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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tempo Cycling Training Series at Kissena Velodrome

Saturday
April 4, 11, (Please Note April 18, Track closed for clean-up, NYC Parks dept on site to assist)
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
(Please note May 30, Tentative Juniors Campo USAC Event)
June 13, 20
July 18,
August 8

Sunday
April 12
May 3, 10, 17, 24
June 14, 21
July 19
August 9

Tempo Cycling Training Series
Promoted by Andrew LaCorte of the Affinity Cycles Track Team
Held at the Kissena Velodrome, Flushing, New York
Held under USA Cycling and NYC Parks event permits

Session 1 - 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Open track for training.
Saturday Session 1 will offer a structured Training program for beginners, Category 4/5 riders, and Juniors. Track will not be occupied when structured workouts have an exercise on the track, riders will be asked to either leave the track for a few minutes or go above the stayers line. If you are not participating in session 1, you will still be required to pay a $2 insurance USAC fee and sign a waiver form.

Session 2 – 2:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Structured Training for Elite riders

Note: A few dates during Session 2 will be upgraded to Clinic sessions taught by guest instructors. Separate fees will apply.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Craig MacLean of British Cycling




Notice he is sitting on the stationary with one leg in the pedals and one hooked up to the weights, this exercise can also be done with resistance bands.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Testing - Graded Excercise Test

One of the measures to be gleaned from the graded exercise test is your lactate threshold heart rate and power. Extracted from Joel Friel's - The Cyclist Training Bible.


You start at a 100 watts (plus or minus 10 watts) and increase output by 20 watts every minute until it becomes too difficult to maintain the effort.

-Minute 1 - 102 watts - 147 bpm - 8 exertion
-Minute 2 - 122 watts - 156 bpm - 9 exertion
-Minute 3 - 169 watts - 162 bpm - 11 exertion
-Minute 4 - 178 watts - 165 bpm - 13 exertion
-Minute 5 - 210 watts - 170 bpm - 14 exertion
-Minute 6 - 225 watts - 175 bpm - 15 exertion
-Minute 7 - 245 watts - 180 bpm - 17 exertion - VT
-Minute 8 - 290 watts - 185 bpm - 19 exertion
-Minute 9 - 320 watts - 190 bpm - 20 exertion

Ventilation Threshold (VT) is when your breathing becomes labored.

Perceived Exertion Guide:
-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7 = very very light
-8
-9 = very light
-10
-11 = fairly light
-12
-13 = somewhat hard
-14
-15 = hard
-16
-17 = very hard
-18
-19 = very very hard
-20


Testing - Sprint Power Test


If you score four or five, the quick application of force and lactate tolerance are among your strength areas. Average power output will vary throughout the year than will maximum power. While testing in the winter, for example, you may find average power relatively lower than in the summer when race fitness is high. That is because you quickly lose the ability to tolerate lactate in the winter when the body is no longer experiencing it. Extracted from Joel Friel's - The Cyclist Training Bible.

Sprint Power Test data from graph above, conducted on Cyclops spin bike:

-Speed max = 32.54 mph
-Speed avg = 22.27 mph

-Cadence max = 131 rpm
-Cadence avg = 90 rpm

-Heart max = 186 bpm
-Heart avg = 174 bpm

-Torque max = 23.73 nm
-Torque avg = 16.46 nm

-Power max = 896 watts
-Power avg = 579 watts

-Power watts/kg max = 11.28 watts
-Power watts/kg avg = 7.29 watts

Ranking scores:

Excellent = 5
Good = 4
Average = 3
Fair = 2
Poor = 1

Based on the above data this is how I currently rank:

-Ranking = Average for Senior Men
-Score = 3
-Maximum watts range = 800 to 949 (mine 896)
-Average watts range = 560 to 664 (mine 579)


Cost analysis of Bicycle racing for three years

Cost analysis - Bicycle Racing from 2006 to 2009

It would be interesting to note the costs incurred so far since coming back to the sport of bicycle racing in 2006, after a hiatus of 15 years. In 1985 my first road bike was a Peugeot with Reynolds 501 tubing which was bought from Bellite Bicycles store on Jamaica Ave for about $300. Subsequent road bikes were a Swiss made Cilo costing $500 dollars with Columbus tubing bought from a store on Union Turnpike and an Atala frame bought from Al Toefield's Kissena Bicycle store for $400. My initial track bike was a Lotus track bike which had road geometry; this was bought from another racer for about $300. A better track bike bought from another racer was the Riggio which had tighter geometry and cost $500. Those were the major costs which jump out at me after leaving the sport in 1991 to pursue my pilot license. I would say within the span of six years (1985 to 1991) I spent about $10,000 dollars on equipment and racing expense.

Fresher in my memory are the costs for equipment and consumables after coming back to the sport in 2006. Below are an itemized list of the major purchases and expenses:

-Bianchi Pista Concept Track Bike - $1,500
-Specialized Roubaix road bike - $1,200
-Pro Lite Track Bike - $650
-Tiemeyer Track frame - $1,350
-Specialized Tarmac carbon fiber road bike - $1,700
-HED clincher disk wheel - $800
-HED clincher tri spoke rear wheel $200
-Zipp 404 track tubular wheels - $1,500
-Aerospoke front clincher - $300
-Mavic Ellipse track clincher wheels - $500
-Karbona carbon disk wheel - $800
-Karbona carbon tri spoke wheel - $500
-Karbona carbon road wheels - $500
-Rol Volant clincher road wheels - $400
-Track tires and tubes - $600
-Road tires and tubes - $400
-Bicycle clothing - $2,000
-Cyclops spin bike - $2,000
-Indoor Roller - $200
-Indoor trainers - $400
-Bike storage racks - $300
-Misc equipment $1,000
-Books $400
-Videos $400
-Yearly licenses and registrations - $500 x 3 years = $1,500
-Yearly supplements - $500 x 3 years = $1,500
-Yearly travel - $400 x 3 years = $1,200

So far for three years of racing it will cost roughly $25,000. A major component of the expenses incurred were as a result of trial/error, experimenting with different equipment and trying new items, all part of the learning curve and keeping abreast with hyped up technology.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Types of track events

Points Race (sprint / endurance event)
A Points Race is a rolling start race in which riders sprint for points. Certain laps are designated by the organizer as "Points Laps"; usually every five laps. In each sprint, the first four riders are awarded points as follows: 5 points, 3 points, 2 points, 1 point.

Scratch Race/ Final (sprint / endurance event)
A Scratch Race is one in which all riders start from the same place at the same time. The race is run over a specified number of laps and the riders be classified according to the order in which they cross the line on the final lap.

Miss-and-Out / Devil Take the Hindmost (endurance event)
A Miss-and-Out (also called "devil taWke the hindmost") is a mass start event in which the last rider over the line on each lap is eliminated form the race. The race goes until there are three riders left in which they will take a neutral lap and then race to the line for the win.

Individual Pursuit (endurance event)
An Individual Pursuit is a race between two competitors who start at equal intervals around the track, and is run until one competitor catches the other or until a certain distance is covered. Men's pursuit: 4000 meters, Masters 3000m, Women's 3000m and Junior's 2000m.

Team Pursuit (endurance event)
Same as the Individual Pursuit but with four competitors per team.

Olympic Sprint (sprint / endurance event)
Olympic Sprint is a race run over three laps by two teams of three riders. Each rider leads for one lap and then pulls off. Best time wins.

Madison (endurance event)
A Madison is a Points Race between teams of two riders who relay each other for a specified distance.

Kilo (sprint / endurance event)
The Kilo is an individual time trial that is contested over one Kilometer. Best time wins.

Unknown Distance (endurance event)
The Unknown Distance Race is a mass start race in which the racers do not know how many laps the race will be. The official will ring the bell signaling the last lap and the first rider across the line on the next lap is the winner.

Tempo Race (endurance event)
A Tempo Race rewards points to the top two riders of each lap. The first rider gets two points and the second gets one point. This race is usually around ten laps. The rider with the most points at the end of the race wins

Chariot Race (sprint event)
The Chariot Race starts with about six racers being held by a holder on the start line. When the official fires the start gun, the riders sprint for just one lap and place according to their finishing position. There are usually a few heats for this event, with the top 1 or 2 finishers going to a final round.

Danish / Win-and-Out / Reverse Devil (sprint / endurance event)
The Danish, also known as a "Win-and-Out," is a rolling mass start race in which the leader after the first lap places first, the leader after the second lap gets second, and so on up to six places.

Point-a-lap (sprint / endurance event)
The first rider across the line on every lap gets a point. The rider with the most points at the end of the race wins.

Snowball (sprint / endurance event)
A little like a point-a-lap, the first rider across the line on every lap gets one point for each lap completed. So, on the first lap, one point is awarded, on the second, two, and so forth.

Match Sprint (sprint event)
The sprint is a track cycling event involving a one-on-one match race between opponents who, unlike in the individual pursuit, start next to each other.


Link

Andrew La Corte interview - 2008 Masters Worlds

Kissena Track Racing: Welcome back Andrew

Andrew LaCorte: Thank you

KTR: What was your preparation for world's after winning the 2008 Master Nationals like? Was the cold weather in New York detrimental to competing in Australia?

Andrew: No, almost the same weather. Just the steep track was the difference.

KTR: Airline, duration of flight, how was the flight, dealing with jet lag, what bike equipment did you take, cost of trip, cost of transporting equipment?

Andrew: Traveling to an event in Australia is basically not fun. There are only two airlines that go to Australia from the US. United was ok. A little 80ish, style wise if you ask me. And Qantas was more expensive. I flew out to Sydney on my own. Cost of flight is anywhere from $1900-$2300 depending on when you by your tickets. And buying your ticket early doesn't mean you will save money. I first landed in San Fran then linked up to another flight. Flight from San Fran to AU is about 13-14 hours. I should have spread the flights out a little more. Jet lag in AU was not bad. I had to adjust to AU time before I left the states. Steven Hill gave me all of that advice on how to deal with the time difference and he was dead-on the money. He told me when I returned home is where I am going to have the problem - he explained that he got sick as did I too. Equipment wise, I tried to travel light as much as possible. Shipping the bike to CA was about $150. To AU and back to CA was free. I used my Pro bike case. If you get your bike apart and into a suitcase you are better off and can save some money too.

KTR: What where the hotel accommodations like? Tell us about your preparations, training sessions and getting back and forth to the track, transportation wise?

Andrew: I arrived four days before the events so that I could get training time on the track. When I arrived I imagined seeing Mary Nothstein winning the sprint events at the 2000 Olympics, and thought, I wanted to do the same. I couldn't wait to get back on the track. Pablo Ravazzani and I stayed at the Rydges Hotel. The weather at that time was about 20 degrees warmer at that time of the year. I would take the bus to and from the track every day. On some nights I would miss the bus and would have to ride home. Not that bad, about 2 miles from the track. My daily training routines were written by Kirk Whiteman and each day was less active. One would image that I would workout with Pablo since we shared a room. But we had different schedules and he had to get back to the hotel for his beauty sleep.

Preparation after Master Nationals was a little different and I had to deal with two things. I realized that I needed surgery after winning Masters Nationals. I was very uncomfortable on the way home. On a scale from 1-10, pain wise, it was about a 4. But I knew it could be a potential problem with my intestines. I didn't want to wait until after Worlds so I was able to get the surgery three weeks before my departure to Worlds. I was also dealing with my father’s death. I had a lot on my mind, Doug Rothein and I worked together every evening after work.

KTR: Tells us about the track, training partners, culture shock, food, facilities at track, weather?


Andrew: The track is very similar to ADT in Carson, CA. However, to me ADT is more slippery, dust wise than Dunc Grey. My training partner in AU was Anton Quist. We practiced the team Sprint exchange every day. I never did an exchange that close to anyone in my life. We also recorded the best 2nd lap and 3rd lap times. The competition at the event was scary fast. I couldn't believe how fast the 40-44 age groups were. The French and Brits were quick, but in the finals it came down to Quist of the US and Asbit from AU in the individual sprints. In the team sprints we came in 4th.

KTR: Competition at track, interacting with competitors from different countries?

Andrew: Interacting with people and competitors was friendly, everyone talks to one another, except on race day of course. Andrew Burne and I knew it was going to come down to us somewhere some how down the line. We would talk to each other at the handlebar grill and pub attached to the Velodrome on occasion.

KTR: Did the competitors have better equipment, what were some of the cutting edge equipment or brands you saw?

Andrew: About the same as we have here in the US at high ended track races. One of the hottest bikes there was Larry Nolan’s bike, the specialized frame that can be used in TT’s and on the track. Sweet ride!

KTR: Was your equipment comparable or better?

Andrew: About the same. I think we had better equipment as the Tiemeyer is the only frame that I have not broken yet. We were the only team to have a few Tiemeyers. That is my choice. However, this year I have a new sponsor and I am on their bike right now testing a few things. We are going to have to make a frame that is built to the same specs as I grew much attached to my custom frame. Worse case situation is that we have the bike repainted with new sponsor on the frame. Will see what happens. So far we are about 2 degrees off of my current frame.

KTR: Training methods of the Australian track riders and skill level as compared to riders in the US?

Andrew: They did the same things that we did in warm-up. Nothing special, we watched what they did and they did the same. Although I was a target before I arrived. New Aussie friends told me that they watched me on this site in races and training video’s. So, recordings of me training this year won’t be happening right? Right! No worries.

KTR: Days off, entertainment, sightseeing, general impressions of Australia?

Andrew: My only day off it rained. I didn’t have much time to sight see, but Sydney was like any other typical modern city, and the climate controlled track was indeed amazing. I did want to visit a friend on the woman’s pro cycling team, America’s Dairy Farmers team in Melbourne but again ran out of time to visit. I did watch some cricket on television, looks like an interesting sport, similar to baseball with lots of spectators and coverage.

KTR: Did you meet your goals or did you fall short of your goals since this was your first Worlds Competition?

Andrew: Qualified 3rd in the flying 200 meter time trial. Had a little technical issue with the front disc when it came a little lose and rubbed the fork into the home stretch 200 meters out, so I fell short there. I now have a nice grove in the fork now but no big deal. I do have to take my hat to the Aussies. I knew it was going to be the toughest racing I ever did. They did a great job of bringing me long in the 1/8’s and ¼ finals. By the time I got to Burne I was pretty tired and need more time to recover. At Master Worlds they go 24 deep with two reps. Here in the states they go 10 deep with one rep. Again, did I fall short of my goals? Well I think I did my best. In the race with Burne it got a little close. I was not going to move and either was Burne. He is bigger than I but I was up for the challenge. In order to get on the podium I had to beat Worley, but I was spent - nothing left. I tried to hold him off but was not able to. I do have to work on better recoveries on longer sprints which seem to be the up and coming way to sprint.

KTR: Would you be attending next year’s Masters Worlds and would you be better prepared to get on the Podium now that you have this experience under your belt?

Andrew: After Andrew Burne’s two-year sanction from Cycling Australia for the presence of the anabolic steroid of Nandrolone and Drostanolone came back positive really puts me on the podium, but I have no pictures so that is disappointing. Now I have to protest for the medal which I think they only move you up medal wise in timed events. Would I attend next year, I don't think so as the flight and carrying of all the equipment is dreadful. I have my mind set on Pan Ams in the Dominican Republic in 2009 with the American team, along with Master Nationals and Elite Nationals, and in 09 I will not stop until after Canada's Can Am Winter Nationals. I am not sure yet but this might be the last year that I will do any Elite racing and will concentrate more on masters only. I do have my eye on Tandems Elites this year too with one of my teammates.

Rad Sprint website - Gold mine for Track Riders

Link below was submitted by Andrew LaCorte, it is a gold mine of tips on equipment, tactics, gearing, data, stories and analysis in regards to track racing. Check it out, this is probably the most comprehensive source for track riders you will ever find anywhere.

http://home.pacbell.net/hillmann/RadSprint/

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Josiah Ng Nike Training


video


http://www.niketraining.com.my/


Australia Masters World 2008 Video coverage technical info

In reference to the video footage seen here which was broadcast live:

The feedback on the coverage has been amazing, and the numbers we have had watching/commenting equally amazing. The whole thing has proven to me that this model really is the future of sports broadcasting - especially for niche sports like this.

Why did we do it? Well, I'm a track racer - love the sport. I was racing in the championships in the pursuit (got 4th place which I was very happy about too). I also run Viocorp (www.viocorp.com) which is a pretty innovative Australian online video company. I wanted to show that this model can work - ie quality high enough whilst the production cost low enough and the revenue high enough to justify it. The quality was great and we covered our costs - just.

We had four staff on site for the entire 6 days. Two manning the cameras, one mixing the vision and one technician running the live and archive streams. We had four cameras - two manned, one fixed pointing down the home straight and one fixed pointing at the scoreboard. Our senior technician on site pulled over 110 hours of work last week.

Can this be done elsewhere - yes absolutely. One of the key requirements to do it live was having a good internet connection. The Dunc Gray velodrome had a 10Mbps synchronous (ie same upload speed as download) line. But it can be done with a line speed as low as 1Mbps. It can even be done with a wireless 3G connection, but that starts getting a bit scary/dodgy.

Happy to talk to anyone about this further - drop me a line ian @ viocorp.com or 0412999705.

more info

Monday, February 9, 2009

How to develop a training program

How to develop a Training Program
The process of creating a training program to help develop an individual's level of fitness comprises of 6 stages:

Stage 1 - gather details about the individual
Stage 2 - identify the fitness components to develop
Stage 3 - identify appropriate tests to monitor fitness status
Stage 4 - conduct a gap analysis
Stage 5 - compile the program
Stage 6 - monitor progress and adjust program

Stage 1
The first stage is to gather details about the individual:

Age
Reasons for wanting to get fit
Current or recent injuries
Health problems
The sports they play and how often
Their dislikes and likes with regards training
What sports facilities they have access to - gym, sports centre etc.
Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so.

Stage 2
The second stage is to determine what components of fitness they need to improve. This will depend upon what the individual wants to get fit for - to improve general fitness, get fit enough to play in the Saturday hockey league, run a local 5 km fun run or compete in next year's London Marathon.

Exercise scientists have identified nine elements that comprise the definition of fitness. The following lists each of the nine elements and an example of how they are used:

Strength - the extent to which muscles can exert force by contracting against resistance (holding or restraining an object or person)

Power - the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements (Jumping or sprint starting)

Agility - the ability to perform a series of explosive power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions (ZigZag running or cutting movements)

Balance - the ability to control the body's position, either stationary (e.g. a handstand) or while moving (e.g. a gymnastics stunt)

Flexibility - the ability to achieve an extended range of motion without being impeded by excess tissue, i.e. fat or muscle (Executing a leg split)

Local Muscle Endurance - a single muscle's ability to perform sustained work (Rowing or cycling)

Cardiovascular Endurance - the heart's ability to deliver blood to working muscles and their ability to use it (Running long distances)

Strength Endurance - a muscle's ability to perform a maximum contracture time after time (Continuous explosive rebounding through an entire basketball game)

Coordination - the ability to integrate the above listed components so that effective movements are achieved

Of all the nine elements of fitness cardiac respiratory qualities are the most important to develop as they enhance all the other components of the conditioning equation. You will need to consider which of these elements are applicable to the individuals training program based on what it is they want to get fit for.

Stage 3
The next stage is to identify appropriate tests that can be used to initially determine the individual's level of fitness and then to monitor progress during the training. The Evaluation Test page identifies suitable tests for each of the fitness elements.

Identified test should be conducted and the results recorded.

Stage 4
We now know the individual's background, objectives and current level of fitness. We now need to conduct a gap analysis of the current fitness levels (from test results at stage 3) and target fitness levels (identified at stage 2). The results of this process will assist in the design of the training program so that each component of fitness is improved to the desired level.

The following is an example of a gap analysis: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/plant.htm

Stage 5
The next stage is to prepare a training program using the results of the gap analysis and FITT principles.

F - frequency - how often should the individual exercise?
I - intensity - how hard should the individual exercise?
T - time - how long should each session last?
T - training activity - what exercise or training activity will help achieve the individual's fitness goals?

For frequency, intensity and time you should start at an easy level and increase gradually e.g. 10% increments. Aerobic training should last for 20 to 40 minutes. Strength work should last 15 to 30 minutes and comprise of 3 sessions a week with 48 hours recovery between sessions.

Plan the program in four week cycles where the workload in the first three weeks increase each week (easy, medium, hard) and the fourth week comprises of active recovery and tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the four week cycles is to:

Build you up to a level of fitness (3 weeks)

Test, recovery and adjustment of the training program (1 week)

Build you up to higher level of fitness (3 weeks)

Test, recovery and adjustment of the training program (1 week)

Build you up to an even higher level of fitness (3 weeks)
and so on

The tests used to assess the individual's initial level of fitness should be planned into week 4 of the program in order to monitor progress and effectiveness of the program. The test results can be used to adjust the program accordingly.

The program needs to last 12 to 16 weeks in order to see any real benefits and the planning (initial & subsequent adjustments) should be conducted with the individual so that they feel they own the program. This will ensure the program is enjoyable and convenient to do.

Stage 6
The program has now been agreed and the individual can undertake the program. Every 4 weeks meet and discuss with the individual:

How the training has gone
The test results
Progress towards target fitness levels
Adjustments to the training program

more info

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Typical functional workout

video

Functional workout today comprised:

-10 minute warm up on spin bike

-Plyometric pushups = 4 sets of 10 reps

-Pull ups = 3 sets of 10 reps

-One legged leg press - 4 sets

-Split squat = 3 sets

-Deep split squat = 3 sets

-Reverse lunges = 3 sets

-One legged leg curls = 3 sets

-Chest press = 3 sets

-Lat pulldown = 4 sets

-Horizontal lat pull = 3 sets

-Plyometric box jumps = 5 sets of 10 reps varying heights

-Standing horizontal two legged triple jump distance = 22'-7"

-Standing vertical box jump height = 34"

-Core and sit ups = 5 sets 20 reps

-10 minute warm down on spin bike

Plyometrics and Muscular Contraction / Power

Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in a specific sport. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and as it was supposed to be surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, often with the goal of increasing the height of a jump.

Plyometric training involves practicing plyometric movements to toughen tissues and train nerve cells to stimulate a specific pattern of muscle contraction so the muscle generates as strong a contraction as possible in the shortest amount of time. A plyometric contraction involves first a rapid muscle lengthening movement, followed by a short resting phase, then an explosive muscle shortening movement, which enables muscles to work together in doing the particular motion. Plyometric training engages the myostatic-reflex, which is the automatic contraction of muscle when their stretch nerve receptors are stimulated.

Plyometric exercises use explosive movements to develop muscular power, the ability to generate a large amount of force quickly. Plyometric training acts on the nerves, muscles, and tendons to increase an athlete's power output without necessarily increasing their maximum strength.

Muscular power is determined by how long it takes for strength to be converted into speed. The ability to convert strength to speed in a very short time allows for athletic movements beyond what raw strength will allow. Thus an athlete who has strong legs and can perform the freeweight squat with extremely heavy weights over a long duration may get less distance on a standing long jump or height on a vertical leap than a weaker athlete who is able to generate a smaller amount of force but in a shorter amount of time. The plyometrically trained athlete may have a lower maximal force output, and thus may not squat as much, but his training allows him to shorten the amount of time required to reach his maximum force output, leading to more power from each contraction.

For a muscle to cause movement, it must shorten; this is known as a concentric contraction. There is a maximum amount of force with which a certain muscle can concentrically contract. However, if the muscle is lengthened while loaded (eccentric contraction) just prior to the contraction, it will produce greater force through the storage of elastic energy. This effect requires that the transition time between eccentric contraction and concentric contraction (amortisation phase) be very short. This energy dissipates rapidly, so the concentric contraction must rapidly follow the eccentric stretch. The process is frequently referred to as the "stretch shortening cycle", and is one of the underlying mechanisms of plyometric training. Usually after plyometric exercise the tendon stretches and the thighs and quadriceps feel tender.

In addition to the elastic-recoil of the musculotendonous system there is a neurological component. The stretch shortening cycle affects the sensory response of the muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs (GTO). It is believed that during plyometric exercise, the excitatory threshold of the GTO's is increased, making them less likely to send signals to limit force production when the muscle has increased tension. This facilitates greater contraction force than normal strength or power exercise, and thus greater training ability.

The muscle spindles are involved in the stretch reflex and are triggered by rapid lengthening of the muscle as well as absolute length. At the end of the rapid eccentric contraction, the muscle has reached a great length at a high velocity. This may cause the muscle spindle to enact a powerful stretch reflex, further enhancing the power of the following concentric contraction. The muscle spindle's sensitivity to velocity is another reason why the amortisation phase must be brief for a plyometric effect.

A longer term neurological component involves training the muscles to contract more quickly and powerfully by altering the timing and firing rates of the motor units. During a normal contraction, motor units peak in a de-synchronized fashion until tetany is reached. Plyometric training conditions the neurons to contract with a single powerful surge rather than several disorganized contractions. The result is a stronger, faster contraction allowing a heavy load (such as the body) to be moved quickly and forcefully.

Plyometric exercises involve an increased risk of injury due to the large forces generated during training and performance, and should only be performed by well-conditioned individuals who are under supervision. Good levels of physical strength, flexibility and proprioception should be achieved before commencement of plyometric training.

The specified minimum strength requirement varies depending on where the information is sourced and the intensity of the plyometrics to be performed. Chu (1998) recommends that a participant be able to perform 5 repetitions of the squat exercise at 60% of their bodyweight before doing plyometrics. Core body (trunk) strength is also important.

Flexibility is required both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch shortening cycle.

Proprioception is an important component of balance, coordination and agility, which are also required for safe performance of plyometric exercises.

Further safety considerations include:

Age - low-intensity and low-volume only for athletes under the age of 13 or for athletes who squat less than 1.5 times their bodyweight.

Surface - some degree of softness is needed. Gymnastics mats are ideal, grass is suitable. Hard surfaces such as concrete should never be used.

Bodyweight - athletes who are over 240 pounds (109 kg) should be very careful and low-intensity plyometric exercises should be selected.

Technique - most importantly, a participant must be instructed on proper technique before commencing any plyometric exercise. They should be well rested and free of injury in any of the limbs to be exercised.

Plyometrics is not inherently dangerous, but the highly focused, intense movements used in repetition increase the potential level of stress on joints and musculo-tendonous units. Therefore safety precautions are a strong prerequisite to this particular method of exercise. Low-intensity variations of plyometrics are frequently utilized in various stages of injury rehabilitation, indicating that the application of proper technique and appropriate safety precautions can make plyometric safe and effective for most populations.

Wikipedia reference info

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.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why do we train Energy Systems

The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimum amount of energy we require to stay alive, and is measured by monitoring oxygen and CO2 excretion.

ATP - Adenosine Triphosphate

ATP = ADP + P + Energy (ADP - Adenosine Diphospate)

Muscles store enough ATP for a 2 second contraction - this would supply sufficient energy for muscle contractions of short duration such as required for weight lifting, power lifting and shot putting.

Energy is released when a phosphate is broken off the ATP returning it to ADP. The cycle is continous, with ADP being converted back to ATP.

ATP breaks down to release energy when a nerve impulse stimulates a muscle fibre. The energy used from the breakdown of food joins a phosphate ion to ADP via a high energy bond.

The Energy Systems

There are three energy systems in the body that produce ATP. These are:

The aerobic system - releases energy slowly by using oxygen to breaking down glucose. It provides lots of long term energy suitable for every day activitites and endurance events. It can also break down fat to make ATP. As we get fitter, the amount of oxygen used by muscles increases. Energy is produced by the mitochondria (see lesson 4). By products are water, which we sweat or wee, and CO2, which we exhale.

The anaerobic systems, which produce energy without oxygen. These are:

The Phosphate System - the creatine phosphate molecule can be broken down quickly and is used to turn ADP back into ATP. The phosphate system is suitable for single or continuous short bursts of energy of around 10 seconds (as soon as ATP is broken down to ADP is it restored to ATP). This system would be used for events such as the long jump and javelin. The amount of creatine phosphate in muscles is limited, which is why athletes often use creatine phosphate supplements. This system is also called the ATP/PC system, the Alactate Anaerobic System and the ATP + CP system.

The Lactic Acid System - Provides energy for a longer duration than the Phosphate System, between 10 - 90 seconds, such as what would be required for a 100m swim, or a 400-800m run. Energy is derived from the fast break down of glucose from glycogen and blood sugar. Glycogen is stored in the liver and the muscles. When glycogen is broken down, it produces ATP and pyruvic acid. This process is called anaerobic glycolysis because the glycogen isn't fully broken down, but leaves a by product called Lactic Acid. When lactic acid accumulates in the muscles it results in muscle fatigue and weakness.

Factors Contributing to Muscle Fatigue

-Excessive activity - accumulation of lactic acid and CO2.
-Malnutrition - insufficient glucose to muscles.
-Cardiovascular anomalies - poor circulation affecting delivery of glucose and oxygen, and the removal of waste products.
-Respiratory anomalies - insufficient oxygen

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

energy systems info



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Momentum Cycling Video

Momentum Cycling

Heroes, Villains and Velodromes


There are not too many resources regarding track training, but this book is a good place to start. You can garner quite a bit of information for further research.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Alex Fariolleti audition video tape

Click link to see professionally done video.

From the video, Alex shows he has some very Positive Beliefs. Also there is a very strong Desire Statement - to be a fast track cyclist. He is definitely following an Action Plan to become a fast track cyclist.

There is the SMART concept which can be used to achieve those goals:

Specific - create a desire statement and action plan.
Measurable - keep track of improvement.
Attainable - goals need to be reachable.
Realistic - evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Time - set a time frame to achieve your goals.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Training Summary Sheet January 31, 2009

Snowy Kissena Track

Took the Tiemeyer to the track today to do some testing, but alas the track looked like the snow capped peaks of the alps, ended up riding circles around the flag pole....dizzzzzzzy.