A Beginner's Guide to Speed Skating

speed skater action shot

Camera Icon Vidar Nordli-Mathisen / Unsplash


To participate in speed skating, you'll need the following equipment:

  1. Skates: Speed skates have long blades and are designed for maximum glide and speed. It's essential to have properly fitted skates to ensure comfort and control.

  2. Protective Gear: Safety should be a priority, so make sure to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves for added protection.

  3. Clothing: Wear tight-fitting, aerodynamic clothing to reduce wind resistance and enhance your performance. Opt for clothing made of lightweight and breathable materials.

Basic Technique

  1. Stance: Start with a low and balanced stance, with your knees bent and your body leaning forward. Distribute your weight evenly over both skates.

  2. Glide: Push off with one skate while maintaining a slight bend in your knees. Extend your pushing leg fully before gliding on the other leg. Keep your upper body relaxed and stable.

  3. Turns: For cornering, lean your body inward and shift your weight to the inside skate. Use your edges to maintain control and carve through the turn smoothly.

  4. Braking: To slow down or stop, gradually shift your weight to the outside edge of your skates while keeping your knees bent. Use the inside edge of your skates to create friction with the ice.

Training Tips

  1. Warm-up: Always warm up before skating to prevent injuries. Perform dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and lunges, to prepare your muscles for the activity.

  2. Balance and Coordination: Improve your balance and coordination off the ice by practicing exercises like one-leg squats, balancing on a wobble board, or performing agility drills.

  3. Endurance Training: Speed skating requires cardiovascular endurance. Incorporate activities like running, cycling, or interval training to improve your stamina.

  4. Skating Drills: Practice specific speed skating drills, such as crossovers, double-pushes, and power slides, to develop your technique and speed.

  5. Seek Professional Instruction: Consider taking lessons or joining a speed skating club to receive proper coaching and guidance. Skating with experienced skaters can also help you improve your skills.

Safety Considerations

  • Always skate in a designated area or on a supervised ice rink to ensure your safety.
  • Be aware of other skaters on the ice and practice good sportsmanship.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear and ensure that it fits properly.
  • Learn to fall safely by tucking your limbs in and rolling with the impact to minimize the risk of injury.