around the house, to stop your feet from getting all wimpy on you. I'm glad you've kept up your training! It's good to read about somebody else doing that, since I don't know what it's like :-)
roadskater's picture

Not Alone: Even Apolo Anton Ohno Took Time Off

Glad to hear some sanity brought about by logging some data. It sure helps. We were looking at my records from my Polar 725i (I think that's it) this weekend. It has a calendar program and logs the data from your watch via infrared. One neat thing is it gives you a weekly bar graph on the right side showing your time in each heart rate zone for the week. I had the impression that I skated less than I actually did, so it was nice to see when I was working out...if not that painfully hard.

I read a piece from The Salt Lake Tribune about AA Ohno. He has taken a couple of summers off and is back to training. They've consolidated short track and long track to the Utah facility it seems, which is likely a great idea, and Ohno has a new home.

Of course, his layoff led to some serious hardware...

The last time Ohno competed on the ice--he won the "Dancing with the Stars" competition, of course, in front of millions of TV viewers--was the world championships last March, where he won a gold medal and two bronzes after similarly abbreviated season.

Must be nice!

The US Short Track Championships are at the oval in Kearns, UT this weekend it seems. Check out where it says "free admission." Arrgh! That is amazingly good free entertainment!

Check out the article:


skart's picture

Fitness Since I Came Back

Well, since I came back from my long business trip, where I had only one workout in two weeks, I had time to evaluate what have changed with my fitness.

I have to admit that my findings were quite suprising to me:

  • I did have to spend about an hour on the track before I felt that I am skating with the same technique as before I left (just as bad as it was before I left :-) ). No suprise here - muscle memory usually goes first :-)
  • My endurance went down the drain. I was a bit surprised here. I did expect it to get worse but not quite as bad. It could've been affected by a cold that I had right after I got back though.
  • My strength overall increased significantly. I would say, after the long rest, my muscles gained about 15-20% in strength. Paired with the lack of endurance it's quite an interesting feeling :-) For instance, indoors I can sprint hard for 2 laps (leaving my pack at least half a straightaway behind) but then I just die and cannot skate anymore :-) Overall, the results are really mixed for me. I do appreciate that my muscles are rested, repaired and seem to be stronger but the endurance loss really bugs me...
Oh well, I just have to spend more time skating and riding a bike now, while I am on a Christmas break :-) If only it was just a bit warmer outside :)
eebee's picture


The first thing that came to my mind when I read that you had lost a lot of endurance from a 2 week break, was that maybe you were under the weather but didn't know it. Maybe you need another week of rest, or at least active rest. Maybe just pansy-skate (a Blake-ism) for a week or so.

I know what you mean about needing to skate an hour before feeling like a skater, again. On the flat track I had a really hard time finding my stroke again, but when I switched to the somewhat hillier trail through the woods after about 10 mins, it was like I never stopped. Maybe because it took my focus off feeling like a downright klutz, in order to safely negotiate the dips and turns on the trail.

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