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If you are interested in participating in an inline skating race but still believe inline skating may be a way to meet, or even exceed your health and fitness goals, please keep reading! The following is some basic information you can use to develop a workout plan that will cover all areas of fitness-cardiovascular conditioning, muscles strength & endurance and flexibility.
Developing a Balance Training Program
A balanced training program for any sport should include activities that improve cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength and endurance and flexibility. For sports that inherently require cardiovascular endurance for success, such as long distance skating, it can be tempting to just focus on the cardiovascular component of “getting more miles in” and ignore the importance of strength and flexibility training. However, when it comes to skating long distances, such as the inline marathon (26.2 miles/ ~42 km) the importance of building muscular strength and endurance and increasing flexibility, especially in the back and legs, should not be overlooked. Making time for all training components regularly will maximize your overall skating experience by making you stronger, faster, more comfortable (less back pain), and likely free from injury as well.
The following is a training program chart that was used for the inline skating portion of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training Program and is aimed at the beginner-intermediate level skater. It can be used for skate training in general or specifically as a guideline for preparing to skate an inline marathon. Please adjust skating workouts according to skating ability, level of conditioning, and weeks left until race.
Sample Training Program For the Beginner-Intermediate Level Skater
|Week||Miles/km Skated||Training||Miles/km Skated||Training||Miles/km Skated||Training||Training|
|1||6 miles/10 km||Flexibility||3 miles/5 km||Strength||3 miles/4.8km||3 miles/5 km||Xtrain|
|2||7 miles/11 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||3 miles/5 km||4 miles/6 km||Xtrain|
|3||8 miles/13 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||4 miles/6 km||4 miles/6 km||Xtrain|
|4||11 miles/18 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||3 miles/5 km3||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|5||12 miles/ 19 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||3 miles/5 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|6||14 miles/ 23 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||3 miles/5 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|7||15 miles/ 24 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||3 miles/5 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|8||17 miles/27 km||Flexibility||6 miles/10 km||Strength||6 miles/10 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|9||19 miles/31 km||Flexibility||6 miles/10 km||Strength||6 miles/10 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|10||21 miles/ 34 km||Flexibility||4 miles/6 km||Strength||6 miles/10 km||4 miles/6 km||Xtrain|
|11||22 miles/35 km||Flexibility||6 miles/10 km||Strength||7 miles/11 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|12||24 miles/39 km||Flexibility||6 miles/10 km||Strength||7 miles/11 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|13||14 miles/23 km||Flexibility||7 miles/11 km||Strength||6 miles/10 km||6 miles/10 km||Xtrain|
|14||11 miles/18 km||Flexibility||6 miles/10 km||Strength||4 miles/6 km||2 miles/2 km||Flexibility|
Training Component Basics
Cardiovascular conditioning, which includes improving the function of both the heart and lungs, is integral for the success of a distance skater. As the distance skated increases (miles/km Skated), cardiovascular endurance should improve. However, it is important to train at the appropriate intensity level. If skating at an intensity that is too low, endurance may increase very little. It is also possible to train at too high of intensity as well. One way to ensure that you are training at the appropriate intensity is to monitor your heart rate and train within the appropriate training zone based on your age and current fitness level.
Cross training (Xtrain) includes other activities or sports that will build your cardiovascular endurance such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Including different training methods will allow you to take advantage of the positive training effects of each additional exercise and helps to ensure well-rounded conditioning.
Conditioning muscles for strength is accomplished through variety of resistance exercises. Free weights, nautilus, resistance bands, and even your own body weight (push-ups, pull-ups, etc) can be used to build muscle strength and endurance. While skating automatically builds the muscles of the legs, hips and gluteus, these muscles are further developed and can be engaged for longer periods of time without tiring, when there is additional strength training. Since upper body and core strength is also important for balance and skating posture, development of these areas should also be included in your strength training routine. Strength training regularly will stabilize joints and in turn can assist in injury prevention.
Flexibility can be defined as the range of motion and/or freedom of movement of a joint over which a muscle or group of muscles span. Muscles are flexible and elastic by nature but in most cases flexibility decreases with age, which is why children are usually more flexible than adults.
Skating generally builds muscles in the quadriceps and the buttocks while tightening the opposing muscles of the hamstrings, as well as the muscles or the hips and low back. The key to maintaining flexibility is to engage in a regular flexibility routine. In skating, being flexible allows us to maintain efficient posture and can facilitate our balance while moving. Flexibility can be improved through traditional athletic stretches, Pilates, and yoga postures.
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