Long track speed skating is a sport of the speed skating discipline in which skaters try to skate as fast as possible on a track for a set distance. The sport is practiced in several countries and is extremely popular in the Netherlands.
The standardized tracks uses for the sport are oval rinks which are 400m long, with a curve radius of 25 to 26m. The track only has two lanes with each about 3-4m wide. Some non-standardized tracks that are 200 or 250m long are also used in local competitions.
Since there are only two lanes, only two athletes can compete in a single race. One skater starts the race on the inner lane and the other on the outer lane. The skaters switch lanes at the back straight of each lap. This ensures both skaters cover the same distance at the end of the race.
The skater who starts on the inner lane wears a white band on the upper arm for identification. The skier to finish the race in the fastest time is the winner.
The sport is part of the Winter Olympics where races are conducted for both men and women. Besides that, the major competitions held for the sport are World All-Round Speed Skating Championships and World Sprint Speed Skating Championships.
- Short Track Speed Skating — 4 to 8 skaters racing around an oval ice track towards the finish line.
- Long Track Speed Skating — ice skaters race head to head on a 400m oval track for a set distance, between 500 and 10,000 m.
- Inline Speed Skating — athletes use inline skates to race around tracks.
- Ice Skating Sports