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Old 08-20-07, 04:12 PM   #1
calhoun1
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Sprint Speed

What kinds of speeds would a sprint normally get up to?

Cat 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, etc.

I am just curious. And what about with vs without lead out?

I see people throw around wattage numbers etc, but never really know how that translates to actual speed. I guess I am just wanting to see what I should be working toward as my goal for a sprint at the end of rides.
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Old 08-20-07, 05:22 PM   #2
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34 for bobcats
38 for mountain lions and cougars
75+ for cheetahs
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Old 08-20-07, 05:23 PM   #3
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Cat 2 will be 65 to 70km/hour at the finish.
Cat 3 might be 60 to 65 and 4 and 5 should both top out around 60
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Old 08-20-07, 05:55 PM   #4
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34 for bobcats
38 for mountain lions and cougars
75+ for cheetahs

My house cat can hit 35 when it's time to go to the vet.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:26 PM   #5
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I've been meaning to do this for a while for these sprint speed threads:

Crossing this chart http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/...profile_v4.gif
...with this calculator: http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
Take the maximum 5s power for a given category of racer, at sea level, no slope and no wind, you can estimate a leadout-sprint speed:

Cat 5: 37.5mph
Cat 4: 38.9
Cat 3: 40.3
Cat 2: 41.8
Cat 1: 43
Domestic Pro: 44.2
International Pro: 45.3

These numbers include track riders, who generally have higher sprint power than road-exclusive riders, so maybe shift everything up by one category.

Without a leadout, you're looking at 20s power, which isn't in the chart. I think it would be safe to shift all the numbers over by one category (so a Cat 3 could hit 38.9 from a standstill).

I'm a Cat 3 with a pretty good sprint (but I'm not a track racer, and would get my ***** handed to me by an SM3 Trackie). In real world conditions, at 600 ft elevation, I can reliably get up to 38 without a leadout. I can draft a truck at 40mph, come out of the draft, and accelerate a bit, so I'm right about at the Cat 3 range there, but this is a higher elevation than the above estimates.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:37 PM   #6
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these threads are really completely irrelevant. Like all speed issues, there are a lot of variables.

The answer for racing is you've got to be >mph faster than the next guy.

The answer for training is you've got to give your sprint workouts an absolute effort.

The actual mph doesn't matter in either instance.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:14 PM   #7
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these threads are really completely irrelevant. Like all speed issues, there are a lot of variables.

The answer for racing is you've got to be >mph faster than the next guy.

The answer for training is you've got to give your sprint workouts an absolute effort.

The actual mph doesn't matter in either instance.
Thank-you for saving me the many key strokes
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Old 08-20-07, 07:22 PM   #8
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As someone newer to racing, my max sprint alone is about 31.5 mph. But I do wonder if someone can provide me with insight as to the typical gear ratios used for sprinting?

Also - are 1 minute intervals essentially the best training program for sprinting?
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Old 08-20-07, 07:46 PM   #9
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As someone newer to racing, my max sprint alone is about 31.5 mph. But I do wonder if someone can provide me with insight as to the typical gear ratios used for sprinting?
Whatever makes you go fastest. Experiment.

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Also - are 1 minute intervals essentially the best training program for sprinting?
No. Sprinting is.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:02 PM   #10
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As someone newer to racing, my max sprint alone is about 31.5 mph. But I do wonder if someone can provide me with insight as to the typical gear ratios used for sprinting?

Also - are 1 minute intervals essentially the best training program for sprinting?
Typical gear ratio varies dependent upon factors such as the type of sprint ... uphill, flat, wide open/long straightaway or near the last turn of a race, lead out, how big the bunch is, etc. My biggest is a 53x12, I've never spun it out. I know guys that use 53x11, personal preference I guess. Most people I talk to just do it by feel and don't really know what gear they're in until the sprint is over. This probably varies in upper cats where sprint speeds are higher.

IMO, the best training program for sprinting is having a good training program for racing. The fastest sprinter in the world is rendered useless if they cant GET to the sprint finish in a race.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:08 PM   #11
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Sprinting isn't necessarily as much about top speed as it is about tactics. Pick the right wheel, and you don't have to be uber-fast to win.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:22 PM   #12
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Sprinting isn't necessarily as much about top speed as it is about tactics. Pick the right wheel, and you don't have to be uber-fast to win.
Ne'r a truer word was spoke!

I have trained with lots of guys who can out sprint me one on one. But where are they on race day? Tactics will get you 90% of the way.

Here's a good sprint workout - Tues mornings for me:

Warm up well'

20sec all out sprint, 20 sec just below threashold - that's 1 rep.

Start with 10 reps (thats 20sec sprint, 20sec recover ,20sec sprint ,20 sec recover...) That's 1 set.

Spin for 15 minutes.

Do another set and cool down.

Once 2 sets of 10 don't make you puke, bump it up to 12, then 14 until you hit 20. If you can do 2 sets of 20, add a third set.

I find these help in many race situations, including the last 2 km.

Good luck
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Old 08-20-07, 08:27 PM   #13
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Warm up for 20 minutes. Do one sprint as hard as you can like it is the end of a race. Give it all you got. Then spin for 10 minutes to recover fully and repeat.

In the flying 200m, fastest times are around 10s. so translate that to road, 200m maybe around 12-14 sec. Work on max power in that time frame.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:00 PM   #14
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My best sprint this year topped out at about 35mph. It was also going up a slight incline, at the end of a 50mile crit. Top speed is higher, but there are too many variables for it to matter aside from easy ride pissing contest banter.

Top end, as has already been stated, is a nice number to throw around, but damn near useless in a race unless you can 1) get to the 1km, 500m and 200m marks, and 2) get there in a good position.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:50 PM   #15
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As someone newer to racing, my max sprint alone is about 31.5 mph. But I do wonder if someone can provide me with insight as to the typical gear ratios used for sprinting?

Also - are 1 minute intervals essentially the best training program for sprinting?
Shorter than 1 min intervals, and lots of rest. An often overlooked exercise is Jumps. Start from a walking pace in a 53x17, accelerate out of the seat for 50m or so and sit, rest, repeat. Best done in a small group and a staple of every sprint workout warmup for old school Trackies.
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Old 08-20-07, 10:01 PM   #16
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Cat 5- 50mph
Cat 4- 58.9mph
Cat 3- 46mph
Cat 2- 60.9mph'
Cat 1- 67mph
National Pro- 73mph
International Pro- 158,000mph
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Old 08-20-07, 11:27 PM   #17
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Cat 5- 50mph
Cat 4- 58.9mph
Cat 3- 46mph
Cat 2- 60.9mph'
Cat 1- 67mph
National Pro- 73mph
International Pro- 158,000mph
Are you certain? I expected more.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:13 AM   #18
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^ Only the speed of light? Wimps.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:41 AM   #19
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As someone newer to racing, my max sprint alone is about 31.5 mph. But I do wonder if someone can provide me with insight as to the typical gear ratios used for sprinting?

Also - are 1 minute intervals essentially the best training program for sprinting?
As others have said, 15s to 20s efforts are better for training a pure sprint. For a road race or crit sprint, 1-minute intervals will greatly help keep you in contention before the sprint starts, and will help you to have some legs left when the sprint starts.

For sprint training, I usually do drag-races with friends. Count out 200m (25 strokes in your 53/14). This is a good distance for sprinting. We roll up to the start line at a predetermined speed (usually 20mph), leave it in one gear (your choice) and try to get to the finish first. Recovery is extremely important, and it takes about 5 minutes to get the lactic acid out of your muscles. I'm usually good for 6 sprints, but I don't recover as long as I should (on my lunch break).

When your performance really starts to fall off (compared to training partners or max speed for the day), you should stop. The teardown is complete. If you want to ride more, it's a great time to do an aerobic base ride from there.
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Old 08-21-07, 04:45 PM   #20
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^ Only the speed of light? Wimps.
That would be miles per second. (actually closer to 186,000 MPS)
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Old 08-21-07, 05:38 PM   #21
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My commuting has me able to dynamite up to middle 30's out of nowhere. It's gratifying but means absolutely dick in a race. There's a total package that needs to come together and sprinting is just the icing.
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Old 08-21-07, 05:41 PM   #22
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That would be miles per second. (actually closer to 186,000 MPS)
My bike will go that fast. It says so in big letters right on the frame.
It says Litespeed.
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Old 08-21-07, 08:41 PM   #23
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That would be miles per second. (actually closer to 186,000 MPS)
Ah, yes, I saw 158,000 and was thinking 186,000. Didn't even notice that it was mph vs. mps. Closer reading would help, eh?
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Old 08-22-07, 07:47 AM   #24
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Ah, yes, I saw 158,000 and was thinking 186,000. Didn't even notice that it was mph vs. mps. Closer reading would help, eh?
I broke the sound barrier on a sprint last night. And then I broke myself.

Does that count for anything?
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Old 08-22-07, 07:55 AM   #25
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Ne'r a truer word was spoke!

I have trained with lots of guys who can out sprint me one on one. But where are they on race day? Tactics will get you 90% of the way.

Here's a good sprint workout - Tues mornings for me:

Warm up well'

20sec all out sprint, 20 sec just below threashold - that's 1 rep.

Start with 10 reps (thats 20sec sprint, 20sec recover ,20sec sprint ,20 sec recover...) That's 1 set.

Spin for 15 minutes.

Do another set and cool down.

Once 2 sets of 10 don't make you puke, bump it up to 12, then 14 until you hit 20. If you can do 2 sets of 20, add a third set.

I find these help in many race situations, including the last 2 km.

Good luck
This is not a true sprint workout. A sprint workout should be building the strength necessary to sprint and after your fist effort your intervals aren't doing that. You need to work on LT and stuff too so you can get to the sprint but when it comes down to it strength = speed.


A better workout is:
20s all out sprint.
2min as slow as you can
repeat x 3-5 times
rest 15 minutes and start again.
If you feel like you aren't able to push anymore rest more or call it a day.
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