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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Gaining Sprint Power in Off Season

    I just finished my first year of racing. I went Cat 5 -> Cat 3, and I not once won an individual stage. I'm 5'9" and I floated around 75kg throughout the season. My peak powers this season:

    Instantaneous -- 1205
    5 sec -- 1096
    1 min -- 632
    5 min -- 395
    10 min -- 341
    20 min -- 329
    40k TT Power -- 327

    Almost all of these are in race scenario, but the 5sec/instantaneous were from me trying really hard to get sprint power during training. Last year I did almost entirely z2 base in the off season. My CTL floated around 110 for 6 months. Valleys were high 90s, peak was 116. What should I do this off season to make my short power better? Or should I just double down on going long, getting lean, and focus on stage racing?

  2. #2
    Cycling Coach
    Reputation: Alex_Simmons/RST's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Peak power responds to freshness.
    Peak power responds to specific training.
    Peak power declines with fatigue.

    If you never permit sufficient freshness or do enough specific training, then you can't really expect to improve peak power.

    As to what racing you should do, well surely that's up to you and your personal preferences?

    In racing the idea is not to be the best sprinter, just the best sprinter of those remaining in the race. That means being crafty all through the race and in the finale as much as having the physiological attributes.

  3. #3
    The Slow One.
    Reputation: Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    Alex is right on here- it's all about what you're focusing on.

    I will say this: you're new. Work on everything, because you really don't know where you're going to excel in the log run. Also, you may find yourself trained into a corner if you focus on one area too much.

    I certainly did. I worked really hard on my short-duration power, and by the time the season rolled around I could come around most people in the local area. However, they figured out I was weak in longer-duration power and started opening up "sprints" far from the line at power levels I couldn't sustain (even tucked in the draft). I could easily open a gap for a breakaway which they couldn't follow, but I could never make it stick for very long. I neglected my diesel in my quest for a peak, and I paid for it- over and over.

    My suggestion? Build your diesel and keep your eyes open. When you're not completely gassed, you'll better be able to read races and learn from the experiences- even if you can't follow the winning moves. All I learn from bleeding out of my eyes is that it hurts. Racecraft is more than having a big engine.

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