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Supramaximal Performance

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2018

Performance Analysis is a hobby for me. It is also a job and an area of academic study and will keep me awake as I wonder if a pattern of results has emerged or progress is being made. How can I use this data to help improve performance?

At a course at the University I attend Professor Keith Lyons was described as the Godfather of Performance Analysis. Keith founded the Australian Institute of Sport’s Performance Analysis Unit. He would rather see himself as part of a long story and tips the hat towards those who preceded him in the field; those who noted in books, on backs of envelopes, napkins and so forth where a ball in a basketball game travelled prior to being shot at the hoop, where a tee shot went in golf to make the second shot more likely to yield a better result, by recording that location and the resultant score to give the team or player knowledge of how to improve their performance.

And so we note things. We measure things, we plot on graphs. We like consistency...

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Why peak watts doesn't necessarily decide the winner...

training Nov 10, 2018

Somewhere in the world there may be an interview question where the candidate is asked how many things this image could be... An ECG trace? Climate graph pairing rainfall and humidity? Underwater depth and biological life charted against each other? Macchu Picchu?

It is none of the above. There is a green line and a yellow line…

  • One is the cadence of the cyclist and
  • One is their speed.

I have taken off all of the numbers so you can’t see what this rider, an elite female, recently achieved, and for the purposes of today it doesn’t really matter... The cadence and speed chart (next to each other) whilst riding on a fixed gear is good. When a rider is still travelling quickly and is no longer recording a relevant cadence this, in our sport, is bad... Hopefully it just means a loss of data, as opposed to a crash.

The blue line is the temperature, which doesn’t concern me greatly over the course of the effort but certainly I am aware a Flying 50m or Flying...

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Why Motorbike Assisted Efforts Aren't Imperative to Cycling Performance

training May 18, 2018

If you’re a sprinter and accustomed to following a motorbike as you complete flying efforts around a velodrome, than you’ll attest to just how fun this type of activity is. 

But are motorbikes imperative to cycling performance? 

We think not… 

Whilst they’re a great training tool for overspeed efforts, utilising the motorbike isn’t imperative to cycling performance and in this blog we’ll explain a few reasons why.

First, lets talk about how motorbikes are used on the track. 

In sprinting, motorbike lead activities can include activities such as motor-jumps, motor-paced gradual accelerations and motor-paced flying entries (to name a few). 

The motorbike leads the cyclist around the track and thus deflects most of the air resistance, allowing the cyclist to maximise their speed (ride faster than they would without the motorbike) due to minimal aerodynamic drag. 

The motorbike (if ridden well by an experienced pacer)...

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A Road Ride Review to Better Understand Aerobic Training & Physiology

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2018

If you are wondering why a mountainous road ride review has appeared here at the Track Cycling Academy it is because I talk about some physiological changes which the body makes in the course of aerobic training...

These are all physiological parameters which are vital for success in pursuiting and bunch racing and even performance and recovery in sprint. I’m not convinced a sprinter ought to attempt 235km of mountains though…

I did intend to finish. I wasn’t sure how I would have the capacity to ride 235km and climb 4km without, this time, having actually trained for it. The event is the Peaks Challenge, Falls Creek. This is an event I have done previously, and this was my fifth, so I know the course and its demands. I have also worked as the Lantern Rouge in the Peaks Challenge, Gold Coast, in the hinterland behind the towns and surf beaches which will feature in the Commonwealth Games. As the Lantern Rouge the job is to ride at a pace which will bring you home...

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WORLDS: High Speeds & Fast Finishes

training Mar 07, 2018

“Did you see Chris Hoy’s post on Twitter?” asked Shane Perkins in a conversation yesterday. “No” I said, what did he write?”…

Sir Chris described the amazing performances by Jeffrey Hoogland, Matthew Glaetzer and Theo Bos, all of whom rode their 1km (called the kilo) time trial in under 1 minute at the World Championships. Jeffrey Hoogland’s 59.459 is a sea-level world record and won him the gold medal.

The eight points on the graph represent the half-lap splits. It shows that after one full lap not one of the three riders is up to the maximum speed achieved as the point at 375m is the highest, leaving two-and-a-half laps of reducing speed. Reducing speed, slowing down, sounds a lot more relaxed than any ride averaging over 60kmh could possibly be.

The shape of the graph is similar to a graph of wattage of a 30 second anaerobic power test, in that it ramps up to its peak and declines before the end. Wattage and speed won’t...

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Cut the bad fats and start performing!

nutrition Feb 28, 2018

Optimal performance and health starts with the body - if you are fuelling yourself with excellent quality foods and staying hydrated you’re giving your body the best chance to perform at its best in all situations.

In this blog we will focus on one specific food group area - that is the fats. It’s a really interesting food group to delve in to and understanding the types of fat that you need to stay away from, or consume, is worthwhile.

So good fats and bad fats, what’s the difference and how will they impact on your performance? 

The Bad

Trans and saturated fats are the worst to consume - and the science behind why is fascinating…

These types of fat remain solid at room temperature – think about the white bits on meat or coconut oil in a jar. It's also the primary variety used in processed foods like cakes and biscuits. 

If you want to get scientific, saturated fat has a single bond in its molecular structure, which makes it more difficult...

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Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Cycling Performance

mindset Feb 21, 2018

One of the body’s reactions to fear and anxiety is muscle tension. This can result in feeling “tense”, or can lead to muscle aches and pains, as well as feelings of panic, self-doubt and an array of other emotions which are non-conducive to cycling performance. 

Think about how you respond to anxiety, stress or nerves…

Do you “tense up” when you’re feeling anxious or nervous? 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) can be particularly helpful in cases where anxiety is especially associated to muscle tension. 

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) was first identified by Jacobson in 1934 as tensing and releasing of 16 muscle groups. Wolpe adapted it for use with systematic desensitization in 1948 and Bernstein and Borkovec in 1973 studied adjustments to the technique to fit cognitive behavioural stress management.

Empirical evidence supports the use of PMR in high level tension responses and mind body techniques such as: reducing...

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3 Tips to Maximise Your Training & Perform at Your Best!

physiology training Feb 11, 2018

We’ve discussed periodisation, programming and planning in many of our blogs, and whilst for the most part, the athletes that we come into contact with have a fairly sound understanding of how to structure a training program... From time to time though, we are asked the question:

How do I fit all of the training elements into my program throughout the season and perform on time? 

In this blog, we will offer you 3 fundamentals of training to help ensure you tick the boxes at the right time to enhance performance. 

Train a Few Elements Well (Don’t try and train everything at once)

When cooking a roast dinner, you don’t put all ingredients in the oven (both meat and vegetables) at the same time and expect they’ll all be cooked perfectly when you pull them out… 

The same principle applies when it comes to planning and executing your training. 

For example. If you try and train endurance, speed-endurance, top end speed and strength all...

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Two Reasons Why Toe Straps Are Important for Track Cyclists

equipment racing training Nov 24, 2017

Regardless of whether you're a beginner or experienced track cyclist, the talk of toe-straps is of importance to everyone!

Here are some reasons why...

1. SECURE FOOT, SHOE AND PEDAL CONTACT

Think of it like this… when you’re following an opponent around the track in a race and it’s time to accelerate quickly, you want to engage and maximise your power line as efficiently as possible. That is, the line in which you can transfer all the power your body generates into the pedals, as fast as possible, so you can quickly accelerate your speed. 

An important area that tends to get over looked is your cycling shoes! When you think about your foot in your cycling shoe - is it a snug fit? Or is there room to move your foot up and down, or side to side? 

If you are experiencing this type of movement in your cycling shoes, it’s likely that some of the power that you produce when pedalling is going to waste,...

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Understanding Angles & Speed in Track Cycling

racing skills training Nov 16, 2017

In this blog we want to chat briefly about angles and speed and what happens to your centre of gravity respectively. Plus we want to offer a few tips on what you can do to enhance your technical riding skills.

When we ride our bikes at low speeds on a Velodrome our centre of gravity drifts closer towards the track surface...

When we ride at high speeds our centre of gravity drifts away from the track surface...

When riding at slower speeds, particularly in the bends, your pedal clearance is reduced and the angle in which your tread is making contact with the velodrome's surface changes with the speed that you're travelling and the angles of the track (bends and straights).  

If you plan on reducing your speed that you're travelling on the velodrome, be mindful when making sharp turns to ensure your tyre tread remains in contact with the surface, and pedal contact with the track is minimised. 

Did you know that having the confidence and ability to effectively control...

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