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sprinting problems(10 posts)

sprinting problemsgsxrawd
Jan 26, 2003 1:28 AM
it seems after an out of the saddle ultra hard sprint for about 15 seconds when i get tired and set down I noticed that I ould sit on the saddle and keep shifting to the tip of the saddle in order to keep up the high rpms.
it this a fittness problem or bike fit or technique? I hope my question make sense.
Paging Nick!!!biknben
Jan 26, 2003 10:01 AM
This man is in need of an expert sprinter!!!

Nick is busy trying to sell his trashed frame but he'll be with you in just a moment.
re: sprinting problemsRaven1911
Jan 26, 2003 10:52 AM

I too am a sprinter. I was taught technique from an Olympic track sprinter. He stated to me that rpms are all individual. Some sprinters like to pedal at higher rpms (like track sprinters who do not have a choice) while others like to hammer on the gears more with lower rpms using more muscle power. However, shifting to the front of the saddle makes sense if you are pedaling at very high rpms at the end of your effort.

If you are training though I would either be in the saddle or out of the saddle. Never start a sprint out of the saddle and sit down later. Do your intervals by doing approx. 3 sprints out of the saddle and 3 in the saddle the whole time. We'll see if Nick agrees or not, but being advised by an Olympic track sprinter I am just passing on his advice.
Jan 27, 2003 11:22 AM
"Never start a sprint out of the saddle and sit down later."

I don't understand. For road sprints, that's what everyone does. Track may well be different, but everyone on the road starts the jump hard out of the saddle, then sits and spins up to top speed. It's in any book about road racing, too.

When you say sprint...Raven1911
Jan 27, 2003 10:34 PM
I keep thinking that when you say sprint you are essentially sprinting to the finish line. In criterium racing that is what I consider a sprint. But I stand can sprint to catch a wheel ahead of you or a break away as well and in that case you would need to sit down after standing. Sorry I misunderstood.

I'm in the same rutPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 28, 2003 11:10 AM
I consider a sprint at most 10-12 secs because thats the energy system being used. I don't consider accelerating to get on someones wheel a pure sprint even though most would.

My 2 cents (fairly long)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 27, 2003 12:22 PM
To give you some insight you are sprinting correctly but there are some tweeks you can make. I'll explain my understanding of road sprints and track sprints and how you can apply it to your sprinting. Here goes:

-road-most of the time its either a sprint in the middle of the race or at the end. The pack is slowly picking up speed with the top sprinters having leadouts... each man in the leadout train picking the speed up a bit higher... then in the last 200 m when the leadout man has hit his top sustainable speed in the saddle the sprinter jumps out of the saddle comes out of the draft and powers to the finish line. At most a 10 second effort out of the saddle in a very large gear. Probably at least 120+ inches (52x11).
-track-the sprints tend to be a lot more sustained especially in the 200 m time trial or the kilo, however where the acceleration in a road sprint can use some shifting and is done over a fairly large period of time on the track you can't so the gearing is considerably smaller. In a 200 m time trial which is an event from a flying start and is by far the fastest event on the track the rider begins by doing a couple laps slowly pulling himself up to about 50-55 km/h at the elite level (40-45 km/h at lower levels) and then about 150 m from the start line the rider jumps out of the saddle and accelerates to the highest speed they can hit before sitting down (normally right at the start line) and maintaining this speed. Since the cadences are at the lowest about 140 rpm and up to 170 rpm at times its impossible to maintain this leg speed standing efficiently since they use gears between 90-100 inches. If you ever watch someone do a 200 m you'll understand this and also see how quiet they are in the upper body compared to the road.

So now your asking where does this leave you when sprinting. Notice in both you stand up to accelerate but only sit down if you need to maintain it. If its a finish burst mimmick the pros on the road. Get on someones wheel then with under 200 m to go just stand up and move all over the place like a madman. However, if you have to sprint for 15 secs jump up out of the saddle hit your top speed say trying to push over the top of a big hill in a pack... then sit down and maintain. Moving forward on the saddle is not a fit issue. It is just you scooting forward into a more powerful position.

So in conclusion you almost ALWAYS want to start a sprint out of the saddle since you just can't get enough torque seated to get up to your true top speed. There are some exceptions on the track when razoring someone but I won't get into this.

By the way Raven is completely right in saying cadence is a personal thing. It is partially determined by genetics (some favour leg speed over pure strength) but also training. With the proper coaching and supervision Olympic lifting which emphasizes power can help this along with working on your cadence through cadence pyramids slowly stepping it up then down again.

Hope this helps,
Nick (on probation)
When I first rode on the track...brider
Jan 27, 2003 1:38 PM
I took one of the introductory classes offered by the Marymoor Velodrome Association. Dick Rayray was heading up the class (you may have heard of his wife Shan more recently). The description of "sitting down" given there was that you imagine having your seat covered in bubblewrap, and you want to pop all the bubbles as you sit back. In other words, the motion of sitting down is a slow process, not just plunking your weight down on the saddle.

Just thought I'd add that.
Very good pointPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 27, 2003 1:55 PM
You want to be slow and deliberate in how you sit... so you want to touch all the bubbles but not pop them... if you just plop down they'll burst.

Thanks Very much PODIUMBOUNDdotCA! nmgsxrawd
Jan 27, 2003 11:30 PM