Summer Training Questions
Miscellaneous questions I'm curious about:
1. When do elite figure skaters start training for the upcoming season? First week of July, mid-August, etc.
2. At what point are their programs basically finished and they are just fine tuning them?
3. In other sports, athletes talk about needing time off to prevent stress injuries. How much time do skaters take off pre-season?
4. If a skater decided they wanted to take time off and do nothing, say between Worlds and the upcoming season, how long would it take them to get back to form?
5. Why do ice rinks always have incredibly high ceilings?
6. Are ice rinks always built on the ground floor of a building, or are there some complexes that have one on the first floor, one on the second floor, etc.
This, to my knowledge, varies by country/coach/training method, and also perhaps on level of skater (and thus when their season actually starts). But my Russian coach has told me that when he was part of the Russian system, they'd have a brief break after the season ended, and then start up again. At first, they spent maybe 12+ hours on ice, as they worked through the choreography. Then once they had the choreo done, (as I remember him saying... could be wrong... this change in training occurred early in the summer) they spent less time on ice, and added back in their off-ice workouts. He said that their on ice and off ice time during this stage was maybe 8+ hours. Then as the season began, and competitions began coming up, less would be done. There was a definite pattern to it, which changed with the time of season.
My impression is that he had almost no time off from skating, but I know that he wasn't skating full out at all points in the season. For example, during the choreo - that was long hours, but not huge action, if you know my meaning.
Ice rinks have high ceilings, in part, to help prevent hockey pucks from hitting the lights. I know that in at least one of my rinks, there's also an atmospheric thing going on - heat rises.
Not all ice rinks are on the ground floor. Example - the rinks in Indy, one is on the ground floor, another is actually below ground. Example - the old Sky Rink in NYC used to be upstairs in a skyscraper.