World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
How Can I Go As Fast as the Pros?
Hello, Bill: I finished this year's Berlin Inline Marathon in 1 hour and 30 minutes. My average speed was 28 km/h (17 mph). Meanwhile, the winners averaged 42 km/h (26 mph) (about 1.5 times faster than my speed). I am not a professional athlete, but I skate regularly, use good equipment and try to stay in shape. I devote one session a week to slow skating (to work on technique), and I skate long distances on weekends. I maintain a low position with my knees bent and am not a toe-pusher. What do I need to do to skate 1.5 times faster? - Ilan Arinstein, Israel, Tel Aviv
Hi, Ilan. It's true that you were a bit off the pro pace. Even the women mucked around and finished in 1 hour and 13 minutes, and I had a 14-year-old girl post a 1:20, and she does not get her edges quite right. So most likely something is wrong with your technique, conditioning or equipment.
Technique is the most likely culprit. Often skaters think they are doing everything right when in fact they're not. But before we get to technique, let's rule out any possible equipment problems.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
If none of the these seem to be a problem, consider these technical issues:
Remember that big wheels are for roll, so you must make sure your technique allows them some roll time. The secret is to make your skates work for you, not the other way around.
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