Standing sprint technique help needed

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jitteringjr, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. jitteringjr

    jitteringjr New Member

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    I have been doing sprint intervals starting at the bottom of hills. When I do them standing, the torque I put on the crank (especially the left leg coming back up from 6 to 12 o'clock) is causing my rear wheel to lift up and free spin. Am I leaning too far forward? What can I do to prevent this while still using all my strength for the sprint?
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    If you are a Road Racer its more common to do these from a flying start as they replicate what happens in a real race (i.e. coming off a wheel). Having said that its a perfectly valid and effective training technique for almost all diciplines.

    Anyway, you could try leaning further back or pulling up with the arms; both techniques have the same effect of applying greater force through the rear wheel onto the floor. Alternativly you could start from a slight roll or on the flat/slight downhill before the hill; this would alow you to accelerate faster and there to be less wheel spin. Puting lots of lateral forces on the bike will also make the wheel spin; try keeping your bike and all forces that you apply to it in a straight line. You could reduce the pressure in your rear wheel to increase traction/friction and prevent the wheel sliping.

    My other suggestion is that you might be lifting the wheel up because you are pulling up 'too much' with the 'resting' leg. Although when accelerating pulling up isn't allways a bad thing, if you focus on pushing down instead this may help you keep the rear wheel on the floor.

    I hope this helps, if it doesn't try watching, studying and copying track 1km or olympic sprint riders. These produce the highest forces from a standstill, with high pressure tyres often on relativly smooth wood, yet with very little/no wheel spin.
     
  3. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Opps, sorry, thought you were doing them from a standing start and was having trouble at the start.

    If your wheel is sliping all the way up the slope it may be due to the surface/tyres, the wrong gear or as you suggested leaning too far forward. If you look at pantani or armstrong climbing the place a lot of weight over the back wheel even though they have contrasting styles (i.e. pantani prefering the drops and armstrong the hoods when standing).
     
  4. jitteringjr

    jitteringjr New Member

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    Thanks,

    I should have been more specific. I keep my hands on the hoods when standing so I can shift as needed. I start out rolling at 18-20 mph in about a 53-19? (whatever is the third gear down on a 11-23) and shift up 2 gears (53-15?) and try to hit between 25-30 mph depending on the hill.

    Also, my right knee is the one I had surgery one 2 years ago and I might be a little chicken to fully exert it compaired to the left and that is why I'm lifting the rear when the left leg pulls up.

    Obviously I want my right leg as powerful as my left so I'm working on that aspect. With that being a given, should I hold my hands on the drops? on the handle bar where the stem attaches to it? Use a different gear?
     
  5. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    I hope thats not a big steep hill!!! I wouldn't like to meet you in a road race!!!
    That makes sense, have you seen a physio and got the OK? Although I don't normaly recomend one leg cycling (or ILT) it may help you in your rehabilitation by isolating the right leg and forcing your self to use it. No doubt J-MAT (the worlds biggest ILT fan and fellow dodgy kneed cyclist :) ;) ) could give you some advice.
    You could give it a try to see if you get more weight over the back of your bike and/or more 'pull' on the bars.
    This would be dificult when standing as it would make you very unstable, its perhaps the best option for long seated climbs though.
    Although a different gear would fix the problem, I don't think it would be a good idea as it would change the nature of the training session.

    As your left leg is more powerful its likely to exert more force on the bike than the right, this may cause the back wheel to move about. Try to keep the lateral forces to a minimum or provide an equal but opposite force from the right hand side.
     
  6. jitteringjr

    jitteringjr New Member

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    I live in Richmond not the Pyrenees mountains of France. The slopes are not real steep and they don't last long. Also, I have a weight lifting and football (American) background. I can explode but I last as long as most explosions. My endurance is a different story; I'm sure you would have no problem with me in any bike race. Besides the only bike races I have ever done are triathlons, so I have no experience in groups.

    Yes and actually when they strapped me into the test machine, my right was about 2% stronger than the good leg. But I do tend to favor it. Going through two knee surgeries will do that to you.


    That sounds like a good idea. I'm going to try pulling more on today's ride as well as stomping more on the right.

    Thanks
     
  7. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Jitteringjr:

    I had the same problem. Here is what I did to get through it and start winning races.

    You are most likely a big guy like me and can probably rep out a bunch of 450lbs squats and curl "the stack" with your hamstrings. Good news is these weights made you super powerful, a trait some cyclists never achieve. Bad news is you are loosing the power as your wheel comes off the pavement a couple of inches, not to mention you go anaerobic very quickly (a normal condition as larger muscles require more O2). Now for the best news, all can be fixed/retrained.

    1. Try sprinting in your drops and make sure you bring your knees up and in rather than out. Hill sprinting on your hoods combined with a pedal stroke that brings your knees "out" will bring any wheel off the ground. With your knees in, you will drive even more power to your down stroke and traction to your rear tire. Keep your back near flat and glutes over the nose of your saddle.

    2. Control your power! What you are doing is a "burn out" of types. You are throwing so much power at your drive train that it is "jumping or skipping along", sort of like an SS Camaro with a 457 engine, pop the clutch and the wheels spin out. Lay down your power strokes in the saddle first, get up to 22-25mph then explode out. Your leg speed (spin) will be so fast that your need to pull the pedal up will be compromised, thus encouraging a more fluid sprint. If you still skip your wheel, you are not going fast enough when you jump out of the saddle.

    Sounds like you got what it takes to scare the heck out of some racers during a crit. Try doing some crit races in addition to your Tri work as this will also help you train your lactic and anaerobic thresholds.
     
  8. jitteringjr

    jitteringjr New Member

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    I like the knees in way. I'm going to try it on my next interval day.

    The starting the sprint seated and spinning it up is something I'll use when I start racing, but for training it defeats the purpose. I'm going to concentrate on form and when its really needed (ie the race) I'll heed the rest of your advice.

    Thanks

    PS since the last Knee surgery, the DOC said no more squats, ever, just presses so no more 405# squats (no type-o 4, plates per side is where I maxed at), although for me at my best, 3 was considered a 'bunch' those sucked BTW
     
  9. shaneo

    shaneo New Member

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    sounds like you have more than enough power.....you just need to 'unfurl' your sprint in a more controlled and even manner....remember the bike is only going to replicate the force that you deliver....sprinting correctly requires a controlled effort depending on the conditions....for example in a hill sprint ( such as the one you are training ) break the hill into three sections.....on the first section apply power to get your pedal speed, but dont give it all up at this point.....on the second section you should be looking for a harder gear and continuing to accelerate....the last third you should have the bike going flat out and looking to empty the legs.....but if you have judged it right, you should be able to get over the top of the rise at full speed.....if you have given it up to early....you will blow yourself up and a smarter rider will easily power over you on the last third of the hill....he may have expended exactly the same amount of energy as you, but he has measured his effort....if you are lifting your back wheel on the start of a hill sprint.....I would guess that you are giving it up to early and wasting energy.....also try sprinting in easier gears and gradually moving to harder gears on each interval....it will educate you on which gear will get you to the top the quickest.....
     
  10. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Jitteringjr:

    One more thing...

    If a "power start" is what you are after, remember, you don't have to be standing to get your bang for your buck. Try power starting in the saddle and keep accelerating up the hill until you empty your legs...a very nice session of pain and suffering.

    CatSpin
     
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