Training for track on the road?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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eordman
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:12 am

by eordman

Last week I crashed in a race and broke both wrists and my left collar bone. Up until now I've basically moved as little as possible but at this point I'm bored out of my mind. Hence, I am planning my "comeback". The doctor said I should be able to get on the bike in about five weeks. I'll ask him about riding the trainer when I see him Monday but honestly I don't think I'll be able to hold the handlebar with my cast.

Next year I'm going to college in the Midwest where they take their track cycling seriously. I've never seen a track bike in person but this summer I really wanted to learn how and hopefully qualify for nationals (as far as I understand it you just need enough racing experience). My local velodrome offers "try the track clinics" that teach you what you need to know. This injury means I won't be able to attend the first two clinics and the third is at the end of July.

My question is what can I do to get my body ready for track racing in the time between when I get back on the bike and I learn how to do track racing? I guess I could try track before the clinic but I'm convinced I'll crash myself and the people around me. Up until now I had focussed on LT training for the Mt. Washington hill climb but I'm doing it like 15 days after I get the cast off so I'm just doing it for the sake of doing it. So what can I do on a road bike that will help get me ready for the track? I'm assuming it involves shorter efforts but other than that I really don't know where to start.

Thanks!

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Tapeworm
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 10:39 am

by Tapeworm

First up, what kind of track events would you be doing?
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

by Weenie


Dalai
Posts: 1491
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

eordman wrote:Last week I crashed in a race and broke both wrists and my left collar bone. Up until now I've basically moved as little as possible but at this point I'm bored out of my mind. Hence, I am planning my "comeback". The doctor said I should be able to get on the bike in about five weeks. I'll ask him about riding the trainer when I see him Monday but honestly I don't think I'll be able to hold the handlebar with my cast.


Where there is a will, there is a way...

Local VIS cyclist training soon after breaking his collarbone a while back.

Image

As to training for track, as Tapeworm asks - which events? Sprints, Kilo, pursuits, kierin's, points, scratch... etc

eordman
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:12 am

by eordman

Haha oops, probably should've mentioned which events. Since I've never done it before I guess I'd like to try whatever I can. As far as I can tell it seems like I'll end up doing the kilo, flying 200, and match sprints with the occasional 5km scratch race. And there's no need to get into too much detail. I just would like to do something more structured than riding around for a few hours. Thanks for all your help. WW makes lying down all day bearable.

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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

The kilo, match sprint, flying 200s etc are all very much in the "sprinter" range of track cycling. The 5km is more along the enduro range. Not saying it can't be done just that training for a 5km is quite a bit different to a kilo and below.

Given the nature of the injuries and the particular racing you've outlined, once suitable specialist approved rehab is over, then some particular weight training could be a good idea*. The forces and loads for a track sprinter are far higher than any other discipline of cycling and you want important bits of you to be strong for a variety of reasons. After a few months of the weight training and general riding around then you can start to work on sprint specific training. This involves of a lot of vomit inducing efforts. Because sprinting is a maximal effort it requires a lot of maximal efforts to yield suitable adaptations. Also getting as much track time as possible is a must. The tactics of sprints aside just hitting the right line for a flying 200 can be the difference between 1st place and last.

Additionally the particular of fixed gear cycling is a good thing to practice. I have heard theorised, but not seen any data, that there are slight variation in muscle firing patterns of fixed vs normal peddling and hence it could be a good idea to maximise the amount of time on the bike you are going to compete on (i.e.: the track bike). I personally have "converted" my track bike for road efforts - namely a slight shift down in the gear inches being used and brakes. A power meter can be a real good idea, especially if not on the boards. Whilst there is still data you can't get from timing alone, accurate timing on the track will get you ~95% the way there.

If you want to do endurance on top of this it can be done but adaptions will be harder to come by. Whilst there is difference for the specific training for a 5km scratch race vs a 100km road race the differences are very, very minor. One only has to look at enduro track cyclists and their corresponding performance on the road.




* Google "Starting Strength", "Wendler 5/3/1", "Stronglifts". They are all pretty similar - strength focused, not bodybuilding. Squats, deadlifts, power cleans are staples.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

eordman
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:12 am

by eordman

Just what I was looking for. Thanks Tape, you the man.

Dalai
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Before you started focussed work to train for the Sprint events, have you done any testing to see if you are suited to the shorter events?

eordman
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:12 am

by eordman

No testing as of yet - I'm working on getting a PM. It's tough to tell from races that I've done recently what I naturally tend to be good at. Like I said, I'd like to try as many things as I can. I was just looking at the velodrome race schedule and comparing it to my own. It seems like the vast majority of the events I'll be able to do are a kilo or shorter.

by Weenie


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