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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:49 am 
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Hi Folks,
I need a little help with workout suggestions.

Background: I'm a Cat 1 U23 cyclist. I pedal fast. I can climb and time trial well. However, my girlfriend can out sprint me. Seriously. This is really limiting my ability to get results, so I'm looking for ways to increase my muscular force and endurance. I'm doing some limited gym work, but am looking for suggestions for on-bike strength training workouts.
Please let me know of any suggestion and what phase of training the workout would fit into. ie base 3, build 1, etc.

Thanks guys!


Last edited by superleggera on Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:49 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:04 am 
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Can you post up exactly what gym work you've been doing? Perhaps also include your on-bike work too so we can see how it dove tails in.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:50 am 
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Superleggera: Pictures or it didn't happen ;) !!!

Louis :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:10 am 
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Illuminate: I'm following the strength training routine out of Friel's "Cyclists Training Bible".
Louis: What pictures are we looking for? I aint kidding round.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:35 am 
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Don't take this the wrong way, don't try. You are what you are. You can make small marginal improvements in sprinting but if you don't have it you don't have it. I am not saying don't train sprints but you will make more improvements in training what you are good at. I am a sprinter. I have always been one and will always be one. Us sprinters make 1200w just thinking about getting out of the saddle, and do it with ease as a function of accelerating out of a corner in a crit. I have not done any kind of a real sprint in six months but I know if I go out tomorrow and do one it will be 1500w plus, it is like that every year. It does not matter how much you train your sprint if you don't get rid of us sprinters we will beat you no matter what you do in training or the gym. Cavindish can't be Froome and Froome can't be Cavindish no matter what they do. You can do what sprinters only can dream of, climb, time trial and ride people off your wheel. This season will be my 30th season and it does not matter what I do I will never ride you off my wheel. Guys like you have to learn how to read your breakaway companions and go when they can't or won't. One of the best riders in Il. for the last many years is just like you, and everyone knows he can't sprint, yet he wins all of the time, by knowing how to get away on his own. The other think is do races that match your strengths, don't do a 4 corner crit that has fast pedal through corners and expect to be in the mix. Do the crit with a million turns and hills and narrow streets, that is were you will shine.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:46 am 
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Really Louis? :?
LouisN wrote:
Superleggera: Pictures or it didn't happen ;) !!!

Louis :)



superleggera - I'll ask: give specific (race) examples of where not being able to 'sprint' has cost you? And the degree of the 'cost'. As it sounds like you're looking to improve in an aspect of racing that is not your strong suit. Why not keep on keeping on with what you are good at. I can dust enough climbers if we come down to a sprint. Only if there are lumps in the course, they do a pretty good job of making sure I'm not there at the end.

Racing is all about using your strengths to close other people's doors. If you're losing sprints then I'm almost thinking you need to look at doing a little more to make sure those guys don't make it to the line with you.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:10 am 
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Really appreciate the help guys. Here's the thing: I dont think you understand how bad my muscular strength is... its BAD. I excel at having a high aerobic capacity / VO2 max. Good at CX. Problem is- Sprinters can usually beat me up hills my muscling their way up them.
Specific race examples: I cant "get away." Also I cant get up hills. So even selective courses like the Madison U23 nats course or Virginia Collegiate Nats are not a strength for me. I could ride away on an exteded hill, but there aren't a lot of those in my area.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:15 am 
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Yeah, I'd say that once you reach Cat 1 everyone has got it pretty figured out. You are what you are by now. I'm a lot like you, really don't sprint well and will never out jump someone who is. But I can hit the hills hard a drop a lot of guys. I do work on sprints some because inevitably some races will come down to small group sprints and I want to at least have a shot at the V. Remember, a lot of sprinting well is postioning, timimg, and picking the best side to go on. Peak wattage is only one aspect. Just do enough sprint training regularly toat least give yourself a shot from a small group.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:27 am 
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Twiggy- Exactly. Winning alone is pretty tough. I'm looking for some specific sprint workouts to at lest become competitive in a small group sprint.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:16 pm 
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It is hard to understand. You climb well but say you can't get uphill.

Do you have power datas? Also, I would not follow what Frield recommends. Perhaps lift heavier and lower reps. Max strength training *could* help out with the snap a little if nothing else. Motor unit synchronisation and recruitment should be the focus.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:33 pm 
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I would focus on short hills if you experience problems with them. Making the selection is much more important if you can't rely on a decent sprint. Sprint training will probably only get you so far, but you could do some sprint drills to get a little better kick in your accelerations. Good placement and timing can make up for a poor sprinting ability in smaller groups though.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Well I'll say this (warning: I can be a little old skool) as the season approaches (now) I will start adding in sprints to my training on gradual downhills just to work on my form and leg speed/coordination. Then as things progress I make them longer and mlve from slightly downhill to slightly uphill. Then I will start going for every sprint that comes up during group rides no matter how bad the guys who are sprinters are crushing me. You have to put your ego aside here. Just keep doing them so in a race you can sprint from that small group just going more on instinct/feel rather than overthinking it too much. It really helps with the whole jump timing and gear selection thing too. Also I find if I can go first and get the jump on guys I'm better off just trying to hold that gap than to go past people. Good luck man.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Jim V speaks the truth. Sprinters are born and not made. A true sprint (neuromuscular system) is at the high end only 30 seconds long and will leave the sprinter dead after that. So you can train your anaerobic capacity system which is around 30s to 2m. This system is easier to train. Do these types of intervals starting out with a 1:2 ratio then moving to a 1:1 ratio. and as moving throughout the season moving to a 1:.5 ratio. These types of intervals will help you separate during short hills and may help you win a long sprint in a breakaway.

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Last edited by rockdude on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:33 pm 
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You're a U23 cat 1 and don't have a coach? This is surprising. I'd recommend working with one at your level rather than asking on an internet forum.

The one person I know that can climb well, TT well, but can't sprint well does some gym work, plyos, and lots and lots of short 10-30s efforts in the off season on climbs. He will never, ever win in a sprint, but at a high level you will need some decent kick to get a good enough gap for the peloton not to just get towed up behind you.

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Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:33 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:46 pm 
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KW- correct. I don't have the talent or desire to be pro. I do this for fun.
In saying that sprinters can beat me up hills, I meant short hills, like less than 1km.


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