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Winter and Skating Technique

andrewinnc's picture

Summer has been trying to hold on here in central NC so I have been taking advantage of it as much as possible and skating whenever the weather permits. I have been using the time to work on my technique and hopefully building a good solid base for next summer.

I have read it takes a good 600 repetitions of the desired movement for the muscles to learn it. I believe it, sometimes mine seem like they need a little more learning time. A couple of moves i have been working on are trying to do a circle back with the recovery leg and driving the knee and foot forward, as if I am kicking a ball. I have not perfected this as of yet, but have noticed I find myself doing it more often even when not thinking about it, and it has gotten easier with time. I am able to keep my mph pace up and notice the miles roll by much easier.

I haven't forgetten the indoor training as well, I have borrowed a slideboard and work on it whenever I am unable to get outdoors. Not as much fun as skating, but great for working on your form and cardio.

Since I started back skating in March and worked up to a 50 mile skate with Blake and Elizabeth, I don't want to lose what I have gained and am working fevereshly to improve on it.

I have a question for the group, I am looking into new frames and as my options are limited, because of boot mounting size 165, am considering the Liberty Ions. Anyone out there using these currently or have any input on them? I spoke to George Neal the other day and he was very helpful. He said they are coming out with a new style in a few weeks, stronger and lighter.


eebee's picture

600 reps

"I have read it takes a good 600 repetitions of the desired movement for the muscles to learn it" That's an interesting bit of info, Andy, thanks! I hadn't heard that one but 600 sounds like a pretty secure number, to me! I had only ever heard numbers pertaining to more global habit-changes, like balancing a check book, or remembering to work out in the first place. In those cases, I've heard 21, 30 and even 42 repetitions. The 21 repetitions rule always works for me until I undo it 21 times again and I'm back to square one :-) Trying to keep up with 600 repetitions would probably keep one's mind focused long enough to learn a move, so I can see that theory working. Besides, it would take a lot of deliberate undoing to mess up what you finally repeated 600 times. Major back-pats to you for the conscious effort to keep up 50-mile conditioning! Hi, my name's Eebee, and I'm a self-saboteuse.
roadskater's picture

Andy is Kicking Our Skutts

Yo andrewinnc you are doing the right thing by keeping your fitness up to par. I can only use the excuse of healing some nagging pains, and other than that, catching up on some other obsessions for awhile. It's exciting to hear you still have the skate bug, and I can't wait to be left in the dust by you in the Spring.

Six hundred repetitions of anything should be a good start at internalizing. At a skate stroke per second, I guess that is ten minutes of total focus, and that seems about as much as I could manage as far as hyper concentration goes. Let's face it. I'd be very lucky to be able to do any drill for that long without being exhausted and distracted!

As for those frames you mention, please educate us as you learn more. I hope you get some replies here, or on InlineNC, or by private email. Let us know what you learn and do if you don't mind.

I came perilously close to skating in these warm days we have had, but other obligations and passions and distractions got me, along with the early sunset. Meanwhile, I need to be a bit more careful how many calories I take in and in what form. For a while I was doing my "cheap hamburger diet" and I lost some weight, but the blandness got me and it is hard to stay away from the cheesy stuff I love so much!

Good luck with your hardware acquisitions. You should have quite the collection of gear by now. Any impressions you'd like to share on brands?

andrewinnc's picture

Re: 600 Reps

Hi my name is Andy and I am a skater. 600 is what number I read on one of the sites I stumbled across. Like you said Eebee if you focus on a particular technique for that number of times it should become a habit. Let's hope they are all good ones. Still have the skating bug and am trying to keep it that way. I don't know about skating 50 miles right now, but I have been able to increase my mph on the track and on the road as well. I just don't want to be left in the dust at Tour de Lions like last year. Like I said George Neal from LIberty Sports said to call him in a couple of weeks so from what i have read I think I may get those Liberty Ion Avenger frames. Will let you know how I like them Blake. I have sold all of my other gear and only have a mild assortment of wheels on hand.
skart's picture

Frame chart?

Hey, Andy!

Did you try looking at the Frame Chart on racereports.net? http://www.racereports.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=161

Personally, I have used a 100/84 hybrid frame with 6.5 setup and it worked fine for me - it was Viper WhiteSnake 340. The only problem you will find with hybrid frames is that you have to deal with two different wheel sizes which may be a bit annoying. If you do not want that, you may wanna go with a 4x100 setup made for the 6.5 spacing. Be ready for an uneven wheel spacing (to accomodate for the mounting bolt) and a higher deck hight though.

I do think that Liberty Sports makes nice frames and you will enjoy your purchase for a long time...

P.S. I wish I could train where I am right now... but it's 0F outside :-) and they don't have many gyms in Siberia :-)

roadskater's picture

Siberian Inline Skating Team

Hey skart! Wow that flag under your post says Russian Federation, so are you really in Siberia? I assume this is for work or you would visit in summer?

Feel free to tell us as much as you like about your travels and whether you have seen any skating or cycling going on...and anything else.

What an incredible time to be in Russia. I bet it is very interesting.

Thanks for checking in and for replying with your experience. Those of us still on 165mm  mount 3x100+84 mm setups often wonder how much, if anything, we are missing. I know for sure that it's more about the training and technique first!

You guys have good results from Simmons boots, yes? 

Hope you'll be back soon and that we'll see you soon, too.

Skateylove, amigo.

eebee's picture

You're WHERE?!

You're where, Skart?! Maybe it's time for a Rocky Montage - out in the snow pushing farming equipment sideways to work your underpush, or in some -25 deg C barn doing chin-ups on the wooden beams...
roadskater's picture

Oh boy, thanks to this post

Oh boy, thanks to this post I've spent some time looking at satellite photos around the world. These are not the latest locations on the page that maps some of the traffic here...


...but I see Vilnius, Lithuania and Novosibirsk, Russia among the interesting non-USA locations among the last 100 tracked visits:

  • Amsterdam, Noord-holland
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Gdansk, Pomorskie
  • Leeds, England
  • Limoges, Limousin
  • Ljubljana, Ljubljana
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Novosibirsk, Novosibirskaya Oblast
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Porto, Porto
  • Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Santiago De Compostela, Galicia
  • Seoul, Kyonggi-do
  • Shenzhen, Guangdong
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Stevenage, England
  • Sudbury, Ontario
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv
  • Tokyo, Tokyo
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Zeist, Utrecht

I don't catalog and map these, so they are not based on my server logs, and are thus subject to various exclusions and inconsistencies. Still they provide some interesting (to me) info on who might be looking in to read without commenting.

Excellent time-wasting or learning as you might consider it, either way. Most interesting that part of Russia that lies between Lithuania and Poland.

andrewinnc's picture

Re Frame chart

Thanks for the link to the frame chart, Skart. I will check it out. I am only looking at 4x100 frames. I don't like the idea of the smaller wheel. I know it makes for a lower deck, especially with the 6.5 mounting distance. But I like the idea of having 4 wheels of the sames size and brand. I just think it would be easier rotating them and shopping for wheels. Others with the different may disagree with me, just my personal preference. The Luigino pilot I am using now has to be shifted over so far to allow clearance on the 2nd wheel to keep it from hitting the frame to boot mounting bolt. It is giving me some pain in my feet and I am trying to rectify the situation. The Liberty ion has a longer gap in the wheel distance, between first and second, to keep the wheel from hitting the bolt. Anyone have any input on how this gap affects the skating feel?? My current frame has all the wheels separated on the same center distance. I wasn't sure if I would like the varied wheel gap.

3 vs. 4, One size does not fit all . . .

3 100s or 4 100s? 

This is all relative to what you need.  If you need a lower frame to help you control your ankles, then 3 100s w/1 84 is the way to go.  If you can tolerate a little more height, (or length) then go with unevenly spaced w/4 100s.  If you have strong ankles and your calf muscles don't fatigue or cramp easily, in other words, you're already an in shape and accomplished skater, then go for the 4 100s evenly spaced. 

Keep in mind that if you supinate, as I do, or pronate, as most of the world, height combined with frame placement is critical.  You will be inviting unwelcome problems such as inefficiency, fatigue, pain, and cramping because you'll be working, too hard to meet the pavement and stay upright in a natural, for you, position. 

Also, frame length is important, too, particularly if you don't have much of a knee-bend, like me.  You'll want the shortest frame possible.  I have a carbon 3x100 w/1 84 that is just under 12".  Low and short is for some folks.  I also have Bont Semi-Race skates with 12.5" frames.  Both are fine, but before the Semi-Race skates you could not give me evenly spaced, 4 100 frames for 165 spacing.  I would seriously injure myself on those things, and yet there are plenty of people who love them.

One size does not fit all . . .


andrewinnc's picture

Very good points Clairem!

You raised some issues and thoughts that I hadn't even taken into consideration. A person definately has to weigh out a lot of variables when they are looking at new frames.

My current frames are 4x100 evenly spaced. This does make for a higher frame but my legs and skating style seems to have adjusted through the summer. The one bad thing about these frames is the second wheel wanting to rub the mounting bolt and I have to shift the frame over pretty far to clear it. It has been giving me some pain in my feet because of that. The frame I am looking at has a longer gap between the two front wheels to clear the mounting bolt. George Neal has assured me that he has never had anyone complain about this, the clearance issue, and some people even use washers. I will post an update after I get them and let everyone know how they work out.

I know a lot of the people I have skated with this summer use different setups and it is always good to get feedback from them, on what their preferences are and why they like what they are using.  

Correcting the correct problem . . .


When I first went to speed equipment, I was advised to center my frames, and learn to skate that way, period.  I tried and tried, but the ankle and foot pain was sending me back to rec skates for relief.  After spending $700, this was totally unacceptable.  I found someone "in the know" who watched me skate, following me for a few miles and got the news that I was a supinator.  I read and talked to many and found out just how critical frame placement was and is.  I played and tweeked my frames and skates until I got relief.  90% of what was going on was due to frame placement. 

From what you're saying, you've made an excellent choice, with a guarantee from George, to correct the correct problem so that you can get those frames back to the ulitmate placement for you.  Your feet will be very happy with frames that you can correctly place. 

With the height increase from larger wheels, foot/ankle/calf pain is magnified.  I went through my pain on 80s.  I'm a real whimp!  Please do update when you get your new frames.  I'm sure that there are many that could benefit from your experience.  I would have quit skating all together if my first speedskates had 100s! 

BTW . . . my first frames were Miller 2121s.  They had the uneven spacing that you're referencing.  I never found the spacing to be a problem.  Best wishes . . .

roadskater's picture

I Agree About Different Wheel Size Hassle

Yep. It's true. Having two sizes is a pain, not so much to me in terms of purchasing but in terms of rotating the wheels among positions. I also wonder if I really get much out of that second, smaller wheel, especially if it's overly worn relative to the others. And also, if that 84mm is a newbie, does it mean I get less out of the oldbie 100mm wheels? Hmm. The fears of the undertrained and overfed!
skart's picture

Hola from Novosibirsk! :-)

Hey, Roadskater! Yeah... I am the one who is coming to your site from Novosibirsk, Russia :-) As I said, there is not much you can do in the winter here. It's not too cold now (right around -10C) but it's too cold to do anything outside (in my gym shorts anyway) and I was not able to find anything that I can afford to consistently train indoors. I did find a gym but they charge around $35 per visit!!! That's thirty five US dollars for a singe workout... Suddenly, I don't miss working out that much :-) Not when it costs half a set of wheels :-) I did talk to people here and learned that there is some aggressive (slides, jumps and slalom) inline skating here. Inline speed skating does not exist at all - mostly due to lack of long stretches of skateable roads. Also, people ride bikes. They ride cyclocross or brevets for the most part. Of course, this all is done in the summer when the weather permits.:) Oh, and of course, I am here for work :-) I would never come here in the winter for pleasure :-) Have fun back in NC :-) I am looking forward to being back soon :)
eebee's picture

Frame Position Due to Wheels Rubbing

Just reading this: "The Liberty ion has a longer gap in the wheel distance, between first and second, to keep the wheel from hitting the bolt. Anyone have any input on how this gap affects the skating feel??" This probably isn't the same thing as you're talking about, Andy, but when I first put a new 3x100+84 frame onto my old Verducci boots, which previously held an old Verducci 5x80 frame, I had problems with the accompanying hardware prohibiting the 84 wheel to clear the bottom of my boot. For a temporary solution, I slid the frame a bit further forward until I wore down the 84s enough to shift it back again (which never happened, BTW!). The result was horrible: I had a good wheel and a half sticking out of the toe end of my boots, and for the life of me could NOT find my 'outside edges' at all. I felt like I was just learning how to skate again. However, no amount of retraining helped me ever find those outside edges. At least not until about 3 hours before the 2006 A2A Friday Night Skate, where Blake gave me some hardware that actually fit, as well as rethreading the shredded mounting blocks. Phew! I'd forgotten all about the outside edges by this time, but when the frames were back where they were supposed to be, my skate stroke was magically back to where I had it before (good or bad!). Not claiming to be any kind of outside-edge-champ - I could just tell I lost a lot of power when the frame was too far forward.
andrewinnc's picture

RE: Frame wheel spacing

    Clairem is the only person that has responded on that aspect of the frames. She said it was not a noticable problem. I was hoping to get some input from others that have used a setup like this as well. The gap does not look like it would be a problem, but you know how easy a minor change to the skates feels pretty major the first time you get back on them.

    I cannot slide my current frame forwards only side to side. It has 165 and 195 mounting slots so a person with a longer mounting holes on their boots would be better suited for these frames. In my opinion.  

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