By Nicole Begg
Nicole Begg (right) at Worlds
Photo: Peter Doucet
In the long run, it's often the little things that mean the difference between success and failure. But too often, we get lazy. We skip our drills. We get sloppy with our training. We neglect our diet.
Then, when race day comes, we wonder why we don't get the result we had hoped for. The truth is that little things become big problems when we ignore them.
Drills build and maintain your technique. Drills can be tedious, but they help skaters build and maintain our technique.
I still do the same drills my parents taught me when I was 10. And they still do me good.
Devote a least five or ten minutes of your training session to technical drills. Some good ones include: inside and outside edges, low position, jumping and kick the ball. (I demonstrate these drills on this video.)
Don't skip the cool down at the end of your workout. It might save you five minutes, but you'll pay for it the next day in the form of sore and tired muscles.
At the end of my track workouts, I skate a few laps slowly in the opposite direction. That way I'm hitting two birds with one stone. I'm cooling down as I work on my clockwise crossover technique, which comes in handy on the road.
Give 100 percent
Go all out when it's time to go all out. If a drill or exercise (e.g., interval training) calls for 100 percent effort, give 100 — not 99 — percent.
That one percent difference may not seem like a big deal. But training is cumulative. By the end of the season, all those 1 percents start adding up!
Feed your engine
Your car won't roll on an empty tank and neither will your body. Give your body the fuel it needs for both training and recovery. Eat energy foods before training. And bring a recovery or electrolyte drink with you when you train or make one for yourself as soon as you get home.
Be good to yourself
Take care of your body. Get the rest you need to recover. If you're sore after a hard workout, rub on some sports ointment, like Antiflam or Arnica, before going to bed. It only takes two minutes. But you'll feel better and be more rested the next day.
Be consistent about the little things and eventually the big things will come asking to be done. (May 21, 2010)
Nicole Begg is one of the world's top female inline speed skaters. The 22-year-old New Zealand native has collected 11 medals, including two golds, at the World Championships and has twice finished second in the World Inline Cup. She has been plagued by injuries during the last two years. But she's back at full strength this year and is skating on the X-Tech team. She is the daughter of Bill and Cheryl Begg. Bill is one of the top inline coaches in the world and the author of the Inline Planet's Ask Bill Begg column. Cheryl is a former world champion quad speed skater.
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