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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 10-22-08, 11:55 PM   #1
GRHebard
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interested in track cycling (newb)

hi,
ive been riding bikes for a little over a year, just been riding FGs to and from work (~25 miles daily)
and im starting to get into it a little bit more. but, its just my luck that theres no velodrome anywhere near salt lake city. i'd like to train so i can be prepared for the spring if my friends and i road trip to a velo (colorado springs, LA, ect)

im just a kid, and we have little events and sprints that go on around the city, and usually i do alright in the races and whatnot. but im not sure how i can progress my skill.
any advice for how i could get faster would be appreciated.

also, if anyone knows of a site that can give me some tips for when i actually do get to ride a velodrome, thatd be good too. i'd like to compete in one-on-one sprints eventually, so thats where im trying to focus.

my bike is an 07 Felt TK2 with 48:15 gearing, its also clipless. in case any of that matters

thanks,
Greg
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Old 10-23-08, 11:45 AM   #2
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Ride a lot, race crits if you can, get skilled at pack riding by doing club rides and training races.

Most tracks have an intro course that you have to take if you want to ride. ADT has two- a total intro (4 sessions over 4 weeks) and an accelerated class. Most of the content of the accelerated class is here: http://lavelodrome.org/Training/AccelClassSummary.htm . Other tracks often post details of their local etiquette on their websites as well-- be aware that although it's mostly similar, every track seems to have their own peculiarities in etiquette. Even the three tracks in SoCal have some significant differences, despite having many of the same riders on all three.
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Old 10-23-08, 02:22 PM   #3
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Saddle time is, of course, the most important thing, but you also must be mindful of developing a 'track-oriented' physique.

That means you should work on your anaerobic thresh-hold (how long you can sprint full-on without worrying about pacing yourself).

Additionally, it helps to hit the weight room to develop the explosive strength in your quads necessary to accelerate rapidly when pushing a big gear. Most trackies definitely do not have the slim, rangey build of your usual climber.

Working your back and shoulders is also important in this, as your arms do a lot of work as well, especially in keeping the bike controlled during violent sprints.

Best of luck with your track endeavours.
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Old 10-23-08, 04:14 PM   #4
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Additionally, it helps to hit the weight room to develop the explosive strength in your quads necessary to accelerate rapidly when pushing a big gear. Most trackies definitely do not have the slim, rangey build of your usual climber.

Working your back and shoulders is also important in this, as your arms do a lot of work as well, especially in keeping the bike controlled during violent sprints.
Hey! We aren't all built like bodybuilders! If you're a mesomorph but an endurance rider (mass starts, pursuits, etc) you really don't need to hit the weights. And there are some skinny little trackies who do quite well, too-- look at Colby Pearce.
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Old 10-23-08, 04:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by trelhak View Post
Saddle time is, of course, the most important thing, but you also must be mindful of developing a 'track-oriented' physique.

That means you should work on your anaerobic thresh-hold (how long you can sprint full-on without worrying about pacing yourself).

Additionally, it helps to hit the weight room to develop the explosive strength in your quads necessary to accelerate rapidly when pushing a big gear. Most trackies definitely do not have the slim, rangey build of your usual climber.

Working your back and shoulders is also important in this, as your arms do a lot of work as well, especially in keeping the bike controlled during violent sprints.

Best of luck with your track endeavours.
It's more important to just show up and do it than it is to get into any special shape, or not feel like you shoud go until you can squat XXX lbs. You'll get a lot more from the experience than you will from any special preparation the first year.
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Old 10-24-08, 07:15 AM   #6
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No doubt is actual track-time the most valuable: It's the only way to really grasp the tactical aspect of racing as well as just getting comfortable riding on a track.

However, my point is: even if you don't live near a track, there's no reason you can't do all the off-track training a trackie does, which includes, naturally, a lot of road work and hours on rollers but also weight training.
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Old 10-24-08, 08:31 AM   #7
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However, my point is: even if you don't live near a track, there's no reason you can't do all the off-track training a trackie does, which includes, naturally, a lot of road work and hours on rollers but also weight training.
That's a very good point. Jimmy Watkins picked up I think 3 gold medals (match sprint, keirin, team sprint) plus a second or two this year at US Elite Track Nationals and lives in Bakersfield, a couple of hours from the nearest track. Most of his training is on the road or in the gym. I think Martha Dunne (another sprinter) won a couple national championship jerseys when she was spending most of her time at sea (she's a navy helicopter pilot) and would get most of her riding on a trainer.
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