Improving the "sprint" end of the power curve

Well not so much sprinting as such more being able to put out a lot of power for a few seconds in the midst of a sustained effort.

Looking at my data in I’ve the following values (W/kg with percentile in parentheses) for my age group (60-69).

  • 5s => 7.44 (39%)
  • 60s => 4.16 (40%)
  • 5min => 3.74 (70%)
  • 20min => 2.84 (50%)
  • FTP => 3.06 (61%)

So I’m OK on the endurance side of things but my short power is lacking.

Now my workouts have been mainly Sweet Spot with a little VO2 max thrown in each week rather than aiming at sprinting. The scenario I’m aiming towards would be a 15-20min off-road climb, not too technical but fairly steep but say at around 5mins, 10mins and 15mins into the climb there’s a technical or rough section that needs near maximal effort.

What plans/workouts would you suggest to improve the short power end of the spectrum?

Short Power Build

Just looked - ooh, you’re cruel! :wink:

there’s the answer; if you don’t sprint, you won’t be able to sprint :wink:

but you shouldn’t need those sprint watts for vo2max bursts that you’re describing

if anything, go 105-135% FTP and the neuromuscular (but not full out) intensity will give you that overdrive PLUS some vo2max adaptations according to Dr. Tabata’s research.

good luck!


Do you sprint on your outside rides? If you dont, then you will be under reporting in that segment of the data anyway.

Do you ever do maximal 60s efforts? If you dont, then you will be under reporting in that segment of the data anyway

You need to consider the source of your data (and the data you are comparing against). Personally I am fairly low in comparison to my other stats on the 20m & 60m segments, but thats because I never do maximal longer efforts. Something im aware of, so my percentage in those segments is kind of meaningless until I try to make it meaningful

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My curve on looked a lot like yours, but I never tried max sprints or 1 min efforts. So I did this last week and now my 5 sec and 1 min efforts are at a higher % for my age group than my 5 min and 20 min power:

I’d only recently discovered that TR has several such tests. So maybe try it too to see if short power is truly lacking?

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I wouldnt be trying max 5 sec on the trainer, outdoors only!

Totally safe with the watt bombs I can generate :grimacing:

I chose the word “sprint” as that’s used by TR in splitting the power curve - I also air quoted the word in the thread title. I’ll use the word below for maximal efforts notwithstanding that it’s not end of races sprinting I’m referring to.

I’ve actually very little data regarding sprinting or any maximal efforts as I only bought my power meter in October when I embarked on TR again. I’ve not ridden the bike outdoors with the power meter yet - I tend not to road ride in the UK during autumn as the last serious “off” I had was due to fallen and compressed leaves and during winter patchy ice isn’t conducive to riding either. Replacement hip and broken collar bone add to the anxiety!

So I’m left with data from SSBLV1, SSBLV2 & Sustained Power Build. None of those have workouts that ask for 300% of FTP for example so that end of things has zero representation. There was one of the very early workouts where I did a quick stomp just to see what I could do but there’s also the problem of actually doing such efforts on a trainer as per @jezza323!

I suppose ideal intervals/workouts are the opposite of those like Clark, Owl, The Priest - big gear stomps followed by several minutes of sub-FTP work. Looking at speciality plans like Short Track XC which - "demands a rider who can maintain extremely high levels of sustained power peppered with even more severe surges, sprints and explosive accelerations, all on varied terrain. " might provide the required stimulus.

I’m in the middle of Sustained Power Build so I might continue with a more endurance focussed speciality phase (I’ve currently got Cross Country Marathon in my calendar) then drop back to Sweet Spot Base part two and select Build and Speciality phases aimed at shorter more punchier events. Sound good?