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Does It Make Sense To Start The Season Off in A Small Gear?

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Does It Make Sense To Start The Season Off in A Small Gear?

Old 03-19-20, 10:19 AM
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colnago62
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Does It Make Sense To Start The Season Off in A Small Gear?

Back when I started on the track in the 80ís, we were instructed to spend a few weeks in 84 inch gear to work on legs speed and probably a few other things (I was young and didnít pay attention). Old habits die hard, but now at 58, does that make sense anymore?
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Old 03-19-20, 12:17 PM
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What season?

It's my understanding that peak leg speed diminishes with age, all else equal. I also know that high cadence drills are helpful. Perhaps running a comparatively small gear would be appropriate? Meaning, if you raced on a 90" in the 80's, you were training high cadence 6" lower. If you now race on a 94", slap on an 88" and see how it feels.
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Old 03-19-20, 04:49 PM
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I usually use undergear for speed training after my strength (overgear) and power (race gear) are set and just prior to an event. Though sometimes I do switch it up and go overgear/undergear within the same session, but the old "start the season on a small gear" is out for me. You've been weight training all winter, right?
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Old 03-19-20, 10:40 PM
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Leg speed can be trained in parallel, and later, but it's really needed

Invest you time on this video called "Science of Speed", from Jim Martin, and pay attention to the activation and relaxation time thing, related to efficient cadence, etc.
You will get that it's important, the leg speed work, but can be fixed later on the training process
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Old 03-20-20, 02:07 PM
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colnago62
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
I usually use undergear for speed training after my strength (overgear) and power (race gear) are set and just prior to an event. Though sometimes I do switch it up and go overgear/undergear within the same session, but the old "start the season on a small gear" is out for me. You've been weight training all winter, right?
Yes, I have. I think I will bump my gear up a little for the longer intervals. Given the current situation, this is a good year to experiment.
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Old 03-20-20, 02:08 PM
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colnago62
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Originally Posted by Clythio View Post
Invest you time on this video called "Science of Speed", from Jim Martin, and pay attention to the activation and relaxation time thing, related to efficient cadence, etc.
You will get that it's important, the leg speed work, but can be fixed later on the training process
https://youtu.be/5i9DtIFi9pM
just watched a few minutes. It sounds very interesting. I am going to sit down and watch the rest this weekend.
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Old 04-10-20, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nosaad View Post
What season?

It's my understanding that peak leg speed diminishes with age, all else equal. I also know that high cadence drills are helpful. Perhaps running a comparatively small gear would be appropriate? Meaning, if you raced on a 90" in the 80's, you were training high cadence 6" lower. If you now race on a 94", slap on an 88" and see how it feels.
I'm not so sure about that. I've also spent time as a track and field sprinter. Research there showed that leg speed of an elite sprinter and a 90-year old woman did not vary significantly. What did happen was stride length decreased and time the feet stayed on the ground increased.

As a 66yo, I can still hit 220 with a light load when I want to, but I consider it more of a parlor trick, since the power behind the high cadence is no longer there.
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Old 04-10-20, 11:18 AM
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There are a few things that low gear work does for you in the early season.

As mentioned previously it helps your opposing muscles work more efficiently between relaxing and contracting. If they are not working efficiently they will fight each other reducing power and increasing the chance of a pulled muscle.

It will also improve your hip stability. If you bounce you are flexing your hips too much, so we imagine a bolt through our hips attached to the saddle as we work to reduce bounce at high cadence.

And it will help strengthen your lower back -- see the recent back pain thread -- so it is better prepared to handle the higher loads as the season progresses.
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