How To Sprint Faster On A Road Bike

How To Sprint Faster On A Road Bike


– At some point in any bike rider’s life, you might want to sprint. Maybe you need to escape
the local stray dog, beat your buddies to the cafe, or maybe even try and win a race. Either way, it’s likely you’ll
want to improve on sprinting. (upbeat music) So in this video, myself and Si, are gonna run you through
three basic training sessions you can do to help improve your sprint. – That’s right. Now before we get started you want to find a quiet stretch of road away from traffic. And ideally it’s gonna be flat with a very slight gradient. And that way you can target
fast high revving sprints when you got tailwind, where
you’re going slightly downhill, and then slower, power sprints
when you’re going uphill or into a headwind. Those are my forte, the real power ones. – Lots of watts. – Yeah yeah. – A few watts. – Yeah. – Now you’ve found a perfect road you need to make sure you’re both mentally and physically prepared for these efforts. You’ll want to adjust your shoes to become as tight as is bearable and find a good strong grip on the bottoms hooks of your bars. You’ll want to engage your core muscles and create a good strong framework in your shoulders and your arms. After all, this is your anchor to the bike so it needs to be strong and confident. – So now we’re prepared,
here come the efforts. First we’re gonna target those fast, high revving sprints in about 15 seconds. Now, that’s a little bit longer than your body’s energy systems
naturally want to sprint for but it’s not so long that you’re gonna go into real anaerobic deficit. – Start off by choosing
here in the big room and the middle of the block at the back. Remember, these are the tailwind sprints or with a slight downhill. You’ll want to focus
on maintaining a strong anchor point on the bike at the front and maintain this throughout the sprint. Don’t just thrash away at
the bike and hope for best. Riders such as Greipel,
Groenewegen, Gaviria, they all do this really well. Aight, here we go. – [Si] During the sprint
you want to stand out on the pedals and really explode down through your core muscles into the bike. Moving the bike side to
side with your legs and arms with continual smooth motion. It is a complete maximal effort, so really push down hard on the pedals and pull back up through the
bottom of the pedal stroke. – That was tough. You really do feel every
muscles in your body with these efforts. It’s important to spin gently
for eight to 12 minutes before you go again. Now, I wouldn’t normally mix
up my sprints on any given day but I think for today we’re gonna move on to the uphill, slightly over gear sprints, or into a headwind if
you live in the flat. Let’s get ready for these, shall we? – We want to select a much
higher gear for this one so perhaps even one or two
gears down from your very top. And we wanna role in to
the start of these sprints a little bit slower. Probably holding your cadence
ideally at around 60 RPM. – Now, despite the
gearing and the gradient these sprints aren’t
actually that dissimilar to the previous ones. We still need the really strong explosion down through our core and into the pedals whilst maintaining our
really strong anchor point at the front of the bike. Are you ready for these Si? – Yeah. – Come on then. (energetic music) Now, you really notice that
these sprints need winding up. Allow yourself a good 15 to 20 seconds to get on top of the gearing. Or, if that’s too long,
reach the peak cadence that you think you’ll be able to achieve and then stop the sprint. – Now this session is great
for muscle recruitment and muscle strength. And after just doing a few of them you will genuinely feel the benefits. – If your body isn’t
feeling a little bit shaky maybe you could have tried harder. Remember, you really want to
drive down through your core and into the pedals, engaging
every muscle in your body. Allow yourself a good eight
to 12 minutes gently spinning between these sprints to recover enough to do the next one properly. – Have you been able to tell a difference? – Well, I think you’re looking
a little bit more buffer. – You can take these
efforts into the next level by paying attention to
a few little details within the session. You can sprint to an imaginary line, or between two distinct
markers on the road. – By doing this, you’ll start to know how far you can sprint before fading. Or, in a competitive environment, you’ll learn when you really need to start sprinting maximally in order
to reach the finish line before you fade. Another area you can pay attention to is this time maintaining that strong frame but in a more aerodynamic position. This will help you with
achieving higher peak speeds and the faster you’re going, the more important this
one is gonna become. – [Si] Position within
the group is also crucial. There’s no point in having all the power and speed of Mark Cavendish,
if you start your sprint 30 meters behind the front of your group. You want to be further forward
for a fast tailwind sprint, and put a slower headwind or uphill sprint does afford you a little
extra time to pass riders that have gone too soon
and started to slow. – And finally, timing. We’ve briefly touched on this before. And what I mean is, you
want to start your sprint with enough energy enough
to reach the finish line just as you tie up, or start to slow. By doing this, you’ll limit
the chance of another sprinter coming pass you at the last minute. – Yeah, and even if you don’t race, sprinting can be a really
effective training tool for any cyclist. So if you repeat these sessions but extending the sprints to 30 seconds, that counts as a high intensity
interval training session and it can be completed quickly and easily but still give you some
pretty big performance boosts. – Just remember, the
golden number of sprints we’re aiming for is around
six to eight in this session. Once you get past that,
you’ll lose the quality and the productiveness of the session. – That’s right. – Not a lot of point after that. – And I’ve also been told
that one of the key things about sprinting, is actually
looking fast as well. So make sure your jersey’s zipped up, your glasses are on, and you’re wearing nice, tight clothing. Isn’t that right Chris? – That’s true, after all, it’s
the wind that we’re racing at that sort of speed, so… – I was just noticing about
looks, aerodynamics as well. – Well, looks are pretty
important but, aerodynamics help. – Do make sure you give
this video a big thumbs up and if you wanna see
another one about sprinting why not see that one just
there with Marcel Kittel.