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  1. #1
    Junior Member SlothPaladin's Avatar
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    Group track training

    A group of my friends just got into track racing, about a month back I went to the track class they offered at Marymoor park with one of them, and then we did our first night of racing after that which we realized, even at the entry level we have a lot to work on.

    None of us have really done any racing and it was really obvious that the road racing guys who had just started were a league above us. Our backgrounds tend to be lots of stop and go bike work (Jimmy John's and messenger jobs) which does not help our endurance one bit.

    This week was my second week of racing and this Saturday we managed to get our core group of three (+1 one extra for a hot second) out the the track (it's only a 30 minuet bus ride and sometimes we can get rides girlfriends or whatnot)

    Only two of us had been to the class so we went over the rules with the two other guys. We did a few pacelines and tried one or two other things that went sloppily at best. It really felt like just doing a paceline was the most useful thing we were doing yesterday.

    It seems like a lot of people do solo training for the track but we are close, and we can get between 3 - 6 people who have track bikes out there and work on some group exercises, is there anything we could focus on to help us? Any suggestions on what sort of solo training we should be doing in addition to group training? Right now this is all being done with the focus on next years season, but for me (and I'm sure others) just having people to train with make training way more likely to happen, any suggestions would be great.

  2. #2
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Right now it would seem that you are lacking more in skills than fitness. To work on skills:

    Solo Stuff:

    Ride at the very top of the track. Everyone is comfortable in the sprinter's lane. Few beginners are comfortable against the boards. Spend like 10 laps at a time right up against the boards. It feels different up there. Get used to it.

    If the track is clear, weave around the track, up and down, left and right all at various speeds. In and out of the saddle. This will train your body to know what the track feels like.



    Group Stuff:
    Warmup riding 2-abreast next to each other (above the blue stayer's line, of course) while chatting. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone.

    Follow-the-leader. Have the more experienced person be the leader. That person just leads the other newbs around like a mamma duck, weaving up and down the track (assuming it's clear, of course).

    Pacelines. Lots of them. This will help you hold a straight line and hold on to a wheel. Maybe do some long ones 20-30 laps to work on getting in a rhythm. 1/2 lap pulls. This will get you moving around other people and the track at the same time. Also do some race-pace pacelines, too. Maybe 3-5 laps at 90%. Go sit down and rest for 15 minutes, then do more. Repeat till everyone is tired.

    Do some 80-90% efforts two-by-two, like in a match sprint when someone is trying to pass. One guy in the sprinter's lane, the other guy right next to him above the red line. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone at high speeds. Don't try to pass each other, that defeats the purpose. Both have to make sure that they stay side-by-side.


    I hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Junior Member SlothPaladin's Avatar
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    That is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for, yesterday was mostly to get the people who hadn't taken the class or raced yet excited about it (which it did) but we didn't really have a plan and we left a bit earlier then I would have liked.

    Sounds like it will be ideal to get 4 of us out there at a time for the most useful training. It doesn't seem hard to get some time to yourself on the track, but not the whole time. Another guy was out training but there was plenty of room for our group and him to use it a the same time (It is a 400 meter track). Everyone out at the track seems really easy going, no one seems really pretentious and everyone is courteous so sharing is not an issue.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Right now it would seem that you are lacking more in skills than fitness. To work on skills:

    Solo Stuff:

    Ride at the very top of the track. Everyone is comfortable in the sprinter's lane. Few beginners are comfortable against the boards. Spend like 10 laps at a time right up against the boards. It feels different up there. Get used to it.

    If the track is clear, weave around the track, up and down, left and right all at various speeds. In and out of the saddle. This will train your body to know what the track feels like.



    Group Stuff:
    Warmup riding 2-abreast next to each other (above the blue stayer's line, of course) while chatting. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone.

    Follow-the-leader. Have the more experienced person be the leader. That person just leads the other newbs around like a mamma duck, weaving up and down the track (assuming it's clear, of course).

    Pacelines. Lots of them. This will help you hold a straight line and hold on to a wheel. Maybe do some long ones 20-30 laps to work on getting in a rhythm. 1/2 lap pulls. This will get you moving around other people and the track at the same time. Also do some race-pace pacelines, too. Maybe 3-5 laps at 90%. Go sit down and rest for 15 minutes, then do more. Repeat till everyone is tired.

    Do some 80-90% efforts two-by-two, like in a match sprint when someone is trying to pass. One guy in the sprinter's lane, the other guy right next to him above the red line. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone at high speeds. Don't try to pass each other, that defeats the purpose. Both have to make sure that they stay side-by-side.


    I hope that helps.

    Thanks man, dunno about him but thats exactly what I was looking for.

  5. #5
    Senior Member xengravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlothPaladin View Post
    None of us have really done any racing and it was really obvious that the road racing guys who had just started were a league above us. Our backgrounds tend to be lots of stop and go bike work (Jimmy John's and messenger jobs) which does not help our endurance one bit.
    Talk with Mike at the DT Bellevue Jimmy John's. This is his first year racing too and he's doing very well. He just went from the beginner races, through the Cat 4's and now he is a Cat 3 all in a single season with no experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Right now it would seem that you are lacking more in skills than fitness. To work on skills:

    Solo Stuff:

    Ride at the very top of the track. Everyone is comfortable in the sprinter's lane. Few beginners are comfortable against the boards. Spend like 10 laps at a time right up against the boards. It feels different up there. Get used to it.

    If the track is clear, weave around the track, up and down, left and right all at various speeds. In and out of the saddle. This will train your body to know what the track feels like.



    Group Stuff:
    Warmup riding 2-abreast next to each other (above the blue stayer's line, of course) while chatting. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone.

    Follow-the-leader. Have the more experienced person be the leader. That person just leads the other newbs around like a mamma duck, weaving up and down the track (assuming it's clear, of course).

    Pacelines. Lots of them. This will help you hold a straight line and hold on to a wheel. Maybe do some long ones 20-30 laps to work on getting in a rhythm. 1/2 lap pulls. This will get you moving around other people and the track at the same time. Also do some race-pace pacelines, too. Maybe 3-5 laps at 90%. Go sit down and rest for 15 minutes, then do more. Repeat till everyone is tired.

    Do some 80-90% efforts two-by-two, like in a match sprint when someone is trying to pass. One guy in the sprinter's lane, the other guy right next to him above the red line. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone at high speeds. Don't try to pass each other, that defeats the purpose. Both have to make sure that they stay side-by-side.


    I hope that helps.
    Thanks, I was eventually going to ask for something like this.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Right now it would seem that you are lacking more in skills than fitness. To work on skills:

    Solo Stuff:

    Ride at the very top of the track. Everyone is comfortable in the sprinter's lane. Few beginners are comfortable against the boards. Spend like 10 laps at a time right up against the boards. It feels different up there. Get used to it.

    If the track is clear, weave around the track, up and down, left and right all at various speeds. In and out of the saddle. This will train your body to know what the track feels like.



    Group Stuff:
    Warmup riding 2-abreast next to each other (above the blue stayer's line, of course) while chatting. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone.

    Follow-the-leader. Have the more experienced person be the leader. That person just leads the other newbs around like a mamma duck, weaving up and down the track (assuming it's clear, of course).

    Pacelines. Lots of them. This will help you hold a straight line and hold on to a wheel. Maybe do some long ones 20-30 laps to work on getting in a rhythm. 1/2 lap pulls. This will get you moving around other people and the track at the same time. Also do some race-pace pacelines, too. Maybe 3-5 laps at 90%. Go sit down and rest for 15 minutes, then do more. Repeat till everyone is tired.

    Do some 80-90% efforts two-by-two, like in a match sprint when someone is trying to pass. One guy in the sprinter's lane, the other guy right next to him above the red line. This will help you get comfortable being close to someone at high speeds. Don't try to pass each other, that defeats the purpose. Both have to make sure that they stay side-by-side.


    I hope that helps.
    This is massively helpful, thanks! Also, do you ever offer any pointers in person? I'll be coming through Atlanta next Sunday and would love to come out to the velodrome and watch some more experienced riders like yourself.

  8. #8
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrookeiv View Post
    This is massively helpful, thanks! Also, do you ever offer any pointers in person? I'll be coming through Atlanta next Sunday and would love to come out to the velodrome and watch some more experienced riders like yourself.
    Thanks, man.

    I've coached a bit in the past. But, not currently. The track is pretty empty on Sundays. There may be one or two guys training early in the morning (like 9 or 10AM). But now that Masters Nationals has passed, they may have stopped doing so.

    We race on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from April - September. If you are around Tuesday or Wednesday come by and watch some great action for free.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Another good on track game is the oppo of a pace line. It lets you work on strength, dropping back into the lane, general bike handling, and riding in the wind. And just like any other type of paceline, it smooths out your riding, gets you used to holding a wheel, and builds your active recovery.

    1. Ride in a paceline at a decent, but not brutal pace, maybe 70%.
    2. The rider at the back moves out in the wind and overtakes the line.
    3. That rider move back into the sprint lane.
    4. As soon as that happens the next rider starts their move up.


    This works well on an open flat road too, and the only thing you don't get is figuring how to ride in a line, or next to a line through the corners.
    Last edited by Kayce; 08-15-12 at 09:16 PM.
    If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him

  10. #10
    Junior Member SlothPaladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xengravity View Post
    Talk with Mike at the DT Bellevue Jimmy John's. This is his first year racing too and he's doing very well. He just went from the beginner races, through the Cat 4's and now he is a Cat 3 all in a single season with no experience.
    I don't know any of the Bellevue Jimmy John's guys, I work in South Lake Union and know people from the downtown stores and one or two in the Northgate and U-District stores.

    I just came in at the tail end of the season and have only done three races so far. This week I was doing well in the b-group, right now I feel like once I get upgraded I might just get destroyed if I don't do a bit of training on the side. I tend to get to the track a little tired as I have been riding all day but I feel like I do better every race and I'm having fun.

    and thanks again carleton, those training tips were very helpful.

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