Any track sprinters here?

Last year was a complete bust for me, except for losing about 40 pounds (let’s not talk about the ten or so I put back on after that). I think I got about 1500 km of riding in and almost no indoor training. I had just started lifting weights and then we all know what happened.

Now I have adequate resistance training gear at home and a fresh resolve to not let external circumstances dictate my actions, and am once more attempting to turn myself into Robert Förstemann. (despite that the closest velodrome to me is 13 hours away. Doesn’t matter. This is the kind of fitness I want)

I’ve laid out with Plan Builder now till spring, using a criterium plan. But I really don’t know if this is even close to right. Maybe a gravity plan would be better? What’s my best option for sprint events?


If you are really serious about being a sprint specialist, none of the TR plans are much good to you. Most track sprinters split their time 50-50 between the gym and the track, and spend most of the track time sitting around recovering between very short efforts. They might do an hour or two a week of low-intensity endurance work. I can tell you Forstemann didn’t build those quads doing sweet spot intervals (he can squat 280Kg).

If you haven’t already seen it, the UpUpUp website is a good place to start for training programs, and it has a section on erg (trainer) workouts.

Couple of questions:
How much experience do you already have on the velodrome?
What kind of bike/trainer setup do you have?


That’s very helpful, thank you, I’ll take a deep dive through that site. I have zero experience on track since track cycling is all but dead in Canada except for a couple of hot spots. I used to have a track bike but don’t now, just a road bike on a fluid trainer is my setup for a while until I can get another track bike. Gyms are closed here too sadly, I do have enough gear of my own in that regard though.

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In that case, I would seriously consider a more general program until you have had a chance to give track racing a try. Maybe you’ll do better at longer events - you just don’t know at this point. Stick with the criterium plan and see how strong you can get at the same time (this in itself is pretty challenging - you’ll see a huge number of posts on this forum from people struggling to do both). Then when you have tried it you can decide to specialize in sprints (or not).

Then when Covid is over just move to southern Ontario and train at the Mattamy National Cycling Center and come to Detroit and race with us on the Lexus Velodrome at weekends :slight_smile:


Would a track sprinter generally train for short efforts (1 min or less) whole year round?

+1 for the UpUpUp website to get you started.

+1 for what @NickL said. Criterium training is a good starting point if you have zero track experience.

I’m not training for track sprinting anymore, but when I was I used a coach. Agree that TR isn’t really suited to this kind of discipline. True track sprinters have more in common with American football players than cyclists. Agree that you should be spending a huge portion of your time in the gym pursuing strength.

Pure track sprinters usually focus on the match sprint which is 2-3 laps of the velodrome. Very, very short. Some have had success crossing over into longer disciplines like the keirin (my favorite) or the 1-KM time trial (if you’re fast it’s less than 70 seconds).

2 minutes for the absolute longest race; most actual race efforts will be a minute or less.


Good advice from Nick. The gravity plan is what I’ve been referred too in the past but mostly following crit plans worked good enough for a track focus.

To the other question you won’t work 1 min efforts all year round. There is still base build speciality.

I think for a track rider year round focus should be on pedal efficiency and cadence- then at the right times work the high end.

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Want to qualify my statement about sprint event lengths. Yes, those are the max event lengths for track sprinters. But I agree with @berto2cj on training the whole system throughout the year.