Pull on your razor-shaped, 18-inch-long blades at the Utah Olympic Oval, located 20 minutes from Salt Lake City in Kearns, Utah. The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation holds Learn to Speed Skate programs after the national team's high-performance sessions. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday classes last about an hour and are led by Olympic gold medalist Derek Parra and his coaching staff. Ideally, participants should have some comfort on ice skates, but runners looking for a new way to train during winter often participate. "It uses a lot of the same muscles," says Ryan Shimabukuro, one of the head coaches of the U.S. national speedskating team. "The athletes on TV spend a lifetime making speedskating look easy, but it's incredibly demanding on the body. After a race, they can't even stand. If you come into this sport out of shape, it's going to be a painful, eye-opening experience."
Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)
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