This week's tip:

Vary Your Training During the Off-Season

Change up your workouts to avoid burnout

By Debbie Rice

Debbie Rice on her mountain bike

Debbie Rice (right) on her mountain bike

Inline skating is one of the most enjoyable ways to get in shape and stay that way.

But even skating can get old if you do the same thing month after month, year after year.

To avoid burnout, I modify my training routine during the off-season. I move my skating indoors and enjoy other activities, like mountain biking.

That way I'm all the more eager to get rolling again when the roads dry out in the spring.

Here are some of the ways I spice up my off-season training:

Join an indoor speed team

Not only will indoor training hone your cornering technique, it will also improve your cardiovascular conditioning. Indoor teams do all kinds of drills during the off-season, including circle drills, "lap the pack," starts, and dropbacks. All of these drills polish your technique and improve your agility while helping to maintain your base conditioning.

Do dryland exercises

Dryland excerises are great for developing your core strength and balance. Start with a weekly routine of squats, jumps, low-walks and knee bends. Working on a slideboard is also helpful. But if you don't have one, you can simply mimic the motion of skating on whatever surface is available. This will provide similar results. Just remember to stay as low as possible and move slowly and with control.

Sign up for a spinning class

Spinning classes are all the rage these days. They are offered by most gyms and many adult education programs. They involve sitting on a stationary bike and being led through an imaginary outdoor cycling workout. They are excellent for building cardiovascular fitness and skate muscles. If you're working on cardio, use a high gear; for strength, use a low gear.

Take up mountain biking

This is one of my favorite cross-training methods. I've found that if I bundle up, I can get an intense workout even in the cold. You'll find that going up and down hills really puts the burn on your skating muscles and gives you a great interval workout. Like skating, mountain biking helps build core strength, balance and agility. But be careful. Mountain biking can be a little treacherous, so wear your protective gear and be safe.


Debbie RiceDebbie Rice skated quads before inlines and became a master of both. She has won numerous titles, indoor and out, including the 2009 Master World Marathon Championship. She also holds the Guinness record for fastest woman on skates — 61 mph. A former cast member of the Roller Jam television series, she now jams for the Bont's Quadstar Derby Team. She is a Bont sales representative and team manager of Bont USA and Bont Quadstars Derby Team. A Houston native, she currently lives in Tampa.

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