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Skate '08: How are you Going to Spend your 600 Repetitions?

eebee's picture

Andrewinnc brought up an interesting approach to skate (or anything) training, in his article "Winter and Skating Technique". He had read about a theory that it takes 600 repetitions of a movement for the muscles to learn it. Assuming that also means 'for the brain to learn it', I wanted to apply this technique and take it a step further....

Do you have a skate-manoeuvre you'd like to learn in 2008 (might as well go ahead and jump on the new year's resolution bandwagon, eh)?

Thinking about Andy's 600 theory, and about how I've been trying for years off and on to be able to execute a successful forwards-to-backwards and backwards-to-forwards transition, if I try ten times each time I'm on my skates, after 60 skate sessions I might just be able to do it finally. I get the feeling that once I can do it, I won't ever un-learn it. Only thing standing in my way is fear of falling in front of soccer Moms at my local park.

Anybody have anything they'd like to work on?


northinsouth's picture

i just want to skate

i just want to get out and skate more!!!!
eebee's picture

That'd be a grand thing

I hope you get to skate more too! Scheduling can be tricky when you have kids.
roadskater's picture

Blogged My New Year's Skate Resolution

Hey eebee, great question, with a nod to andrewinnc for inspiring eebee with the 600 repetitions idea.

Since this was a forum topic and not in your blog, I blogged my reply so people following the RSS feeds might get wind of the idea. I'll cross-reference your post too.

[In general, using create/blog then tagging with the forum name works fine, as does using create/forum topic. More people will see it, for now, if you use create/blog, then tag it with the correct forum. On the list of updates for 2008 for the site will be some unification of the blog vs. forums. My ultimate goal would be that an article is both in your blog automatically and in a forum automatically as well, and that posts and comments all have rss feeds. But this was about skating!]

For my reply to your 600 repetitions see:


Did anyone find any references to the magic number of repetitions? Unfortunately I think I repeat skating improperly way more than properly, and way more than 600 times. Nice topic and fun to think about skating better...now to actually do it!
andrewinnc's picture

Do we have to pick only one??

That is an admirable goal doing the forward to backwards thing. I have a hard enough time skating backwards, from a complete stop, let alone switching between the two while moving. Good luck, I would spend more time on my butt than on my wheels.

Being a noobie, I have so many areas of my technique that need tweaking, it is hard to pick only one. I will probably be trying to improve my overall form and adding speed as that improves. One area I am currently working on is overcoming my fear of going down big hills. Thanks for the advice Eebee on sitting lower and making sure I am back on my heels. It is helping, when I try to think about "lower and heels" as I descend. The wobbles are slowly going away. Doing a few yoga poses, is helping to strengthen my ankles and legs, and I am sure that is not hurting me either.

All in all I am looking forward to next year, as I get this inaugural year behind me, and am a more competent skater. It should be more enjoyable.

eebee's picture


Oh not at all! Pick as many as you can handle! I just have learned personally when I heap too much on myself I tend to get overwhelmed and run away.

Glad the downhill tips are helping!  Another thing I started doing, which I forgot about until you mentioned yoga, was picking something I did every day and doing a wall-squat minus the wall for a few minutes at the same time. In this case it was drying my hair every morning. I look ridiculous, I'm sure, drying my hair in a tuck, but who cares?! It's great practice for stablizing my shins and as you said, ankles, not to mention all those little muscles & tendons in the feet that are taxed in many directions trying to hold the 'pose'. This was the only way I actually could remember to strike this pose for two or three mins a day, in addition to practicing on skates.

Kim Perkins (who won the women's 87 A2A many times) suggested working on one aspect of your technique during your warm up, then forgetting about it for a while, and going off and just having fun with the rest of the workout. This makes a lot of sense too - must've worked really well for her!

And yeah, I'll probably spend most of the time on my rear before I get this move down. :-)

Congrats on an excellent inaugural roadskating year!

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