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Understanding Gear Ratios for Performance 

Understanding gear ratios is something that is usually taught very early in the piece for a new track cyclist. Gearing plays a significant role in race and training performance and it’s every track cyclist’s goal to try and pick the optimum gear to match their physiology and pedalling ability across different types of races. 

Too big a gear and you’ll struggle to get on top of it, too small a gear and you’ll find yourself spinning out or struggling to find more at the pointy end of races. 

For endurance events, finding a gear that allows you to keep up with the race and accelerate in sprints (in a points race for instance) is important, and for short events - such as the sprint or flying 200m - selecting a gear that allows you to produce the maximum amount of average watts over the full 200m is essential. Utilising a number of gears from a gear chart that pertains to your bike set up (e.g. wheel circumference) and your strengths is the first step...

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Off-track Tactics You Want to Avoid!

A little while ago we walked a young talented rider to the start line of a big event and this particular athlete (exceptional and by far the quickest and most tactful rider to contest the event) was in the best form of his life. 

Quite young and new to the sport, the rider hadn’t yet experienced what it was like to be ‘challenged’ off the track in the warm-up area by other riders. 

Whilst warming up, ‘exceptional-talent’, (let’s call him Jim) was approached by his competitor who mumbled a few words in his ear and tried to strike up a conversation.

Jim’s competitor then proceeded to remain in the warm up area, and encroach upon Jim’s space in the lead up to his event before he was due to race this rider…

Little did Jim know, the tactics of the impending match-sprint had already started, and when it came time to line up for the actual event, the race didn’t start on even terms...

Jim’s opponent had...

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The Long Way Round – Local Knowledge of Tracks!

performance training Jul 23, 2017

Biomechanics, physics and maths are all the numeric elements of track cycling suit my interests completely. Gears are fixed and wheels are the same diameter, give or take a few millimetres in tyre selection. Wind doesn’t come in to play inside our lovely Anna Meares Velodrome. It does at Herne Hill in London I know. Does the wind blow at your track?

I was riding with friends on our track recently. I was coaching the ability to spot an attack coming and what position a person can be on the track to have a run down the hill and gain some free speed. For predominantly road cyclists this is a time they naturally reach for the lever to click up through the gears. The acceleration isn’t felt as keenly as when the cadence picks up, especially playing on the track on smaller gears.

This was in a bunch racing situation as opposed to Match Sprinting but the principle of the hill remains. Our track is 250m. It is 7m wide. It is also quite a bowl of a track. The straights are 41m...

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The Benefits of Taking your Road Bike to the Track on Race Day

performance racing training Jun 25, 2017

Most of us have a road bike in addition to our track bikes and will head out on the road for different types of training rides to assist with our track cycling development. 

The road bike is also extremely handy when you’re incorporating a recovery ride into your training program. Road bikes allow us to pedal faster whilst travelling slower aiding in recovery by taking a heavy gearing load away from the legs.

They also allow us to complete a progressive warm up before lining up to race a track or road style event without needing to change gears on your track bike several times - saving valuable time on race day. 

The benefits of having a road bike in addition to the track bike are aplenty, but what surprises us when we arrive to coach at a track event is the number of athletes who only bring their track bikes on race day. Sure, bringing your road bike may be a logistical nightmare, but if it’s possible - we’d highly recommend you travel with it on the way...

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Monitoring Heart Rate for Cycling Performance

performance training Jun 16, 2017

With the evolution of science and technology and as the ever-increasing number of training tools creep their way into our cycling training lives, many forget about some of the basics such as incorporating heart rate as a measure of fitness and fatigue. 

In this blog, we want to offer a simple reminder about the importance and benefits in monitoring your heart rate throughout your training and competition phases. 

Let’s start by talking about ‘Target Heart Rates’…

Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you train. In cycling, we often segment heart rate levels into zones and focus on training within these zones to improve and monitor various areas of your physiology.

“A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness,” says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H.

Whilst training, you can wear a simple heart rate monitor to record and analyse...

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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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