Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel, they all have it - what seems like a natural ability to break away from the peloton and sprint to victory. You may think that some lucky cyclists are born with the innate ability to sprint, and whilst physiology can play a part, we think that everyone has the ability to become a better sprinter.
In this quick guide, we’ll show you why you might want to consider sprint training and give top tips on how to improve your sprint.
Sprinting for amateur cyclists
Almost every cyclist wants to win, whether they admit it or not! It could be a local race, a stage of a multi-day sportive or simply the cafe sprint, it’s always nice to know that you can beat the competition.
However, there are other benefits to sprint training which you might not have considered:
Sprint training breaks up the monotony of an otherwise repetitive training plan, this invigorates you and gets you motivated to face the next session
Sprint training can improve leg speed, read our recent climbing blog to discover how increased leg speed can improve your climbs
Sprint training can improve your cadence and gear selection, which can help you optimise your power output
Sprint training sessions you can try
If you’re looking to improve your sprint, why not try one of the following sessions? These sessions work best when added to a structured training plan, so you can work on your overall goal of increasing endurance or power, whilst adding that ‘edge’ to get you ahead of the competition.
Top tip - these sessions are high intensity, so we recommend the 20 minute warm up as the perfect way to prepare
5 x 30 seconds at 110rpm, with 1 min rest at 90rpm - work up to 3 sets (5 minutes rest at 90rpm between sets)
8 x 25 seconds at 115rpm, with 1 min rest at 90rpm - work up to 3 sets (5 minutes rest at 90rpm between sets)
12 x 20 seconds at 120rpm, with 40 seconds rest at 90rpm - work up to 3 sets (5 minutes rest at 90rpm between sets)
Top tip - you can find a recommended resistance for you Wattbike using the Pro and Trainer resistance tables, for these sessions your power should be at MMP, or up to 15% higher than MMP.
Our top tips for improving your sprint
Training is a proven way to improve you sprint, however the outcome on the day will be determined by your sprint strategy, we’ve detailed three of the best ways to make sure you’re front of the pack.
Get your timing right
Sprint training should help you learn how much you have to give before you burn out. This is a key piece of insight to use on race day as it will help you judge when is the perfect time to make your break.
Hold your position
When you’ve trained hard for a particular sprint and know you can give it your all, one of the worst things to happen is being blocked by other riders. Find the right position in the peloton as soon as you can. Don’t be so far back that you risk being boxed in, but if you’re at the front, you risk leading other riders in for the win.
Practice, practice, practice
Timing, positioning and gearing are all things you need to master before race day and there is no better way to improve than to practice. Whether it’s a sprint to the cafe on your local club run or a lower level race than the one you’re aiming for, any opportunity to practice sprinting safely in a group will help your race day performance.
Want more training tips and Wattbike sessions? Visit our training advice page.