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This week's column:

How To Train on Stop-and-Go Trails

Nov. 23, 2011




QHi, Bill: I skate on a nice linear bike trail that is 17 km long. Unfortunately, it has cross-streets and blind turns about every 0.5 km. At each of these, I have to come to a complete stop or slowdown significantly. What is the best way to use this trail for both endurance and speed training? I skate half marathons and am planning to skate a full. Thanks for all your great advice. - Joe from the USA.

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Joe: Your 17-km trail sounds like it has potential. Up and back would make good training for a marathon. Of course, it would be better if you didn’t have to stop so often. But you can make the most of it by doing interval and fartlek training.

On the short 500-meter sections, sprint full out for the first 200 or 300 meters. Then relax and recover the rest of the way.

On the longer sections of 1 km or more, skate at a steady hard pace from start to finish.

If you have a bike, use it to supplement your skate training. Go for long rides of an hour or more. This will help you build your overall conditioning.

The combination of distance work of a bike and speed work on skates is an excellent way to prepare for inline marathons.

If you train diligently for a few months, skating a marathon will be a breeze. Just keep in mind to float on your skates and let your skates do the work for you. It’s all about roll.

Cheers, Bill

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World renowned coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating in his weekly advice column, "Ask Bill Begg!" ... Every Wednesday on the Inline Planet.