Coach's Corner:
Eddy Metzger on Inline Skating

By Chris Kostman

Originally published in The California Events Schedule, May 1993

For our first Coach's Corner on inline skating, we decided that we had better give some good advice, so we contacted Eddy Matzger, the Berkeley-based pro inliner who recently graced the pages of Outside Magazine. Matzger races for Team Extreme Line, sponsored by Twin Cam Bearing Co. These are his tips:

On Cross-Training

First, cross train with cycling, running, and the usual, plus try a slide board. "It's a very good tool for having a controlled workout. There's no traffic, no braking, and no potholes. Also, try some dry land training exercises that imitate skating with tennis shoes on a grassy surface, plus other forms of plyometrics. Another good item is a stretch cord - a belt on either end of surgical tubing—to use for resistance training." Not only will these and many other pursuits complement your inlining, but, "Then the skating itself is the reward after doing these other routines!"

One Skating Itself

"I do at least one long skate a week - 2 or 3 hours at 70% of my max heart rate. Often I skate with cyclists. Also, I lay out a 400m track in a parking lot to duplicate different running workouts. Then there's hill training behind Berkeley and Oakland on the open road."

Sample Workout

Eddy's pyramid workout on a gradual incline that takes at least three or four minutes to reach the top: "I do intervals of 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 minutes each. I go at 80% of my max heart rate for the long intervals and 90% for the short ones. I always sprint the last 20-30 seconds of each. Between intervals, I skate back to the bottom of the hill and drop my heart rate to 95 or so before going again. (1 to 5 minute break.) By stopping and stretching until my heart rate goes down, I can make a complete recovery."

On Form

"Skating requires a lot of coordination and the lactic acid buildup will inhibit good form. So I can't emphasize enough to push off laterally. Don't push off with your toes: instead push off evenly with ALL of your wheels. At full extension, your skates are effectively parallel to one another. So if anything, you want to push off to the front, with your heels. Concentrate a lot on technique and efficiency, not strength. There's always room for improvement!"