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Ask Bill Begg!

Skating's top coach answers your questions

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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.

Find out more about Bill Begg and his column.

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Aug. 13, 2009

Building Power for Speed Skating

QHi, Bill: What are the steps to follow to build power for speed skating indoors and out? Thanks, Steven from Broussard, LA

Hi, Steven: Power — or speed strength, as it is called these days — can be built in a number of ways. The best and most popular is to combine strength training with plyometrics.

On its own, weight training is useless. It makes you stronger, but not faster unless you combine it with a plyometrics program that matches the movements of speed skating.

If you want to give this a try, start with this Beggsports video:

If you don't like weights, try some short, intense intervals on steep grades. This kind or work has proved effective for cyclists and skaters alike. (Short intense hill workouts is what England's Ronnie Doyle, a former pursuit cycling world champion, told me he used to do instead of weight training.)

Other ways to build strength include running up sandhills, stair running and piggyback relays. (Before I understood weight training, we used to to do piggyback relays in the sand on Caroline Bay in my hometown in New Zealand.)

Whatever you settle on, do it in conjunction with plyometrics and other exercises that match the movements of speed skating. This is the secret of building power on skates.

Cheers, Bill

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