I'm 17, female and started cycling last year...I joined a club at a local velodrome a couple of months back, and started grass track racing too...I managed to claim a national title in the grass track omnium champs (scratch, sprint, pursuit) which felt good, and I decided to give the track nationals a go, much to my dissapointment I was lapped in the points and scratch, and came last in both the sprint and pursuit. The sprint was more a case of pressure...I really messed up my flying lap, I followed the wrong line and just, screwed up my chances, so I didn't qualify, but this was only my 2nd flying lap on the track, so I guess its just experience.
The girls my age, that were competing have years more experience than me, some of them even had world titles....but I entered for experience, and I certainly got that! Along with a kick to train harder, and the determination and drive to make sure I catch up with those girls!
This next part is going to sound quite crazy...
When I started cycling, I was inspired by Victoria Pendleton, I was watching her race the Keirin at the 2012 Olympics and I had one of those 'gut feelings' that this is what I wanted to do...so I started cycling, training on the road, doing TT's and a few local crit races, just to build fitness and gain experience, and then progressed to track. I'm still focused on sprinting however, the sprint events are the ones that interest me most, in track...and the ones I feel, given the opportunity, I could do well in. I always enjoy sprint training, or at least embrace the pain of the short, 110% sharp efforts, rather than riding hard for hours on end...I just feel like sprinting is 'my thing'.
However, the reason this all sounds crazy is because I'm 5ft 7, I have long legs...and I'm pretty skinny (53kg). Every coach that looks at me automatically puts me in the endurance category, several times I've been told 'no offence, but you're never gonna be a sprinter'...without actually seeing me sprint, or wanting to help me with my sprint, people just assume and I end up entirely focused on endurance riding.
I understand in reality, to be a sprinter you have to have a high proportion of fast twitch muscle fibres, and at the moment, I am lacking that...but I've not even been cycling for a year yet, and I know I can build on that, I'm willing to put in the work, to build muscle, weight train, and just focus on sprinting, but I'm just not sure what, specifically, training-wise I need to be doing?
I still plan on racing in Crit's, and the shorter Scratch races on the track, I enjoy the short intervals of speed, and the tactics...but I want to be a sprinter, and I plan on doing everything possible, and more, to prove I can be!
I sound like a dreamer, I know...but I'm not just dreaming about it, I want to take this seriously, and I realise, 100% that if I want to be a sprinter, I'm going to have to be completely focused on it, and train specifically, and give it everything I have.
Thing is...I don't know what training I'll benefit from most? And I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of exercises I need to do? Weight training ideas etc
I'm determined to prove people wrong, and myself right. I'm sorry this was so long!
Hope you can help