In my racing career, time was a big deal. How long did my swim take? How much time did I have before the bike cutoff? When do I need to take my next nutrition? Five minutes run, two minutes walk. Just how long does it take to run 50 miles? And when you have as much as 18 hours to consider those times, TIMING doesn't seem like a huge ordeal.
In speed skating, time has much less impact. Races start when they start. And when a race takes 3-4 minutes to complete, there isn't a lot of need to consider the times. In fact, a watch is more a danger than a training aid in speed skating.
Timing, however, is remarkably important. From the very start of the race, avoiding false starts, to properly timing a pass, to a well timed eagle hawk at the finish line, timing is vitally important on the rink.
Anyone who has watched an Olympic short track speed skating relay can start to understand the need for timing. It is something we work on in practice, and it is something that becomes very clear when it isn't a focus. The result of bad timing on speed skates is quickly apparent as skaters hit the floor.
Our team has been very fortunate to have a coach who understands the importance of basic skills, from "low and slow" drills to improve form to half-speed relay exchanges to work on timing, the benefits are always there, if sometimes difficult for some to see. We might want to "go fast, turn left" all the time, but timing is everything.
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.