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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...
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,...
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...
Most of us get nervous, excited, sometimes anxious before racing, after all, you only want to do your very best, and aim to beat previous best results.
It goes without saying that preparation is key, and that preparation will comprise of a whole lot of training blocks which include technical and tactical refinement.
In this blog, we want to introduce one more ride into your training plan, and it happens within the tapering period, sometime during the week or two in the lead up to your main event.
We like to call this ride…
The clarity ride is essentially a relaxing, flat road, non-effort producing ride which usually will include a stop at the half way point, or somewhere near the end of the ride to have a drink (aka: coffee or tea).
The ride should be completed in small gears, with higher cadence (85-90rpm), and should be no longer than an hour in duration.
What is the point of the ride you ask?
If you’ve ever found yourself in a keirin, points race, scratch race, madison, elimination or any other bunch race event that involves more than 2 competitors, you may know what it feels like to be boxed in and unable to unleash your big final sprint that propels you to a top position.
Not sure what we’re talking about, have a look at the diagram below….
You will note in the diagram, the red bubble represents a rider that is 'boxed in'.
A boxed in rider usually will find two or more riders over his/her right shoulder are in close proximity, leaving no room to 'flow' forward when the bunch sprint kicks, or to make a move on his/her own. The only option if you find yourself in this position is to move to the back of the bunch. So essentially, the above diagram represents the place where you never want to find yourself, particularly at the pointy end of the race.
What you really need to achieve if you find yourself behind the lead rider (say in...
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...
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 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...
Regardless of whether you’re an athlete based in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, you’re bound to experience some sort of extreme weather temperatures whilst training and or competing. In this blog, we want to offer you a few tips to perform at your best in extreme conditions.
Training or racing on a hot or cold day will catch you off guard if you’re not prepared to counteract the effects of the weather, so to start, let’s talk about preparation.
We’ve found that preparing a list of items to take with you either out on the bike, or in your bag is a great way to set yourself up for success during the session ahead. So here’s our ‘must pack’ lists for both temperature extremes:
Do you wear headphones and listen to music whilst you're warming up and warming down?
Many elite level athletes will listen to music in some capacity to help them mentally prepare to perform, so it’s no surprise that headphones and music are highly rated amongst top track cyclists.
So how does music actually help?
Science has proven that music can enhance performance in sport in the following 4 ways:
1. Dissociation through music diverts the mind.
2. Music promotes flow states for internal motivation.
3. Synchronised music movements can shift your level of activity.
4. Music evokes emotions that enrich your enjoyment.
Trialling different music genres to achieve your optimum 'arousal level' (see diagram below) will help you with your preparation and event performance.
Do you listen to music whilst warming up, perhaps on the bus on the way to a racing event, or to unwind post-event?
Drop us a comment in the box below and let us know what you're listening...
The individual pursuit is no doubt one of the toughest of the track cycling events, particularly if you're lining up for a longer distance - 3k or 4k pursuit.
With advancements in sports science, and feedback systems such as power cranks, training and refining, the pursuit has never been easier - not that it's an easy event to train for!
Sports science and power data aside, there's one simple rule that many riders don't quite 'nail' upon starting their pursuit...
The point at which you transition from an out of the seat acceleration into the saddle and pursuit bars.
So when do you transition?
When we coach athletes for Individual Pursuit events, we often give them three tips, one of which covers off on the transition statement above:
A strong start and transition will...
Peaking is when you feel and operate at your absolute best, ideally you should have a very limited amount of residual fatigue from previous training and have acquired a substantial amount of fitness.
It's a simple equation that looks like this:
PEAKING = FITNESS - 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 rolls around, you’ve gone over your peak and end up underperforming.
Working closely with a coach, or closely monitoring your own training over the season is an important step in...