By David and Derek Downing
Your base is what you carry over — and build on — from last season. It's your foundation of technique, endurance and mental toughness. But unfortunately, it's highly perishable.
When you stop training, even briefly, your base starts to shrivel.
In general, if you miss one training session, you lose one week of base; if you miss one week of training, you lose one month of base; and if you miss one month of training, you lose an entire season of base.
How to Reclaim Lost Base
You recover lost base the same way you built it — with hard work, the same hard work it took to build your base in the first place.
At the same time, you may find it necessary to rebuild your self confidence, which typically takes a hit when you find you are no longer as fast as the skaters you beat last year.
How to Take a Break
Taking a break is not a bad idea. In fact, it can help restore you, both physically and mentally, at the end of a long season.
But don't overdo it.
If you take a break, don't quit training entirely. Instead, simply cut back. If you were training twice a day, cut back to once a day. If you were training five times a week, cut back to three.
Or, simply reduce the intensity of your workouts; train the same number of times a week, but not as hard.
Whatever you do, don't lose the habit of training. Once that's lost, your base is sure to follow.
Derek and David Downing are two of the top figures in U.S. inline speed skating. David has served multiple stints as a coach for the U.S. national speed skating team and in 2004 was inducted into the USA Roller Sports Coaches Hall of Fame. Derek (David's son) was one of the world's top inline speed skaters in the late-1990s, winning 10 gold medals at the World Championships between 1995 and 2000. This tip is condensed from an article David and Derek wrote for the GT Speed Training Manual.
Copyright © 2008 Inline Planet