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Help with Sprinting(6 posts)

Help with SprintingRandyMH
Feb 18, 2002 7:09 AM
The group I ride with regularly is more of a racing group than a social group. So the speeds tend to be a little faster especially this time of year a few of them are getting ready for racing season. For the first 17 miles or so they will average about 21 mph or so then we cross over to a rural area. Usually this is when the first big sprint comes. This is also the point in which my group ride is over. In the beginning I would try to rationalize why this was happening (bike to heavy, didnt see it coming, was wearing camelpak, etc.). Then I finally settled for the fact that they were just stronger and faster. Which was all right with me since I was new to the sport. I figured it would take a little time get stronger. 7 months later its still happening. I know Im not as strong as most of them but every time I ride with this group I tend to be one of the first to fall off the pack at the first sprint. Most of the time Im not tierd or winded when its time to sprint. I know its going to happen, see it happening, but I can only keep up so long before I feel like a bungee is pulling me backwards. Then I just watch as the pack rides away. Im asthmatic so this is about the time Im reaching for the inhaler. I have seen people who Im almost sure I am stronger then hang in a lot longer. As long as we are keeping a consistent speed Im ok, its the sprints that kill me. Im starting to think that it may be more technique then strength. Any suggestions are appreciated. And simply saying train harder is ok too.
Pain makes you Beautifuljbrown2036
Feb 18, 2002 7:50 AM
Intervals my friend, Intervals. Thrown in 4-6 of them every hour or so when you are out doing some zone 2 riding, and you will be right up there in a few weeks. Jump out of the saddle (or sitting if you like) and push as hard as you can for ten seconds. Don't worry about your heart rate.

If you feel like you are gonna be sick or you temporarily lose vision you are doing it right.

Chase em' down
More info pleaseMcAndrus
Feb 18, 2002 7:56 AM
How long have you been riding? Is the terrain flat or hilly? What kind of bike are you riding? Do you need to use your inhaler a lot, and always during a ride? How often do you ride, both by yourself and in groups? How many miles do you put in in, say, a week?

You'll get a lot of good suggestions from the people here but I think it might help focus us if you can answer these questions.
More info pleaseRandyMH
Feb 18, 2002 10:51 AM
Ive been riding for 7 months now. Had a 1 month break while building my Cdale R3000 in Nov. I try to ride about 3-4 time a week time permiting. My weekly miles vary I might get in 100+ or I may get in 20 just depends. The same goes with my asthma. It is very sparactic.
More info pleasegrandemamou
Feb 18, 2002 12:42 PM
If you have only been riding for seven months and they are racers you have probably answered your own question. I assume that you meant they were experienced racers. They have muscles and tactics that you won't be able to acquire in a few months.

There is a big difference between a fast group ride and a race pace training ride. When we do race pace we surge from 24 up to 32+ then back down again. We do this several times in a ride and it's mentaly and physicaly taxing. Sounds like your getting dropped in the surges. The key is to survive the surges they will slow down, eventualy.

I'm not an expert trainer but I think you have the right idea. If you want to ride fast, ride with fast riders. Even if you get dropped. As another poster mentioned working hard intervals over time should help. Just don't beat yourself up over it. Keep plugging away.
Help with SprintingTig
Feb 18, 2002 9:49 AM
How far/long are those guys sprinting? How long/far can you keep up with them?

Here's Davis Phinney's advice on sprint training. This is a good way to learn, but it still won't reproduce race conditions or what your group is doing. It doesn't account for the speed build up before the actual sprinting begins.

Here's how to initiate your sprint.
1. Roll along comfortably.
2. Shift to a gear slightly larger than the one you’re in.
3. Grasp the handlebar in the drops.
4. Come off the saddle as your pedal goes over the top of the stroke.
5. Accelerate smoothly and powerfully.
6. Go as hard as you can.

TIP: To keep the bike under control, pull hard with the arm that's on the same side as the foot that’s pushing Keep both arms fairly rigid. But be relaxed enough overall to let the bike move slightly beneath you. It should stay almost vertical, swaying back and forth
only a bit.
Don't emulate riders who swing the bike wildly from side to side. That makes it hard to sprint in a straight line. And if you should encounter something slippery (water, gravel, sand, oil), slanted wheels could slide out from under you.
Keep your weight back to maintain traction on the rear wheel.
Keep your head up so you can scan the road for obstacles.
Once you've got the basics down, try these drills to really improve.

DRILL: Go for the Goal: Pick a road sign, telephone pole, or mailbox about a hundred yards up the road. Roll slowly in an easy gear (e.g., 39x15-tooth), then sprint hard out of the saddle. As soon as you get the gear turning fast (about 110-120 rpm) sit down and smoothly maintain that cadence to your landmark. Shift to an easier gear and roll easily for 3-5 minutes.
Repeat this sequence about 5 times.

DRILL: Attack the Top: Find a gradual hill about 300 yards long. Climb the first half in a moderate gear, using your small chainring (e.g., 39x17- or 19-tooth). Then shift to the big ring but leave the chain on the same cog (the 17 or 19). Sprint as hard as you can to the top. Maintain good form. If you blow up before the top, the gear is too big or the hill too long for your present fitness level.
Don't do this drill before you have a solid base of cycling fitness. Even then, limit it to once per week.