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  1. #1
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    Local track closed...

    So before i even had chance to use it or get any advice off a coach/more experienced rider, the track has closed for re-furb so in the meantime how can i train for sprints? Ive got a singlespeed bianchi with a flip flop hub, i intend on getting used to the fixed wheel this week. So just looking for ideas please? Its relatively flat where i live but there are inclines as opposed to hills so i can utilise them and im part of a gym set up. Current gearing is 48/18 on the freewheel and 48/16 for fixed.

    I also have a set of rollers id like to use - any good workouts for rollers please?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen21 View Post
    So before i even had chance to use it or get any advice off a coach/more experienced rider, the track has closed for re-furb so in the meantime how can i train for sprints? Ive got a singlespeed bianchi with a flip flop hub, i intend on getting used to the fixed wheel this week. So just looking for ideas please? Its relatively flat where i live but there are inclines as opposed to hills so i can utilise them and im part of a gym set up. Current gearing is 48/18 on the freewheel and 48/16 for fixed.

    I also have a set of rollers id like to use - any good workouts for rollers please?
    You don't need a track to train for sprinting. I've seen elite national and world-class sprinters do the majority of their training away from the track. Sprinting takes:

    - Strength
    - Power
    - Fitness
    - Weight Management
    - Bike handling / Cunning

    You can train all but the last of those away from the track with a gym, road bike, stationary trainer, the right type of spin bike, hills, etc... It's entirely possible.

    On a personal note: one season I lived nearly 4 hours from the nearest velodrome (which didn't host sprint events when I got there) and I was able to train successfully using the gym, Cateye CS1000, rollers, and a road bike.

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    Consider doing short competition time trials and/or hill climbs on a fixed gear bike.

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    The only time I have been on the track this year is to race. No training sessions. All my training has been done on the road or rollers with a fixed gear and road bike with powermeter. And I have been fairly successful so far this season.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
    Consider doing short competition time trials and/or hill climbs on a fixed gear bike.
    This is bad advice.

    Track sprinting consists of events that are generally 1 minute or less in duration. Any road time trials would be endurance racing and competition hill climbs on a fixed gear don't train anything but how to awkwardly climb a hill

    Time doing either of those would be better spent in the gym or on an ergometer.

    Also, even though the word "sprinting" is used to describe what happens at the end of road races and criteriums, there are not related. That's like comparing the sprint at the end of a Marathon to a 100M sprint.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    You'd be amazed. Sprint training actually on the velodrome is generally fine-tuning the big work that you'd done away from the velodrome.

    As rvigeant illustrates above, although it's possible to do all of your training on a track, you really don't have to. Some (both enduro or sprinter types) just show up to race

    If you are a new racer, I'd advise you to spend as much of your time as possible on the track. This is for bike handling and pack skills more so than sprint training. This is how the bike becomes an extension of you as you learn the curves at full speed with another person inches away. You can't get that anywhere but a track.

    If you can, travel to a neighboring city and race their beginner mass start races so you can get time in the saddle.
    Last edited by carleton; 08-11-14 at 12:19 AM.

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    ok thanks, got a bit to do (not that thats new news (lol)). Guess we've all been newbies - im going to do some gym work today and then go do some sprints later.

    I'm booked in for my taster session at Manchester (uk) velodrome in 2 weeks, so once my accreditation is all done ill be able to go over whenever. Then hopefully the closer track will re-open too.

    Should i care about what gears im running right now?

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    For what it's worth this has been my first season and I've run 48x15 all season. In the first half of the season it was fine, now I've begun to realize there are certain races where I could be running a bigger gear.

    But initially, there was such a learning curve with everything else on track, plus my lack of prep over the winter, that gearing was the last thing holding me back and the last thing I was thinking about.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen21 View Post
    ok thanks, got a bit to do (not that thats new news (lol)). Guess we've all been newbies - im going to do some gym work today and then go do some sprints later.

    I'm booked in for my taster session at Manchester (uk) velodrome in 2 weeks, so once my accreditation is all done ill be able to go over whenever. Then hopefully the closer track will re-open too.

    Should i care about what gears im running right now?
    You'll run warmup gears for your intro sessions. Something similar to 48tx16t. It's not about speed at this point. Also, if you use too big of a gear during the training, you'll tire yourself out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jared. View Post
    For what it's worth this has been my first season and I've run 48x15 all season. In the first half of the season it was fine, now I've begun to realize there are certain races where I could be running a bigger gear.

    But initially, there was such a learning curve with everything else on track, plus my lack of prep over the winter, that gearing was the last thing holding me back and the last thing I was thinking about.
    ok cheers just on the road training I didn't know if repping out was bad. I don't have a road bike - just single speed/fixed.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen21 View Post
    ok cheers just on the road training I didn't know if repping out was bad. I don't have a road bike - just single speed/fixed.
    There is a minimum amount of equipment you'll need to make the most of your time. If you are certain that you want to train for sprinting, you'll need:

    - A proper track bike with a few chainring/cog options
    - A gym membership with an appropriate training program
    - A road bike

    Having less than that means that you aren't making the most of your weeks of training.

    Riding around town or bike trails on a single speed or fixed gear is not the most efficient or effective way of training. For off-track training, the gym and road bike are your best options. You'll get strength and power in the gym. You'll use the road bike to gain general fitness, lose weight, and learn to pedal in circles efficiently. Too much gym makes one stiff and rigid on the bike. Get to the track to pull all of that together.

    There are many ways to train for sprinting, but the way listed above is the most common way.

    You don't need a fancy road bike. A 15 year old aluminum road bike in good working order is just as good as a new top of the line carbon bike. You'll use them the same way. So, go for the cheaper option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    There is a minimum amount of equipment you'll need to make the most of your time. If you are certain that you want to train for sprinting, you'll need:

    - A proper track bike with a few chainring/cog options
    - A gym membership with an appropriate training program
    - A road bike

    Having less than that means that you aren't making the most of your weeks of training.

    Riding around town or bike trails on a single speed or fixed gear is not the most efficient or effective way of training. For off-track training, the gym and road bike are your best options. You'll get strength and power in the gym. You'll use the road bike to gain general fitness, lose weight, and learn to pedal in circles efficiently. Too much gym makes one stiff and rigid on the bike. Get to the track to pull all of that together.

    There are many ways to train for sprinting, but the way listed above is the most common way.

    You don't need a fancy road bike. A 15 year old aluminum road bike in good working order is just as good as a new top of the line carbon bike. You'll use them the same way. So, go for the cheaper option.
    I dont just casually use it (if thats what you thought) i bought it to train on (which i have been doing) thinking i'd need to get used to fixed gear/single speed etc. Ill have to find some more money then if i need a roadie lol boo.

    Can i ask why a road bike is better? is it just so you can push a harder gear if needs be?

    I know im new to this so ill just say it anyway and hope you understand or whatever - when using my single speed on the road i still feel im gaining fitness? should i be intending to go on big rides? as for weight loss, im not sure how that fairs as im pretty lean from weightlifting etc but i arent dismissing you saying it lol

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen21 View Post
    I dont just casually use it (if thats what you thought) i bought it to train on (which i have been doing) thinking i'd need to get used to fixed gear/single speed etc. Ill have to find some more money then if i need a roadie lol boo.

    Can i ask why a road bike is better? is it just so you can push a harder gear if needs be?

    I know im new to this so ill just say it anyway and hope you understand or whatever - when using my single speed on the road i still feel im gaining fitness? should i be intending to go on big rides? as for weight loss, im not sure how that fairs as im pretty lean from weightlifting etc but i arent dismissing you saying it lol
    Buying a fixed gear to train for track racing is sort of a common mistake. That's sort of like buying a Badminton kit for training for Tennis at home. They are sort of related, but there are better ways to accomplish the same goal.

    A road bike with variable gears is a VERY valuable training tool. You can use it to train:

    - Leg speed
    - Seated strength
    - Low RPM power
    - High RPM power
    - Cardiovascular fitness

    ...all by switching gears on the fly depending on the day's workout assignment.

    You *are* gaining fitness. But, there is a better way.

    It's like having a gym with only one set of 35lb plates for your barbell vs having a complete set of plates from 5lbs up to 45lbs and multiple of each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Buying a fixed gear to train for track racing is sort of a common mistake. That's sort of like buying a Badminton kit for training for Tennis at home. They are sort of related, but there are better ways to accomplish the same goal.

    A road bike with variable gears is a VERY valuable training tool. You can use it to train:

    - Leg speed
    - Seated strength
    - Low RPM power
    - High RPM power
    - Cardiovascular fitness

    ...all by switching gears on the fly depending on the day's workout assignment.

    You *are* gaining fitness. But, there is a better way.

    It's like having a gym with only one set of 35lb plates for your barbell vs having a complete set of plates from 5lbs up to 45lbs and multiple of each.
    might see if my dads bike will fit then lol or if i can borrow one

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    The hill climbs in the UK are very short - one to two miles typically and are usually ran in the October time frame with some riders on fixed gear (at one time it was just about all riders). And ridden on a small gear. When I lived in the UK a lot of sprinters used these to help with their sprint. This type of event is not widely held in the USA.

    I was thinking of 10k TT since the original poster said " I intend on getting used to the fixed wheel this week." I assumed that he had no prior fixed experience but his later posts says otherwise.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 700wheel View Post
    The hill climbs in the UK are very short - one to two miles typically and are usually ran in the October time frame with some riders on fixed gear (at one time it was just about all riders). And ridden on a small gear. When I lived in the UK a lot of sprinters used these to help with their sprint. This type of event is not widely held in the USA.

    I was thinking of 10k TT since the original poster said " I intend on getting used to the fixed wheel this week." I assumed that he had no prior fixed experience but his later posts says otherwise.
    Please tell me how this helps their sprint?

    A 1-2 mile hill climb is not sprint training for a track sprinter. It may be useful for fitness or whatnot, but not as sprint training. There is so much wrong with using hill climbs as sprint training:

    - Different energy systems.
    - Different body position.
    - Different muscle groups.
    - Different cadences.

    I can do jumping jacks and say that "it's helping my sprint." That doesn't mean it really is.

    As a sprinter, the only 10K effort I've ever been assigned was as an easy warmup to start the training day

  17. #17
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    Carleton is suggesting a good course of action here. But you can get some meaningful training done on a track bike on the road, especially track specific workouts like starts and very short full-on accelerations. You just need to be careful that you find a good safe training spot where you can go ALL OUT and not worry about traffic, and this is much easier said than done.

    I do have a road bike, but I use it almost exclusively for recovery rides. Of course this can also be done on a track bike with rollers at home. Fixed gear riding on the road is never a recovery ride, even on a very small gear.

    So for absolute minimal essentials I would possibly modify Carleton's list above by swapping rollers for the road bike. But I do agree with him that if you can afford it you should get a road bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Carleton is suggesting a good course of action here. But you can get some meaningful training done on a track bike on the road, especially track specific workouts like starts and very short full-on accelerations. You just need to be careful that you find a good safe training spot where you can go ALL OUT and not worry about traffic, and this is much easier said than done.

    I do have a road bike, but I use it almost exclusively for recovery rides. Of course this can also be done on a track bike with rollers at home. Fixed gear riding on the road is never a recovery ride, even on a very small gear.

    So for absolute minimal essentials I would possibly modify Carleton's list above by swapping rollers for the road bike. But I do agree with him that if you can afford it you should get a road bike.

    Much appreciated I guess this helps my problem a bit - I do have rollers!
    Last night I found a decent spot for some sprints, I shall be just getting used to the bike, fixed wheel and going fast as I can for the next few weeks and months I guess anyway. The rollers are tricky at first lol I assume they help balance too?
    Biking to work and such is ok right even though it's not a sprint (4 miles each way)? General fitness and more time on the bike...

    this is helps a lot so thanks, however when I can afford a cheap roadie then I will heed both your advice. Cheers to you both.

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