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Practicing in Sections Vs. Full Run Throughs

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by missing, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. missing

    missing Well-Known Member

    In the Universal Sports coverage yesterday, it was mentioned that Tomas Verner was now doing full run throughs in his practice sessions, rather than skating sections of his programs.

    I was curious about the advantages and disadvantages of each system. Do skaters who practice sections progress until they do full run throughs days before the competition? Do skaters who practice full run throughs start with sections?

    If you skate sections, do you repeat one section several times before going to the next?

    Just curious.
  2. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

    Obviously I'm not an elite, but when I train my program I generally seperate it into three sections. I start doing sections in isolation, then move to doing one, rest, one while in the music, then to back to back, then to full programs.

    Doing this keeps me from wanting to throw up when I start training them. :shuffle:
  3. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Since I haven't skated a program since I was like 6, I'll stick to dance as an analogy. Running sections is great to focus on the details and polish etc, but eventually you have to string it all together and there really is no substitute for full runthroughs. It's the only way to build stamina. When my students are comfortable dancing a routine I have them do double and sometimes triple runthroughs. Obviously towards the end of the 3rd runthrough it starts to get sloppy but eventually it makes a single runthrough much easier to handle. I would imagine this is the case with skating too. I think it certainly helps with consistency as well.
  4. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

    It does, floskate. Double run throughs are extremely helpful, especially when you can get to the point where you can run through both clean. I know of skaters who have done triple run throughs when training to skate at altitude, but I never have. Of course, the one time I competed at altitude, I sucked, so maybe I should have. :lol:
  5. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    I hate watching skaters at altitude. I actually fear for them, but I can see the theory behind triple runthroughs as good preparation for it. I really don't understand how just skating sections in practice can really have any benefits at all. It's clear that runthroughs have worked wonders for Verner.
  6. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    ITA with floskate - we always did double and sometimes triple runthroughs in the dance companies I worked with. We would rehearse sections as well, but we always did a few runthroughs at the beginning and end of the day.
  7. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

    I had to do 2 double run throughs a day. I think it helped, if I wouldn't have done them I prob wouldn't have had the stamina I had for competition. Can't imagine how verner just started doing them daily?
  8. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

    Doing full run-throughs seems to result in a lack of stamina for some skaters, Verner included. He often seemed to run out of gas partway through his programs, starting out well, but missing jumps and losing speed closer to the end of his program. He commented in an interview that doing full run-throughs has improved his stamina.
  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    From what the Canadian commentators say I gather that Russians/Europeans generally full run-throughs? There must be some logic to this system, given how many champions and strong Russian/European skaters they are.
  10. victorskid

    victorskid Skating supporter

    I think you meant, in the first sentence, not doing full run-throughs. Certainly Tomas indicated that the European/Russian style of training does not involve full run-throughs and that was a big change for him when he came to Canada to train.

    Paul Wylie commented on the NBC coverage that, even though it's early days, the change in training style seems to have helped with Tomas' stamina.
  11. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    I don't skate (I'm into roller dance, myself), but I can't imagine sections being helpful once the program is competition-ready (unless, of course, something needs fine tuning. I see limited value in only running sections of a program). In the early days, sections may be useful to break the choreography up and learn the basics of the program, but it's not really going to help you find the flow of the program or get you used to the idea of skating the whole thing.

    Plus, it totally helps with stamina and focus.
  12. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    100 % ITA.
    From a musician's perspective:
    One learns in parts. Then does run- throughs, and then addresses separately all the area which were problematic during the run- throughs. Then complete run- through again, trying to focus on problem areas ( in ideal world). Being able to do several run- throughs in one practice indicates that there is a good chance of a clean run- through under pressure. Of course, sometimes the material is so hard and extensive that it is not possible to repeat a run- through. Then you work on parts, build stamina and hope for the best.
    I cannot imagine doing a competition without prior run- through training. Nerves eat up energy, attention wavers... unless there are build- in resourses, a collapse is likely.
    Would love to know what, if any, are PROS for doing so few run- throughs.
  13. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    As a dancer (ballet,tap, jazz, etc) and former skater I feel that doing a dance in sections can help getting the details and musicality of the dance down. I like to work in sections when cleaning a number and especially for the end of a number since it is usually less rehearsed but once you have the pieces down you have to do run throughs and double run throughs. You may think that you are in good shape but until you are trying to do a hard element with you legs burning you don't realize how much more work is needed. It is also helpful because when you are at a competition you are going to be tired from traveling and you won't have as much training time so having done double runs will help you push thru the pain and you will be working off muscle memory in the routines. The times that I did multiple run thrus of numbers in pratice really benefited me in competition even when something unexpected happened. When I was competiting in one of my dance solos that I had rehearsed hundreds of time I turned the wrong way and because of muscle memory without even thinking about it I was back on track with my choreo.
  14. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    So, what happens with Russian/European coaches who live in North Americans? Do skaters like D&W or Weir practice in sections or full run-throughs?
  15. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    This is what I did for piano, and I'm not a professional by any means. It was just the most efficient way to practice. Determine what parts need working on, work on just those parts until they come naturally (or in my case, at least until I feel pretty confident I can get through it without freaking out :lol: ), work on the transitions going into them, then do the whole thing to make sure you can handle the whole thing mentally.
  16. equatorial

    equatorial Well-Known Member

    It's not true for every Russian coach (don't know about the European ones). TAT wrote in her memoirs that she made Kulik do double full run-throughs. It took her a while to persuade him though. Apparently, Kudryavtsev's skaters were not used to such training regiment. It would explain nicely why so many of his skaters failed to perform well under pressure despite having very good technique.
  17. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

    It depends on whether the coaches adapt to the North American system when they get here.

    I remember V&M saying that Canadians was the third or fourth full run-through of their Pink Floyd program which suggests to me that they were accustomed to doing full run-throughs and not doing them was the exception. I've never asked anyone from Canton what method they use so I can't be certain about this though.
  18. Nmsis

    Nmsis Well-Known Member

    Joubert has skated exclusively with french coaches and does full run-throughs. And there are other coaches who don't. I wouldn't talk about a unified style in Europe. It varies.
  19. C_T_T_

    C_T_T_ Well-Known Member


    Chris Howarth talked about the benefits of traing sections during commentary on Eurosport a few years ago. He said something along the lines of it helping mentally because if you make a mistake during competition, it's easier to move on because your used to thinking of the program as seperate parts. I can see that working but I also don't see how you can compete without having done full run throughs. I also read somewhere (no idea where!) that some coaches are not fans of double run throughs as by the end of the second one the skater is so exhausted mistakes creep in which lowers confidence. I guess it depends on the skater and coach. I assume the majority of skaters do a mixture of both.
  20. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    ^ That's why I read somewhere that for double runthroughs, as a skater starts doing them, they'll gradually add parts to the second run through to increase the stamina and confindence. When the coach says that they'll start doing double run throughs, they don't start doing it all at once. They'll do maybe 1 and 1/4 for a little bit then gradually increase to 2.
  21. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    As others have mentioned, in the parts of Eastern Europe that I'm familiar with, and especially in what I'd call the "Russian school" of skating, full run throughs aren't really done in the way that they are in US skating.

    Russians don't traditionally do full run throughs as done in US training. I remember people I know commenting on that re: one Russian skater. He didn't normally do full run throughs in his training, and although he did well in the competition being discussed, the altitude wiped him out - so much so that rather than being able to celebrate his performance, he became ill immediately after it.

    Most of the Russian coaches I know in the US do have their students do full run throughs. I've also seen them do sections. So perhaps for these coaches, it's a hybrid?
  22. Eman_fan

    Eman_fan New Member

    V & M had only done a couple of run throughs of Pink Floyd because Tessa was still recovering from her surgery. It was not the norm and if you read their book they explain that she was still in a lot of pain at Canadians but they keep it a secret. They do full run throughs and double run throughs but they were trying to manage the pain that Tessa was feeling and they didn't want to push too much because everytime she would do a full run thru she would have to take time off training to recouperate.
  23. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

    It's shooting yourself in the foot to not do full run-throughs. If you can't even do your full program in practice then there's no way you'll get through it in competition. Double run-throughs a few weeks before competitions are crucial as well.
  24. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I remember hearing that Kwan used to do full run-throughs which she got from Frank Carroll. I'm sure that had to have helped her with her consistency, and Kwan usually didn't lose stamina during her performances, even at altitude like in SLC for Nationals or some Skate Americas. Even at the Olympics, she was stronger during the second half of that LP than she was in the first half (where she was just tense).
  25. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Lake Arrowhead is at altitude, isn't it? She was always very well conditioned. I'd love to know what her off-ice regime looked like as a teenager.

    Didn't TAT have Sasha do jumpless runthroughs? I'm guessing when people say full runthrough, they mean all choreo and jumps.

    I could see how a mix of both kinds of runthroughs would be advantageous.

    If I were a skater, I wouldn't feel remotely confidant unless I was regularly completing full run throughs. But I've also never understood how you can do a full run through with 10-20 other skaters on the ice!
  26. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Yeah. You have to work up to it. But if you haven't gotten to that point before competition day, it's not magically going to become possible in competition.

    Haha. Lots of bailing out of elements or swerving to rearrange the trajectory, which can take more energy than just doing the program as planned.

    But elite skaters often practice on less crowded sessions. And if they're one of the few elite skaters at a local rink, the kids will be more inclined to give way to a skater training for Nationals next week than for each other. But I don't think it's possible to get to an elite level if you never get some chance each week to practice without 20 kids on the ice.
  27. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

    Higher level sessions don't have 10 - 20 skaters on the ice. The numbers are strictly controlled for just that reason. And often when skaters are preparing for an event, the other skaters on the session will go to the boards to give them room. Clubs also have sessions for "clear ice run-throughs" for skaters going to competitions which are sometimes called "competition simulations".
  28. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I'm an adult recreational skater - I do the same. I learn the sections first and then gradually put them together.

    I couldn't imagine going to competition without having done successful full run throughs. It's not only good for your stamina but also your self confidence.

    However, I taper off my practices the week before I have to perform. I only skate enough to stay loose and keep my muscle memory fresh. The adrenaline and emotions during a competition take a lot out of you!
  29. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

    A person running a program to music on the overheard speaker has right of way over everyone else, including someone in a lesson. People on high level sessions know this and clear the way.

    A full run-through can be without jumps, especially on competition practices.
  30. tangerine_dream

    tangerine_dream New Member

    At most good training centers like Arrowhead and Colorado Springs, yes they do. East West, El Segundo, etc also have that many skaters on the ice. I've never seen anyone "go to the boards" at any of the afformentioned rinks. Good skaters know how to look out while training, and how to stay out of the way. When you train together everyday you know a program's patterns by heart even if it's not yours.

    Elite skaters don't go hang out by the boards while someone else trains for an event- it's their session too and they know it.