@Matt - clarify if you are looking for separation or final sprint.
Workouts can be specific for both but would be variable.
But thanks all for the tips. I will add in gym/strength work this year. Carving out 1/2 hour 3x/week to go turn my legs to jelly should, if nothing else, help with muscle recruitment and give me some noob gains with strength. If it carries over to the bike great, if not, I can say I tried.
Just curious how the strength building woks in terms of keeping a good body mass balance for competitive cycling. If you spend a decent amount of time in the gym, you'll gain strength and likely help improve your sprint. However, does this adversely affect the ability to climb?
Not to totally hijack, but I started cycling this year and my history of athletics goes from distance running from 1994-2008ish to a lot of exclusive strength training from 2009-2013. My body mass increased about 30 pounds during those 4 years. Since beginning cycling earlier this year I've dropped about 20 pounds, but still carry 195lbs at 6'3". I fear that if I resume strength training over the winter, I'll get dropped trying to climb a highway overpass as I currently struggle in the hills as it is. I'm a cat 4 and can hang around and be part of the pack sprint in cat 3/4 races if its flat (crits and road up to 75m), but add some hills and I'm off the back pretty quick.
I've been told I am a sprinter by a few folks that I ride with (I'd say I'm a slow one of that) and will likely focus on flatter crits and road races next year because of my hill struggles. I'd like to enhance the sprinting ability, but not at the cost of not being able to be in contention at the end of a race. So, I'm thinking one or two days with weights (squats, deads, cleans, etc) and focus more of my time on the bike.
I guess not really a direct question in there, but maybe more confirmation of my rationale???
I use coaches (why does one get a coach thread) and I have attended specialty sprint training sessions put on my them. In learning to sprint, every sprinter knows the mark on the course where he will begin his sprint. Most sprints are about 20 pedal strokes. One gets in their sprint gear and rides back 20 pedal strokes and finds their mark. We practiced sprints going down a hill that flattens and we hit a mark and had to be in our sprint gear and then drill it. Sprinting requires great execution as well as strength and endurance. If you want to improve your sprint, hire a sprint coach.
Now this is very basic sprinting 101 and we have very accomplished racers here who probably do it differently. However, every sprinter must know his mark. Part of knowing your mark is knowing yourself.
Besides weight training there is plyometrics. Here is a video on box jumping that is pretty good since he describes how to box jump and the progression.
Hey Hermes you would almost think I know what I am talking about :)
As I, and others, have said - the devil's in the details...
Sometimes it is the smallest thing that can make the difference.
sometimes I go here >
sometimes I go there >>>
sometimes I have to go this hard +++++
sometimes I only have to go this hard ++
I want to win every sprint. Not just the ones that unfold according to my mind's perfect plan.
loose. plan c is as likely to happen as plan a. guys who don't have another plan usually end up sitting up.
In my short lived racing experience thus far I have noticed one thing about sprinters: Almost all of them train to a certain extent with fast group rides that finish with a sprint line. For me, aside from practice, I was only able to sprint on maybe 2-3 races that would have made any significance to my placement. So, for some of the newer racers I think it is important to just get out there and place equal or higher importance on actually sprinting against others as well as doing your own spring drills.
You should ride with the group that leaves from 5 points on Saturday. There is a sprint point after about 15 miles I think. Get Travis, Patrick or Sully to wind up and sprint them. That will be a good eye opening experience. Not sure that I could catch Trav on a short sprint he accelerates so hard.
I got way bigger fish to fry in training than my sprint. This piddly FTP would be a good start haha.
It seems silly to say "I will sprint from this exact spot" to me, I've never done that. It all depends on how the race unfolds.. sometimes you can just "wait" to get around the last corner, sometimes it makes sense to attack before that. It really depends I think.
My recent experience:
I took a few forced months off the bike this summer due to an accident. My miles went way down and are still down as I am not training on the road, only on gravel paths and mostly residential areas.
During this time I have been going to PT twice a week. It is more like weight training than PT and I can feel the results when I do get on the bike. My "high cardio" is not what it used to be (as in I probably could not hang long term with the leaders in a race at the moment) but I can lay down some serious short term power now with my improved leg and core strength. My weight has only gone up 5 lbs and recently, on my cross bike, got my third fastest time ever on a hill I use for repeats despite not riding hills for 4 months. Even with my injured leg, I can equal my shorter personal road bike records on some segments despite now being on a heavier cross bike with only 40lbs of tire pressure and knobbies.
When I am rested and go for a little cross ride with my Wife, my legs feel juiced and I can rip. Weight lifting, squats, lunges, curtis p's, leg presses, etc...will improve your sprint. It is up to you learn your body and how much lifting is too much and dial in your training with a variety of exercises not just riding more and hoping that you will turn into a sprinter. Make some muscle and you will make some power.
I plan to return to road racing next spring (Wife is not happy), but will be doing the bulk of my training off road, in the gym, on the trainer, or riding in circles around a nearby school campus.
Do any of you sprint from a seated position? Everyone I know sprints from a standing position except me. Is standing more efficient/better when it comes to sprinting? I have done well, so am hesitant to try in a race. When training for sprints, I cannot go as long or as hard when standing as I can from sitting. So I might have smaller numbers, but I can last longer when seated, and assuming I am in the right place at the end, that seems to be to my advantage. Will I eventually be a better sprinter if I am standing?