Sprint / On The Bike Strength Training

Hi Everyone, I’ve been using TR a couple of years now and love it - made some gains, learnt a lot, particularly about balancing work & training. With that in mind trying to plan better. I wondered how others have integrated sprint training into the prescribed training plans? I’ve heard it discussed on the podcast, particularly Chad recommending very high force-low cadence work, and I gather he plans to launch a training plan that consists of this alone three times a week. What I’m interested in is trying to build something into the existing training plans? presumably switching out workouts. So any suggestions at what stage in Sweetspot/build/speciality you might do this? what sort of workouts you might replace? I’m looking to build overall strength and sprinting ability for road racing.
thanks a lot for any advice anyone has.

I’ve always avoided doing any really high force stuff indoors for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m worried about breaking something expensive indoors.

  • This kind of effort is really neuromuscular so replicating the form/position that you want to sprint in is really important - difficult to do on a stationary bike.

I’ll usually do standing starts/stomps/whatever as part of an otherwise chilled out ride.

No idea when is best to schedule them though, so looking forward to some more informed replies than mine.

If it is raining then I’ll do sprints in the gym - they have Stages bikes with a real PM !!!. And for reasons given above, I only do sprints outside on my road bike.

Strangely, the highest power I’ve ever recorded on a bike has been indoors on a trainer at just under 1330W – I’ve only been able to get up to 1100 outdoors.

Based on all the info I’ve read on the forum since beginning with TR, I’ve gathered that:

  1. That was pretty stupid to try and put out that wattage on a trainer, and…
  2. It’s pretty odd to have a higher wattage inside

Thanks for the replies… agree re sprint training indoors, I’d definitely worry about equipment and I imagine it doesn’t mimic the same muscle patterns that you require for a sprint outdoor given the trainer is static. I know Chad talked on the podcast about it being a good way of building up core strength doing high force low cadence stomping efforts outdoors.
Wondered if anyone has specifically worked at sprint power whilst following a TrainerRoad program and how/when they built this in? thanks again, Martin.

Power is dependent on the force you put through the pedals and how fast you can turn then. For a good sprint you need both leg speed and strength. The low cadence intervals will build strength, and the low power form sprint or spin ups will build leg speed. I only do proper full on sprints outside, but the low cadence efforts and spin ups are easily done indoors.

There’s a few things that I’ve been recommended to do…

On a long ride incorporate 5 min blocks in a big gear (53/39 if you can turn it) at no more than 50 - 60 rpm. There’s lots of TR workouts with these kind of intervals. Strength sprints, where I’ll go into 53/17 and slow down to about 8mph then sprint full gas for 15 seconds. That’s a very intense effort so lots of recovery inbetween. I’ll only do this outside. I’ll also do short VO2 max intervals at high cadence. Again, lots of workout on TR that do this. I’d read that Mark Cavendish always finishes his road rides with a long sprint so I started doig that too!!

I incorporated this kind of stuff during all my training, indoors and out last winter. Improved my sprint no end.

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I am trying to do the same and plan on doing stomps during The build on my 20 minute commute every other day. My thinking was to incorporate them into the vo2 max days as I would already be in need of recovery on the following day. I tried them out a little last year after reading Coggan on force production. I was very surprised at how much they took out of me. So low doses for me. Can’t see how they could be done on a smart trainer as Coggan points out there is only a small window where you are in overload. A smart trainer won’t even start to respond within the window if you start at a standstill per the guidelines.

I think sprint work can be done on a trainer, UNLESS they involve putting a stress on the frame. But there are various drills where all the stress is going through the pedals, which should be fine.

E.g. I sometimes do 8x15sec seated stomps, usually on Zwift (i.e. not an erg session, needs a resistance mode). Get in a high gear, slow to an almost halt, then stomp as hard as you can in the saddle and try to get the cadence up as much as you can in the 15 seconds. Rest for 4:45, go again.
Or you can do fast spinning efforts in a lighter gear from a moving start, without putting any stress on the bars or frame. Just make it all about the leg speed rather than the torque.

But high gear standing stomps - that’s definitely for out on the road.

Resurrecting this thread…

I’m interested in periodically doing a few high-force/low-cadence reps (‘weight training on a bike’). I’m using a Neo, and prompted by this thread/post:

…I’ve used the Neo’s Isokinetic mode as discussed. In some ways this seems ideal, but it means doing the work outside of the TR ecosystem, so none of the data is captured, and ideally I’d prefer to follow a structured workout rather than just do a bunch of reps off the top of my head (I’ve been conditioned to follows the blue line :wink: )

If I wanted to do a short high-force/low-cadence session within TR, what workouts should I look at?

The OP @time2507 mentioned a possible new TR plan focused on this type of thing:

Did anything ever come of this?

Would you be able to run TR in a 2nd device and capture the workout data via a Free Ride recording?

Bluetooth mobile devices only here, so based on my understanding of the tech I don’t think that’d be possible Chad.

I’ve been rooting through the TR Workout library and come across the Birling / Detling / Charing / etc workouts (and variants), which look like they might be the sort of thing I’m after. After searching the forum for the workout names I found a bunch of threads including the following which seems relevant:

I’ll start by attempting the “easiest” one, Birling -3, and see how I fare (not well I suspect, but that’s the reason for trying…)

Copy that, I have a mix of BLE and ANT+ so sharing is easier. Do you have a bike head unit like a Garmin 520 or Wahoo Elemnt that uses ANT+? Just one last option I can think to try.

Chad, I have a Bolt. Not sure how that’d work though…

I can connect the Bolt to the Neo with Ant+ but I’m not clear where that gets me? I still need to run the Tacx Utility app on one mobile device and TR on another, both on BT, and hence both can’t connect to the trainer simultaneously via BT.

Assuming it’s not possible, I’m happy trying out the sprint Workouts I mentioned above, and perhaps that’s a better option anyway.

With the Bolt, I think you can record the workout since it is ANT+ and effectively parallel, it should not affect the BLE to the Tacx app.

Essentially, capture the ride on the Bolt and upload it like any other “outside ride” that comes on to the TR career.

Then upload via your normal channels (Strava?), which i am assuming is linked to TR.

Thanks, seems the Neo can pair to the Bolt as one of two Ant+ sources (as a ‘Kickr’ or ‘Speed & Cadence’), and if you choose the wrong one the Tacx Utility app periodically loses its control of the Neo (jumps out of isokinetic mode). The ‘right’ one to choose was Speed & Cadence, which confusingly is actually power…

But I did get it work after some trial and error, and was able to do a 10 min test session in the Neo’s isokinetic mode that then synced from the Bolt->Strava->TR.

Will I ever use this in preference to a regular sprint w/o in TR? Who knows, but if I wish to at least I now know how! Cheers.

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Good deal. Glad that works. I have a Neo 2 on back order and hope to try those modes too.