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Sprint training questions(12 posts)

Sprint training questionsPsalm 147-10_11
Jun 19, 2003 10:58 AM
I've been working on my sprint lately and wonder what goals I should be setting for myself.

I'm 40, 6'3", 185lbs. I've only done three cat 5 training races and have done okay (top 5 each time). I ride in New England and have about 1300 miles in since January. Haven't done any races yet this year, but now that Little League is over, I'd like to start doing them again.

Once a week, I do sprint repeats starting from a crawl in my 53X15 and wind up my sprint for 30 seconds. I usually do 5 of these with rest between each set. On the flats, I can get up to 32 mph but no higher.

What sort of speeds should I be looking for and do you have any suggestions for changes in my training?

what I've doneDougSloan
Jun 19, 2003 12:37 PM
I usually try to mimic real race conditions more closely. You can take turns doing sprints with lead out, or solo. If solo, I start around 25 mph, then sprint from there. Starting slower might give you a good workout, but isn't very realistic. In races I've found speeds leading up to the sprint of at least 25 mph, if not over 30.

If you start your sprints at a higher speed, you may well top out higher. Also, allow complete rest in between. Sprint repeats are not intervals.

The deal that works for me...merckx56
Jun 19, 2003 12:51 PM
It's all fine and well to start at slow speed and wind up a sprint... that will work on your low-end jump. The real key is leg speed while turning those big gears. What I've done in the past and coached others to do is downhill repeats. Find a stretch of road that's slightly downhill. Not a descent, but maybe 2% down grade. Mark off 200-250 yards with paint, cones, road signs etc. Roll into your "sprint-zone" at a good clip...20-25 mph is good for starters. Just before you hit the beginning of the "zone", drop into the gear you want to start your sprint in. Once in the zone, go like someone set your ass on fire! Ride through the line, not to the line! Do this 6 to 8 times. Don't try to incorporate it into a regular ride. Use it as a separate workout.
Personally, when I've done this workout in the past, I'll start in the 53x14 and drop into the 13 close to the end. I roll into it at about 25 and end up at about 40. The combination of the power and legspeed is what sprinters survive on.
You can develop a sprint, but there's more to it than just working on it!
Jun 19, 2003 1:25 PM
Incidentally, I noticed that when I did regular sprint training my climbing improved. Not sure why.

I like these ideasPsalm 147-10_11
Jun 19, 2003 1:48 PM
I'll plan to start my sprints next week using a more realistic starting speed and a slight downhill.

As far as climbing help goes, I can use it. Did Mt. Washington a few years ago and found it brutal... in a fun sort of way.

Thanks for all your replies.
On my last rep tonight...merckx56
Jun 19, 2003 3:50 PM
I saw 71.6 kmh...that's 44.49mph to you! It really f#@kinghurt too! It took me about 45 minutes to ride the 12 miles home from the loop!
re: Sprint training questionsbrider
Jun 19, 2003 12:55 PM
If you have a velodrome any where near you, get in on the series racing there. You'll learn more in one night of racing on the 'drome than you would in 4 weeks of crits and road races. Of course, you'll need a track bike (which you can often borrow or rent at the track), and some 'dromes require a track safety class prior to racing (a good idea anyway).
No velodrome around herePsalm 147-10_11
Jun 19, 2003 1:29 PM
although I do ride a fixie throughout the winter. Not quite a track bike...
track vs road sprintingCritLover
Jun 19, 2003 6:06 PM
During my last sprint of my workout today, I looked down and noticed that my cadence was only @101 (53x13). Trackies have always toldme that you have to work on leg speed, and they often hit rpms over 150.

I began to wonder if it was possible or realistic to try to get those kinds of #'s on the road. When trackies race on the road do they hit really high cadences in a smaller gear, or do they just slow down their rpms. It seems that guys like Zabel, Cipo, or McEwen don't hit those kinds of cadences (or Nothstein for that matter when he's on the road). What's an average/good cadence for a road sprint?

BTW-just finished building up my first track bike, now just have to wait for the track resurfacing to finish.
track vs road sprintingVeloflash
Jun 19, 2003 11:58 PM
Average RPM on the road is 110-120 (53/12) for a sprint. I notice I change up at about 120rpm when going through the gears.

Track sprinting is totally different to road sprinting through the rule requirement to use a single fixed gear. You need a gear on the track that trades off between acceleration and top speed. And you can only utilise the top end benefits through higher cadences so trackies have to adapt to train power at higher cadences. If you used a 53/12 (119" gear) on the track your competitor would have an easy time by slowing you up then jumping away into the final sprint.

I, personally, have not seen any transfer of benefits towards sprinting from track to the road as road sprinting is lower-cadence-use-of-gears using leadouts over a longer distance on (usually) a straight piece of road.
track vs road sprintingbrider
Jun 23, 2003 2:32 PM
The benefit is in the tactics, not specifically the cadence.
Sprinting is an art.Canidraftyou
Jun 19, 2003 10:56 PM
"Im no artist."

The type of sprint exercise your doing is just above form sprints. This is nice, but to become a faster sprinter you need to work it from all aspects. Power, Speed and Form. You then need to learn how to use your lead outs.

Form: Must learn how to handle the bike under stress prior to working other areas. Work form with a target area in mind. Like 70% effort, 80 % effort, so on. On days where you work 70% effort stay with 70%. Stay with each target area until you feel your cheating yourself by the end of each work out. Thats when its time to jump into the next target area.

*Power: Work up hill Sprint intervals approx. 4%-6% grade in short sessions. Always go over the top, never stop the exercise half way up the hill, so pick small hills. Stop the intervals before you become sloppy. Always finish your sprint strong and under control. It may not be that way on race day, but you gotta train that way.

*Speed: Work down hill Sprints approx. 2%-4% grade again in short sessions. Dont allow yourself to reach Max. rpms. The idea here is learning how to bring your rpms up FAST!!! Set just prior to reaching Max rpms and work it for additional 5 to 10 sec.

I work form sprints in Base III and then work Speed in build I and then power in build II. When peak time comes you'll have it all come together, as long as you play the race correct.

Most of what im talking about is in the Joe Friel book, but you gotta change things to your style and needs.

Peace out