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The Cycling Blog

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Anaerobic Capacity and Maximal Power in Sprinting

sprint training Dec 16, 2019

Which is more important of these two attributes in a kilo or a 500m Time Trial? For those new to our sport these are individual timed events. They are great fun and don’t hurt at all. Actually that isn’t true. If you are good enough to go quickly they are utterly brutal.

Back to my question. Which is more important in a kilo or 500m out of maximal power or sustained power? Let’s use other terms. For maximal power we can say maximum wattage, and average that over 3 seconds for example. Instant measurements need laboratory standard machinery and would give somewhat unusable results, hence using an average of 3 seconds or so. We had a Piezoelectric footplate at my University which could assess force over tiny fractions of a second, and power (described in watts – named after James Watt) is a unit of work divided by time. So instant power is academically fascinating but not really something we can often apply to track cycling coaching. There are exceptions, as...

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The Sprint & The Long Way Round (Part 2)

sprint tactics Jul 30, 2017

In the previous blog (The Long Way Round) our Performance Analyst Michael, wrote about the extra distances ridden when riders move up from the black line, the datum line. 

Michael’s blog last week initiated some interesting debates about the benefits of both staying in the sprinters lane, and what happens when you move up (or out) to go around another rider… As you move up the track, there is further to ride and it also means that you are out of the slipstream of another rider.

If you’re new to track cycling and unfamiliar with the ins and outs of ‘The Sprint’, it’s important to know that in the final lap/s of the sprint, once it’s deemed that a rider has initiated the ‘final sprint’ (meaning no more cat and mouse tactics), the rider in front cannot leave the sprinters lane once entered. Therefore, in order to win, the rider from the back, must go up and and around the rider to get in front. 

We know that the rider on...

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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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