Friday, April 25, 2008

Masters Tip of the Week

Help! I Gotta Win the Sprint!
Alright Masters... So it goes like this!
The last couple of times I had put myself into position to contest the sprint, I lost to the "Hole Shot"... Twice I sat on the wheel of the Rider in front of me, and twice I lost because I could not match this riders ability to accelerate! So I thought I would post this to help you too improve your sprinting power...

These 5 simple (but butt-kickin') workouts will give you the acceleration, cadence and power you need for that finish-line kick.
Tim Granshaw has been racing since 1990 and has the potential to regularly nab podium spots. But one thing is holding him back: He can't sprint. "My biggest weakness has always been my sprint," says Granshaw, a 30-year-old software product manager. "If I want to win even a short crit, I need to come to the line by myself just to have a chance. The only good thing about my sprint is that it doesn't get any slower as the race progresses-sometimes it's my stamina alone that helps me win longer races."After being out of racing for four years, Granshaw has returned to it this past year, training about 14 hours a week and racing up to four times a month for the past four months. "The first two months were hard. I was dropped in the first five laps of two consecutive criteriums," he says. "But in the last month, my times on climbs and in time-trial tests have gotten very close to where I was before my racing hiatus." He has high hopes for the rest of the year, planning to race the national road championships, masters national championships and some state championship races.But to be competitive, he needs a better sprint. So we asked James Herrera, a Carmichael Training Systems coach and USA Cycling elite coach, to cook up a program to make Granshaw's sprint a force to be reckoned with."Tim has a good start because he has base fitness," Herrera says. "Before beginning a sprint training program, you need a strong foundation of endurance mileage done below lactate threshold. Without that base, sprint work will only result in muscular fatigue, soreness and a slow recovery. Plus, that early-season foundation will assure you've got plenty of endurance."Elite riders such as George Hincapie, Marty Nothstein and Mario Cippolini hone their sprinting skills by breaking down components of the sprint and targeting each specific system involved. The key elements of a sprint are a strong acceleration, a high cadence that lets you hold speed and the power to generate your finish-line kick," says Herrera.These five drills give Granshaw all that and more. After a 30-minute warm-up, add two to three of these workouts to your training at least two times a week. Then, after three weeks, swap in new workouts to fine-tune your training.


1. Over-geared starts. Increases your power to the pedals. Slow to almost a complete stop in a hard gear, such as 53x12-15. Sprint out of the saddle for 8-12 seconds. Perform 3-5 intervals with a full recovery between efforts. For a tougher workout, combine 3-5 intervals into sets with a 10-minute recovery between sets.

2. Over-geared jumps. Gives you faster acceleration and more muscle power in the saddle. From a cruising speed of 15-20 mph in a hard gear such as 53x12-15, stomp on the pedals for 15-20 seconds while staying in the saddle. Do 1-2 sets of 3-5 intervals with a full recovery between efforts and a 10-minute recovery between sets.

3. High cadence. Teaches your muscles to pedal efficiently. On a flat section of road in a gear that will let you easily spin at 95-110 rpm, gradually increase your cadence until your hips almost begin to rock. Hold the highest cadence you can sustain for 2-3 minutes. Perform 3-5 intervals with a full recovery between efforts.

4. Downhill sprints. Develops peak power on descents. Start on a downhill section at 30-35 mph with a cadence of 100 rpm or more. Do 3-5 intervals with a full recovery between efforts.
5. Uphill sprints. Improves peak torque and leg strength for those hilltop finishes. On a flat road leading to a 7%-grade hill or steeper, start at 15-20 mph in a moderate gear. Jump out of the saddle and attack the hill for 8-12 seconds. Do 3-5 intervals with a full recovery between efforts.


Jason Eiserich said...

Thanks for the post Fred. I'll work on those sprint skills...but as the post says...I'll need to first get back my 'base'...........freakin clavicles anyway!

cheers, jas

the glide said...

Awesome post Fred.
Nicely done !

The Glide

Winnie 高 said...

Good luck!