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  1. #1
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    Sprint Power Training versus Racing

    OK,

    So admitedly I am not a sprinter by any means, but I was curious about how much power you guys actually see at the end of a crit or circuit race compared to testing.

    I won't state absolute numbers, but suffice to say that I'm seeing 10 second power somewhere along the lines of 30-40% lower than what I can routinely test on. RPE seems high, but that still seems like a huge gap!


    I'm not sure I'll be able to improve my testing numbers significantly, but at least like to come closer to what I know I can when it actually counts.

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    I'll be watching this thread with interest, as I have the same questions. My sprint power is pretty abysmal - I've just recently started training for short-interval bursts and have worked my way up to 850W. Being 64.5kg this equates to a decent speed, but my primary goal is being able to "jump" when the wheel in front of me does and be able to hold it. Stronger riders often punch it to chase down an attack and I'm just unable to match their instantaneous speed and stay in the draft. Ultimately I hope my training leads to being able to contest a sprint - but for now I just want to finish with the lead group....

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    Senior Member tanhalt's Avatar
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    There's a big difference between popping out a sprint rested and sprinting at the end of a race, which most likely has gotten "fast" over the last few laps. In order to be "fresher" for that finish and be able to sprint closer to your standalone test numbers, you actually need to work on raising your FTP...so that the ramp up at the end of the race takes less out of you before you sprint.

    It's funny...VERY rarely do I record a max power for a race in a finishing sprint. My max 5s and 10s power is usually somewhere in the middle of the race...either initiating, or responding to, an attack.

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    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    Depends on the race. The collegiate crits I do this time of year are short, 60 minutes, and easy unless I purposefully make them hard for myself. I've been hitting the same numbers I could hit in training this time of year. Road races are a different animal.

    My best 5s ever was in a short, track style race on road bikes. I generally can get within 100w of that at the end of crits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post

    It's funny...VERY rarely do I record a max power for a race in a finishing sprint. My max 5s and 10s power is usually somewhere in the middle of the race...either initiating, or responding to, an attack.
    I don't think you're alone, I've noticed this as well.

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    I've actually had races where my max 5 second power occurs in warmup, and I don't think this is a positive thing.

  7. #7
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
    There's a big difference between popping out a sprint rested and sprinting at the end of a race, which most likely has gotten "fast" over the last few laps. In order to be "fresher" for that finish and be able to sprint closer to your standalone test numbers, you actually need to work on raising your FTP...so that the ramp up at the end of the race takes less out of you before you sprint.
    IF (and for me that's a big IF) I am in a position to sprint at the end of a race, I can usually put out 85-90% of my best 5s in a sprint.

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhalt View Post
    It's funny...VERY rarely do I record a max power for a race in a finishing sprint. My max 5s and 10s power is usually somewhere in the middle of the race...either initiating, or responding to, an attack.
    I've noticed that as well. Actually, last Saturday my peak 5s was about 10 seconds into the race... I think it had something to do with having to fix Brandon's number and not being ready at the start

    It wasn't super high, about 70% of my best, but I didn't sprint at the end.

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    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    My sprint during training (just tooling around endurance for 5 minutes then a 12 second sprint) usually ends up in the 1300-1500 watt range). In a race, my final sprint is usually around 1100 to 1200 assuming I haven't just been in a long breakaway or on a finishing climb. However, I am usually able to fire off a number of attacks in the 1400+ watt range for acceleration.

    So I guess I would say that racing gives me a little extra adrenaline kick for when I nail the first few hard efforts (as compared to training) but for a finish sprint, I usually fall shy by a few hundred watts...what is that? 20%

    Don't know if it helps, but it is one of the reasons I don't like there to be a sprint. :-)

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    The 20% number seems to apply to me too, but for peak only.

    In training my peak wattage is just under 1600, a number I rarely hit. I see 1300-1400 more often, when jumping after things. In races I have never seen 1300, and 1250 is a triumph. I've won (training race) races, in field sprints, with Cat 1-2s present, jumping at under 1000 watts and holding 900 watts for 20 seconds. Really pitiful actually. I've also won Cat 3 or 3-4 races in sprints without hitting 1200w peak (mid 1100s), with a sustained sprint of 800-900 watts.

    As a comparison, I'll find myself holding 1000 watts in the pre-sprint leadout. A lot of my sprints aren't that long so some of my avg wattage numbers get generated in the leadout to the sprint. I think my 20s is much higher in a race, approaching 1000 watts. I don't think I break 800 or so in training (and I don't feel like checking just now lol).

    A note - I've hit my max wattage on days I didn't think I would, i.e. on a really hot day, at the end of a really long ride, and I do a jump "just because". When I'm fresh, motivated, all that, I sprint worse, by 100-200 watts.

    My best race as far as avg HR, avg power, speed, and racing at the front was the Harlem Crit a couple years back. I "warmed up" by doing 3 pretty hard 20-30 second efforts. After the race, in which I almost crashed with 2 turns to go while sitting maybe 8th-12th (again, don't feel like checking my notes), I realized that the three jumps were all equally high, and each of them were over 1400 watts. I wondered to myself if I left one or two jumps out on the road during the warm up because I really could have used a couple efforts in the last 500 meters of the race. On the other hand, my avg HR was about 8 beats higher than anything I'd think I'd see as a PEAK, and although I was suffering, I never dropped back from the front 25-30 in a huge, fast, consistent field.

    For race day, my warm up jumps at Harlem were my best ever numbers.

    Of course today I want to go and do sprints outside for the first time in eons. Hm. I literally can't remember the last time I went out with the goal of sprinting. Maybe 2 years ago? Should be fun.

    cdr

  10. #10
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    What's sprint training?

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    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    What's sprint training?
    Something people who leave their basements do. I would suggest trying it, but you are already deadly enough in the short game. You don't need any more advantages.

  12. #12
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Raise the FTP and you'll see higher 5s at the finish.
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  13. #13
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    ^yeah, the better aerobic fitness you have the more pop you'll have at the end. i do find that i need to do some sprints or work that includes neuromuscular power to reach my best sprint wattages though. opening up neuromuscular pathways or something like that is how i like to think of it.

    that being said, my 5" max is somewhere in the low 1200W range (iirc, tested at 1215 through 1230 over past few years). my 5" max in a race is 1164W, i was on good form, only did 1 big attack in the race which which only lasted a couple of laps, and i lost the sprint by a tire width. typically though i'm hitting 950W to 1000W at the end of a race, but i race stupidly aggressive and think if i sat in more i'd have better W #s.

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