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Thread: Sprint Training

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    Sprint Training

    So it's become apparent that while my aerobic capacity is coming along nicely, I need to work on sprinting.

    Ideally I would like to have a 1500w/10sec and 1000w/30sec split. That's a big goal, right now I can hold 800-ish watts for 15sec.

    What should I be doing?

    Right now I'm doing 20s sprint/40s rest for 5 minutes, a total of 3 intervals of these. A few times per week.

    Is it helpful to sprint for 2 or 3 consecutive days?
    Can I sprint on the same day I'm doing aerobic stuff?
    Should I be jumping hard or spinning up to speed?

    Thanks for any ideas,
    B.

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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Those are lofty goals. Not to dissuade you, of course, but those numbers sound pretty high. How much do you weigh?

    --Steve

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    180. I can put out 1700w for a second or 2, my 10s. max is around 1200.

    regardless of the goals, what sort of training should I do to increase my 10s and 30s power?

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    If you're trying to develop your maximum sprinting power, you need to do your sprints on longer rest. 5-10 minutes between sprints to let the energy system being used fully recharge.

    The 20/40 second routine is more a routine for dealing with accelrations in crits, than a pure sprinting workout.

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    Right now I'm doing 20s sprint/40s rest for 5 minutes
    If you want to see peak numbers really rise, rest a whole lot more. Maybe do a 20s sprint every 5 mins. Do this at first to get true peak numbers up to where you want them, then start training at repeatability and sprinting while fatigued (what you've been doing).
    Patience - Consistency - Motivation

    I literally put our 9.11 watts/kg for 12 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianappleby
    180. I can put out 1700w for a second or 2, my 10s. max is around 1200.

    regardless of the goals, what sort of training should I do to increase my 10s and 30s power?
    Dude, if you're maxing out at 1700 freaking watts at 180lbs just keep doing what you're doing. Friend/training parter of mine blew up the 4s and 3s and up to 2 in a season weighing about the same and sprinting 180w less...

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    Those are tough numbers to achieve in a season. Probably should head to the gym and to leg presses and squats. Your weight would help us out too. Watts by them selves doesnt tell anything unless you have your weight.

    As far as jumping or spinning up to speed, its basically your style preference. Boonen and McEwen have a fast jump to seperate them from the field while Petacchi needs a long windup (via train) to get his sprint speed.

    Having an explosive first 3-5 pedal strokes is usually key as you'll accelerate enough to break free from the field so no one can catch your draft.

    Field sprints are also about strategy. Even if you can beat everyone in a match sprint, that doesn't mean you will win in a big field sprint. Someone can catch your draft and just swing around you at the end.

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    Sprints aren't intervals. The 20s/40s thing won't work.

    If you want to do a sprint workout, find a loop or a long, straight road. Measure off 1000 yards. Paint the start and finish line with a rattle can, along with 200, 150, 100 and 50 yards. Put a cone at about 175 yards.

    Start at the 1000 point and gradually build speed as you get near the 200 yard point. You don't need to be going 30+ when you get there, but 23-25 is good ballpark. Be in the gear you can sprint in and get on top of. When you hit the cone, JUMP with all of the explosive forward momentum you have. The jump is what wins or loses sprints. The ability to get on top of the gear quickly and stay on top of it.
    Go as hard as you can, without taking yourself out, all the way through the line.

    I do 10 of these. When you finish, roll back to the start slowly. It will give you enough time to recover for the next sprint.

    Another exercise is to come, almost, to a complete stop. 5 mph or so. Put the bike in the 53/15 or so.
    When you are barely rolling at 5 mph, try to jump and get on top of the gear. This forces you to use every part of the pedal stroke in order to get up to speed.

    I weigh 175-180 and really don't generate numbers that are all that big (1500-ish for 5 seconds). I can tell you though, getting the jump has won me more than a few races and served me well in 35+ masters fields.

    Race sprints start at 30mph +, but these exercises will help you get to where you want to be. I make my juniors do them and they all have huge snap now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianappleby
    180. I can put out 1700w for a second or 2, my 10s. max is around 1200.
    You have serious potential, dude. I would say you should do a workout where you do 10 second sprints (maybe 10-12 of them) at 3-5 minute intervals and another workout where you do four or five 1 minute efforts also at 5 minute intervals.

    One thing... It's odd that your 10sec power is 1200 watts but your 15sec power is 800 watts. In fact, mathematically that can't be right because if you simply stopped pedaling for 5 seconds after going 1200 watts for 10 seconds, your average power for the 15 seconds would be 800 watts. Also, my one second power is only about 2 watts/kg higher than my 10 second power, so the 500 watt difference you are seeing is phenomenal.

    From what I understand (and I could be wrong) for most people there is a drastic wattage falloff that occurs between 10 seconds and 30 seconds. I would imagine that 1000 watts for 30 seconds is considered world class power for someone who weighs 80 kg, but I could be wrong about that.

    But, as I said before, IMO you're looking at two different workouts: one with 10-second intervals and another with 1-minute intervals.

    --Steve

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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damocles1
    Start at the 1000 point and gradually build speed as you get near the 200 yard point. You don't need to be going 30+ when you get there, but 23-25 is good ballpark. Be in the gear you can sprint in and get on top of. When you hit the cone, JUMP with all of the explosive forward momentum you have.
    Wow, what a great workout idea. That's what I need to do.

    1000 yards sounds like a fairly long distance, though. We're talking about 2/3 of a mile, right?

    --Steve

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    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    yeah, something seems strange with the numbers, with 1700 for two seconds, that means you're only doing just over 1000 for the next 8. How are you measuring your power? My max is well under your max, but my 10 second is well over your 10 second. Probably one or the other is wrong.

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    This thread has got me excited...

    I want a power meter.... But I can't afford one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mezza
    This thread has got me excited...

    I want a power meter.... But I can't afford one?
    You would be surprised the number of credit card companies willing to offer you 0% APR for a year. C'mon, it's free money.

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    1700 is just the "max watts" from my powertap. I assume all I have to do is have one super hard pedal stroke to get that but one pedal stroke won't win me races.

    The 10s. number was guessed, my powertap software is the free saris version, which doesn't record averages over 1000. My 30s power is actually 767 watts, so maybe my 15s. is higher than I guessed. I can tell from my practices that after 15s. is when I start to feel like i'm slowing down

    Thanks for all the tips so far. Sounds like more rest is needed between sets and more structure is needed in the distance/technique.

    B.

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    I mostly do 200m drag races with my training partners, starting from 20mph. Full easy recovery between them. No shifting during the sprint -- choose your gear carefully -- experiment a bit. We're good for 7 or 8 once a week.

    Sometimes we start from a near standstill, sometimes we lead each other out from 25, and move briskly up to 35 before the sprint -- but not briskly enough to drop each other.

    We also do sprint pyramids (totally evil): 5s on, 5s off, 10 on, 10 off...15/15, 20/20, 25/25, 30/30, 25/25, 20/20, 15/15, 10/10, 5/5. It's 6 minutes of pure hell. Each sprint is as explosive as possible for its duration. Try not to puke.

    Mostly we just do the drag races though...

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    I am just going to figure that I really suck in the sprint and thats why my number are lower but I am amazed at the amout of people on this board that fall under the cat1 or higher ranking on cyclingpeaks scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrennie
    I am just going to figure that I really suck in the sprint and thats why my number are lower but I am amazed at the amout of people on this board that fall under the cat1 or higher ranking on cyclingpeaks scale.
    Don't be. Most of us are on our way to decent pro contracts.

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    six figure contract?

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    1. According to ProCycling mag 15 watts/kg for 10 seconds is average pro level, although Bettini is near 20 watts.

    2. If you want to train the sprint then 20s sprint/40s rest isn't the way to do it. You need to rest much longer than that; near complete recovery. 5 minutes is probably the minimum effective rest period.

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    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    Well, the first thing I would do is buy WKO+ so you know the actual numbers you're dealing with.

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    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grebletie
    Don't be. Most of us are on our way to decent pro contracts.
    On our way? I've already retired....

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrennie
    I am just going to figure that I really suck in the sprint and thats why my number are lower but I am amazed at the amout of people on this board that fall under the cat1 or higher ranking on cyclingpeaks scale.
    Yeah, kinda funny. I'm trying to figure out how I find a way to at least be in the mix in sprint finishes, and occassionally win one, with my measly 11.5w/kg. I must be a hell of a tactitian.

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    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    because w/kg means diddlysquat in a sprint? It's all about total wattage, big boy

    I can say "big boy" cuz you and I weigh about the same

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    Throw the power meter away. The whole idea of sprinting is to go fast, not generate a reading on a power meter.

    To go fast, you have to spin, and to spin at 35 mph, you have to start by spinning at 20 mph.

    Try this old school method. Put it in a small gear, around 70 inches (42/16), wind it up until you are spun out. If you can't reach your cadence max (around 130-160) then go down a gear. Next time, try a slightly larger gear but don't move up until you can spin it out. As the season progresses and you get stronger, you'll see how you can get up into some fairly large gears.

    If you are on a training ride, a good early season training technique is for everyone to sprint for a marker in the same small gear. You will really see how good your spin when everyone is in the same gear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Throw the power meter away. The whole idea of sprinting is to go fast, not generate a reading on a power meter.

    To go fast, you have to spin, and to spin at 35 mph, you have to start by spinning at 20 mph.

    Try this old school method. Put it in a small gear, around 70 inches (42/16), wind it up until you are spun out. If you can't reach your cadence max (around 130-160) then go down a gear. Next time, try a slightly larger gear but don't move up until you can spin it out. As the season progresses and you get stronger, you'll see how you can get up into some fairly large gears.

    If you are on a training ride, a good early season training technique is for everyone to sprint for a marker in the same small gear. You will really see how good your spin when everyone is in the same gear.
    While this is great for track sprinting, its not so great for road racing when you can simply drop a gear at 120rpm. the fact is your not going to spin 140rpms out of the saddle and if you sit down in a field sprint to spin out a gear watch the other racers pass you.
    Last edited by recneps; 02-28-07 at 11:01 AM.

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