Pure sprinter - where to improve?

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Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Mca.and » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:40 pm

Background:

I have been cycling for about 1.5 years and recently got a powermeter so I could get a bit more serious about training. I am 80kg and so far have found the following results:

Peak: 1610W
5s: 1450W
1min: 680W
5min: 370W
FTP: 285W

I also recently completed a batch of training working on FTP (doing 10-15 min FTP efforts once per week) and some sweet spot tempo work (2x 20-30 min (AT) 260W also once per week). Retested after 6 weeks and had zero improvement in threshold power. In fact, it was slightly less. I did, however have an increase in peak and 5s power (by about 150W), however I think this was due to the fact I improved my form significantly.

So my questions are:

-Where would this would put in in terms of grades in Australian cycling (given power numbers)?
-What am I doing wrong to improve threshold power? Why was there little improvement? Do my intervals need to be longer or harder?
-My power curve really looks like a pure sprinter curve (high neuromuscular power dropping off quickly) - what kind of racing does this suit?

Cheers
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby vander » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:15 pm

I have almost Identical numbers a peak of 159x and a 5sec a bit higher I have hit over 1500 and hit 1400s many times. To be honest if you can hang on to a bunch you can win A grade races with those numbers sprint wise. However on the track against track sprinters it would be probably B or C grade possibly not even. Also my 1min power is closer to 800W which makes kirien racing quite good for me, all at the same weight.

For FTP improvements it may be the hours you are training, may need to do a few more. Also I would be doing 2x20min at threshold 1-2x/week. Also do some VO2 training so 3-5min efforts doing 3-5 of these with a good 5min + rest. This is what has worked for me.

You would have a slightly downward sloping profile however I would not say you are a pure sprinter. I have heard a few pure sprinters putting out over 2000W.

If I were you dont pigeon hole yourself keep training everything but I will be interested in seeing what people say to do for improving sprinting if you focus purely on that.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:38 pm

How old are you, what's your time for a flying 200mtrs, what's you time for 800mtr TT, what's your time for the 1000mts TT??????????????????

All that power metre stuff means diddly squat to me! :wink:

You want to improve your sprint, do standing starts, motor pace work, plenty of spin training, flat out sprints to power poles on the road, sprint efforts till you almost pass out. :twisted:

How serious and committed to training are you? There are a whole lot of things you need to commit to, if you want to improve. You also have not said what training you are doing now and just as another note, you have another 2.5yrs to go yet before you start to really shine, if you're a "pure sprinter and cyclist" = lots of hard work. :mrgreen:

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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:59 pm

Your sprints aren't the problem... yes you could probably be in with a chance to win a B or even A grade club sprint if you could get to the finish... but with 3.5 w per kg at ftp you are going to have serious trouble getting to the start of the sprint.
Are you racing now?, how old?, what do you want to do?, how much more weight could you lose?... etc etc etc.
The easiest way to answer half these questions is to go and race... the other half may be harder to answer.
If after 6 weeks you didn't improve your FTP but did improve your peak powers... that would tell me your 6 weeks of training was no where near hard enough, because peak powers usually go up when your well rested.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Mca.and » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:10 pm

1. Age: 25
2. Racing Now?: About to start the road season. Have raced 1 road and 1 crit season (last year was racing C and did relatively well)
3. What do I want to do?: Build threshold and VO2 power as this seems like it is my weakness. Get the threshold up so I can crush sprints.
4. How much weight could I lose?: probably a few kg. I am already tall (6ft 2) but very lean so some of that would be muscle.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:40 pm

Get stuck into the racing then... Winning sprints is probably more about tactics and skills than outright power... Especially once you find your right grade. That only comes with lots of experience.
But improving your FTP and 5 minutes should be what you concentrate on.
Stick around here and you will get plenty of advice... Some of it will even be worthwhile ;-)
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Mca.and » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:07 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Get stuck into the racing then... Winning sprints is probably more about tactics and skills than outright power... Especially once you find your right grade. That only comes with lots of experience.
But improving your FTP and 5 minutes should be what you concentrate on.
Stick around here and you will get plenty of advice... Some of it will even be worthwhile ;-)


Yeah thanks mate - I think I will get stuck in to racing in the next week or so as the road season is just starting up :) .

Yeah I have found info on this forum to be 80% rubbish and 20% good advice. Seems like there are a few guys that really know their stuff and you can generally get some great tips.

Another quickie - I am assuming that you cant really improve your FTP and 5 min power too much during the race season as racing once per week will require some recovery day(s)? I.e. racing once per week with a VO2 power session and a FTP session would overcook it?
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby vander » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:56 pm

I wouldnt back fof and have recovery days unless you are training >15 hours a week (even then I wouldnt) or if it is a goal race. What I find works for me is Mon off Tues-Thurs Mod-Hard sessions Fri Easy Sat and Sun one day long ride one day race.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:28 pm

Mca.and wrote:1. Age: 25
2. Racing Now?: About to start the road season. Have raced 1 road and 1 crit season (last year was racing C and did relatively well)
3. What do I want to do?: Build threshold and VO2 power as this seems like it is my weakness. Get the threshold up so I can crush sprints.
4. How much weight could I lose?: probably a few kg. I am already tall (6ft 2) but very lean so some of that would be muscle.


This You are probably around the weight that you need to be for a sprinter.

Find some long gradual inclines and sprint them, not hills as such. To be a sprinter, you need to be explosive and that will only happen by doing the standing
starts and many of them. = from almost stopped till you are on top of the gear normally 50-60mtrs.

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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Derny Driver » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:17 pm

Mca.and wrote:Background:

I have been cycling for about 1.5 years ..... I am 80kg ...

Peak: 1610W
5s: 1450W
1min: 680W
5min: 370W
FTP: 285W

-Where would this would put in in terms of grades in Australian cycling (given power numbers)?

Cheers

Like foo I am not a powermeter man, but compared to a couple of guys that I work a bit with, those numbers wont win you a sprint in A grade at my club. In fact I doubt you'd even make it to the finish in A grade. You could win our B grade on that, but its a pretty weak B grade. Nevertheless they are decent numbers for a C grader. I definitely would not call you a "pure sprinter" in any sense. You sprint relatively better compared to your other facets. Take vanders good advice and don't pidgeon-hole yourself as a particular type of rider. Its nice to have a bit of a kick, always handy when closing gaps, jumping across to breaks, jumping out of corners in crits .... but I'd steer clear of organising Cavendish style lead out trains for you. Become an all round rider.
foo is absolutely on the money when he says it takes at least 3 years to become a decent rider and start to see some results. I say this all the time and people don't believe it, but it is true. So just keep racing and learning. Experienced riders with numbers half of what yours are will beat you for the next 2 years. Rather than worrying about getting bigger numbers, get bigger experience. Ride every State Open on the calendar next year and see how much better you will get.
I agree with your 80-20 ratio of good and bad advice, however the other posters on this thread are on the money I reckon. Good stuff.

PS young DD is 6'1 and 65kg and he can sprint too
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby vander » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:45 am

Derny just quickly those sprint numbers can win A grade if he is able to make it to the end.

Infact if you look at power from riders racing in international stage races your sprint isnt far off. However they are putting out those numbers at the end of long race. Griepel who is probably the most powerful in the peleton only puts out about 17-1800W at max and his 5sec is down at 15-1600W. Cavendish is slightly lower he is just more aero, Cavendish said on twitter not long ago his max power is in the 1600s. So they are good numbers. Also I was talking to Greame Browne and he was saying the 20sec number is more important than even 5sec power and for him 1200W is a great number, fresh. So if I were you I would not focus on track sprinting, unless you really want to, as track sprinting is very specific and go for improving you FTP and 5min power. While still working on maintaining and possibly slightly improving your top end. I have won a fair few B grade races putting out in the 1300W, so you will be right up there is you make it to the end.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Derny just quickly those sprint numbers can win A grade if he is able to make it to the end.

Infact if you look at power from riders racing in international stage races your sprint isnt far off. However they are putting out those numbers at the end of long race. Griepel who is probably the most powerful in the peleton only puts out about 17-1800W at max and his 5sec is down at 15-1600W. Cavendish is slightly lower he is just more aero, Cavendish said on twitter not long ago his max power is in the 1600s. So they are good numbers. Also I was talking to Greame Browne and he was saying the 20sec number is more important than even 5sec power and for him 1200W is a great number, fresh. So if I were you I would not focus on track sprinting, unless you really want to, as track sprinting is very specific and go for improving you FTP and 5min power. While still working on maintaining and possibly slightly improving your top end. I have won a fair few B grade races putting out in the 1300W, so you will be right up there is you make it to the end.[/quote]


Theres a lot more to sprinting and winning races than power numbers. Cavendish said a few years ago that Greipel is hopeless because he cant hold a wheel. And having the numbers and being able to put out that power are 2 separate things. I just got home from motorpacing a guy to prepare him for Battle of the Border. He's Australian road TT champ so he trains with power for that, he's also Australian Track Points Race champion. I know his numbers. His 1 minute power is world class and if he could put it out in a track kilo TT he would probably win at Worlds. But the fact is he cant even win the State kilo because he cant put the power out on the track, even after working with the NSW Track coach. He can put it out up a hill under load, but not on a track bike.
I don't put race reports from my club on here, but yesterdays A grade race was a cracker. This is a real road race on country roads, not a Sydney crit. A world record holder and a world masters champion ( both on the track) sat up before the end as they were wasted. 2 guys who have ridden in French teams for a couple of years in the past ran 6th and 7th in the sprint. Up front my young nephew who is damn quick was on the winners wheel but was muscled off it... he has 5 years racing experience but when someone like Simon K*rst*n wants it theres not a lot you can do. Even so Simon had to be content with 2nd. Experience + reasonable numbers beats raw horsepower every time.
I know plenty of blokes with good power numbers who have never won a race. Blokes with FTP of 330- 400. The numbers say they should win, their lack of experience says they can't. And looking at numbers is not an accurate way of predicting what sorts of races a person will be good at. In fact, with respect to the numbers of Cavendish, Greipel, Browne and other Pros, these numbers are pulled AFTER they become a successful cyclist. There are no team directors going around the country doing power tests on randon club riders, getting some inexperienced raw talent and turning him into a Pro bike rider. It doesn't work like that. So its putting the cart before the horse to look at numbers and try to predict how good a person will be as a cyclist.
Last edited by Derny Driver on Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby vander » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Nope but people like Vaughters have said they are going around getting guys that are there or there abouts in the national scene (over in US) and doing power tests on them and picking riders based on that. The UK track team had a protocol in place if you were not hitting certain numbers in power tests you would not get selected (AIS has something similar) Cav told a story a few years back about how he would not make the current team as he would not of passed those tests.

I was more indicating that his sprint is enough to win an A grade race (with of course good race smarts) I 100% agree that a sprint is about 90% getting in the right spot without having to work too hard to get there. I also agree that his FTP would need to go up probably atleast 50W to be there at the end without being cooked, and even then a sprint at the end of a race is very different to a sprint when you are fresh. But the point still remains if (and this is a big if) he can get himself in the right spot at the end of an A grade race with those numbers he could win it (Disclaimer: there are club A graders that can put out more power then that so you need them to be not racing/cooked or more likely in the wrong spot).

What Cav should of said a few years ago is Greipel cannot get a good sprint train together. This year should be a good year Greipel's train looks good. Cav's seems to be misfiring a bit at the moment. Add in Goss and Kittel and should be very interesting.

Sounds like a good race in Wollongong. I will be down there for the next 10or so weeks and will try and get out and race out there as much as possible.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby jamesn184 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:14 pm

If you read Cavs book he makes mention of him being told he can't win because of his "numbers"

He had a long running argument with one of the now former GB performance coaches
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:17 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Derny just quickly those sprint numbers can win A grade if he is able to make it to the end.

Infact if you look at power from riders racing in international stage races your sprint isnt far off. However they are putting out those numbers at the end of long race. Griepel who is probably the most powerful in the peleton only puts out about 17-1800W at max and his 5sec is down at 15-1600W. Cavendish is slightly lower he is just more aero, Cavendish said on twitter not long ago his max power is in the 1600s. So they are good numbers. Also I was talking to Greame Browne and he was saying the 20sec number is more important than even 5sec power and for him 1200W is a great number, fresh. So if I were you I would not focus on track sprinting, unless you really want to, as track sprinting is very specific and go for improving you FTP and 5min power. While still working on maintaining and possibly slightly improving your top end. I have won a fair few B grade races putting out in the 1300W, so you will be right up there is you make it to the end.


Theres a lot more to sprinting and winning races than power numbers. Cavendish said a few years ago that Greipel is hopeless because he cant hold a wheel. And having the numbers and being able to put out that power are 2 separate things. I just got home from motorpacing a guy to prepare him for Battle of the Border. He's Australian road TT champ so he trains with power for that, he's also Australian Track Points Race champion. I know his numbers. His 1 minute power is world class and if he could put it out in a track kilo TT he would probably win at Worlds. But the fact is he cant even win the State kilo because he cant put the power out on the track, even after working with the NSW Track coach. He can put it out up a hill under load, but not on a track bike.
I don't put race reports from my club on here, but yesterdays A grade race was a cracker. This is a real road race on country roads, not a Sydney crit. A world record holder and a world masters champion ( both on the track) sat up before the end as they were wasted. 2 guys who have ridden in French teams for a couple of years in the past ran 6th and 7th in the sprint. Up front my young nephew who is damn quick was on the winners wheel but was muscled off it... he has 5 years racing experience but when someone like Simon Kersten wants it theres not a lot you can do. Even so Simon had to be content with 2nd. Experience + reasonable numbers beats raw horsepower every time.
I know plenty of blokes with good power numbers who have never won a race. Blokes with FTP of 330- 400. The numbers say they should win, their lack of experience says they can't. And looking at numbers is not an accurate way of predicting what sorts of races a person will be good at. In fact, with respect to the numbers of Cavendish, Greipel, Browne and other Pros, these numbers are pulled AFTER they become a successful cyclist. There are no team directors going around the country doing power tests on randon club riders, getting some inexperienced raw talent and turning him into a Pro bike rider. It doesn't work like that. So its putting the cart before the horse to look at numbers and try to predict how good a person will be as a cyclist.[/quote]

This I whole heartedly agree with this and do you know why?? It does not and never will replicate race conditions or the smartness of the experienced rider. :wink:

When I came back after being hit by the truck, there where a lot of new and younger riders in the field that could out sprint me but guess what, I could out smart them and beat them in the end and this people, is why I don't put all my eggs in one basket with all this power metre stuff. I am on record here in the past saying, I am not against this new (well new for me) technology but you need to only use it, once you have achieved the top level and want to hone your performance. :idea:

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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Baldy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:16 pm

Interesting thread and posts by Foo, vander and derny driver. Thanks gents.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:25 pm

Baldy wrote:Interesting thread and posts by Foo, vander and derny driver. Thanks gents.


That's what it is all about mate, different aspects of opinion on training. You take out of it what you can use too your advantage! :idea:

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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:04 pm

Yeah its all good stuff. Im not really disagreeing with vander, just looking at it from a different angle. Ive probably digressed from mca's original question as to how his numbers stack up in terms of grading ... I said earlier they are pretty decent numbers and the other posters gave good input about what areas to work on.
I also don't want to be seen as always being negative about training with power because Im definitely not. It has its place and its use. What I keep on rabbiting on about is that power numbers are just one of many aspects of being a good cyclist. Now that's probably obvious but I feel sometimes that people give their wattage more credibility than it deserves. One guy I know wont race unless his numbers, like the stars and planets, have magically lined up. Its been over 3 years since Ive seen him at a race. That's one extreme example I guess. But there is so much more to being a good cyclist than having good wattage. Tactics, experience, bike handling skills ... its a sport where brains regularly beats brawn.
James correctly mentions how Cav failed his power tests and how he is not much of a power devotee. My son did the local Academy of Sport tryouts 2 years ago and was rejected due to his poor performance on the wattbike. Funny thing is that of the dozen or so kids they took into the program, all failed dismally and have never been seen or heard of since. Meanwhile Derny Drafter continues to hit new highs as he gains experience and races A grade with the calibre of riders we have in our club. The mentoring he gets from these champions is far superior to what the Academy can offer. In the last 5 or 6 years, our Academy has taken in 70-80 young riders with good wattage. Only 1 has done anything of note.Not trying to bag out the Academy, just saying that plenty of people with good numbers have failed as cyclists.
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby nickobec » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:09 pm

I am your weight and a couple of cms shorter (and I could do with losing a couple of kgs), been riding for exercise for a few years, started racing 12 months ago and started getting semi serious about training less than 6 months ago.

The good news is your ftp and 5 minute power are better than mine 255 & 330.

The bad news I am more than twice your age and am on performance decreasing drugs

Made good gains in threshold power in the last few months by:
Riding 30 minutes at threshold, then 20 minutes later doing 5-7 minutes at VO2 max at least twice a week (it is my regular commute to work)
A 16km TT every week
50km group ride with 2 hill sprints and 2 flat sprints with better riders every week
Racing a criterium every week

So I don't think your where training hard enough

I do race with a guy with almost the same power curve as you, except a good 20kg heavier. He consistently wins C grade at two different clubs. B grade, both of you might win your 1st race, but after that struggle when other riders realise your limitations (lack of threshold power)
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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:40 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Yeah its all good stuff. Im not really disagreeing with vander, just looking at it from a different angle. Ive probably digressed from mca's original question as to how his numbers stack up in terms of grading ... I said earlier they are pretty decent numbers and the other posters gave good input about what areas to work on.
I also don't want to be seen as always being negative about training with power because Im definitely not. It has its place and its use. What I keep on rabbiting on about is that power numbers are just one of many aspects of being a good cyclist. Now that's probably obvious but I feel sometimes that people give their wattage more credibility than it deserves. One guy I know wont race unless his numbers, like the stars and planets, have magically lined up. Its been over 3 years since Ive seen him at a race. That's one extreme example I guess. But there is so much more to being a good cyclist than having good wattage. Tactics, experience, bike handling skills ... its a sport where brains regularly beats brawn.
James correctly mentions how Cav failed his power tests and how he is not much of a power devotee. My son did the local Academy of Sport tryouts 2 years ago and was rejected due to his poor performance on the wattbike. Funny thing is that of the dozen or so kids they took into the program, all failed dismally and have never been seen or heard of since. Meanwhile Derny Drafter continues to hit new highs as he gains experience and races A grade with the calibre of riders we have in our club. The mentoring he gets from these champions is far superior to what the Academy can offer. In the last 5 or 6 years, our Academy has taken in 70-80 young riders with good wattage. Only 1 has done anything of note.Not trying to bag out the Academy, just saying that plenty of people with good numbers have failed as cyclists.


This is so true and just because you can show some data on a piece of paper print out, that does not mean it equates to real experience. :wink:

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Re: Pure sprinter - where to improve?

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:51 pm

vander wrote:
Sounds like a good race in Wollongong. I will be down there for the next 10 or so weeks and will try and get out and race out there as much as possible.

Fantastic mate love to see you. Im always there on my derny. Next week is no race due to an interclub event, then a 4 person Time Trial (we will be at Coota) and then there is a 90k on the 18th of this month, always a great race. I will be OS that week but others will make you welcome. After that Im not sure, keep checking the ICC website, the program is subject to change a bit. Yesterdays Time Trial turned into a scratch race mid week.
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