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Cold Spell Gets Skater Set for Vancouver

Cold Spell Gets Skater Set for Vancouver


by Rebecca Roberts 08.01.10

For many athletes, the cold of winter is counteracted by warm weather training, some time off and preparatory training ahead of the busy summer season of intense training and competition.

For Winter sport athletes however, who have their competitive season in the colder months, the current cold spell has set the tone for the Vancouver Games next month, as discovered when it caught up with Short Track Speed Skater Tom Iveson at the announcement of the GB squad in Nottingham this week.

For Iveson, who made the final cut following a year battling back from injuries, keeping focused over the festive season was essential to his competitive schedule over the winter season and particularly his preparations this year’s Winter Games.

“We got two days off this year, Christmas day and Boxing day” he explained. “The difficulty is you can’t really over indulge, whereas I guess other summer sports can just let go a little bit, so it makes it difficult with the pressure of friends and family always trying to get you to go to certain functions, so you’ve really got to curtail most of your activity.”

Asked if Performance Director Stuart Horsepool would have the team training on Christmas day if he could, Iveson said, “Yes, the only reason we didn’t was purely because the venues were shut, otherwise we’d be there!”

As with many other winter athletes, the summer season will see a combination of aerobic and weight training, ready for technical sport specific work.

“We do a lot of aerobic conditioning through the summer – we spend more time on the bike and more time doing longer duration exercises but over the last few years with Nikki Gooch as Head Coach, we’ve started on the ice right from the very start of the season” Iveson explained.

“Because it’s such a complex skill to learn we’ve just spent longer and longer on the ice even through we start with more technical based stepping in the summer” he added.

But it’s the combination of training that makes the sport so appealing to Iveson; “One of the fun things about the sport is you incorporate so many other aspects” he explained.“We spend time in the gym, on the bike, running and doing plyometrics so we get to do almost every part of sport as part of our programme.”

The irony of the current cold snap over the country is not lost on Iveson, who decided to test the ice along his road this week.

“It wasn’t the typical ice we usually skate on, it was more like hard compressed snow but I gave it a go” he explained. “I put on a pair of hockey skates and skated down the road. I managed to get most of the way down  and back up again without the neighbours laughing too much!”

“The temperature in the ice rink gets a lot colder with the snow outside, so there’s just no where to get warm. In the summer it’s a nice break, but it’s just arctic at the moment” he adds.

EIS Performance Nutrition and Physiotherapy services are amongsth those that the British Speed Skating squad combine as part of their performance programme at their Nottingham base, where the squad heading to Vancouver was unveiled yesterday.

The squad includes a total of seven athletes, including the experienced Jon Eley and Sarah Lindsay, Paul Worth, Anthony Douglas, Tom Iveson, Elise Christe currently competing at the World Junior Championships and Jack Whelbourne who has just won Bronze this week at the World Junior Championships.

Click here to view the BOA Short Track Speed Skating team announcement

Photography © Getty Images



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