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The Cycling Blog

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Foundations of fast! Whole Body Track Sprinting - the Fitness for Speed.

sprint training May 27, 2017

In last week's blog we were talking about sprinters needing to have a greater capacity than just raw power to be competitive in track sprinting. We know that a rider with a lot of raw power is always going to have an advantage in a sprint over one who does not, as simply they can make their bike reach a higher peak speed. But assuming two riders have the same power and same track craft then the difference may well be how they back-up their effort after the Flying 200m in to the rounds of Match Sprinting, or from one Match Sprint to the next.

The other factor is whether they want to have the capacity to ride from ‘the gun’ in a Match Sprint. There will always be the ‘long-sprinters’ and the ‘finishers’. On the road it is easy to see, in this era of lead-out trains, who the pro teams see as their long-sprinters as they will lead out the finisher. Not all sprinters will be genetically designed, physically trained or mentally happy to ride a 1km...

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Sprint Fitness - A few thoughts

sprint training May 20, 2017

Article: Michael Jordan – Physiological Performance Analyst

When Emily and I were first talking about sprinting in track cycling and what makes a person a pure sprinter we almost ended up concluding that here was no such thing. Yup, really, we did. It would have been convenient for the conversation if Kerrie and Shane had walked in to the Anna Meares Velodrome at that moment to add an extra layer to the contrary thoughts we were having.

Think about boxing as a sport (which I can’t imagine I’ve referenced too often, especially as Emily describes a Keirin at times, more like chess than other activities). Rapid explosive power is necessary to succeed but boxers also need the endurance to last the rounds. Conversely, Usain Bolt starts from a stationary position and finished his event a few seconds later. Both types are power athletes, with each sport having massive anaerobic contributions, but wildly different in their distribution of energy over time. Which are track...

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Integrate Weightlifting into your Cycling Program - with Max Dal Santo

Max Dal Santo has not only represented Australia in weight lifting, he has also coached a number of successful cyclists and helped them to achieve their best results on the bike through structured weight lifting programs. 

In this audio blog, Max talks about the parallels between weight lifting and track cycling, and how to structure and periodise your weight lifting to make gains on the bike! 


Looking for more support in the gym?

Max has prepared a number of programs and demonstration "how to" videos which encompass a range of fundamental lifts (including Olympic lifting) and exercises to help track cyclists (in both sprint and endurance disciplines) maximise their 'on the bike' performances. These are available in our Inner Circle program

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the box below! 

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The Keirin from Lane 6 - Advice from Shane Perkins

racing May 06, 2017

In this blog we turn our focus to undoubtedly one of the most exciting of the track cycling events - the Keirin. 

The Keirin was invented as a betting sport by the Japanese and continues to be wildly popular there.

Riders draw for position on the start line and when the gun is fired they form a line behind a derny which brings them up to speeds of 45kph for women and 50kph for the men before releasing them to race out the final 3 laps. 

We caught up with Shane Perkins, undoubtedly one of the most successful Keirin riders in the World in both UCI events and the Japanese Keirin Series, (which is held each year in Japan) to ask him a few questions around the strategies of the event. 

With the new UCI rules that came into play in 2017, one of the most common questions we’re asked is what to do if you draw one 6th position and how does this affect your chances in the race.  

So we’ve asked Shane for his advice…

Emily: Shane, what advice can...

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How To Develop the Right Mindset & Produce Your Best Results

mindset performance Apr 26, 2017

If you’re familiar with the start line then it’s likely you’ll be all too familiar with the emotional highs and lows of competing and the mental energy it takes to wind down following a result (good, bad or indifferent). 

Without a well-rehearsed mental strategy (or set of strategies) regardless of the outcome of your race, you’re likely to have, what we like to call… poor mental recovery time. 

Let us explain…

Scenario 1: Race goes well (you win)

You arrive at the track, warm up, prepare they way you do, race, win and celebrate. It’s cheers and high fives all round as you go home with your shiny new medal. You get home, unwind and put your feet up, the elation is still at an all time high - your adrenaline levels are still through the roof - it’s a good feeling. Bed time rolls around, you hop into bed and attempt to sleep. You can’t sleep - you can only replay the triumph of your event over and over again. As you try...

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Jordan Kerby, Cameron Meyer and the Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation

training Apr 20, 2017

Jordan Kerby became World Champion in the Pursuit, during the last week. He is local to Brisbane where the Track Cycling Academy live, work, coach, write and ride. Cameron Meyer became World Champion (again) of the Points race. He’s a lovely man and gave a toy koala to my (Michael’s) son at the Australian Championships a short while ago.

The title of this blog sounds like a Harry Potter novel. Riders we know, either personally or through our TV, followed by something mystical describing a dark art. The extreme end of the aerobic system, where blood lactate accumulates, may well feel exactly that.

In the first blog in this series I gave an overview of how training needs to be varied to work the aerobic system to its full potential. In the second blog I wrote about lactate threshold.

Once you go beyond the point of the Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation you are doing exactly that. Producing more lactate than you are clearing.

OBLA is defined as where the blood lactate...

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[Part 2] Aerobic Training – The Lactate Threshold and Lactate Buffering

training Apr 14, 2017

 ‘It is not surprising that pH regulation adapts to exercise training and that this adaptation is important to performance.’

This sentence comes from Acta Physiologica, a journal from Scandinavia, from research done at the Muscle Research Centre in Copenhagen. When you start to accumulate lactate in the blood it becomes more acidic. This means the pH drops. A pH of 7 is neutral, so neither an acid or an alkali. Acids are below 7, alkali is above. When you train you are training the body to regulate this pH level.

With that quotation I’ve begun our blog with the endpoint today. Buffering the lactate produced in performance.

Before I begin, apologies that this blog is a little after when you usually receive them. I was riding my bike in the hills. Some above threshold. Mostly below. 

When you are riding at a steady state oxygen supply and utilization satisfies the requirements of muscular effort. Lactate is produced at this steady state, and your body is...

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[Part 1] Varying your approach to aerobic training - here's why!

training Apr 06, 2017

We had a question come into our coaching program regarding aerobic exercise.

I do talk about it a lot....

The question asked at what percentage of maximum should steady state rides be ridden?

The question also was a really technical question as the writer mentioned specific measures which were the ‘percentage range of lactate threshold heart rate and what percentage range of functional threshold power’?

It was asked because when I write blogs, when I coach individual riders through the Track Cycling Academy's coaching options,  hold webinars or analyse elite level races with Kerrie, I speak about maintaining the aerobic system and its importance.

It comes in to play in the kilo or 500m TT, a 2, 3 or 4km pursuit and needs to be optimum in bunch races or you might not keep up and it is only a bunch race if there’s a bunch – and as far as we are concerned with you in it.

So there is a clue already as to my answer. If we need to optimise the...

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Our 4 Favourite Stretches to Expedite Recovery

Stretching should be a fundamental part of your training routine, in addition to aiding in recovery, static stretches when done correctly will improve your flexibility, give you greater range of movement, help with maintaining a relaxed and stable position on the bike and aid in improving muscular imbalances. 

Dynamic stretching routines are usually incorporated into your pre-training routine, and are completed as part of your warm up, however, in this blog we focus on the top 4 leg static stretches that can be integrated into your post-training regime to expedite recovery. 

They are, the Hip Flexor Stretch, Quad Stretch, Hamstring Stretch and Glute Stretch, see below:

Hip Flexor Stretch


Quad Stretch


Hamstring Stretch


Glute Stretch


The protocol we recommend for each of the above stretches is as follows:

  1. Following the warm down activity (i.e. rollers or slow track laps), find a space and lay down a stretching mat
  2. Each stretch should...
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Prepare to Perform at a Criterium Event

criterium racing training Mar 20, 2017

Criteriums are becoming super popular amongst all cyclists - they're the hybrid event that sees track and road riders converge over the 20, 30, 40 minutes plus final few laps. 

If you're a sprinter, you're likely to hang midfield and wait for your big break in the final few hundred meters. If you're endurance, you're likely to hit out early and hope for an everlasting breakaway. Physiology aside, preparation in the lead up to your event is paramount to your performance on the day.

In this blog, we want to count three days out from your event. For the purpose of this exercise, lets put your fitness aside and assume you're fit, healthy and ready for your event. 

3 days out... 

3 days out from your event, go for a ride, complete some indoor ergo work, or visit the track for a session. The training you do three days out is unlikely to have any major fitness benefits to your result in 3 days time, but that's okay, because what you're aiming to do is to...

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