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Sprint Tactics: Part 2 - 3 Strategies to Race the Sprint From the BACK!

racing tactics Jul 25, 2016

In this two part sprint tactic series we’re talking about tips and training suggestions to help you get the most out of your sprint racing!

In part one, we looked at 3 strategies and key focuses when you’re riding the sprint from the front or bottom position.

In this blog, we’re going to look at 3 strategies and training tips to ride the sprint from the back or top position.

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, sprint tactics will encompass 3 fundamental principles:

  1. Distance 
  2. Speed 
  3. Position   

Distance = The amount of distance between you and your opponent

Speed = The speed in which you ride at during the race at various stages

Position = The position you occupy on the track in relation to the track itself (e.g. how high you position yourself from the top, or how close you are to the bottom/sprinters lane)

So with these three fundamental principles in mind, let’s talk about 3 strategies you can implement in training to...

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Sprint Tactics: Part 1 - 3 Strategies to Race the Sprint From the FRONT!

racing tactics Jul 18, 2016

When it comes to mastering the craft of the ‘cat and mouse’ there are a few simple strategies that if adhered to, will give you the best opportunity tactically to out-smart your opponent.

In this blog we want to offer your 3 simple strategies to ride the sprint from the front position.

If you find you draw ‘1’ or ‘bottom’ before the race, you’ve got the job to lead the race out for the first half lap (unless of course your opponent wants to take the front position from you).

When you find yourself in this position for the first time, it can be a bit daunting and unnerving and at times you might find yourself wondering what you should be doing in this situation, this is why it’s really important to have a race plan!

Whilst your race plan may not eventuate entirely due to the unpredictability of the sprint and differing agendas of the riders, it’s important that you have a plan (even if it’s flexible) in place to...

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How to Reach Your Peak Performance

racing training Jul 11, 2016

Understanding how to peak for a race event is a very important concept to maximise performance.

Think about it...

You train for many months and in some cases years for a specific event.

So if you don’t get the final weeks of preparation right, it can be an extremely disappointing result!

Peaking for an event doesn’t need to be that complicated.

The simplest way to look at it is:

PEAKING = FITNESS - FATIGUE

That is, peaking equals fitness minus fatigue.

Understanding your body, the level of intensity and volume that you put your body under in the weeks prior to your race peak is also important.

For example, if you decide to increase your volume too much in the weeks leading into event, your ability to ‘freshen up’ and reduce your fatigue levels in time for your event may be jeopardised.

On the other hand, if you decide to reduce your volume too early, you may find yourself absolutely flying in the days and weeks before your event, but by the time race day...

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What to look for in a C.O.A.C.H

coaching training Jul 04, 2016

If you’re in the market looking for a cycling coach to help you make your goals achievable, it’s important you find a good coach who will tick all the boxes for you - as ultimately this is about YOU and your journey to become a better cyclist.

So what qualities should you be looking for in a Coach?

We’ve devised a simple acronym to help you on your path in finding a C.O.A.C.H.

Competent

Let's start with competency.

Ensuring you have a competent coach means finding someone who has the relevant qualifications and experience in the discipline you’re looking for guidance.

If you’re wanting to be a track sprinter, than it’s best to find someone who has direct experience in this discipline so ideally, look for someone who has experience in sprinting -  e.g. a former athlete or coach who has good experience in working with sprinters. 

Good coaches will have the ability to talk you through the objectives of training exercises, development...

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4 Tips for Standing Starts so You Nail Your Gate Start

skills training Jun 27, 2016

Standing starts - let’s admit it, they’re not as easy as they look!

Learning how to execute excellent standing starts time and time again takes a lot of practice.

In the process, it can get overwhelming and confusing at times, so simplifying the process is a key way to set yourself up for longer term starting success.

You only have to turn on the television and watch the time trial events at World Championships and Olympic games to see how in a matter of tenths and hundredths races are won and lost.

Efficiency and technique are combined with timing and momentum and if done correctly, will produce a fast force to propel the bike and rider forward.

Here are Kerrie Meares 4 fundamentals to standing start success.

1. Timing

We all know to go on zero right?

This is something that can be a challenge for many, especially with nerves at play and the distraction of a sometimes-hooting crowd.

False starts burn a lot of energy so it's best to get it right the first time.

A...

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2 Key Components for Your Cycling Success

When we’re talking about cyclists who are at the top of the game, often  we see them as fast and powerful machines who look like they’ve spent most of their time working on speed and power.

Whilst there is a substantial amount of speed and power work completed during the season, many fail to see the work our great cyclists have done in the gym or on the road during in the early part of the season.

When you look at your overall season, it’s important to look at the layers of training required to perform at your best at the pointy end or competition phase of your season. 

Structuring your training is like building a house, the foundation has to be very strong before you can put the windows, doors and roof on.

Having a solid foundation in track cycling is ensuring that you have two main components:

  1. A strong aerobic fitness base
  2. A strong strength base 

1. Aerobic Fitness 

Aerobic fitness is the base level energy system which requires oxygen.

...
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Cyclist's Worst Enemy - the ITB (Iliotibial Band)

It's the worst enemy of every cyclist...

The ITB - the Illiotibial Band

What is it?  

And how can you release it to prevent injury and get the most out of your cycling?

The Illiotibial band is fibrous connective tissue that originates on the pelvis, travels down the lateral aspect of the leg, and attaches to the tibia just below the knee (Baumstark, 2010).

Iliotibial band friction, or ITB pain, is very common among people who ride bikes competitively or recreationally and is caused by friction related to the disproportionate usage between the buttocks, and hip flexor muscles such as the tensor fascia lata (or TFL).

It’s not always a problem, and can vary from cyclist to cyclist, but when there is a disproportionate use of muscle groups in the pedalling motions, the ITB can become tight, and sometimes painful and inflamed.  

To avoid over tightening and future issues related to the ITB, we would recommend the following strategies: 

  1. STRETCH!...
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Here's 5 Tips to Help You Map Out Your Cycling Training

coaching training Jun 06, 2016

So you don’t have a Personal Coach to help you with your cycling goals?

No worries - We're here to help!

Here are 5 tips to help guide you, keep you on track, and map out your cycling training.

1. Planning

Planning is the first and most important part of mapping out your training.

It's a great idea to sit down and work out the following:

What have you achieved to date?

Have you got previous results to build upon?

Or are you new to the sport and needing to complete a few races or preliminary baseline testing to work out where you’re at?

What are your major season goals?

This could be a local race or event, club event, National event or International event.

This will depend on the level that you’re riding at.

It’s important that when mapping out your season goals you ensure that they follow the S.M.A.R.T. principles (Specificity, Measurability, Attainability, Realistic, Time Measurable).

What commitments and external activities such as work and study...

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Glute Strengthening Exercises for Cyclists

Yes, strong legs are a trait of cyclist - and an important one. 

But don’t forget the importance of your glutes!

We'll share with you now why glute strength is so important in cycling and offer a few exercises that you can do at home or in the gym to improve this major muscle group.

The glutes are made up of three gluteal muscles:

  • the gluteus maximus (the largest of the three)
  • the gluteus medius (a thick fan shaped muscle lying over the smaller gluteus minimus and underneath the larger) and
  • the gluteus minimus (the smallest and deepest of the three gluteal muscles)

The glutes (or buttocks) collectively make up the largest major muscle group in the body which has the ability to produce significant amounts of power and force when you’re cycling. 

As you can see here, the glutes are crucial in the Push - Power Phase of your pedal stroke.

BUT it's surprising how many cyclists have weak glutes!

A few big problems occur with a lack of glute...

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How to Master the Art of 'Slow Riding' Around the Banks

racing skills training May 23, 2016

One of the most daunting tasks that every track rider will face when attempting slow riding in the banks is confidently staying upright around the banks.

Most riders will maintain a fairly high cadence and speed when they first get on the track to avoid ‘slipping’ whilst keeping their nerves in check!

Even though riding efficiently and moderately fast around the track all the time assists with nerves and confidence, it’s not always the best strategy.

If you ride fast around the track all the time, it will affect your ability to conserve your energy.  You'll end up... 

a) riding too fast and tiring

b) getting too tense

c) affecting your ability to execute planned tactics (i.e. in the sprint or in slower bunch races where you might want to avoid being on the front).

So we're going to share with now, how to confidently become the master of ‘slow riding’ around the banks and offer you a few tips in doing so!

As a first...

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