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  1. #1
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    Determining Training Volume

    How does one go about determining an appropriate volume of training in a track sprinting program? Im a little bewildered as to how to know to add/subtract some work. I suppose a power meter is a good option, but I haven't got the cash for that. Maybe in the spring. What else works?
    I feel like my efforts are 100% effort, but many are not 100% quality due to tiredness/fatigue. Im attempting to find a good balance of volume and fatigue, but unsure of how to determine when Ive put in too much or too little time. Ive recently stepped up my training time, and am feeling tired a lot of the time, which Im fine with as long as things come together after a rest week/taper for a race. Im a pretty motivated and competitive guy, and will certainly have no problem driving myself into the ground. Im just smart enough to know this is not a good idea without being smart enough to figure out how to balance that with proper training volume.
    What is your training volume, and how did you figure it out? What is a reasonable amount of rest after full-tilt sprint efforts?


    -TC

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I think this is the 14 million dollar question, non?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If youre new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, youd probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

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    What he said. I'm guessing most of us who have been at this awhile are still working on this one, I know I am. This becomes complicated as we become adults and acquire responsibilities like kids and jobs and stuff. You can work this out through experimentation of course, but this is one of the great reasons why you would pay a coach.

    That said, for a sprinter probably less volume than you think, but again it's all relative. I know Quinn is doing a lot of volume, and he's flying lately. If you are coming from a road background though, a totally random rule of thumb that I just thought of (you get what you pay for...) might be to sit down, write out a nice monthly plan, and then cut out 30% of the volume from each workout and add an extra rest day each week. Roadies tend to train too much [generalization].

  4. #4
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    this is one of the great reasons why you would pay a coach.

    That said, for a sprinter probably less volume than you think, but again it's all relative. I know Quinn is doing a lot of volume, and he's flying lately.
    yes- i think most of us know "what" to do at the track- but our coaches really define "how much"

    Thanks Baby Puke! after doing low and then High-volume programs, i can say for sure i need high volume.

    i think Sprinters often underestimate their volume requirements because they think of their events as so short.. I know a lot of us are training for Masters Nationals- i can tell you from my experience in Indy that i rode the least number of possible rides working my way through the rounds to the Match Sprint finals and including the qualifying 200m- it was close to 10 rides at full gas!

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    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    i'd like to be competitive at track sprinting but the lack of actual bike riding they do makes me sad...
    fried chicken and waffles.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    yes- i think most of us know "what" to do at the track- but our coaches really define "how much"

    Thanks Baby Puke! after doing low and then High-volume programs, i can say for sure i need high volume.

    i think Sprinters often underestimate their volume requirements because they think of their events as so short.. I know a lot of us are training for Masters Nationals- i can tell you from my experience in Indy that i rode the least number of possible rides working my way through the rounds to the Match Sprint finals and including the qualifying 200m- it was close to 10 rides at full gas!
    I don't think it's "volume" per se. It is volume doing what, and I think it is different for everyone. A coach is nice because they can sit back and watch you respond to various training stimuli.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If youre new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, youd probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    i'd like to be competitive at track sprinting but the lack of actual bike riding they do makes me sad...
    What track sprinter doesn't ride their bike a lot?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If youre new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, youd probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

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    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    What track sprinter doesn't ride their bike a lot?
    i see a lot of gym work is involved. i'd rather spend that time on a bike.

    seated, standing, and flying efforts with a lot of rest. i'd rather do a 3/4 hour ride. i know they are doing 80-100% efforts so the rest is required.

    i plan to do some sprint clinics with robert ford at my local track. hopefully my fast twitch muscles still work.
    fried chicken and waffles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I don't think it's "volume" per se. It is volume doing what, and I think it is different for everyone. A coach is nice because they can sit back and watch you respond to various training stimuli.


    Right-o. I understand the role of a coach. As a brief aside, I fully value and understand the worth of a coach. It's not in the cards. I know it's hard for a lot of folks to grasp, but it's simply not in the budget. I don't race on fancy wheels, I don't buy new toys monthly. I saved for close to a year for my bike, don't have a phone data plan, and don't buy lunches out. There's not an extra $200/month. I'd love to have a coach, but such is life.

    What is it, though, that the coach is monitoring to determine how much is enough? Is there a reasonably simple formula that can be applied to times, cadence, speeds, power, or amount of speed lost over a period of time?

    How about this: should one expect to be 100% for every sprint effort during training? In my own case, balancing 4-5 days/wk on the bike (one workout each of 5x200m, 3x3standing start, 5x500m, erg speed workout or two) and 3 days/wk of weights (SS program), I'm not anywhere close to 100% for most efforts.

    -TC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    What track sprinter doesn't ride their bike a lot?
    well:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-Cycling-Team
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche View Post
    How about this: should one expect to be 100% for every sprint effort during training? In my own case, balancing 4-5 days/wk on the bike (one workout each of 5x200m, 3x3standing start, 5x500m, erg speed workout or two) and 3 days/wk of weights (SS program), I'm not anywhere close to 100% for most efforts.

    -TC
    In my experience no. I know that there are people who feel differently. As noted above i am known for doing what is considered "High Volume" at least in sprinter terms. I often do my flying 200's after 18 or so kilo and 500m efforts. The guys who time me on on the 200's shake their head because my times will be slow for me. as much as a second off my best… but on Race Day i am happy with my performance..

    As far as your Volume listed- that seams fairly normal compared to what i see lots of people doing. I would question why you are doing that at this point in the year though.
    In my eyes- one of the most critical and usually overlooked aspects of the "Low Volume Sprint Program" is that it is not actually supposed to be that low volume. That is especially true for athletes who don't have years and years of racing bikes in their legs… When i have been on programs that looked like yours, we did a more classic "Base" period with lots of foundation work, then moving into more specific track work closer to season, but also maintaining road work for fitness. the key to being able to make the most out of a program that has you doing only 5 maximal efforts on track day is having the foundation to support that work and do it really well.. I think that if your general fitness is keeping you from doing all your efforts at a high level that is different from a high volume workout that is limiting performance from a truly high level fatigue..

    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche
    I’m a little bewildered as to how to know to add/subtract some work. I suppose a power meter is a good option, but I haven't got the cash for that. Maybe in the spring. What else works?
    it would be possible to use a Fitness/Fatigue tracking program like Golden Cheetah to help track trends. With no power you would be using TRIMPS which is heart rate based. the weakness with TRIMPS would be short interval efforts- so obviously not the best option for a track sprinter.. but you may get some useful data. i suspect it would be more telling when looking at big blocks of time rather than trying to adjust volume week to week..

    you could use TRIMPS with as little as a cyclo-computer and a heart rate watch, add a couple sensors to an iPhone or with an upload-able head unit like a Garmin..
    Last edited by Quinn8it; 12-01-13 at 11:59 PM.

  12. #12
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    I can't afford a coach either, so I feel you. I don't there's a magic formula for this, and that is where a coach or a rider with a lot of experience self-coaching comes in.

    Every sprint type effort has got to be 100% to be effective. Sprinting is a lot if maximal stress training, and thats why its smart in genral to err on the side of less volume.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    i see a lot of gym work is involved. i'd rather spend that time on a bike.

    seated, standing, and flying efforts with a lot of rest. i'd rather do a 3/4 hour ride. i know they are doing 80-100% efforts so the rest is required.

    i plan to do some sprint clinics with robert ford at my local track. hopefully my fast twitch muscles still work.
    I mean, I did an hour roller ride Thursday, a three hour road ride Friday (with hills ), an hour roller ride Saturday, and a two hour ride and two hours in the gym today. That's a fair amount of riding; not much less than when I was exclusively a road racer. Just because you sprint, doesn't mean you don't ride your bike. And don't believe a coach when he's claiming to tell you his formula, especially if he prefaces it with "...we tell everything to everyone...". Sure he does . With sprinting comes a lot of mental games.

    But at some point you have to decide if you are training to race, or if you like to just ride your bike around. Nothing wrong with riding your bike for fun. But it's not race training.
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 12-01-13 at 08:54 PM.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche View Post
    ... I fully value and understand the worth of a coach. It's not in the cards. ...
    I understand where you are coming from. I'm not exactly in a position to afford a coach either. I do things by feel and by training with a training partner with vastly more experience than me.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Are you a member of a club? Our club has a number of coaches who run various training sessions... Would be worthwhile discussing your training plan with them - they will be watching you train so could provide better feedback.

    I also don't have a coach. I spend a lot of spare time reading journals and various articles online. Though for me training is quite simple as I focus on longer events - especially road TT's; so I work to a basic structure of regular racing and interval sessions.
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    In my experience no. I know that there are people who feel differently. As noted above i am known for doing what is considered "High Volume" at least in sprinter terms. I often do my flying 200's after 18 or so kilo and 500m efforts. The guys who time me on on the 200's shake their head because my times will be slow for me. as much as a second off my best but on Race Day i am happy with my performance..

    As far as your Volume listed- that seams fairly normal compared to what i see lots of people doing. I would question why you are doing that at this point in the year though.
    In my eyes- one of the most critical and usually overlooked aspects of the "Low Volume Sprint Program" is that it is not actually supposed to be that low volume. That is especially true for athletes who don't have years and years of racing bikes in their legs When i have been on programs that looked like yours, we did a more classic "Base" period with lots of foundation work, then moving into more specific track work closer to season, but also maintaining road work for fitness. the key to being able to make the most out of a program that has you doing only 5 maximal efforts on track day is having the foundation to support that work and do it really well.. I think that if your general fitness is keeping you from doing all your efforts at a high level that is different from a high volume workout that is limiting performance from a truly high level fatigue..



    it would be possible to use a Fitness/Fatigue tracking program like Golden Cheetah to help track trends. With no power you would be using TRIMPS which is heart rate based. the weakness with TRIMPS would be short interval efforts- so obviously not the best option for a track sprinter.. but you may get some useful data. i suspect it would be more telling when looking at big blocks of time rather than trying to adjust volume week to week..

    you could use TRIMPS with as little as a cyclo-computer and a heart rate watch, add a couple sensors to an iPhone or with an upload-able head unit like a Garmin..
    EIGHTEEN kilo and 500m efforts?! Surely those aren't full-gas? That's an incredible amount of work. I have trouble acting like a human being after a half dozen 500m efforts.

    I did some reading on TRIMPS and related performance tracking software- very interesting! That definitely is applicable to what I was trying to get out of this thread. Essentially, tracking volume as related to performance. I don't have an upload-capable computer at the moment, but perhaps after Christmas will work on that. In the meantime, I'm sure I can figure out some software that will allow me to chart volume by time or total distance of intervals completed vs. tested times. Goodbye, spare time.

    Otherwise, it looks like many of us are in the same boat. On one hand, it's nice to see that I'm not the only joker putting my faith in internet posts, but it's also a shame that we can't all arrange some high level coaching to maximize our valuable time. I guess this is the way of things.

    Thanks for the pointers.

    -TC

  17. #17
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche View Post
    EIGHTEEN kilo and 500m efforts?! Surely those aren't full-gas? That's an incredible amount of work. I have trouble acting like a human being after a half dozen 500m efforts.
    correct- these are paced efforts.

    think of it along the same lines as your weight program (starting strength). A linear progression program of 3 sets of 5 reps is a "paced" effort. The goal of 3x5 is to increase the weight that you can lift for all 15 reps. the weight you are doing is likely fairly manageable on the early reps of the early sets- but there is a cumulative fatigue that makes the last reps of the last sets quite hard. there is rest between reps (quite short) and rest between sets (longer, but not full recovery). this program does an excellent job of building multiple strength and aerobic systems and at the same time bringing supporting muscle groups up slowly, so they can get better at doing their job. Despite the fact that this program does not include single maximal efforts- your 1-rep max is constantly increasing due to the volume of work and the cumulative fatigue of the rep/set scheme..

  18. #18
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche View Post
    EIGHTEEN kilo and 500m efforts?! Surely those aren't full-gas? That's an incredible amount of work. I have trouble acting like a human being after a half dozen 500m efforts.
    It wasn't uncommon for me to be assigned 15 flying 500s in a track session...as a 1st year racer. You really get to know yourself in a workout like that.

    Training for the Kilo is a special thing.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post

    Training for the Kilo is a special thing.
    sometimes Carleton and i totally agree!

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    Owwie. Looks like my assignment for next years last lap work...

    However, these paced efforts are to be distinguished from 'sprint' efforts, which are all out and usually not more than 10 seconds. Those need to be 100% and followed by more rest. What Quinn is after above is power and lactate tolerance, which is different. They cannot be done at 100%... or you explode.

  21. #21
    JMR
    JMR is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    In my experience no. I know that there are people who feel differently. As noted above i am known for doing what is considered "High Volume" at least in sprinter terms. I often do my flying 200's after 18 or so kilo and 500m efforts. The guys who time me on on the 200's shake their head because my times will be slow for me. as much as a second off my best… but on Race Day i am happy with my performance..
    That is quite a lot of volume!

    Just out of interest (if you don't mind sharing), what sort of F200 and Kilo times do you ride?

    JMR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackliche View Post
    How does one go about determining an appropriate volume of training in a track sprinting program? I’m a little bewildered as to how to know to add/subtract some work.

    I feel like my efforts are 100% effort, but many are not 100% quality due to tiredness/fatigue. I’m attempting to find a good balance of volume and fatigue, but unsure of how to determine when I’ve put in too much or too little time. I’ve recently stepped up my training time, and am feeling tired a lot of the time, which I’m fine with as long as things come together after a rest week/taper for a race. I’m a pretty motivated and competitive guy, and will certainly have no problem driving myself into the ground. I’m just smart enough to know this is not a good idea without being smart enough to figure out how to balance that with proper training volume.
    What is your training volume, and how did you figure it out? What is a reasonable amount of rest after full-tilt sprint efforts?
    -TC
    Learn to pay close attention to your body if you aren't going for a coach. If you're tired as you say, then your quality level will drop which means you're not going to be progressing as well as you could. If you're tired, then you'd be better off working some other facet on the bike that doesn't wear you out so that you can put in 100% tomorrow. For example, in the last off season as I took on a coach, Sundays were a short casual road ride with a track session in the afternoon. The track, because I was usually spent from the week's training riding/weights/trainer/rollers, was spent doing short standing start drills of only 50m or so. Not so much about punching out max power, but getting form and technique right. It seems to have worked as I punched out a higher top sprint speed in my first week of racing this season than I finished off with last season!

    Going back a step, the winter before last, I decided to try getting serious and formulated a routine for myself from the internet picking bits from here and there. I ended up doing 2 days on weights, a couple of hard trainer sessions, a hard 1 1/2hr road ride, and often a shorter road ride on another day. I didn't do anything like technique work. It genuinely took me 1 1/2 to 2 months on the bike to get all that work to transfer to on track speed. Compare that to this season where I had a better focus/guidance!

    I think if you're relatively new, then a technique session here and there to help you to recover but still focus on riding will do more for you than any weights session will!

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