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Friday, February 6, 2009

My research notes on Training for Track Racing.

Muscle fibers:
Slow- twitch fibers are identified by a slow contraction time and a high resistance to fatigue.

Fast-twitch fibers are identified by a quick contraction time and a low resistance to fatigue.

The key component which makes our muscles contract is ATP – Adenosine Triphosphate. There are three energy systems in the body that produce ATP – the aerobic system, the anaerobic or phosphate system and the lactic acid system.

Energy System.....What is broken down.......How long does energy last
Aerobic.................Glycogen, fat.....................Long term
Phosphate...........Creatine Phosphate..........Up to 10 seconds
Lactic Acid...........Glycogen............................Approx 1.5 minutes

Summary of training your energy systems:
Aerobic system: Sustained aerobic activity (20-40 minutes). A base of aerobic training has to be in place before moving on to Phosphate and Anaerobic training.

Phosphate system: Short 10 second sprints and low volume high weight sets (4-7 reps). Complete rest of 5 to 25 minutes is required in between sets to allow for full recovery and to prevent the build up of too much lactic acid. This allows you to perform at maximal intensities. This type of training is for Match Sprinting events.

Latic Acid Anaerobic system: Extended sprints and mid range resistance (8-12 reps). This type of training can be applied to the Kilo or 500 meter time trial events.

Training varies according to the type and number of events being raced. Sprint track cyclists generally focus on short high quality repetitions with long recovery, as well as strength training to build lean body mass. For longer sprint events, athletes also include some longer sessions and endurance rides. Longer track events such as the Points Race, Madison, and Kieren are generally suited to endurance trained road cyclists, who compete on the track in the off season. With a good endurance base and short periods of sprint training, road cyclists can excel in track endurance events.

A good Kilo rider may only be average at the sprint and a sprinter may find the Kilo to be too long. Sprinters are primarily concerned with developing the Phosphate System. To do this they will do a lot of short but very intense efforts typically around 10 seconds in duration. This will increase muscular strength of the fast twitch muscles and increase the amount of ATP available.

You have to train the aerobic system with high aerobic mileage for track events. To do this you have to do a lot of winter miles with your heart rate 60 to 70% of your maximum. These are called base miles, then as you get within a few months of racing, you start doing shorter but harder efforts. You need to know your anaerobic threshold to do these effectively, start by doing 10 to 20 minutes 5 beats per minute below your anaerobic threshold. Increase the time or number of sets for a while. Then do some efforts closer to anaerobic threshold, then right at anaerobic threshold, then a little above. Many riders become sprinters so they can avoid efforts like this. You will also need to develop your lactic acid system to survive when the pace picks up during an endurance event. Hard efforts that take between 1 to 3 minutes is one good way of developing the lactic acid system, doing lots of racing will also work.

A typical routine for Kilo Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up.
-Standing 10 second sprints with 10 to 12 minute full recovery
-Rolling 10 second sprints with10 to 12 minute full recovery
-2 to 4 intervals at 4 to 5 minutes in length targeting your VO2 max with 4 to 5 minute rest.
-20 minutes at Anaerobic Threshold.
-10 minute warm down

This is probably the optimal order, working on sprints when you are freshest. But as you get closer to your event you can start with the longer stuff and finish with the sprints so that you are mimicking what goes on in a race.

Base information for sprinters:
An important test of strength is the two legged triple jump measured together to give total distance. This is done 3 to 4 times a year to track improvements in strength.

Leg speed or revolutions per minute is also another test for sprinters. A sprinter should be able to pedal 190 to 220 rpm on the track and be capable of 260 to 270 rpm on a free running spin bike with no load. Normal rpm on the track is around 160 to 170 rpm in a 90 to 94 inch gear because of wind resistance and friction which has to be overcome.

Weight training should be done November to February or March with maximum loading in conjunction with cycling and then carried out all year on a maintenance basis, except prior to the major competition period. Maximum strength can only be developed under high loads with comparatively fast motion.

A typical routine for Sprint Strength Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up
-Roll of the banking and start at the finish line
-100 meters flying starts, 2 sets of 5 reps maximal
-10 to 12 minute recovery between reps
-25 minutes recovery between sets
-Gear range varies from 82” to 88” (82, 84,84,84,84,84,86,86,88,88)
-Rpm 140 to 160
-Time to complete each rep 5.6 to 6.8 seconds
-10 minute warm down in small gear

A typical routine for Sprint Endurance Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up
-Roll off the banking
-300 meters flying start – 6 reps sub maximal
-15 to 20 minutes recovery between reps
-Gears 82, 82, 84,84,86,86
-Rpm 135 to 160
-Time to complete each rep 16 to 20 seconds.
-10 minute warm down in small gear

A typical routine for Speed Strength Endurance Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up
-Roll off the banking
-500 meter flying start – 4 to 6 reps sub maximal
-25 minutes recovery between reps
-Gears 84 to 92
-Rpm 130 – 145
-Time to complete each rep 29 to 37 seconds
-10 minute warm down in small gear

A typical routine for Speed Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up
-Roll off banking to 200 meter line
-Flying 200 meter behind motor – 3 to 5 reps
-15 to 20 minute recovery
-Gears 82 to 92
-10 minute warm down in small gear

A typical routine for Acceleration Training is as follows:
-20 minute warm up
-6 seconds standing start sprints – maximal
-Distance 50 to 60 meters
-2 sets of 5 reps
-Gear 92 - 100
-5 minutes recovery between rides
-20 minute recovery between sets
-10 minute warm down in small gear.

You will have to adjust the gears accordingly depending on your level of strength and fitness. It is the same principle when lifting weights, you lift weights which you can handle for the prescribed reps and sets depending on the energy system you are training.

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