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Track Cycling Training Periods

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A simple training plan that will get you well on your way to Track Cycling success can be summarised into Seven phases - Base (Endurance), Speed, Power, Technique, Taper, Peak and the all-important Recovery periods.

We will provide a basic guide to each of these phases here -

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Base (Endurance) Training

All Track Cyclists, yes even Sprinters, need to do some Base (Endurance) Training at the beginning of any training period. Just like Road Cyclists we have to brave the bad weather in the off-season and complete long moderate pace rides to prepare our bodies for the new season.

It's not all bad news though, we are not talking the endless hours of road work that Road Cyclists amass in the winter, no, for Sprinters 3-4 hour rides are perfect and for Track Cyclists who specialise in the longer events such as Points Races, Madison and even 4km Pursuits etc aim for 4-5 hours.

Commuting

The shorter days make Base Training in the Winter difficult, if possible use your bike to commute to work, the British Government even have the Cycle to Work Policy to provide low cost bikes to encourage this, contact us for more information.

Fixed Gear Road Work

An excellent addition to your base training, most Alloy Track Bikes have the ability to fit brakes and with some priced as low as £300-£400 you could even buy a bike specifically for this purpose. Ideally you will have a double-sided hub so you can switch between a Fixed and Singlespeed Freewheel Sprocket.

Training Holidays: The winter weather in most countries is depressing, save up for a training 'holiday' in a sunny place. A popular destination for European Track Cyclists is Mallorca that even has velodromes available for use.

Indoor Training

It's amazing how many Track Cyclists use Rollers (and less so Turbo Trainers) just for warming up at the Velodrome and not as part of training. We can all make time for a 30 minute roller ride either before and/or after work every day, it may only seem like 30 minutes but it all adds up come race day!

For days when the weather really does prevent you riding (tough it out in the rain but avoid Fog, and say no to Ice and Snow) just turn the music up loud and jump on the Rollers for as long possible.

Off-Season Racing

We don't just race to race, we can use racing as training not just for fitness but also for tactical experiments, gear/setup experiments. Your legs maybe heavy and the track cough may sting more than usual but grin and bear it, you will reap the rewards come the events that matter. Just look at the performances of British Cycling at the Olympics compared to elsewhere!

Have Fun

Use Base Training as a chance to blast away the cobwebs, go off-roading on Mountain Bikes (it'll help your handling), climb some mountains whether on your bike or hiking, go swimming or basically anything to stay fit in addition to your cycling.

Base Training throughout the Season

Don't just restrict your longer rides to winter, make sure a 2-3 hour moderate pace ride is on the agenda at least once a month throughout the season, just throw in some intervals specific to your training period (see our No Velodrome, No Problem training guide).

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Recovery Periods

It doesn't matter how hard you train, if you do not factor in and observe dedicated periods of Recovery in your training your body will not physically be capable of performing at the high levels you are asking of it.

Recovery can be classified as three different types -

Complete Rest - Absolutely no Cycling or Training just REST!

Active Recovery -“ A slower than base pace ride in a very easy gear lasting either one hour (Road) or thirty minutes (Rollers/Track). Great to use the day after a hard evenings Track League, you could even schedule this as an easy ride with the kids, a small grocery shop or coffee stop in your normal clothes etc to increase that relaxed feel.

In-Training Recovery (aka the Sprinters Picnic) - Between efforts on the track, after you have been sick from training so hard! Change your gear etc (if needed) then put your feet up, re-fuel and rest until your next effort. It is important to time your rest intervals to ensure you get the correct training/rest balance. Don't forget to stretch, it prevents injuries and promotes relaxation all part of the most important part of your training recovery.

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Speed Training

All Track Cyclists require an ability to sprint, be it for Points in a Madison or Points Race, to accelerate at a high speed in a Sprint or even to launch a 'Chris Hoy' style Keirin speed endurance attack Click Here for more information.

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Power Training

Strength is every Track Cyclists friend, you know the friend that once you've met its great and they'll never let you down, but you are the one that makes the effort to meet up and maintain the friendship, which obviously hurts like hell! Click Here for more information.

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Technique Training

Although not really a training phase it is extremely important to dedicate time to perfecting the technical aspects of Track Cycling. Whilst obviously essential by this we do not mean Mechanics and Maintenance tasks, we are referring to your general riding style, event tactics, bike positioning and technique for aspects of Track Cycling like Standing Starts, 200m TTs, Team Sprint/Pursuit/Madison Changes Click Here for more information.

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Taper-Peak

Tapering refers to the practice of reducing training in the days just before an important competition. A significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more. During this period it is not unusual for training to consistent of purely Rest and Active Recovery sessions with maybe a Leg Speed session to wake your legs up for competition.

Just before your taper period training should increase in intensity with a race simulation effort just before you taper. You peak is then the resultant form obtaining from tapering down after weeks and months of hard training. The length of your peak in form is purely dependent on what have trained it do be and how well you look after yourself in terms of health and recovery.