The purpose of this blog is to add clarity to the way cyclists view their files along with training in hopes of creating a mental shift. The bullet points below are taken from common themes that surface during my consultations with self-trained athletes.
"I need to work on my Sprint"
Coming from a pure sprinter, I will never down the importance of a respectable sprint and the importance of training it, but don't let this be your sole focus. This has to be the most common theme that continues to resurface. Once I hear the athlete say they need to work on their sprint, my question is "why? 90% of the time, the response relates to them not being able to crack out of top 5- 10 finishes and more pointed, their inability to win field sprints. My suggestion for this athlete is twofold. First and most, is your current power profile that of a sprinter? If not, your time spent training is better suited towards developing natural strengths in a race specific context. Secondly, when viewing your power files, identify where in the race your peak 5, 10 and 20 second power disbursements are being produced. Very often, I see athletes producing respectable neuromuscular based explosive efforts in the first half or even the first quarter of the race. If you fall into this category or notice this trend, keep a few things in mind.
1. Everyone is strong in the first 20-30 minutes of the race, meaning the likelihood of your efforts at this point in time have a slim chance of yielding a result.
2. Are you able to reproduce similar neuromuscular based efforts in the closing meters of the event? Most often times no, and the issue here lies with your training and or the way in which you are or aren't racing.
Either the training is such that one hasn't established the ability to reproduce these explosive efforts in a context aligning with the demands of the events they are participating in, or they are spending far too much time at, or above FTP during the event making it extremely difficult to replicate the efforts they have produced earlier in the event-see below
: Raising your FTP and becoming more efficient riding at and above FTP. Pay particular attention to the demands specific to the races you participate in and train these ranges in a systematic fashion allowing you to gauge development.
Riding more makes you faster
This is a tough one to break down in a manner that fits everyone at all phases of the season. Riding more at particular points in time in appropriate energy ranges will make you stronger and potentially faster. For instance, riding more during the base phase of your training will not directly make you faster, but it will certainly make you stronger. Additionally, a solid base phase of ones training helps facilitate specific physiological adaptions that will make one more efficient and develop muscle endurance. View this blog for a detailed overview of the base phase https://www.getyourpowerup.com/build/
Indirectly, more time invested in the base phase can make you faster being the adaptions that do occur lend to ones ability to sustain more high end workouts at and above FTP which do in fact make one faster.
A big misconception associated with the above is that "riding" often constitutes a sound base phase, wrong. Group rides and their static nature don't cut it. Why? The bulk of time in group settings drops the majority of power outside of the pertinent ranges. More importantly, the time or power that is dropped in the appropriate range isn't done in a steady state fashion.
If you have trouble quantifying your strengths, reproducing efforts specific to yielding a results, or cant put the tactical and training part together, call me or email me at Patrick@getyourpowerup.com