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top end speed(14 posts)

top end speedjust starting out
Jul 4, 2002 5:36 PM
okay all you sprinters -- i need some advice on increasing my top end speed. seems that my jump is okay and leg speed is pretty decent (i think?); i can spin 130-140 smoothly, no bouncing. my top end speed just isn't enough to keep me in contention for sprints. any specific workout ideas for this? thanks!
so, how fast are you?DougSloan
Jul 4, 2002 8:45 PM
How fast are you now?

Sprinting alone, though, and winning a sprint race are two different things. The former is good, but the latter requires experience, cunning, stamina (got to be up there to contest the sprint), guts, and then top end.

When sprinting, do you feel you are limited by oxygen, leg power, technique, or what?

Probably the best way to improve sprinting is to practice it. I upped my top end a couple of mph by doing weekly sprint workouts. It really helps.

Good questionshirt
Jul 5, 2002 10:42 AM
In the flat crit I did last weekend I hit 43 at the line. I could not have gone any faster. I felt like I was limited by both leg power and oxygen. The first because of how I felt, the second because my HR tapped 202 for a moment immediately after the line (I'm 37.)

I think I'm also limited by technique, though I don't feel I have any glaring weaknesses. Because of this, I'm going to be using our local Pro coach to help me with:

1. Leg strength.
2. Sprinting technique.

I know how to improve the oxygen deal and that simply takes a more focused off-season of good base.
if you can spin to 43MPHColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 11:36 AM
I'd say your limitation isn't sprinting. seems pretty fast for me.
Good questionda cyclist
Jul 6, 2002 3:24 PM
If you're hitting almost 72kph in a flat sprint and not winning (at 37 no less), you're either racing against some really fast cat 1's or your positioning for the sprint might be lacking. I mean supermario is probably hitting maybe 75-76 in most sprints. At 72, you could probably give Hincapie or Robert Hunter a run for his money. Just my 2 cents.
Yes and noshirt
Jul 7, 2002 2:43 PM
Yes, I normally race against really fast 1s masquerading as Masters. Down here we have the Postal Masters team, Roberto Gaggioli, and a bunch of other old farts that regularly place in the top ten in the local 1/2/Pro races. The Masters 1/2/3 races are usually almost as fast as the 1/2/Pro races and always faster than the rest.

But I focus on the Masters 4/5 races which are about as fast as the Senior 3s. Strange but true.

No, 72kph isn't THAT fast when you haven't worked for fifteen minutes and you catch the back of the SGW freight-train lead out that forgot to check for hangers-on. :-)

Finally, I don't know if 37 is that old. I truly believe I could currently kick my own ass as a 25 year-old when I raced 'for real.'

None of this means that I don't think my sprint can improve. It most certainly can, and even though I love racing, even if I'm last (!), second just isn't good enough... Because when I HAVE raced against the Postal codgers and Gagg, I get my ass handed to me in a basket. And I'd like to do something about that!
Top end speedallervite
Jul 10, 2002 12:09 PM
43 mph sounds really fast and it is if you are out alone winding it up by yourself. But in a field sprint when you are sitting fourth wheel and turning 35 mph, 43 is very attainable even by someone as limited in talent as Shirt.

Just kiddin Shirt;)

See you at Leesville. We can push each other over that climb.
43 mphDougSloan
Jul 10, 2002 12:18 PM
All I know is this: Anyone who can already hit 43 mph on the flats solo, I have no business advising. :-)

so, how fast are you?just starting out
Jul 6, 2002 7:01 AM
well, i'm a woman and my top end speed is about 29 mph. as far as limiters go, i think my leg power is the greatest limiter, in combination with technique perhaps. i have a hard time hanging on even during the early primes of a crit. if oxygen were a limiter, how would i know and what's the training approach for that? thanks for your thoughts.
Sprints at the end of Speed Intervals.Canidraftyou
Jul 4, 2002 10:48 PM
Like Mr. Sloan said, gotta know your limitation first! For me, it was and still is, endurance. During Build I and Build II, I work Sprints at the tail end of my Speed Intervals. I would say develope a nice sprint first. Do several form sprint work outs before mixing spints in with other workouts.

I may have one of the best sprints among the local guys counting all levels. But! My endurance keeps me from displaying it at the end a lot of the times.

Knowing your conditioning, spending it at the right time and not being afraid is BIG! Not saying your within these problem area's. Everything must come together for a great sprint to work.

Im No Cippo, But Try This!BigLeadOutGuy
Jul 6, 2002 7:19 AM
There are many things you can do to better your sprint both physically and mentally. Ill start with physical. You pretty much want increase leg strength so you can accelerate to the finish with as much speed as also want to keep your cadence high so you can keep your power and speed while you punch through the line. The best way to increase your leg strength is to ride in the saddle and get into a big gear like 53x12 than stay seated and just stomp the pedals for about 20 rotations on the cranks. rest in between and do this for 3-5 sets. I also like to do uphill sprints...I find a hill that will take at least 2 minutes to climb Ill cruise up to the base of the hill at around 15mph than i will jump out of the sadddle and just sprint as fast as I can till my legs burn so bad I cant pedal or I make it succesfully to the top of the hill, rest and repeat 5 times. Now you wanna work on your form and spinnning. to get a nice smooth spin put your bike on the trainer and do one legged pedal exersices. what you do it clip in one foot....hang the other leg off to the side and just go through the pedaling motion with one leg...this will be very difficult at first but go slow and learn to pedal perfect circles than try to increase your cadence gradually. do this for 20 seconds each leg and rest in between sets as needed. this is not a strenght exercise so keep your geraing in a 39x25 or something very easy...when i do these i dont even hook up the trainer wheel to my bike...i just prop up the rear wheel so there is no resistance from the trainer. Also when sprinting try to keep your bike as straight as possible to keep all yoru momentum going foward. Lots fo people sway their bike from side to side and it looks cool but it robs you of foward momentum. Grip the bars firm and keep yoru bike vertical to maximize your foward momentum. and dont forget about the upstroke! Pull up on the pedal stroke as hard as you are mashing down on the pedals too. that takes care of the physical for the mental =)
when it comes down to a pack sprint you have to be ready to bump shoulders and ride in very close quarters. The best way to get over this is to accpet the fact that you are going to crash...if you already accept this fact and are ready to bite the bullet you can then put that fear behind you and just bumbp and bully your way to the front. nine times out of ten if you are bumping shoulders making your way through the pack with fearless confidence the guys around you will see that and know that you mean business and yeild to you. now that you got yourself to the front its time to show off that hard earnd leg strength that you worked so hard on. Now its all about the race situation and timing....but always stay out of the wind....dont get off someones wheel untill you are ready to unleash your sprint and punch it to the line. When to make your sprint totally depends on the race situation, sometimes an early but strong effort to the line will win it...sometimes sitting on a wheel till 50 feet before the line and than getting yoru sprint on is the best way to go. either way when you decide to sprint jump out of the saddle and stomp and pull those pedals as strong as you can and dont hesitate.
I hope some of this helps =)
re: top end speedbrider
Jul 8, 2002 11:45 AM
Sprints on a slight downgrade. You need to get used to turning overa BIG gear. Also, strategy will win more sprints than strength. If it's available to you, get to your local velodrome and give track racing a try. This will school you in tactics and placement so much faster than road racing it's no comparisson. Often, the person who wins the sprint is the one who waits the longest to jump.
Must agree with brider--Get on track!BryanJL
Jul 9, 2002 9:36 AM
Lots of good info above, and would like to empasize the benefits of track training.

I have just finished a 6 week class (2 hrs per week, one night a week, mostly spent on technique, with some hard efforts throughout and lots of rest) at the local 'drome.

It has helped me immensely.

What can you expect to learn from a track class? In my experience, expect to:

--seriously improve the smoothness of your pedal stroke
--develop control of your speed, learn to plan ahead
--learn how to deal with the pain of intense efforts, and how to work that to your advantage in a race/sprint situation
--develop power, snap, and of course bike handling skills

Track racing and training is very worthwhile. Just think about this--if you can go to a place with NO traffic (well, not vehicular, anyway) and train hard, develop skills, and not have to worry about being far from civilization, it's a great situation. Add to that the experience you gain knifing through a pack or pacelining in close proximity, and the strategy!! Oh, the strategy...that's the best really learn to know yourself and your competitors.

And the best part for me is that all the people in the class are really cool, and we are competitive with each other but very supportive too.

Give it a try. It's a great experience.

motorpacing! nmbestT
Jul 12, 2002 1:33 PM