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Power sprints

power-sprintsAim of Session

All-out sprints at the end of a 1 min high intensity block 

Session description

WU: A good, 15 to 20 minute warm-up needed before MS, not included in session time

MS: 1 min of zone 5, then sprint for 15s. 5 reps with 5 mins easy pedalling between each. 10 mins between multiple sets

 

 

 

Physiology

A mixed intensity session to develop your ability to sprint when already under a high degree of metabolic stress. One minute in zone 5 will cause an accumulation of (amongst others) lactate, ammonia and hydrogen ions in the blood and muscle - these are all by-products that are known to indicate increased levels of fatigue. The subsequent sprint is then performed in metabolic conditions that may impair muscle function. 

Application for the Rider

An advanced level sprinting session, designed to provide a race specific workout. Winning a sprint is about much more than a high peak power. Positioning is vital to enable you to be in contention for the race finish - the biggest peak power in the bunch is useless if you find yourself boxed in and unable to use it. Maintaining your position close to the front of the bunch or making the effort to move up in the final kilometer will likely require a significant effort, this session prepares you to be able to still produce a decent sprint after such an effort.

A typical progression may see you working on your peak power in isolation earlier in the season, before a period working at race pace using zone 5 workouts, before finally putting both together in the final weeks before your goal event.

Practicalities and tips!

  • Consider performing this session in the finishing stretch of your target race course or use known landmarks to give yourself an imaginary finishing line.
  • Try to incorporporate similar terrain to that in your target races - performing this session on the flat or uphill offers differing challenges to muscular recruitment.

Evaluation of the session

  • Make a note of your peak power and average power for the one minute block. As you get better your peak power should increase but try to keep the zone 5 effort at a similar power.
  • Compare your sprint efforts with sessions you may have done previously for developing your sprint in isolation. Are the peaks and rate of fatigue similar? Again feed this into your race strategy - this session is great for learning what you can and can't get away with at the end of a race.