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-   -   Sprint training in traffic (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1220555)

cubewheels 12-31-20 07:10 AM

Sprint training in traffic
 
I've doing more serious training on my sprints lately as I've made some big changes to my sprint posture, which considerably reduce aero drag. I'm particularly training to get used to my new posture, adapt and get comfortable to it and improve power output at the posture.

As some of you already know, the vast majority of my training happens within city bounds, on regular road lanes with vehicular traffic (only few bike lanes available). Sprint training became problematic as my speed improved considerably. The common problem is I often run out of road to accelerate, had to hit maximum brakes for the red light or accelerating to higher speeds than the cars which is pretty dangerous.

Seems like I can manage so far. Should I continue doing the relatively dangerous practice or are there better and SAFER things to do it in traffic?? Max effort braking is also dangerous, sometimes my rear wheel loses traction even if I'm already lightly tapping the rear brake. I can get the bike under control but it looks embarrassing to be skidding a bit. It makes motorists very nervous.

Cycletography 12-31-20 08:29 AM

It's all a matter of risk tolerance and cost / benefit analysis. I also do a lot of riding within city limits and agree that riding faster than cars tilts in favor of "risk" rather than "reward", therefore more potential cost than real benefit. It takes a lot of focus to ride aggressively in trafic and there's a lot out of your direct control. Even if you do everything right things can go wrong without notice. I understand that your options may be limited, but I'd look for better territory to do your sprint training.

Carbonfiberboy 12-31-20 10:16 AM

Quoting myself, "One injury can ruin your whole season." Or end your life of course. I commuted in heavy downtown traffic when I was 18. I was very careful and still had some close calls, including going headfirst into a telephone pole at 20mph, no helmet. There weren't helmets back then. My advice is to be careful and figure that survival is the best you can do. There's more to life than sprint training.

caloso 12-31-20 10:44 AM

I read somewhere that Manila has the worst traffic in the world. Is there any way to ride out of the city center and more into the country?

Iride01 12-31-20 12:34 PM

You do what you have to do. And hope you live through it to an old age.

Personally it's too crazy for me at my age to be doing what you do. I did too much other stupid stuff while younger and somehow made it to my sixties with not much permanent physical damage.

cubewheels 12-31-20 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by caloso (Post 21856416)
I read somewhere that Manila has the worst traffic in the world. Is there any way to ride out of the city center and more into the country?

I already ventured out of the city in 360 degree directions. The traffic situation isn't any better :(

Traffic situation gets ideal 30 miles away (and outside the city) in some places but realistically, I don't have time to do >60 miles everyday or even just once a week (more like once a month opportunity only for me) to get to safe sprint training spots. That's 4 hr commute to me due to heavy / slow traffic.

We do have plenty of steep hills in the city with light traffic where I also practice sprinting but it definitely feels quite different, especially the bike handling at dramatically different speeds. And also the perceived effort due to different body angle, due to the uphill gradient vs flat.

cubewheels 12-31-20 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by Cycletography (Post 21856244)
It's all a matter of risk tolerance and cost / benefit analysis. I also do a lot of riding within city limits and agree that riding faster than cars tilts in favor of "risk" rather than "reward", therefore more potential cost than real benefit. It takes a lot of focus to ride aggressively in trafic and there's a lot out of your direct control. Even if you do everything right things can go wrong without notice. I understand that your options may be limited, but I'd look for better territory to do your sprint training.

This place is full of ironies. We have a long stretch of road in the city, about 10 km without traffic stops, the traffic reaches 60 kph and is light to medium, might have been good enough for sprint training if the surface isn't bumpy and clean enough :crash:


Even if you do everything right things can go wrong without notice.
You're absolutely right about this.

cubewheels 12-31-20 07:22 PM


Originally Posted by Iride01 (Post 21856577)
You do what you have to do. And hope you live through it to an old age.

Personally it's too crazy for me at my age to be doing what you do. I did too much other stupid stuff while younger and somehow made it to my sixties with not much permanent physical damage.

It's crazy and a bit stressing to me as well. Curiousity is a driving factor. I'd like to join some amateur races eventually and I'm trying to figure out my strengths and weaknesses in different aspects of road cycling.

cubewheels 12-31-20 07:49 PM


Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 21856371)
Quoting myself, "One injury can ruin your whole season." Or end your life of course.

I agree. I'll have to think about it.


There's more to life than sprint training.
When I used to have more to life, I wouldn't even think of commuting with a bicycle!

I should probably back off a bit, for the sake of other road users.

spelger 01-01-21 02:13 PM

Try a different time of day maybe?

Hermes 01-01-21 03:52 PM

CW, I think you need to state a goal. Work on sprinting is too vague. How will you use the sprint power? Will it be in a criterium to win a bunch sprint or from a break away? Or do you want to drop drafters in heavy traffic by sprinting?

IMO, sprinting, for any duration , in dense traffic does not sound very solid to me. I would not do it. If you want to discuss how to sprint and train to sprint, I can offer some help and we can come up with possible terrain in Manila that may work for sprint training to improve your final sprint speed and jump.

cubewheels 01-01-21 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by Hermes (Post 21858219)
CW, I think you need to state a goal. Work on sprinting is too vague. How will you use the sprint power? Will it be in a criterium to win a bunch sprint or from a break away? Or do you want to drop drafters in heavy traffic by sprinting?

IMO, sprinting, for any duration , in dense traffic does not sound very solid to me. I would not do it. If you want to discuss how to sprint and train to sprint, I can offer some help and we can come up with possible terrain in Manila that may work for sprint training to improve your final sprint speed and jump.

Sometimes I do it to chase green traffic lights. But mostly, it's just trying to reach the highest speed I could in between intersections. Usually less than 500 meters, from a standing start.

I don't expect to reach crazy speeds. I only weigh 122 to 124 lbs. Not the best weight for someone to very competitive at sprinting but I'd like to be prepared for anything in road cycling. I sprint in a very low posture. As low as Caleb Ewans but NOT in the the same extreme forward position (which would be suicidal in the streets of Manila). That very low position to make up for my relatively low power output. I'm also trying to gain a bit of weight and I've already gained a few lbs (I used to only weigh 119 lbs).

I'd like to hear your suggestions on possible places in Manila and I'll go check it out.

Hermes 01-02-21 12:05 AM

I cannot help with doing repeated 500 meter efforts between traffic lights. You are on your own.

By definition, sprints are approximately 200 meter maximum efforts and generally around 20 pedal strokes. Road bunch sprints are done with lead outs and the sprinter knows his mark when to start sprinting and what gear to be in. This is practiced by finding a hill with flat section at the bottom and the hill is used as the lead out. The training is to simulate the lead out and then sprint for 200 meters. I am sure there are a some hills in Manila that flatten out where this could be possible. In general, most cities do not have good spots for doing this type of sprint training, but you said you had steeper hills so I suspect there will be one that will work for this workout. Rest is 20 minutes between sprints. Maybe you do 4 of these in one workout.

Another way to build strength and acceleration (great for dropping drafters) :D is to roll up to a flatter spot at the start of a grade and do a max 10 second seated effort (you do not go very fast but you peddle as hard as you can). Put the bike in a big gear and then seated and in the drops, stomp on the pedals and begin to accelerate. As you climb the hill it gets harder. The effort is 10 seconds. Once again, these could be done in sets with longer rest periods between. We do these at the 250 track and finish the effort by climbing the 45 degree banking and then dive off.

I know some excellent sprinters who are smaller in stature. Sprinting is about strength and fast twitch muscle fiber and proper training.

What you describe is more of a 500 meter time trial not a sprint. Yes, it has sprint elements to it. I am a 500 meter trackie specialist and I would not do repeated 500 meter efforts to train. I might do 3 x 500 meter roll up efforts over a 3 hour track session. Normal sprint training for the 500 is flying 100 to 150 meter max efforts at the track.

The goal of sprint training is maximum effort and maximum speed. By definition, it only works in very select urban areas and most local roadies know where the good spots are for sprint training that are safe and offer the terrain to get a sprint workout.

cubewheels 01-02-21 01:52 AM


Originally Posted by Hermes (Post 21858750)
but you said you had steeper hills so I suspect there will be one that will work for this workout. Rest is 20 minutes between sprints. Maybe you do 4 of these in one workout.

There's one in a route I take with 20 minute loop. I can only do two of these early in the morning before the traffic gets too heavy for safe training. I can only do 4 or more loops in the weekends where there's no morning rush hour traffic.


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