Sprinting Training



Iv just started practicing sprinting and at the moment my sprint on slight downhills is 60kph and on flat(not purely flat) 50kph. this is not on smooth roads (semi smooth). is this good or bad?im not built like a sprinter but want a competitive sprint.
By the sounds of it you don't have the best sprint. Most C grade racers at my club reach about 61km/hr with a smooth flat and slight headwind finish. Most of them don't have a sprinter's build. I got to 72km/hr in that race(sorry im boasting a bit here :p).

Tips ive been given/read and used:

1.When sprint training pick out something like a sign and accerlerate towards it so when u reach the sign ure doing about 150rpm(make sure u choose a gear that allows you to reach this cadence) and hold for about 10-15 seconds. Do this on a flat road. Increase the gear you use once you start reaching over 160rpm.

2. Do explosive weights. Better that you consult a gym instuctor or similar than me trying to explain it. I can't vouch for this yet because i didn't get to test how much faster my sprint was after i started weights(i got injured).

3. Go out with a some mates and pick out something to sprint for. This basically simulates a race finish. You learn how to follow a wheel and when to jump. With sprinting it's also about tactics. In the above race even though i got to the top speed i still came second. The guy who won jumped 100m earlier than i expected, i had to close a 15m gap and battle a headwind. He told me he maxed at 69km/h and beat me by about 1/2 a metre. So timing is important.

4. Find out whether you're better at accelerating at the jump or better at the second kick(when u put your ass in the saddle and spin like crazy). My mate who got 3rd and reached 61km/hr can hold that for up to 500m but has got a poor jump. When we practice sprints if he jumps at 400m he'll beat me every time because im better at accelerating to top speed then i can only hold it for about 250meters then i blow up. To counter this i usually allow him to pass then drop in behind him and jump with 100m to go(as above tactics and timing).
So if you're better at accelerating jump later(prefferably with a leadout) and if your better at the second kick jump a bit earlier.

5. Ride the Track. It will help with legspeed and pedal technique and handling. Also gives you experience with bunch sprinting.

Ah thats about it

Happy sprinting ;D
thanks jonny, you sound like a Major Sprinter to me mate.
unfortunately i dont train with any one so i sprint on my own.
what speed difference can a leadout make?. thanks for the tips
It depends on how fast/large your leadout is.
Try using cars/trucks as leadouts for training(This is VERY DANGEROUS but awesome for getting the legs spinning and topend speed).Once you're comfortably spinning behind jump and pull out of the draft.

Att: Moderator
If you find the above technique inappropriate and irresponsible to be posted on the forum please feel free to delete this message.

I got to 72km/hr in that race(sorry im boasting a bit here :p).
that is super fast. did you have a lead out ? could you reach this speed whithout one.

iv actually increased my slight downhill sprint to 67 kph :), whith a lead out though. i think i can get to 70 soon. :)
Not really with a leadout. The guy infront of me was going about 30km/h when i had to jump to try and catch the guy who won the race.
To tell you the truth i've never had a good leadout in a race, mainly because everyone is on my **** wanting a leadout. :D
When im out training doing sprints on the flat i get to 65-68 km/h consistently on a road a bit rougher than the race course.
You always seem to go a bit faster in races. 8)
I'm sorry...

So does this mean you guys are reaching over 40 miles an hour on your bike?

I understand the conversion of km to miles to be:
1 m = 1.6 k

I don't see it. I have never gone over 33 mph or 52.80 kmph on my bike. And, that was down hill with a tail wind.

*Feels quite inadequate after just finishing first sprint distance triathlon with a bike at half that speed*

Yes, this is maximal effort for about 200m not a 20km bike leg in a triathlon.

thats the right conversion persistence. KPH is the one to use MPH is for old or english dudes ;D.

I can reach 64kph max in a sprint, i cant yet do what johny does (72 kph) though johny sounds like a Major sprinter ;D, hope to get up to that speed in a sprint soon when my knee is %100 then i can train properly

Whats your average speed in your tri leg?. The A graders in my club have averages of 40kph over a 50k cource which has 2 good hills in it and the rest is flatish (not smooth road)
this is in a largish (for aus) pack. Can you draft in triathlon?
A mate and I were soing some sprinting training on a slight incline at Kyalami ( a racetrack that they allow cyclists to train on). We were maxing out at 70. A local pro decided to join us in one and pulled out about a 7m gap between us in about 100m. This guy must have been doing around 73 - 74kmh on an incline. Impressive.

We do a downhill sprint in our morning rides so we get really good speeds before having to tuck in. My best so far (pedalling) has been around 82 while we managed a 93kmh drafting each other once. (That is scarey fast) :eek: Oh, the bunch consisted of about 7 guys and everyone was hoofing off the back and going to the front.
You could use some form of imagery to develop your sprint. Even if you have sprint ability, you need to be able to react to people around you. This includes:

1. Jumping when someone else jumps.
2. deciding when to jump yourself.

Remember the recovery rates involved in sprinting. A single explosive jump of 10 seconds will take 2 1/2 minutes to recover from (at submaximal intensities). A single explosive sprint mainatined for 45 minues will take 15 minutes to recover from (at submaximal intensities).

Remember that if you sprint once, you will need to rest for the above times to be able to sprint again with the same intensity.

True sprints last only 10 seconds and any effort over 60 seconds is considered endurance. Therefore there are very few true sprints in road races and none in a triathlon or TT. This is because of the energy systems used.
Gear Grinder,

Once again, I missed your response and question.  I am sorry.  I don't come to this forum too often because I often wind up talking to myself because all of you guys are asleep. :)  It usually takes a few days for me to see anything new.

Well, in kph, my top tri-race time has been *doing conversion* about 30 kph.   That is for about *conversion delay again* 28 km.  So, still rather slow.  But, that was my first race.  I have another one here soon and look forward to improving my time.  The last race was VERY hilly.  I think most people had a 25 kph average because of the constant hills.  Can't exactly get in your aeros for very long.  And, absolutely NO DRAFTING in tri races.  You are required to keep at least 6 bike lengths back from the person in front of you and you have to stay away from the press vehicles, otherwise you could be accused of drafting off of them, as well.  It is VERY illegal and can get you booted with too many infractions.  You also can't keep someone from passing you by increasing your speed while they are trying to pass you.  You are actually, on USAT rules, required to drop back and LET them overtake you if they are attempting to.  BUT, you can't spend more than 15 secs trying to pass someone.  It must be a clear and outright takeover.  (15 secs is plenty of time, though)  And, NO riding on the left side.  Everyone MUST keep to the right, unless passing.

In other words, if you are creeping up on someone and might possibly enter their draft zone, you either need to slow down, or speed up to pass them. I found this a problem when encountering slow hill climbers. And, there were several people that I would play "yo-yo" with. I would pass them, they would pass me, then I would pass them again, etc. Kind of annoying.
To get an idea of what the  really good pro triathletes are doing out there...

For Ironman distances at Kona:
180 km at about a 42 kph average

that is after swimming almost in the ocean 4 km in about 45 minutes, and before running 42 km (26 miles) at a pace of 6 minutes per mile.

They aren't human, I tell ya!

*edited because I put kph instead of minutes per mile*

Here in SA we've got the Energade 5FM Triathlon series. I did one last year as part of a team of 3. I did the 20km (12mile) leg at a 30km/h pace (this was my first race ever and my team was competeing with another). A big help on the day was the drafting rule that applies to you guys does not apply to us in this series. I drafted most of the bike leg. Fortunately I did some sprint training the 2 weeks before this.

On the sprint training: I don't do the sprint thing in races. The groups in which I finish usually does not involve sprinting (to far back ;) ). Should I include sprints? (My coaching manual says so!) What advantages will sprinting have even if we don't do sprints.
I have found that, so far, training on a hilly route is making me stronger and faster. And, riding with a more advanced buddy will force you to figure out how to get faster (it has for me). I will probably begin spin classes and weight training when it gets colder and I am sure that I will see a difference there, too.

Don't have any real experience in training for sprint (other than sprint distance tri). But, jonny has said everything that I know...so, I don't know what more else there is to do.

But, I would definitely do it in a race, if you know that you can keep your strength on the run. It depends on if you are doing tri and what distances you are doing.

The trick to sprint distance tris is speed and power (so, definitely sprint). The trick to longer distance tris is efficiency, pace, and endurance. But, having said that, I have seen people sprinting the last mile or so because they are neck and neck...even after swimming 2 or 3 miles and riding 100 miles.

I know two brothers. They both do half ironman distances. One keeps a steady pace, which is slower than his brother. The other always pushes hard on the bike and then dies 3 miles into the run. You will almost always see the pace setting brother overtake his burst of speed, power brother at about mile 6 on the run...so, there you go.