Sprinting and club racing advice needed

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Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby BarryTas » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:32 am

So I am about to start the local road race club.
I am tall and skinny and suited to long climbs and long rides 60-100 kms+.
Unfortunately the local club rides/races are pretty flat and short 35-50 kms long

what training can i do to aid my sprinting - or lack of it?

race tactics advice for a non sprinter

thanking you all in advance
when do we stop for coffee???

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by BNA » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:38 pm

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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby Daccordi Rider » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:38 pm

You sound the same as me Barry. I am 5'11 and 69 kg, good climber but get hurt in the flatter and windy races. I have only done a couple now and am also interested to see what others say. My riding buddies say I have the capability just need some race fitness and race smarts. I hate being at the back of groups so I tend to end up doing too much work it seems. I rarely ride on the flat coz I much prefer the quietness of the hills to the glass and bogans in the city (Adelaide).
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby skull » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:27 pm

Just turn up, I am neither a sprinter or a climber, I am a struggler. Apart from div 4 and 5 the other divs stick together and when it gets to sprint time you can sit back out if you wish. Div 4 and 5 usually split due to the levels of riders (either training to go up, young, or new) but end up with a couple of smaller groups and if there is someone with a little bit of experience in there they tend to try and help out.

They are opening up a cruise class now for those not interested in racing serious but still want to have a play. There is a cruise class this sunday at the broady race.

Best thing to do is turn up pick a grade and try and hold on or if you feel good, try and bust them up on the hills.
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Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby Redbull » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:57 pm

Get into A grade. They go for longer distances.
The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby skull » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:08 pm

Redbull wrote:Get into A grade. They go for longer distances.

Nah not here, not the vets.

And A grade open here consists of the genesis wealth boys so they pretty much rocket.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby ireland57 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:31 pm

BarryTas wrote:So I am about to start the local road race club.
I am tall and skinny and suited to long climbs and long rides 60-100 kms+.
Unfortunately the local club rides/races are pretty flat and short 35-50 kms long

what training can i do to aid my sprinting - or lack of it?

race tactics advice for a non sprinter

thanking you all in advance


I fit in Skull's category....a struggler. I can't climb, sprint, ride long and hard or do good intervals but I still manage a decent result now and then.
Just turn up and race. It's a lot of fun, a lot of hard work and no one gives a toss where you came.

Learning how to get fit for us older gentry is the trickiest part of the whole thing.
I've found that intervals and hills sprints (even though I've done little of them yet) have made a difference very quickly.

Lately I've not been doing long rides (over 60 kms) for many reasons and my performance has suffered big time because of it.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby DanielS » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:48 am

BarryTas wrote:So I am about to start the local road race club.
I am tall and skinny and suited to long climbs and long rides 60-100 kms+.
Unfortunately the local club rides/races are pretty flat and short 35-50 kms long

what training can i do to aid my sprinting - or lack of it?

race tactics advice for a non sprinter

thanking you all in advance


I was a similar rider to you when I started racing (still am to a large extent). You probably have a decent amount of aerobic power, so you need to work out how to use that to your advantage. Don't just sit on the front doing work because you are "feeling strong". Do a bit of work if everyone is sharing the load, otherwise save it up for an attack. Work out a good time to go... crosswinds or hills are good because its harder for the group to work together to chase you. Try and wait til maybe the last 5-10 kms when everyone is getting tired, unless you have a really big engine. You can try getting into breakaways with other riders, don't be afraid to scheme with them beforehand :) Some road races with small fields can become races of attrition where a few strong riders can gradually drop everyone by putting in very hard turns on the hills -- this doesn't work in bigger groups though because the other riders can band together to chase you down.

To get better at sprinting... well I'm still working on that myself, but my advice would be to go out and practice some sprinting! Find some people of equal ability and go out for a leisurely ride, but sprint against each other every so often for signs etc. Focus on gear selection and timing your jump.

All of this stuff will come with experience, and don't pigeonhole yourself as a "non-sprinter" or "just a climber". Be open to trying different things and you might find you are more capable than your realise.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:03 pm

It's all about tactics and working out what works best for you.
My sprint power is low but my actual 1 minute power used to be pretty good...so I did everything I could to make sure it was a long sprint and a very hard lead out.If I have to jump from near flat out I usually do well...if everyone is playing games then jumping from a slower speed,well then I have no chance.
You can train your sprinting power a bit...but really you are what you are.You may get a 10% improvement but not much more.But learning sprint tactics,how to hold wheels,waiting till the last moment,not getting boxed in or knowing that it will open up will give you huge gains...but you do actually need to be a bit aggressive and some people just don't like mixing it up in a sprint...most have to work the next day after all :lol: .
Only way to improve tactics is by experience, lots of it....and if you race the same guys all the time then don't forget who does what!.
If you still really can't sprint then make sure it doesn't come down to a sprint...problem being that if your tactics work then you will be put up a grade quick smart!.Grading suits the sprinters more than the attackers!.
If in doubt lead it out :D .
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby BarryTas » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:58 pm

cheers guys.

it appears that my winter training routiue is paying off. I didn't expect it to for some reason. The combination of a weight program, spin classes focusing on power and intervals, lots of core work and a new, much lighter bike has given me the ability to do short sharp efforts on both the flats and hills
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby skull » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:20 pm

Have you started racing yet?

This sat brinktop race, a bit longer than the normal races and has the brinktop hill (twice). That is a rubbish hill, the old road was sweet now the climb goes straight up.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby BarryTas » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:39 am

skull wrote:Have you started racing yet?

This sat brinktop race, a bit longer than the normal races and has the brinktop hill (twice). That is a rubbish hill, the old road was sweet now the climb goes straight up.


I will be doing the Winter Challenge
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby skull » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:42 am

BarryTas wrote:I will be doing the Winter Challenge


sweet, I was going to do that. Decided a weekend getaway to Sydney with the wife was a better option. If you're thinking why Sydney, well the trip is a gift from the old man and he lives in Sydney (might be something to do with I never visit them - as Sydney is a bit of a dive).
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby ni78ck » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:58 am

as Sydney is a bit of a dive).[/quote]


i hope you meant DRIVE!? :shock:
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby skull » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:10 pm

yeah it also a bit of a drive from Tassie as well.

But i did mean dive, grew up there, ok in small doses probably wouldn't live there again.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby toppity » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:32 pm

TLL is right. You tend to have to work with what you have got. But you can change it a little.

I'm good for nothing but sprinting. Always been the same. But knowing when to go and when to sit on is what matters the most. Unless you are Gary Niewand there are always going to be people out there at least as fast as you. If the lead out is strong from a fair way out then sit back a couple of wheels and hang on for awhile. If you get to where you know you can sustain a strong sprint to the finish then don't be afraid to be the first to go. Getting to know who you race against helps as well (it's not too hard at club level).

Training is very personal. Weights will help when done correctly to increase power. However, you will put muscle mass on making going up hills harder. Specific sprint training helps, getting high cadence and high resistance (sprinting up hills) helps the mix. Sprinting with friends on the road (as suggested above) is great for working on tactics and gearing. But in the end the best advice is to just get out there and have a go.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby vander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:12 am

I have a question about sprinting technique. I have just been mucking around with doing sprints by myself and I was wondering how you do it? I find that if I up the gears right up to top gear I struggle to get it started but when I get started it's fine but really slow start, however if I go a lower gear I find myself spinning out. I haven't figured out a way to change gears while sprinting because of where my hands are located (not really close to the gears). How can I get the best out of both worlds.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:35 pm

Vander.......not a good idea to even think about changing gear, while you are sprinting! :wink:

You need to be in the gear you want to sprint in prior to the start of any sprint! :idea:

If you are trying to do sprints by yourself, then practice them in different gears over different days. Once you have developed a bit, then stay in your normal sprint gear or very close to it and work on winding it up quicker and just hammer yourself a couple of days a week in the sprints. :mrgreen:

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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:13 pm

Yeah changing gear under full load can be fun...apparently you can do it with Di2?.
Pushing too big a gear is pointless for a sprint...it is not about brute strength,it is about how fast you can reach max power and how long you can sustain a high wattage,look at a sprint in wattage terms and you realise that you hit peak wattage for an instance then taper off very quickly...hitting peak cadence very quickly is important in sprinting,hence finding the right gear.
Sprint drills are only 8-15 secs long...very little drain on the body during a slower training day,but well worth doing.You can get 8 or so in on a 90 minute ride.
If you are a natural born sprinter you will know pretty quickly...all said and done,Mum and Dad decided whether you would be a great sprinter 9 months before you where born :D .
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby vander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:15 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Yeah changing gear under full load can be fun...apparently you can do it with Di2?.
Pushing too big a gear is pointless for a sprint...it is not about brute strength,it is about how fast you can reach max power and how long you can sustain a high wattage,look at a sprint in wattage terms and you realise that you hit peak wattage for an instance then taper off very quickly...hitting peak cadence very quickly is important in sprinting,hence finding the right gear.
Sprint drills are only 8-15 secs long...very little drain on the body during a slower training day,but well worth doing.You can get 8 or so in on a 90 minute ride.
If you are a natural born sprinter you will know pretty quickly...all said and done,Mum and Dad decided whether you would be a great sprinter 9 months before you where born :D .


Haha. I was always a sprinter in running. I tried having a mate lead me out today and with him getting me up to a bit of speed then I could jump in top gear. Jumped at about 50km/h was pretty cool having someone lead me out felt good. I think if I had to go from a low starting pace then I need to use a lower gear is this right? If starting at a higher pace can use a high gear?

With changing gears the gear lever is so far away from my hands its impossible.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:20 pm

Yeah you don't need to be in the same gear for every sprint as they are all different...it is more about being in a certain cadence zone.Say between 80-100rpm depending on what your natural cadence is so that you can quickly accelerate to 110-130 rpm once you jump.If you are in too big a gear then it will take too long to get up to speed.
Experience plays a HUGE part in road sprinting...get out there and race and play as much as possible.
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Re: Sprinting and club racing advice needed

Postby vander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:40 pm

So when training for sprinting I should practice at all different gear ratios and from all different initial speeds?

Will start racing in October. Can't wait!!
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