• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

Last night, I spent the evening at the Forest City Velodrome in London, ON. I travel from Toronto 1.75 hours to London to train on the track.  I do the Wednesday night training session weekly through the winter. It's a long drive, but I'm there for about 3 hours, so I get a fair amount of training in. It's always a GoodTM workout - thanks to Rob Good, the guy that runs the show.

I learned a few things last night. One item was to go easy on the first two laps of a flying 500m. A flying 500m not a flying 750m. Track has many events, and we don't always have time to practice all of them, so sometimes I just wing it - albeit incorrectly. Secondly, spin, dammit, spin. Training on the track should start with an 80 or even a 75 gear inch gear set to get the legs spinning as fast as possible. I can do 200RPM on rollers, but on the track I currently top out at 135RPM. I need to the cadence up to become more efficient. One does this even if it means getting dropped during training. It is about leg speed and liking to spin.

One of my long standing problems is take-off power. I just don't have the kick other sprinters do. On the road and on the track, when everyone else takes off, I just can't seem to get the pedals around faster enough initially to latch onto their wheel. When we do standing starts on the track, it is infinitely evident that I just don't have the same kick. On race night, when we do the Last Man Standing race, I'm usually one of the first ones out. The Last Man Standing is a race from a standing start where you go all out until someone passes you. It is embarrassing when some 14 year old girl passes you after only 2/3 of a lap into the race.

Last night, Rob Good took me aside and suggested that I needed to work on my pedal stroke. The dead spots at the top and bottom of my pedal stroke are robbing me of power on take off. This is the first time in the four years or so of cycling someone has indicated why I can't get up to speed as fast as others and that someone explained why one leg intervals are important. Go figure.

To correct the problem: do one foot pedalling intervals for control on a road bike on a trainer. Basically, the interval set is as follows:
  • Warm up
  • In a light gear, pedal left foot only for 30 secs.
  • Right foot for for 30 secs
  • Pedal both feet for 1 min and repeat five times.
  • Pedal freely for 5 mins and repeat the entire procedure for as long as the workout session.
The idea is control, not intensity. The gear should be light enough so the chain is kind of loose so when the pedals go around, the cyclist has to control the stroke so the chain does not go slack and/or some coasting starts. Apparently, I should be utter various four letter expletives until I figure out how to get the pedals all the way around. This is part of the training.

So, it was a GoodTM session last night. I learned a few things and spend almost 2.5 hrs riding doing some hard interval sets.  I'm looking forward to getting on the training an evening out the the pedal stroke. Maybe, the initial kick will improve me sprint power and I'll stop getting dropped by guys 1/4 my age on the track.

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