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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 04-08-10, 06:20 PM   #1
turtle jesus
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tips for a track without the velodrome?

Hey i wanted to start to get into track racing , but the only velodrome in Florida is in the down in the everglades and i'm too far up north (bay county area). What should i look for in a training area? i can't find a unused road thats in decent shape so what else could i use?
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Old 04-08-10, 07:38 PM   #2
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Find a local crit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criterium). The racing is quite similar. You can usually find one by asking in local bike shops. Just like tracks, some crits have beginner programs that you should attend so that you know what's going on.

I hope you aren't considering training on a fixed gear out in an open road. It's not really worth the hassle or risk and doesn't provide any training benefit over a road bike. Use a road bike which gives you the benefit of variable resistance and brakes.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. You really can have an effective training program without a local track. It's been done by some well known track athletes. But to do so, you'd need a road bike at minimum, or for the full kit: a road bike, access to a long bike path or stretch of road, rollers, indoor resistance trainer, and gym membership. All of which are used to train different aspects.

Keep in mind that there are only 2 indoor velodromes in the US. The outdoor velodromes are only open 4-6 months a year, yet the athletes train year-round with a mix of gym, road riding, MTB riding, Cyclocross, indoor trainers, rollers, etc...
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Old 04-09-10, 02:00 AM   #3
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I have a similar situation (nearest velodrome is 3 hours by car) which isn't that bad but not as convenient for weekly riding with family obligations, etc. I have also been keen to get back into track cycling after 15 years away from it but would like to hear if anyone would be willing to outline their basic training strategy? I have looked on several track specific forums and there is a lot of data out there but nothing really specific. I am not looking to take over the Worlds, just would like to bring some heat to the local categories.

Thanks in advance to any advise or links to more info.
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Old 04-09-10, 03:12 AM   #4
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As far as training goes, what applies to one rider may not apply to another as they may be training for different events. Further, even if they are training for the same events, ask 10 coaches for even a basic program, and you will get different 10 answers.

Training programs are a very individual thing, as they should be. Good coaches are constantly adjusting training programs based on the athlete's progress or lack thereof.

To sum it up: Finding a specific program for track will be very hard.
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Old 04-09-10, 09:40 AM   #5
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It kind of depends on what you want to do- if you want to train for track time trials and standing starts and things without a velodrome, you can do that on the roads. Jimmy Watkins (multiple US national champion in sprint events and kilo) lives in Bakersfield, a few hours from the nearest track. He's got a kilo (and maybe other distances) marked out on the road that he uses for training. For mass start racing, crits are probably the closest you'll get, but the dynamics of track races tend to a be a bit different, and people tend to ride closer together on the track.

As far as training programs, I think carleton summed it up pretty well. Your best bet is probably to at least consult with a track coach to get a program, even if you don't get ongoing coaching because you're far away.
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Old 04-09-10, 06:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, so let me try and tie this all together.

get some rollers for pedal technique and higher cadence training mainly (right?). Then get on a road bike, pop it in lowest and crank it out on a mentally marked of area of road? and what should i do about resistance training and gym exercises suited for sprinting? and what should i be concerned about nutrition wise?(i'm 6,1 140 pounds and have more of a jokey build with somewhat muscular legs.)
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Old 04-09-10, 09:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, so let me try and tie this all together.

get some rollers for pedal technique and higher cadence training mainly (right?). Then get on a road bike, pop it in lowest and crank it out on a mentally marked of area of road? and what should i do about resistance training and gym exercises suited for sprinting? and what should i be concerned about nutrition wise?(i'm 6,1 140 pounds and have more of a jokey build with somewhat muscular legs.)
That's a gross over-simplification.

I got a coach to answer questions like that for me. I hope you aren't looking for us to lay out a training program for you.
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Old 04-09-10, 09:45 PM   #8
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Well soooorrrryyy just kinda new to this whole track thing
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Old 04-10-10, 02:01 AM   #9
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Well soooorrrryyy just kinda new to this whole track thing
Yes, but you are not listening to the answers. You are cherry-picking what you want to hear.

I understand that you are new. Everyone was new once. But, you aren't going to get all of your answers from a message board. You will probably get them riding at the track and/or from a coach. Specific questions get specific answers on message boards.

In my humble opinion, hiring a coach is the most direct way to finding a good training program that works for you. But, that is just one man's opinion. There are TONS of self-coached people that are very successful. Unfortunately, there is no book or website that lays out a track sprinting training program for novices. Sorry. If there were, I'd say, "Go by this book and read it..."

To sum it up: There is A LOT involved. That being said, you don't need a coach to go to the track, take the beginner program, and race for fun. All of this coaching stuff comes when folks decide to be serious about it. I would estimate that 80-90% of the guys of the folks that race at my track do not currently work with a coach. But, I'd also say that 80-90% of them have worked with some sort of coach at some point in time in the past.

Here's an analogy. Ever play a video game that took dozens of hours to complete for the first time? Then the next time you play it from the start, you finish in a fraction of the time? Now, if your buddy were playing the game for the first time and you were watching, wouldn't you be able to coach him to finishing faster with better results than if he did it on his own?
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Old 04-10-10, 07:27 AM   #10
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well I'm a pretty average racer, at best, but I've found some success by just getting out there and riding hard- with a little bit of a game plan:

I'm pretty lucky I live right across the street from a "polo field" which has a paved circular outer perimeter, to be honest I havn't taken note of the circumference but I'd say it is at least a quarter mile around. I use it to practice sprints/fast laps and some of the local racers use it for a crit simulation on thursday nights which I ride on my road bike. I think it has been pretty helpful as it's a pretty hard sustained effort and I get to practice pack riding at the same time, kinda similar to the track. I'd say look for a circular jogging track or anything similar that's paved, you might find something useful at a local highschool if it's paved. Or, to me at least, local crit simulations seem to be good training too.

best of luck
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Old 04-10-10, 08:56 AM   #11
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Carleton speaks of a track sprint program and hiring a coach, however, understand that (match) sprinting comprises just a small and rather specialized portion of track racing, that emphasizes certain aspects of training. At 6'-1" and 140 lbs, I doubt that you will ever be specializing in sprinting. Most track competition is mass-start events similar to very short criteriums, which emphasize aneorobic threshold, recovery and speed, bike handling and reaction skills. If you can find a coach, fine, but regardless, there are certain activities that I would recommend:

1) Do at least one training/racing criterium per week. Force yourself to maintain a cadence of at least 110 rpm throughout the race and wind it up to at least 150 rpm in the sprint.

2) Do five (5) 1 minute 100% effort intervals (aka large pain, gasping, OMG I'm gonna die etc) with 5 minute recovery once or twice per week depending on how many times you do step 1. I'ts OK if you feel sick when you do these, better here than in a race.

3) Do gym work 2-3 times per week, with work on lower body, core and upper body. Read a book to understand hypertrophy, strength, power and recovery aspects of weight training. Do stretching, situps and work with medicine balls etc to gain flexibility and work your core muscles.

4) VERY IMPORTANT! Recovery between hard workouts is essential, or you'll just tear yourself down. In between your hard workout days, go for easy spinning low gear heartrate Zone 2-3 rides.

5) Finally, have fun and don't get stressed out over meeting goals or getting fancy equipment.
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Old 04-10-10, 08:44 PM   #12
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I'll add this, as I just mentioned this in another thread:

Training for Track Cycling is quite similar to training for Track & Field and Speed Skating. If you can find a novice book on how T&F sprinters or Speed Skaters train in the gym, that will help.
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