Best sprint training interval

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by DennistheMennis, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    Hello folks:

    I am trying to improve on, or at least retain as much as possible of, my sprint even as I focus primarily on my 5-minute to 60-minute power. I did a search here and found that my program is probably pretty good already, but thought I'd ask for more specific advice.

    Mostly I train in L4 and L5 every week. But I also add in L7 twice a week, in the form of 10x10-second sprints, with 5 minutes of easy L1 riding between each sprint. I have no trouble recovering from each session, and can usually ride 6x6-minute L5 intervals the next day no problem.

    Recently I discovered that my power drops off quickly after 6 seconds. That would be from my creatine phosphate vaporizing! :eek: I would like to be able to sustain my max power longer, and it seems many people can hold it for more like 8 or even 10 seconds.

    Should I just do 10x6-second sprints based on my short time at max power? Or maybe do 17x6-second sprints, so the total time in L7 is the same, but each second of that time is closer to my 100% power? Or stick with my current 10x10s? Or is muscle hypertrophy the only answer? ;)

    p.s. I am not a big believer in supplementation, but I did start taking creatine a while back, hoping it would help. I didn't have a power meter then, so I can't say if it helped or not. At least I am confident that my brief max power during L7 intervals is not from dietary creatine shortage!
     
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  2. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    What are your goals. Are you training for Sprints on the track, pursuit, points race, criteriums, road races or stage races. Obviously sprinting is a part of each event but the priorities change. At the end of a hard road race stage after 2-3 days of stage racing speed doesn't really factor in it's more who is strongest in the final kilometre. While on the track sprinting and ability to back up 3-10 times a day is paramount.

    Then in your event what is you sprinting like. Is it letting you down and if so how?

    From here we may be able to give some advice.
     
  3. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    Thanks fergie: Since my best power is around 1 minute or less, and I'm only 152 pounds, I am focused on road races with short climbs and slightly uphill sprint finishes. Also secondarily on criteriums; usually technical ones with short hills ideally, though some flat ones too.

    Mostly want to make sure I train sensibly so that I recover quickly without spending too much time in a pseudo-sprint zone. If 6 seconds is enough for me, then I may want to do that instead of sprinting for 10 seconds.
     
  4. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Your in that grey area where pretty much all three energy systems can have an impact on the result. As the types of effort within those durations as a flat sprint is not the same as an uphill sprint.

    If you know the courses you will use and the types of efforts required it's pretty easy to design intervals that match them. Also because road racing and crits involved repeated activity you pretty much need to work interval fashion with incomplete recover rather than doing efforts with full recovery (like a track sprinter would). If you know your sprints are 150m in length then I would find a block of around 1km and do laps around it sprinting hard out of the corner to the line (or marker) and mix these with more aerobic sessions where you sprint out of each corner to prepare yourself for the stop start nature of crits.

    Same for hills. Find some similar hills to the ones you will race on and work on race speed attacks. Start with 1/4 efforts and when you can do 5-6 quality efforts increase to 1/2, the 3/4 and full efforts so you can hit the bunch, win the uphill sprint or force a selection. If you plan to go solo I would work on some TT efforts to ensure you stay away.
     
  5. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    Thanks again, but I see this is straying from my original, quite specific, question. Maybe I should have posted it in the Power Training forum, but I didn't since it is also a general training question.

    I really just want to know if I'm better off training my "L7" power (MMP) by sprinting for 6 seconds at a time, since my CP depletion causes a power drop after that, or if I should stick with 10-second jumps as I currently do. If the former, then should I stay with 10x? Or raise that to 17x so the total time in L7 stays the same? If the latter, then I guess I will just keep training at 10x10-seconds.

    These aren't intended as race simulation, therefore I fully rest between each jump (5 minutes). I use other intervals to train the other energy systems, primarily L5 and L4.
     
  6. fergie

    fergie Active Member

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    Not really. I see it as spending time that could be focussed on training event specific fitness.
     
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