World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
Hello, Bill: I am an outdoor distance skater and am very good at holding a strong pace. My weakness lies with speed. I have a hard time accelerating and getting up to the speeds of some of my competitors. When running I can sprint very fast, but that doesn't seem to translate to skating. What can I do to improve my speed on skates? - Eric from Minnesota
Hi, Eric: Some years ago, researchers at an Australian university used high-speed film to analyze skate technique. What they found was that high speed on open roads is associated with:
Based on your running speed, you apparently have fast twitch muscles — and that can be a plus for skating. But the study showed that flat-out leg speed is not required for quick acceleration on skates. What's vital is solid technique.
And to develop a solid technique, you need to master the six keys to top-end speed:
(Watch this video to see still shots illustrating the six keys.)
Skaters who learn the six keys see big increases in speed, as you can see from this video of a skater who went through our Beggsport program.
Another thing that can help you go faster is interval training, including vibrations and ATP sprints. (Bill's column on interval training.)
But nail down your technique first. No amount of training can make up for a lack of it.
Copyright © 2010 by Inline Planet