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  1. #1
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    Track cycling nutrition for sprinters

    I'm just starting to get into track cycling and would love to try my hand at sprint events. I have read a lot of articles on training and weight training regimes, yet I cannot find anything about nutrition for track sprint events, would anyone be able to help me with this problem??? Any help is much appreciated.

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    Senior Member melville's Avatar
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    Caffeine and sugar. Lots of it. When your hands shake enough that you can barely hold on to the handlebar, that's about right. Observing my 7 year old, I'd say the best sprinter nutrition is "Juice. Juice. Do you have some juice? There's juice in the refrigerator. I want some." Wind him up and watch him go!

    If you want to be a monster sprinter, first you've got to be a gym rat. Find out what the powerlifters are eating. Avoid stuff sold out of the back of cars. But first, you should find out if you have some innate talent for sprinting. 80% of success in bike racing is just showing up in the first place, trying the different events, and figuring out what you like. Do the thing first, worry (specific training, nutrition) about it later. You'll get more benefit from the trackie learning curve in your first season than you will from feeling like you've got to be in monster sprinter shape before you show up.

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    All people, be it athletes, lazy couch potatos, ect should eat 60% complex carbs, 20% fat and 20% protein. Just adjust your caloric intake for your metabolism and youll be set.

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    In other sports, I have had success centering higher ratios of carbohydrates around (before/after/during) activity when I need them, and then switching to a Protein biased diet with minimal starch intake when I am not doing strenuous activity.

    You need to find ratios and cycling patterns that work for you, regardless of the sport.
    Last edited by JaeOne3345; 10-10-08 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #5
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clink83 View Post
    All people, be it athletes, lazy couch potatos, ect should eat 60% complex carbs, 20% fat and 20% protein. Just adjust your caloric intake for your metabolism and youll be set.
    This is a fallacy. Food is more than it's sum of macronutrients, and there is no static ratio per any given person, whether athletic or not.

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    I'm gonna have to agree with Dre Dog above. 20% Protein for one is simply not enough for all people. Seems like something founded in old literature but if it works for you then so be it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DanielS's Avatar
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    The best track sprinter I know seems to consume nothing but takeaway food and coca cola. He also claims to be allergic to vegetables!

    (OTOH I'm the worst track sprinter I know, and I consume lots of vegetables and no soft drink. But I go up hills fast )

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    Quote Originally Posted by melville View Post
    Caffeine and sugar. Lots of it. When your hands shake enough that you can barely hold on to the handlebar, that's about right. Observing my 7 year old, I'd say the best sprinter nutrition is "Juice. Juice. Do you have some juice? There's juice in the refrigerator. I want some." Wind him up and watch him go!

    If you want to be a monster sprinter, first you've got to be a gym rat. Find out what the powerlifters are eating. Avoid stuff sold out of the back of cars. But
    first, you should find out if you have some innate talent for sprinting. 80% of success in bike racing is just showing up in the first place, trying the different events, and figuring out what you like. Do the thing first, worry (specific training, nutrition) about it later. You'll get more benefit from the trackie learning curve in your first season than you will from feeling like you've got to be in monster sprinter shape before you show up.
    Quote Originally Posted by MGtrack View Post
    The best food for a sprinter comes through your car window. Or at least that's what I learned watching one guy who continually blew my doors off (I'm a health food nut/gym rat)

    I thinks genetics is a factor too
    Sprinting is definitely a genetic thing. It's virtually impossible to "train" oneself to become a vividly better sprinter. Yes, you can work on tactics and power and all that, but your base level of "sprintness" will determine how far you can go.

    An ex-teammate of mine could out jump me no matter how much (or little) I trained. I could beat him after 40-50 meters, but the first 10, forget it. Another guy, a long time friendly rival, could out jump me easily at will. He could be heavy, light, fit, fat, he still had his jump.

    Go to the track. If you get beat because you're fatigued after winning a few rounds. A good sign is if you end up seeded well because you did a fast time, but you were actually trying to back pedal for the last turn and ended up riding halfway up the banking when you lost control of your bike. I did that - it was the first hard effort on a fixed gear bike I made in forever and I literally thought I was going to end up off the track.

    My first track ride/race since 1992 (it was about a year ago):
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...me-racing.html

    Also I recently finished a helmet cam clip and I forgot to post it here. Scratch race, B race. It's not fast, but I think everyone was saving themselves for omnium series events - pursuit, miss and out I think. I got 2nd to last in the pursuit.

    Helmet cam at the track:
    http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...e-june-17.html

    cdr

  9. #9
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Sprinting is definitely a genetic thing. It's virtually impossible to "train" oneself to become a vividly better sprinter. Yes, you can work on tactics and power and all that, but your base level of "sprintness" will determine how far you can go.
    Ain't that the truth! That video is really cool. It must be really hard to hold the bike down in the turn with so little banking. I had trouble at Colorado Springs, and it has a lot more banking. I have a really neat old trainer that has both inertial and wind resistance, and a freewheel to select the effort level. It's great to simulate jumps and standing starts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Very cool helmet cam video. That's a flat track. Reminds me of some I raced in the UK and some older tracks in France.
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  11. #11
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    I disagree. Sprinting is very trainable, in my experience. Lift weights. Do plyo. Practice sprinting from different speeds with different loads. You'll be surprised how much you can improve.

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    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    I disagree. Sprinting is very trainable, in my experience. Lift weights. Do plyo. Practice sprinting from different speeds with different loads. You'll be surprised how much you can improve.
    +1 genetics may determine your ultimate potential, but large improvements are certainly possible.
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


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    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    I disagree. Sprinting is very trainable, in my experience. Lift weights. Do plyo. Practice sprinting from different speeds with different loads. You'll be surprised how much you can improve.
    Yes, I did all that. Also, a lot of intervals, starts, motor wind-outs etc. And yes I did improve, however, when it came down to it I still was not good enough to compete with the best national class sprinters. I just don't have the physiology and no amount of training is going to change that. Ironically, my best result at my national championships was in the points race, since I've always had good endurance and recovery, and absolute top end speed is not a factor. I've got the head for sprinting, but the body of an all-arounder.

  14. #14
    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    In the end, we all have to work with the genetics we were born with. FWIW, at near 50 I can still sprint with many of the young boys, once or twice, maybe 3 times. Recovery is the issue. Can't do 4, 5 or 6 hard sprints in a night the way the youngin's can -- they wax my butt after the first few heats. Makes me look in awe even more than I used to at guys like Jack Disney.

    Point's race -- haven't done one in years. Need to put more miles in my legs and fix this Texas Asthma first.

    I may have to switch to "Masters" if I start racing again.
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  15. #15
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I almost thought there was no banking until you mentioned the 14 degrees... being an Alpenrose native, a track that flat looks so foreign to me haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    Ain't that the truth! That video is really cool. It must be really hard to hold the bike down in the turn with so little banking. I had trouble at Colorado Springs, and it has a lot more banking. I have a really neat old trainer that has both inertial and wind resistance, and a freewheel to select the effort level. It's great to simulate jumps and standing starts.
    I think that was called the "Road Machine"? I wanted one of those but could never afford it. I really like the non-slipping flywheel concept. Unlike a trainer it'll never slip.

    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    I almost thought there was no banking until you mentioned the 14 degrees... being an Alpenrose native, a track that flat looks so foreign to me haha.
    I watched that one clip of the "messenger" race at Alpenrose. Made me crack up. Also got me to wonder whether or not I'd want to try it.

    Banking is shallow, I wish that there was an easy way to increase it. That'll be in the long range plans for the track I guess.

    Re: training for sprinting

    I agree that sprinting can be trained to a certain extent. However, if you can't put out, say, 1500 watts, it ain't gonna happen. Even a national level Cat 1 (podiumed at an Elite road nationals) told me he can only go 1200 watts or so. Now, he can hold 500 watts for way longer than I ever could, but in a jump, forget it, even he laughs at what happens.

    With no particular training, I could go about as fast as anyone out there. I just couldn't go around the bends too easily. My first qualifying sprint was pretty good considering I spent the whole last turn trying not to go head over heels off the top of the banking (ultimately it was 0.2 seconds slower than the sprint in the clip). Someone commented to that effect ("You went pretty fast considering how far up the track you rode.")

    Re: doing multiple efforts

    I realized that I can't do 15 all out sprints like I could before. I have to work on sprinting as hard as I need to, not as hard as I want to.

    All for next year. I have a long time to work on these things.

    cdr

  17. #17
    Old School Track Guy MGtrack's Avatar
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    Carpediem -- IMHO, winter is the time you can make real gains on your sprint/jump ability. Squats, Rapid Squats (Just did 10 sets of these on a pneumatic leg press at the gym. Ouch!!! I am going to be really sore tomorrow.) Plyometrics. They're all important. I'd add roller riding and outdoor fixed gear riding. Both are really good for developing a smooth and full pedal stroke to put that new found power into.

    Have a good one!
    "You've got to be willing to rip it all apart. Including yourself."
    ---Steve Woznik -- Multi time USA Sprint and Kilo Champion, Pan Am Games Gold Medalist


  18. #18
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I think that was called the "Road Machine"? I wanted one of those but could never afford it. I really like the non-slipping flywheel concept. Unlike a trainer it'll never slip.
    More specifically, it was the Houdaille Road Machine. I think I bought it sometime around 1980. The manufacturer went belly up and no one else got patent rights to make it, so it died. I still think it's the best bicycle trainer ever made. The bicycle is an old Puch road bike with 120mm dropout spacing. Not shown in the picture is a 20" wall-mounted TV in front of it so I don't die of boredom. I also have a VCR to play old Worlds tapes for inspiration.

  19. #19
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I watched that one clip of the "messenger" race at Alpenrose. Made me crack up. Also got me to wonder whether or not I'd want to try it.
    Can you link me to that?

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