Race Training Session 8

Well, 7 sessions down and 3 to go!  This week, (#8) is another sprint training session.  The plan is as follows, please set up your stopwatches/Garmins to reflect the workout ahead of the session.  This is going to be a hard one to pace if you don’t have the workout planned on a Garmin, so if you don’t have one then try to pair up with someone who does.

Meet/Briefing

Warm up lap x2
Regroup/Split into groups of 2 or 3
1 lap: 10 second intervals with 30 seconds between each interval (approx 12 per lap)
1 lap: 20 second intervals with 1 min between each interval (approx 7 per lap)
1 lap: 30 second intervals with  1 min 30 seconds between each interval (approx 4 per lap)
The shorter sets should be done on a smaller gear, using a slightly bigger gear for the longer interval so you can keep going for the longer duration.  The focus should be on sprinting up to maximum as fast as possible, focusing on your jump/acceleration and then holding on, rather than trying to pace yourself over the full interval.
Nearing the end of each lap we’ll take a short bit of recovery time (2-3mins) along the short straight then carry on with the next set.
After the 3 laps we’ll come in and regroup, then we’ll do one lap together to warm down.
Debrief/End.

As for assignments, here’s another sprint tip from cyclingtips:
Fine tuning your sprint:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/10/fine-tuning-your-sprint-with-ben-kersten/
And don’t forget to Google victory salutes so you can make it look good when you win!

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Race Training – Session 5

As requested we will be covering sprinting this week.  The outline session plan will be as follows:

6:30 Meet/Briefing
2 Warm up laps
10x20sec intervals in groups of 2
Regroup
Sprint lead out training in groups of 4
Warm down lap

Pre clinic assignments are sprinting and sprint related:

See you Wednesday

Interval Training Cheats

A major part of being able to do well at bike racing comes from your ability to suffer and ride at the top end of the performance spectrum.  To do this, all coaches will tell you intervals, intervals, intervals.  Short intervals, long intervals, climbing intervals, pyramids etc etc the list of interval combinations is endless and if done well they are sure to raise your performance.  The problem is (virtually) everyone hates doing intervals.

I’m no different, just because I preach intervals to raise performance doesn’t mean I like doing them either.  Sure, I’ve got on the indoor trainer and suffered as much as the next rider but I constantly struggle to force myself to climb on that trainer when I’ve already ridden to and from work that day.

So here’s what I recommend you do to try and get some of the benefits of interval training without actually doing a structured trainer workout:

  • Sprint away from the lights, stop signs and evrything else that causes you to slow down.  Why pull away slowly when you can gun it and get some interval benefit?  There are certainly plenty enough reasons to stop around where we live in Pasadena so you’ll soon notice the benefits if you adopt this approach.  This won’t win you any friends on the group ride though so better to do this when you are riding by yourself.
  • Sprint up small hills.  Make sure your ride takes in a few shorter hills and ride as hard as you can up them.
  • Ride as hard as you can on those nagging little rises.  You know the ones I mean, the 1-3% grades that go on for half a mile or so.  Put it in the big ring, sit back in the saddle, get on the drops and blast it.
  • Race to city limit signs.  You can even combine this into a group ride, just shout “sprint for the sign!” and go.

While not as good as a structured interval workout, if done well these little cheats can have you raising your game.  Just remember to stay safe and don’t embark on any form of high intensity exercise without clearing it with your doctor first.

Race Training – Sessions 3&4

First of all, great riding last night everyone! Threshold sessions like at the end of last night are never going to be easy, and when you spice it up with some short higher intensity efforts as well like we did it’s a recipe for a special kind of pain — I hope you enjoyed it!

Anyway, a few quick points on last night before we move onto session 4:

  • When coming through, make sure you do it smoothly to bring the rider behind you along close behind you.  If they can’t keep your pace because you have accelerated, you will be left on the front pulling the pace for longer than necessary, plus it disrupts the rhythm of the working line.
  • Likewise when you pull off the working line, make sure you do so at the right time – too early and you will cause disruption to the slower line, too late and you will have created a gap between your back wheel and the next rider in the slower line and you will have pulled longer than necessary.
  • The two lines should aim to be as close together as possible – handlebar width apart, if you pull off too far over this causes a big gap to form and disrupts the efficiency of the paceline.
  • On these harder sessions, if you feel you are struggling, please sit on the back of the group and try to get your breath back – tell riders into the line in front of you, in a race you may need to adopt this strategy if you are feeling tired as you may get a second wind.  Listen to your body and sit on before it is too late.

So on to session 4.  We will start at 6pm for session 4 due to the PAA club meeting being the same night.

Hopefully we can utilise the smaller climbing circuit to do climbing intervals and cornering practice.  We’ll meet at the usual place for briefing and after a warm up switch onto the new circuit.  After one lap at tempo pace to familiarize ourselves with the circuit we’ll start the higher intensity part of the session.  Climbs will be run off at interval pace, then we’ll roll slowly to catch our breath and regroup, then take the descent which has a good 180 bend on it to practice cornering, then we can get into a paceline back to the start of the climb.  Then back up the climb and repeat.

Assignments ahead of next weeks session are as follows:

Avoid training mistakes:  http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/healthandfitness/541663/cw-s-guide-to-avoiding-training-mistakes.html

Mistakes when pulling turns: http://cyclingtips.com.au/2009/06/mistakes-when-pulling-turns/

See you next week!