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    Max Cadence Work

    While this isn't exactly track specific, I figure this is applicable and my best bet for a good answer. I have some roller races coming up, so I'd like to get better at spinning my brains out. What kind of workouts should I do for this? My thinking was doing tabata style intervals on rollers with a low gearing. Does that sound about right? Should I try something different?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWW View Post
    While this isn't exactly track specific, I figure this is applicable and my best bet for a good answer. I have some roller races coming up, so I'd like to get better at spinning my brains out. What kind of workouts should I do for this? My thinking was doing tabata style intervals on rollers with a low gearing. Does that sound about right? Should I try something different?
    1) Are the roller races on rollers with or without fork stands?
    2) Do you have rollers?
    3) Do you have a track bike and/or road bike?
    4) Do you have a computer with a cadence sensor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    1) Are the roller races on rollers with or without fork stands?
    2) Do you have rollers?
    3) Do you have a track bike and/or road bike?
    4) Do you have a computer with a cadence sensor?
    Right, details. I always forget the details.
    1) They're on rollers, no fork stand. I'd say the drums are between an 8 and 10" diameter. I've done some racing on them before and it's basically spin up and hold on for dear life from the momentum.
    2) I do have rollers, only 4.5" drums or so.
    3) Both road and track. Track bike I can gear from 48x16 to 52x13.
    4) Yeah, I have a garmin with cadence sensor.

    Right now my max instantaneous cadence is hovering right around 200rpm. Sometimes less, sometimes more. Longer efforts (~30 seconds, which is about the length of each heat in the race) I'm more around 170ish rpm. I'd just like to get my numbers higher across the board if I can. I can post data from past roller races or from training on here if that would help.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    You have to train up to it.

    Use your track bike: Warm up then hold max cadence for 5" 3 times with sufficient breaks for recovery. Do this for a couple of sessions. When all 3 efforts are consistent, next session progress to 10", then 15". Then 2 at 30". That will cover a few weeks.

    Only do 2 MAYBE 3 sessions per week. Your neuro-muscular system may not be able to handle more than that.

    Anybody can jam hard for 10". But, when the ATP wears off, you need to recruit different muscles and stay smooth with it.

    Use cycling shorts in your competition.

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    This is good info, Carleton - Thanks.

    So, you are advocating 3 sets only? I was given a similar workout from a local coach, but had been trying to complete around 12-15 sets, maybe 1x/week. As you can imagine, i'm falling off on the last few sets - and nowhere near a max of 200....

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    This is good info, Carleton - Thanks.

    So, you are advocating 3 sets only? I was given a similar workout from a local coach, but had been trying to complete around 12-15 sets, maybe 1x/week. As you can imagine, i'm falling off on the last few sets - and nowhere near a max of 200....
    Do you mean "sets" or "reps" (repetitions)

    I've never had a coach assign 12-15 reps of max cadence work in a session. Nowhere close to that. I've been assigned 12-15 reps of other kinds of efforts, but not max cadence.

    Once the breakdown of your form starts, you'll never get it back. There is no sense in doing anything after that. Once you are cooked, you are cooked.

    Quality over quantity. Volume is the speed killer.

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    I meant reps. One set of 12-15 reps. I set the interval on the computer to 15 seconds every 2 minutes.
    This being a roller-only workout, so, form breakdown = fall in my case - but the end ones I'm definitely not getting to the RPMs of the earlier ones.

    This could be a dumb workout, no idea. Got it when he watched me spend 2 separate races in one evening out in no man's land unsuccessfully trying to chase a break by myself.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    I meant reps. One set of 12-15 reps. I set the interval on the computer to 15 seconds every 2 minutes.
    This being a roller-only workout, so, form breakdown = fall in my case - but the end ones I'm definitely not getting to the RPMs of the earlier ones.
    That seems like a willy-nilly exercise. There is no way that anyone can do a full-on max cadence for 15" every 2 minutes...12-15 times.

    That sounds like an interval workout. Interval workouts, especially at 12-15 reps, are done at sub-maximal levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    This could be a dumb workout, no idea. Got it when he watched me spend 2 separate races in one evening out in no man's land unsuccessfully trying to chase a break by myself.
    Maybe it was punishment for bad strategic moves in the races, haha

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    That seems like a willy-nilly exercise. There is no way that anyone can do a full-on max cadence for 15" every 2 minutes...12-15 times.

    That sounds like an interval workout. Interval workouts, especially at 12-15 reps, are done at sub-maximal levels.
    Yeah, I had considered them as intervals - no idea what my real max might be. I know what it is on the tracks, and it is faster on the rollers - but I still feel quite limited by form yet. I suppose I've never done speed work as you describe above - perhaps that would be a better complement to the volume work we do in class.

    So, is it willy-nilly? I don't know. I've been thinking about this a lot - I'm not really a good sprinter or pursuiter.

    Also spent the entire 40 minute threshold interval we did on the track last night pondering this, as I hung on dearly to the coach's wheel:

    Volume is the speed killer


    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Maybe it was punishment for bad strategic moves in the races, haha
    Could be - he made a beeline to me (not even my coach!) after I did it the second time. At least I got a heck of a workout that night and learned some great lessons I still can't perfectly execute.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    Yeah, I had considered them as intervals - no idea what my real max might be. I know what it is on the tracks, and it is faster on the rollers - but I still feel quite limited by form yet. I suppose I've never done speed work as you describe above - perhaps that would be a better complement to the volume work we do in class.

    So, is it willy-nilly? I don't know. I've been thinking about this a lot - I'm not really a good sprinter or pursuiter.

    Also spent the entire 40 minute threshold interval we did on the track last night pondering this, as I hung on dearly to the coach's wheel:







    Could be - he made a beeline to me (not even my coach!) after I did it the second time. At least I got a heck of a workout that night and learned some great lessons I still can't perfectly execute.
    If he made a bee-line to you, then you made a glaring mistake.

    I know quite a few people who are torn between being a Sprinter or Enduro. I say it's sort of like going to college. You don't have to know what you want to do with your life, but you have to major is something. You'll learn a lot along the way.

    If you pick one focus then the other stuff will get stronger, too. Basically either focus on the Kilo or the 4K and, believe me, the rest of your game will go up. But, it's tough to focus on everything and be an "all-arounder". Those guys are rare, and the all-arounders that I know, really still just focus on one thing and are simply just strong. Any CAT1/2 Enduro should be able to beat a CAT3 Sprinter in most sprint events as well as any CAT1/2 Sprinter should be able to beat a CAT 3 Enduro in most endurance events. Strong is strong. The only exceptions being the races at the far ends of the spectrum, those being: 1 lap Chariot races and 40/60 (or more) lap points races.

  11. #11
    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    If he made a bee-line to you, then you made a glaring mistake.

    I know quite a few people who are torn between being a Sprinter or Enduro. I say it's sort of like going to college. You don't have to know what you want to do with your life, but you have to major is something. You'll learn a lot along the way.

    If you pick one focus then the other stuff will get stronger, too. Basically either focus on the Kilo or the 4K and, believe me, the rest of your game will go up. But, it's tough to focus on everything and be an "all-arounder". Those guys are rare, and the all-arounders that I know, really still just focus on one thing and are simply just strong. Any CAT1/2 Enduro should be able to beat a CAT3 Sprinter in most sprint events as well as any CAT1/2 Sprinter should be able to beat a CAT 3 Enduro in most endurance events. Strong is strong. The only exceptions being the races at the far ends of the spectrum, those being: 1 lap Chariot races and 40/60 (or more) lap points races.
    Thanks, Carleton - I'll keep you posted.
    My gut says more sprinter - our workouts tend more towards enduro. This is why I've been thinking so much about what you said about volume.
    I'm going to sit down with one of the local coaches here who I've worked and ridden with a lot (not the beeline guy) and see what he thinks.

    To your point - strong is strong and I've got a lot of work to do all over.
    Not the least of which is just resisting the ridiculous mistakes.

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