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Ask Bill Begg!

Skating's top coach answers your questions

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World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.

Find out more about Bill Begg and his column.

Jan. 5, 2011

Why Do I Get So Tired?

QHi, Bill:Thanks for all the great articles on Inline Planet. I've learned so much from them. Lately, I've been pushing myself to sprint six, four and two laps with short breaks in between each on a 200-meter outdoor banked cement rink. I clock a 200-meter lap in 26 seconds, skating on 80mm recreational skates. Immediately after finishing all sprints, I find myself breathing heavily and feel like throwing up. Is my high heart rate and discomfort due to low cardiovascular stamina? Wish you and Nicole a wonderful New Year! - Swarup Rajsekar from Bangalore, India.

Hi, Swarup: I don’t know enough about you to be able to say whether you lack stamina. But I can tell you that stamina can be developed through a proper training program.

However, one thing is clear: as long as you are on 80mm rec skates, you will go slow and feel dead after a series of sprints.

Rec skates are designed for comfort and stability and their wheels are usually made with low quality (slow) urethane. So it's hard to compare your lap speed to that of speed skaters.

Top world class men post sub-15 second lap times on a 200 meter track with a flying start while top women notch times of about 16 seconds. For a standing start, add about 1.5 seconds.

A reasonably proficient speed skater — wearing speed skates! — should be able to skate a flying 200 meters in 20 seconds.

As far as speed skating is concerned, 80mm wheels went out with Noah’s Ark. These days, even 100mm wheels are getting left in the dust by the 110s.

Here’s hoping that in the New Year you can get yourself a good pair of modern speed skates!

Cheers, Bill

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