If you hear « New Zealand »
You think All-blacks and their famous haka, Maori people, Kiwi fruits or Kiwi birds, both symbols of New Zealand, large outdoors…but you should not forget that this country of Oceania, 2000 km far from Australian coasts, is also a very strong and famous nation of speedskating. The world Marathon Champio
n speedskater isn’t He a New Zealand native’s ?
This month, we are pleased to welcome for the skater interview, Scott Arlidge (25 years old), native of Auckland, who has been practicing skating for 20 years and has recently settled in Geisingen, south Germany.
Scott skates most of the year in Europe for the team zepto skate. His sponsors are: Bont, Bont wheels, HTB bearings, UVEX helmets and sunglasses, and Suunto heart rate monitors.
Rollercourse : Hello Scott. Thank you for giving us this interview.
Before speaking training, I want you tell us about your country, New Zealand and the place of roller speed in the panorama of sport.
To be honest the inline speed skating scene is quite small in NZ. Of course NZ is famous for rugby, but NZ is quite strong in speed skating. Our national championships are quite tough even though we don’t have a big number of skaters, the quality of the skaters is very high.
Rollercourse : How is your preparation for the season, especially in light of your presence between New Zealand and Europe ?
I’m really lucky beacuse summer is coming to NZ so I get summer all year round. After the season I take a small break, and then I start to prepare for the new season. Then we have the NZ national championships in early January. Some people may think that its a strange time to have a national championships, but its really in the middle of our summer. The top skaters are lucky because the selectors and national coach understand that its impossible for us to at 100% at this time of year.
Rollercourse : Winter is often not conducive to roller training, do you practice other sports activities during this period ?
As I said before I have summer all year round. But I also do some training the gym and of course cycling. I really like cycling and sometimes I do some small bike races just for fun.
Rollercourse : Did the training methods have changed since the beginning of your career ?
Yes of course. I have been skating for many years so there is some huge advancements in training methords. I remember during my early years there was always the motto that « more is always better » but over the years with things like heart rate monitors its become much easier and more accurate to monitor your training to get the maximum benefits.
Rollercourse : Precisely, what training tools do you use ?
When it comes to things like that I don’t tend to use those things.
Of course I use a heart rate monitor but in my experience inline speed skating is 100% different to other sports so its often difficult to borrow technologies from other sports.
Rollercourse: How many hours do you train in preparation period ?
Normally one the easy weeks of training I do between 12 and 15 hours and the hard weeks I do a little more than 20 hours.
Rollercourse : Can you give us a typical week of training in preparation for winter period and during competition ?
During the winter I do a lot of trainings to gain basic fitness and strength for the follow year. I do 3x cycling trainings per week, maybe one of these will be a small race. Then I will do 3-4 skating training sessions per week, and then 2 gym training sessions. During the competitions its hard to describe my trainings because it all depends on the races, but its more about recovery so that I can be in good shape for the races.
Rollercourse : Does The gym occupies an important part in your training program ?
Yes, even though I am a long distance skater I still do 2 gym training sessions per week. This is mainly because I don’t have very much natural speed so I my speed from lifting weights.
Rollercourse: How is your preparation during the last week before a goal ?
Normally the focus is on recovery. All of the hard work should have been done so it makes no point to do more so I always just try to rest and recover as much as I can.
Rollercourse: At top level, teams are an integral part of the race and have an influence on the result. How do you work it with your teammates ?
Its true, skating is a little strange because its an individual sport, but you need a strong team to do well.
Its really important that you have a good relationships in the team because you need the support of your team mates more when things are going bad than when they are going good. For me its more important to be good friends with the other guys on the team.
Rollercourse : What are your goals for 2009 ?
I really want to bring the Zepto team into one of the top teams in the big races in Europe. Last year we did it a little, but I really think that in 2009 we will be able to make a big impact in the races. Then of course I want to do good again at the World Championships.
Rollercourse : Let’s talk about diet: What food do you privileged at the last meal before the race ?
I don’t really eat anything special. Of course I try and eat something that has carbohydrates like pasta, but other than this nothing special. This is not rocket science but it works.
Rollercourse : Are there any foods that you avoid eating before a competition ?
I just try to avoid eating anything heavy, or anything that I’m not used to. If I eat something that my body has not had before then it could not react very well with it.
Rollercourse : After the effort, did you feed special for recovery ?
If its been a long training then I eat again some carbohydrates, but also something with some protien too. Again I don’t do anything special, I just prefer to keep things simple.
Rollercourse : In your daily diet, do you often sacrifice ?
haha yes a little. In NZ I always have to make little sacrifices. NZ has a lot of western food and its everywhere and sometimes it is hard to say no.
Rollercourse : There are several factors related to performance, at what level you places food ?
Food is quite important. I wouldn’t say that it was the most important, but its still relevant. Of course you need to put the right petrol in the engine. Also too I think you need to eat a little of what makes you happy. I remember seeing Chad Hedrick eating a hamburger during the World Championships and look at what he did…
Rollercourse : in addition to your role as an athlete, you have last year participated in the wheel Bont development. Can you explain your role ?
Yes I thought it was very important that when a new product comes out it needs to perform well. Bont’s boots and frames already are great so when they started to release wheels I was excited to start working with them to get the most out of the products. Bont has some great new wheels coming in 2009 so that we can compete with the best on track as well as the road.
Rollercourse : and in 2009 you will have a role of Manager in your team!
What will be your role? This too will not affect your training ?
I’m not really the manager of the team. Our manager Jorg Dietrich has just has his first child so therefore in 2009 he is going to be more busy than normal. He will still take on all the major descission, but I will do more of the day to day work. Also in 2009 my girlfriend, Anna will be coming from NZ to help out too. My management role will be with the Arena 2009 project www.arena2009.de that will be a new challenge for me. Its one of the best track and road facilites in Europe.
Rollercourse : If you had advice to give young skaters who want to advance …
Its often hard to keep young people involved in the sport, and I find that a little strange because its such a great sport. But if I could give one bit of advice to young skaters, their familes and coaches I would say, have fun. Too many times do I see young skaters putting too much presure on things when they are still kids! If something is more fun then it makes it more attractive.