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  1. #1
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    how to get faster?

    I'm an adult skater with a few years experience and I feel generally comfortable on skates. I've noticed that I'm quite slow and I often feel like I should risk more and just go for it. Some elements just don't work slowly, like you can't stand still on a bicycle. I think part of the problem is that I don't feel confident enough about braking and if I don't feel like I could stop quickly than I'm wary of gaining more speed. I envy people who can do hockey stops, showering snow all over the place I can only do snowplow and t-stops, but not effectively enough. I feel like I will just dig the blades into the ice and fall nastily when braking at high speed.

    Do you have any tips how to get faster and how to control that speed?

  2. #2

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    If what you think is holding you back is your ability to stop safely, then maybe it would help to work on stops so that you feel more confident with them.

    But you don't have to stop with a full stop like a snowplow or a T-stop. You can just skate slower and glide to a gradual halt. So maybe you could try skating faster, say, down the long side of the rink, and then just slow down when you get to the end of the rink. Try doing that a few times and see if that makes you feel more confident about going faster.

    Another thing to think about is that sometimes skating faster is more about technique than anything else. Do you work with a coach? If so, ask your coach to watch you do some stroking around the rink, and see if they notice anything that you could work on to improve your speed while still feeling in control.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  3. #3

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    I think it is about the correct technique of pushing. If you have the proper technique, bend the knees and push 'into the ice' (with the push you bend the knees more) you will go quicker without even trying. My problem is actually the opposite. I can get speed very easily, but it is not always that great to have the speed, because the quicker you skate, the better control over your edges you need to have (especially in dance). My problem is how to slow it down, while still pushing in the tempo that is given by the music.

    I wouldn't worry about you not having ther hockey stop. It is possible to break quickly even with the snowplow, so just make sure you can do one stop properly and don't worry.

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    I would suggest practicing more and gradually improving. That is how I have gotten faster and how I learned the hockey stop. There's no secret technique to going fast - I'm sure everyone has seen the hockey skaters who zoom around the rink but have awful technique.

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    ITA about the correct technique. I'm yet to figure out how to use the correct part of the blade with every push. Several ice dance lessons may help too?

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    A coach, especially one with dance experience, should help enormously. He/she can teach you proper stroking technique (and stopping! a very important thing to know and be comfortable doing!!).

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    Thank you, everybody!
    I don't have an ice dance coach handy, but I take group lessons and occasional private lessons with a coach. I think it is more about courage than ability to gain speed at this point.

  8. #8

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    If you can find a session with less people on the ice it might help. You could get more comfortable without having to worry about avoiding many people. That might not be an option for everyone though.

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    When doing snowplough stops at high speed, it helps to do a one-foot snowplough stop. Essentially, you keep balancing on your "good" foot in a one foot glide, and simply incline the other toe inward slightly and apply it to the ice relatively gently. I find this brings me to a stop within a decent period of time, without feeling shaky (because there's always the other foot to balance on).

    Also, hang around faster skaters sometimes. They can redefine your idea of average skating speed, so that skating faster just seems normal.

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    Personally, I rarely do an actual "stop"on the ice, just because I don't like to scrape up the ice and I always imagine it must dull my blades unnecessarily. I agree with those who suggested just gliding to slow down instead of trying to stop at high speeds. You can also press harder into the ice on one blade than the other and bend that knee more and it will make you curve that direction so you can round a corner instead of continuing to glide straight and hit the wall. And then, of course, you can do a 2-foot turn, which will help you slow down to a stop. With all of these maneuvers--including just basic stroking--you will feel much more secure and stable if you keep your butt low, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your chest over your knees over your toes.

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    Stronger Faster Better

    Hi Margaret
    IMO you need to work on both stopping and skating faster. When you skate faster you will be motivated to learn to stop more efficiently. Adult skaters that are just learning how to skate, have difficulty bending their joints for a number of reasons. Fear, being one. Joints aren't as agile as when we were kids. I competed when I was a kid but the odd time I get back on the ice now it just isn't the same. My brain remembers, but my body doesn't. Anyway... back to my advice. LOL You really need to work on not just bending the knees but also the hips, and ankles. True power and speed are derived from the hips along with the coordination of all the joints in succession. Of course keeping the upper body erect but relaxed. Skate in to the ice not on top of it. Eventually you will get to the point where the skates feel like a part of you rather than equipment strapped on to your feet.

  12. #12

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    For my part, I gained a lot of speed with my crossovers, when stopping trying to "skate on the hockey circle"... my "problem" is that I'm relatively tall for a "wannabe figure skater" (171cm) and that it was quite impossible for me to be "into the ice" when doing small circles !

    At the end of March, I took 5 hours private lessons with a coach in l'Alpe d'Huez and we worked only on BASICS (stroking, crossovers, thinking about pointing my toes, extension, power, etc...) and I made a "major" improvement with my crossovers when finally understanding WHY they were sometimes "shaky" : impossible for me (for now...) to follow this "#@?!%& circle if I really put strength and "intention" on my blade... So I tell my coach that if I put more power and "intention" in my skating, I felt that my circles would be really bigger, because of my height and my strength... She told me "just do it, and we'll see". And yes, even with the same number of pushes, they were really bigger (~1.2m outer the "normal" size) but really more efficient, clean, etc...

    ... But, now, I'm reaching the same problem than yours : it quite goes too fast and, if I'm absolutely not afraid to fall when jumping (so backwards), I'm really not totally confident when falling on my face (I still have a nice scar on my chin due to a skateboard fall on my face) and I'm afraid for my knees, if I fall on my side during a push (*remembering last summer, when skating for 2,5 days with a knee "twisted"*)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret View Post
    I'm an adult skater with a few years experience and I feel generally comfortable on skates. I've noticed that I'm quite slow and I often feel like I should risk more and just go for it. Some elements just don't work slowly, like you can't stand still on a bicycle. I think part of the problem is that I don't feel confident enough about braking and if I don't feel like I could stop quickly than I'm wary of gaining more speed. I envy people who can do hockey stops, showering snow all over the place I can only do snowplow and t-stops, but not effectively enough. I feel like I will just dig the blades into the ice and fall nastily when braking at high speed.

    Do you have any tips how to get faster and how to control that speed?
    Bending your knees more. It will give you more push on your strokes, more control on your stopping, help you maintain speed on your edges and turns, and give you more flow in and out of your jumps. Easier said than done, I know. But if you consciously practice that way you will increase your flexibility and strength. Also, the more you bend your knees the closer you are to the ice, so falling is less fearful.

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