World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
Preseason Workouts and Interval Training
Dear Bill: What kind of cardiovascular training do skaters do during the preseason. I usually do indoor cycling four times a week for an hour, but it gets boring. Also, could you please share your opinion about interval training. Thanks, Lauri
Hi, Lauri: For preseasion training, do what my daughter does: join a bike club. Bike clubs often have short handicap or graded races midweek, which are fast and tough and keep your racing brain in tune.
As for interval training, it's a must if you want to get to the top of the tree! If you can, do them with a group of skaters. If the group is strong, do ten 500 meter intervals with three minutes rest between them and, before you start, designate a lead-out skater for at least the first 300 meters.
If you are training alone, limit your intervals to 300 meters. If you make them longer, your speed is likely to drop off and your technique is likely to get sloppy. Remember, our sport is "speed skating," not "slog it out" skating.
If you are a world class skater, you might also benefit from some 1000-meter intervals. Nicole and Scott Arlidge did a lot of these as youngsters, and they have the 1000-meter world titles to show for it.
One final note: remember not to do back-to-back interval training. If you do intervals one day, your next session should be an easy roll-around or maybe a light bike ride.
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