This week's tip:

Finding the Time

How to fit skate training into a busy schedule

By Ty Fidler

Ty Fidler on ice

Ty Fidler training on ice

Photo courtesy: Ty Fidler

Inline speed skating is one of my greatest passions. It’s something I enjoy, and it keeps me in shape and challenges me.

But finding time for it isn't always easy.

Every year, the demands of work and the priorities of my personal life seem to grow, pushing into my training schedule.

It's a challenge to keep up my training. But rather than give up, I've learned to skate the nooks and crannies of my busy life.

Here are some of the ways I've learned to keep rolling amid what Zorba famously described as "the full catastrophe" of life:

Planning ahead

This is important. At the start of every week, I map out my training plan. I look at the weekly weather forecast, along with my work calendar and personal to-do’s – and then schedule my training accordingly. If I know it’s going to rain one day or I have to work late one evening, I account for those things and schedule my training around them.

Being efficient

In order to get everything done in my day, I can’t waste any time. Oftentimes, I’ll pack my skating stuff in my car before I leave for work in the morning. This saves me time from having to make an extra trip home (after work) before hitting the trail. Also, I’ll even wear my skating tights under my work clothes. Sounds crazy, I know, but it keeps me from having to run to a restroom to change before I get to the trail. Fifteen minutes here and there adds up, and all the time I save by being efficient, gives me that much more time to train.

Skating Indoors

Learning how to skate indoors on ice has given me some needed flexibility with my training. In St. Louis, where I live, there are several rinks that have “public ice” at 6 am in the morning. If I know I can’t inline skate outdoors one day, because of the weather or other priorities, I’ll wake up early so I can do ice in the morning. Also, during the fall/winter months, the local short track ice club has practices four nights a week, which gives me another opportunity for training.

Skating at night

Skating at night allows me to train on days when I'm stuck in the office until after the sun goes down. Skating in the dark can be dangerous. But you train safely if you use common sense. One thing I do is train in an empty parking lot that is well lit. If the pavement is good, these night-time parking lots are great for working on technique, doing drills and practicing crossover turns.

Using a slideboard

For me, training on a slideboard is the next best thing to skating. When worse comes to worse, and I can’t get on the ice or skate outdoors, the slideboard is my go-to solution. It provides many of the same benefits of actual skating. I get a great cardio workout and the side-to-side motion mimics the skating technique. Oftentimes, I actually feel like I get a better workout on my slideboard than I do on my skates.

Going to the gym

If I simply can’t skate outside or indoors and need a break from the slideboard, hitting the gym is my last resort. My gym is open late and provides great “off-skate” alternatives to training. I typically lift weights, ride the stationary bike, do plyometrics and stretch.

Remember: you can always find time to train if you make it a priority. Taking too many days off, without exercise, can quickly degrade your conditioning. So be resourceful, and don’t let a busy schedule keep you from doing what you love.


Ty FidlerTy Fidler is a speed skater (and banker) based in St. Louis, MO. He began his racing career in 2010, finishing second in the pro open division of the National Roller Cup. In 2012, he won the National Ice Marathon Championships in Milwaukee Wisconsin, finished third overall in the Pro Tour at the Chicagoland Inline marathon and was a member of the Pinnacle Racing Team that finished 2nd at the Rollerdome Marathon. He is a member of Pinnacle’s Inline Marathon Team.

Pinnacle Racing

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