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  1. #1
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    Newbie to Grass Track Cycling

    Hi, I'm 16 and relatively new to cycling, I started after watching the Olympics last year, going from absolutely no experience and no fitness whatsoever, I could barely ride 5 miles! I have kept it up, seen huge improvements and enjoy it massively! I'm wanting to take it further now and start competing. I'm in the process of entering local TT's and Crit Races, however, I would really like to have a go at track cycling, and the grass track racing nearby- starting in May is of massive interest to me.

    I don't own a fixie bike, but the club running the races allow competitors to borrow the bikes so I should be ok on that front.
    However, the training I've been doing at the moment has been pretty basic, and focused more on fitness and keeping a good, steady speed, 25kph averages rather than sprinting. The top speed I've hit sprinting on flat/on the road is 56kph, and on the rollers during interval training, I hit around 54kph. I'm sure thats not great and probably shows I'm no natural! So I'll need to improve massively.

    If its any help, I don't exactly have the 'physique' of a sprinter, I'm 5ft 6, 53kg, puny/skinny and I have long legs, so most people take one look and assume I don't have a chance! I would like to prove them wrong

    I wondered if there are any short term training plans, or tips anyone could give me on how I can improve before the racing starts? With the acceleration and the endurance of the grass track?

    Also, any advice in general on track racing since I have never competed before,

    It would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Welcome to the sport!

    I'm in the process of entering local TT's and Crit Races,
    This is great training! Essentially you will race yourself into shape.

    the training I've been doing at the moment has been pretty basic, and focused more on fitness and keeping a good, steady speed, 25kph averages rather than sprinting. The top speed I've hit sprinting on flat/on the road is 56kph,
    Also great.

    I'd suggest that you go to the track, take the into classes, somehow get your own bike, then race as much as possible.

    I don't exactly have the 'physique' of a sprinter, I'm 5ft 6, 53kg, puny/skinny and I have long legs, so most people take one look and assume I don't have a chance! I would like to prove them wrong
    Track racing is much more than sprinting!!

    Here's another girl with "skinny legs"...Victoria Pendleton (the woman 4th from the left):



    She seems to do OK

    So, for training, I'd suggest:
    - Listen to your parents (not just the internet)
    - Join a club/team
    - Race lots (maybe travel to other local track as well)
    - Have fun
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zizou's Avatar
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    I'm pretty new to track racing myself, although my focus has been more on endurance events than sprints. I've done some structured coach led training sessions which have been good but most of my track specific training has been more unstructured and just riding with those who are faster and stronger than myself and doing my best to keep up with them in the string / paceline. Inevitably i will start to struggle at some point but i know if i just do one last big effort and do my pull on the front i can then peel off and go up the track and recover before dropping back in later on. Cant do that in a chaingang on the road.

    My single biggest improvement over the last few months hasn't been the better fitness or speed (although this has helped) but just gaining experience racing. It is a constant learning process and i take the view that (particularly as i am a beginner) i may as well go out and try and be active in the race if my legs allow it. I race in a group of 20 and usually about two thirds of them aren't really doing anything - they are not attacking, they are not bridging a gap etc but are just riding in the bunch. I realise the benefits of this in saving energy but at my level at least it is those of us who try and make a race of it who have progressed the fastest and - importantly - seem to have the most fun.

    btw it depends whereabouts you are but around here your 25kph average and 56kph sprint would see you pretty competitive amongst others in the junior girls category.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Welcome to the sport!



    This is great training! Essentially you will race yourself into shape.



    Also great.

    I'd suggest that you go to the track, take the into classes, somehow get your own bike, then race as much as possible.



    Track racing is much more than sprinting!!

    Here's another girl with "skinny legs"...Victoria Pendleton (the woman 4th from the left):



    She seems to do OK

    So, for training, I'd suggest:
    - Listen to your parents (not just the internet)
    - Join a club/team
    - Race lots (maybe travel to other local track as well)
    - Have fun
    Where do you live? In the UK? Is there a velodrome near you? There's great coaching to be had at Halesowen, Solihull, Manchester, Reading, South Wales - all over really. And if you were here in Chiang Mai, we'd help you too! Grass track is great: That's how I started! But it's tough and requires some different skills from a solid track : it also needs tyres with some tread so you don't slip'n'slide. Go for it!

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