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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.

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April 29, 2009

How Often Should I Train?

QHi, Bill: Experts recommend 48 hours between workouts. But I've heard that pro skaters train twice a day, five days a week. How is that possible? And how can intermediate skaters like me combine conditioning training and technique work without wasting time? Thanks, Yonatan

Hi, Yonatan: First of all, I recommend you find some new "experts." The ones you are quoting seem to be all wet.

The amount of training athletes do depends on where they are in their season. In the offseason, they do more workouts; in the racing season, less.

My daughter Nicole, a hard worker, does 12 training sessions a week in the offseason: three with weights, two devoted to offskate plyometrics, four cycling, and three skating.

She scales back to about eight sessions a week, depending on her schedule, in the serious race season. I think you will find that most top pro skaters do the same.

While professionals have the luxury of training full-time, regular Joes or Josephines can get reasonable results with three solid training sessions — and can do even better with five. The important thing is to train smart and make the best possible use of your time.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:

Never do two hard interval training sessions in a row. If you do a 10x500 meter interval workout one day, focus your next workout on endurance and technical training — or maybe get on your bicycle.

Hammering every day leads to overtraining and burnout. Instead, allow recovery time after hard workouts and periodize your training to maximize the benefits of your hard work. (Periodization Skate Tip)

Remember to always train with a purpose and never just for the sake of training.

Cheers, Bill

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