Newbie training question

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Newbie training question

Postby Jace » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:04 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been on my road bike for about a year and just starting to get a bit more serious about my training. I feel I can comfortably ride on the flat or slightly undulating routes at anywhere from 28-35kph on a solo ride for hours on end but I find my sprint tops out at a max of 55kph and I cant hold that for very long.

I am planning on spending one day a week on Threshold training and one day a week on sprint intervals with possibly a secondary day on one of these. Would this help rectify my perceived weaknesses or is there something else I should be doing?

Thanks!
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by BNA » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:26 am

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Re: Newbie training question

Postby thearthurdog » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:26 am

For a new cyclist 55 kmh is not too shabby. Don't stress about it. I know people who have raced for 10 years who can't get that pace. But I also know plenty who are a lot quicker than that. Spend your time building your endurance up by trying to do longer and longer rides (keeping your cadence over 90 rpm). When you get more serious later on you could do specific sprint training then.
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Re: Newbie training question

Postby DoogleDave » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:50 am

I agree, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Some of it will be strength and some will be position on the bike (think aero).
To get from 30 to 40 km/h isn't too hard and from 40 to 50 km/h a bit harder but once you get past 50 km/h the air resistance trying to slow you down continues to increase exponentially, making it much more difficult to gain more speed.

I'm not sure what gear you are using when sprinting and what cadence you are reaching but you could try dropping down one gear and trying to up your cadence to see if that helps.
You'll need more cadence to hit the same speed but less power through the legs (and you should be able to accelerate quicker)....or more cadence and same power should give more speed (which is likely to be marginal).

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Re: Newbie training question

Postby Jace » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:44 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I think my cadence is probably off. According to my data I generally ride at 70ish rpm.

I have Ultegra (2013) gearing on the bike. On average where my sprints reach 52-55kph I am usually turning about 90-95rpm and trying to crush a high gear. Maybe trying to sprint at say 120rpm in a lower gear might be more beneficial. You make a good point about position and technique as well, my whole technique basically involves putting the bike in top gear and mashing the pedals.

Out of interest, whats the difference between turning 90rpm in top gear and turning 120rpm in say 3rd from top gear in terms of wattage output? I can never understand all that!

Thanks!
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Re: Newbie training question

Postby DoogleDave » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:18 pm

Jace wrote:Out of interest, whats the difference between turning 90rpm in top gear and turning 120rpm in say 3rd from top gear in terms of wattage output? I can never understand all that!

Thanks!


THIS might be some interesting reading for you :-)

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Re: Newbie training question

Postby vander » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:19 pm

Jace wrote:
Out of interest, whats the difference between turning 90rpm in top gear and turning 120rpm in say 3rd from top gear in terms of wattage output? I can never understand all that!


Its not like that, its more like to go from (for example) 40-60km/h takes Xwatts you can either do it in the big gear or in a slightly smaller gear. Generally smaller gear = More acceleration (so get there faster) but often is tougher to maintain. I have heard before in proper sprinters (on the track) peak power is up around 130RPM, however personally for me its closer to 90-100RPM. Whether that is in the training or genetics I dont know. Generally but my training atleast is in around a 53-14 or so gear to try and get a bit more leg speed, when it comes to a race I am often like you jam it to the top gear and go for it. If you race you will learn sprinting is a lot about tactics and less about ability.
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Re: Newbie training question

Postby Jace » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:11 pm

Thanks Dave and Vander. Some food for thought there, interesting read too. I might have to experiment a bit I think. I had a couple of trials this afternoon and on one hand when I was coasting along the flat turning at 90rpm my average speed lifted up to the high 30s and even low 40s yet on a couple of sprints with 110rpm I was only doing mid 40s. A bit of trial and error required probably, just to learn what works in different situations.

Thanks!
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Re: Newbie training question

Postby Xplora » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:51 am

Try not to forget you aren't going to maintain that speed for more than 5 or 10 seconds. Hoy and Cav can hit 70-80 kmh but its a very short time. The actual time you are putting power into the pedals includes acceleration - so if it takes you 10 seconds to ramp up the speed, and you want to hold that pace, you will be finished much sooner than you expect because guess what, you died before hitting full pace. If you know you have a specific style already, work on your weak points with intervals amongst your rides. It might not feel productive but you will get real good real fast if you spend just 10 minutes a week working at track sprints in the little ring. Warm up then Gas up to 130-150 rpm for a minute a couple times in a easy easy gear ( no resistance) then do the same in a moderate gear. You will end up at 40-45 kmh in the moderate gear. Not much resistance! You want to teach your body the feeling of high cadence. Save the big ring sprints for chasing friends or races.
. I climbed bellbird hill last weekend and did a lot of chasing on the flats. Brutal day... But the average cadence remains 85 all day. Lol. I mash too. I want to start racing in a couple of months, so I am going to work on my higher cadences because I am not mashing 53-11. You will be jumping off the seat trying to pump 120+... Thats ok. That is why you are training. Once you can confidently sit for that spin without load, then just increase the gears. A couple months and you will be able to accelerate better, hold it better, and feel what you have to give. Ultimately your body might only have 60kmh to give on a day, instead of 63. That's ok too.
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