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  1. #1
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    Looking to focus on track racing after two years of bike racing.

    How on earth do I try to specialize on the track for non- sprint specific events. All the local races up to the elite level are mass start races between 3-10km. I have been racing every discipline and want to really focus on track. My training has been either, 2 hour high intensity rides or 4 hour more endurance based rides and power based trainer workouts focusing on threshold and vo2 max intervals. I have gotten pretty fast this way for road races, cross, or XC mtb but I realize just how different the speed and length of these track races are. I am pretty competitive in the 4's right now but I am looking to start developing a solid program for over the winter to hit next season strong.

    Should my training intervals be way above FTP, like double? triple?
    Are 4 hour rides beneficial or detrimental to the intensity of a track race?
    Is power lifting in the off- season useful or will it slow me down on the longer races?

    There is so much information on how to train for track sprinting and not so much for these inbetween omnium events. Or should I just train like I would for road races unless specializing in sprints?
    THANKS

  2. #2
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayp View Post
    Are 4 hour rides beneficial or detrimental to the intensity of a track race?
    When I was a roadie, if my Saturday rides weren't 6 hours, I'd be bummed. Now, that's my weekly total. I haven't done a workout/ride over 2 hours since April. A couple weeks ago I did an international omnium at state champs, which takes a fair amount of endurance. Intensity rules. I'm constantly surprised at how well intensity translates to endurance (while the opposite is decidedly not true).

    Quote Originally Posted by kayp View Post
    Is power lifting in the off- season useful or will it slow me down on the longer races?
    Hot topic. I'm about 9 months into my first taste of lifting. I'm a fan. I'm a bit of an exception though, since most enduros who do lift typically stop during the season. I have kept it up, as I've found that while it reduces my saddle time, the trade-off seems to be working. That's partly because I'm enjoying lifting so much. By next year, I can see cutting back to once/week during race season.

    Quote Originally Posted by kayp View Post
    There is so much information on how to train for track sprinting and not so much for these inbetween omnium events. Or should I just train like I would for road races unless specializing in sprints?
    I think most people will tell you that it's similar to crit/road training. I don't disagree with that, except that I think most people don't train with enough intensity for those either. As alluded to above, I am finding 1-3 minute interval workouts a gold mine. I never did that when I was a roadie and wish I had.

  3. #3
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    Riding long and slow makes you good at riding long and slow. The 6hr rides do one thing, condition your body to burn fuel slowly. Something you really don't need, even on a 'long' 20k points race.

    All the books and all the training plans and coaches out there, you can make it this simple: train for what you want to compete in. The omnium is a range of 20 second, 1min, 5min, and 20min efforts (and the 20min is probably made up of a bunch of 1-5min efforts). Where in that do you think a 5hr ride would help? Most track riders are used to be roadies, and its something you either learn and get faster, or keep doing what you are doing and stay the same. While aerobic capacity and endurance are still large parts of track racing (unless you want to be one of those meat heads that only get off the chair for a few mins at a time ), you cannot follow the traditional miles and miles on the bike mentality of road training.

    Weights, Im about where Vance is and I would say they help with your short efforts, flying 200, standing starts, match sprints, to a point it might be the ONLY way to get faster. 2 sessions a week will only help you.



    I made the switch recently from Roadie who likes track, to trackie who tolerates the road, and I LOVE it. My rides are short and hard and so much more fun. Plus I have so much time to do other things with my life now

  4. #4
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    Thanks! This is what I figured but it is a little with the way some of the faster track guys train who do both road and track races.
    I see how weights could be detrimental to performance during the race season but I guess 2-3x a week on the off season and one session during would be good? Now am I just doing squats and deadlifts 3x a week or do you guys focus on other power lifts as well?

    Lower reps (5-8) with larger weight at the gym, short hard efforts on the bike (sessions under 2 hours and intervals under 10 minutes). Seems to be a way better training plan for what track racing is.

    If anyone not specializing in sprints wanted to give me a rough outline of a training week for the off season I would really appreciate it.

  5. #5
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    There is a thread on weight lifting with lots of info. A lot of us like this ebook too Up! Up! Up! ? Up! Up! Up! An introduction to track sprint cycling Its focused on sprinting but you get some of the concepts there.

    I find in season, weights need to replace a hard ride. So if you currently ride 5 days/week, you will only ride 4. If you can ride and lift in the same day, you didn't do one of them hard enough (recovery rides dont count).

    Off season...there is no such thing If you can't be on a bike then lifting is a good replacement. Keep the intensity up, structure, and make every workout have a purpose. No more base miles nonsense.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
    Where in that do you think a 5hr ride would help?
    Weight management...
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

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    Number of ways to approach training for endurance track racing. I only do on bike training - my view is specificity trumps other training tools.

    I keep my training plan pretty simple. I am fortunate to be able to race track year round so try and race twice a week throughout most of the year - two sessions on the velodrome during summer and in winter one track meet is substituted with a TT or CX race on the weekend. The other key session are shorter intervals (4 minute intervals for pursuits) during summer and longer FTP intervals or hill repeats in winter. Remaining km's for the week are cruisy commuting fixed (with brakes) on a light gear.

    As a Masters cyclist (moving to Masters 4 next year) I find I can only manage so much intensity per week, so usually don't do more than three keys sessions per week; though may up to four depending on what events are coming up.

    With this approach I am able to race locally A grade on the track and road TT's (I only average ~300km per week so only race B grade on the road when I fit a few road races in) and consistently do well at State Masters events.
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayp View Post
    If anyone not specializing in sprints wanted to give me a rough outline of a training week for the off season I would really appreciate it.
    I think you're on the right track.

    Weights are good if you need to add strength. As always, training approaches should be designed to address limiters. For me, a lack of strength was what was stopping me from winning longer enduro races (coming down to sprints) and short races (keirins and not-pure-sprint races like short scratch races, novelty races, etc). So, I turned toward weights in the offseason.

    A standard offseason training week for me is 3x days of lifting - 2x of squats and 1x deads. On those days I'm probably also going to ride the rollers for 60-90 minutes. On a hard day of lifting I'm just riding the rollers to spin; on lighter days of lifting I'll do some hard workouts. I like points race simulations (sprints every 3 minutes), 5x5s, pyramid intervals if I'm fit enough, et cetera. Once or twice a week I'll try to do a trainer ride that's longer than 90 minutes, but, in general, **** those.

    My winter workouts are all indoor because I live in a place where it's very cold and training outside is a lost cause.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  9. #9
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    I recommend you read Norn Sheil's book "7-11 Grand Prix Training Manual II" published by Rodale Press in 1984. A little dated but great for beginners and you can then tailor Sheil's approach to yours. The book is out of print but appears for sale on ebay or various other sites from time to time. Or borrow though your local library (your library could probably borrow it from one of the libraries listed here http://www.worldcat.org/title/7-elev.../oclc/19790799)
    Last edited by 700wheel; 07-03-14 at 03:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    kayp, welcome to the forum and the sport.

    As you've seen there are many ways to train for endurance track racing. Don't get too hung up on finding the *perfect* program. That doesn't exist...especially for newer racers.

    Any solid crit training program that suits your schedule should have you very well prepared for track endurance racing. This is evident by the great number of crit specialists that race track and compete at the regional and national levels in the US with ease. The physical demands are more similar than different.
    Last edited by carleton; 07-03-14 at 09:45 PM.

  11. #11
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Also, don't fret too much about the endurance time trials. People can get really nerdy about them with regards to gearing, cadence, equipment, etc...

    The best advice I can give you is to don't overthink anything until you have a baseline. Start with some borrowed aerobars or clip-ons and learn by doing. The spend money to solve problems that you positively identify. Don't spend money to solve problems that don't exist for you yet (if ever).

    Just remember that positioning is more important than any piece of equipment (no matter how much it costs).

    Also, don't spend money on gear until you start consistently losing by less than 1 or 2 seconds.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayp View Post
    If anyone not specializing in sprints wanted to give me a rough outline of a training week for the off season I would really appreciate it.
    My program is working good for me. I go hard and fast 3 times a week and easy 2 times a week and long 1 time a week. I go hard at least 2 weeks a month and easy at least one week a month. I average about 10 hours a week, often less. Long rides are 2 to 3 hours, with 3 hours the goal, but not always time. Hard, just depends as I mix in efforts from 5 seconds up to 10 minutes and mix up recovery time and interval time. 75 (hard)/30 (medium)/75 (kilo hard) in seconds then rest and repeat 4 to 6 times is a good hard day for me. 75 minutes of zone 1-3 is a good easy day, 2 to 3 hours of zone 2/3 is a good long day.

    But read up and build into anything you do. I have been going for 27 years and know how to read my body, and I got 2 months of base work in before adding in the intensity. I go max 80% efforts in month one, and max 90% efforts in month 2, and don't even think about intervals or going over 90% until month 3.

    Like Carleton and the rest said, have fun and don't worry about the perfect schedule.

    Also if your goal is to race track, then you need to race a lot to figure out how to race. Racing the road is pretty simple, track racing is not so simple, there are so many events and each race requires you to figure out how your style fits the race style. In the end you might finish first at a track race, but find out you didn't even make top 5 in the race because of points.

  13. #13
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac View Post
    When I was a roadie, if my Saturday rides weren't 6 hours, I'd be bummed. Now, that's my weekly total. I haven't done a workout/ride over 2 hours since April. A couple weeks ago I did an international omnium at state champs, which takes a fair amount of endurance. Intensity rules. I'm constantly surprised at how well intensity translates to endurance (while the opposite is decidedly not true).

    Hot topic. I'm about 9 months into my first taste of lifting. I'm a fan. I'm a bit of an exception though, since most enduros who do lift typically stop during the season. I have kept it up, as I've found that while it reduces my saddle time, the trade-off seems to be working. That's partly because I'm enjoying lifting so much. By next year, I can see cutting back to once/week during race season.

    I think most people will tell you that it's similar to crit/road training. I don't disagree with that, except that I think most people don't train with enough intensity for those either. As alluded to above, I am finding 1-3 minute interval workouts a gold mine. I never did that when I was a roadie and wish I had.
    Well said Vance...

    Intensity just rules whether on the bike or in the weight room. In fact, endurance makes one slower. Having said that, intensity generates a lot of fatigue. I ride my bike a lot less with more rest and roller high cadence recovery rides at very low power.

    Recently, my wife wanted to race a 40k time trial on our tandem and I had not done any road TTs or longer 20 minute intervals. I did the TT and had a great ride with excellent power. My only problem was that my balls felt like they were being sandblasted for the last 10K from riding on the nose of the saddle.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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