Competitive speed skating is relatively simple to describe - it involves races over various distances,
indoors and outdoors, by individuals or teams of skaters:
- Indoor races take place at rinks, or at recreation centres with large floor surfaces. Race distances vary,
from as little as 500 metres up to 10,000 metres. Some events involve solo skaters, others are relays.
Outdoor races are held either on dedicated tracks, or on roads or parking areas that are partitioned off
for the event (so you never have to fight against passing traffic). They tend to be over longer distances,
up to a full marathon (42 kilometres).
- As with all athletic sports, strength and fitness are essential, but an ability to skate well, with good
balance and control, is also crucial. All speed skating is performed on inline skates these days, which
means that you can very likely make a start using the skates you already have.