Sprint Power, Mental Limits, Comfort and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 262

Training tips to increase your peak sprint power, how to sustainably push your physical and mental limits, techniques to improve your comfort on the bike and more in Episode 262 of The Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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Topics covered in this episode:

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Episode Notes:


Please address this topic within the first 5min of the podcast so I can listen to the rest in comfort. :slightly_smiling_face:


:rofl: :rofl:

Just something I’ve noticed in the last couple of podcasts. Keep hearing occasional phone notifications. Someone obviously forgot to turn them off when recording :rofl:

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Obligatory post about sprinting on rocker plates. Despite claims to the contrary, they can and do work “properly”. I know there are experiences, videos and claims that it can’t work “right”, but it can. There are proper setup and use requirements to do so, but it is quite possible to hit peak power and overall motion on par with outside sprinting.

I have used mine to exceed 1200w inside that is totally inline with my outside sprint capabilities. The video below is on my old rocker setup. I am also able to achieve the same basic power and motion on my Inside Ride E-Flex as well. I don’t claim to be a sprint expert or show the best form, but my overall function and feel is very similar between inside and outside.

I won’t belabor the point more, but I can help people achieve this if they want.
It’s not impossible or black magic.


This is another somewhat polarizing topic…

I’m a big fan of doing seated sprints on the trainer (Kickr direct-drive). With or without InsideRide e-Flex its possible to hit similar power output as outside. Much better with the e-Flex, as it doesn’t feel like I’m going to break something :rofl:

Full gas standing sprints are best done outside IMHO. No matter what I try or do, they simply feel wrong despite claims to the contrary :wink:

Definitely something worth experimenting with, especially if you can’t fit outside workouts into your training schedule!


Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard Whey is what you’re looking for. :slightly_smiling_face:


No worries. I’m happy to help!


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I need assistance with my sprint. Going to try and implement the advise from the podcast some how as i don’t enjoy doing exercises of the bicycle. i was doing the low cadence stomps until i destroyed the 11T cog on the cassette is was using. I am super excited to do the spin ups again after a easy aerobic day :laughing:

Should you do seated or standing sprints on the indoor trainer during Short Power Build?

For me this means using ERG (seated) or Resistance mode (out of the saddle). I’ve been doing short power build in ERG mode which means for all the sprint sections I have stayed seated (I can’t seem to get out of the saddle in ERG, it just doesn’t work as the resistance gets too high and I cant increase the cadence in time).

However when riding outside I start most of sprints with a quick out of the saddle effort that I settle in to.

Im thinking that I should therefore switch my sprinterval workouts to resistance mode to be more applicable to outside riding.

Am I missing something and is there more benefit from doing these seated? It definitely works the legs a bit more as I’m not using gravity at all…

I can explain the ATP depletion thing mentioned at 1h07. How might one get in touch with Chad?

Coincidentally, this video just popped up in my YouTube suggestions feed:

This bike fitter discusses the relationship between fore/aft cleat position and two topics that were discussed in this podcast: 1) sprint power, and in particular, acceleration and 2) numb hands, which @Jonathan brought up in the “comfort on the bike” discussion.

A few of his points:

  • He suggests that a more forward cleat position may be better for quick acceleration and peak sprint power, but comes at the expense of stability, which is improved with a more aft cleat position.

  • Some riders who move side-to-side may be doing so because they have their cleats too far forward and their movement is an outcome of instability in their ankles.

  • A more aft cleat position “shortens” the effective length of the leg (or distance from seat to pedal), so the seat and handlebars can be lowered, improving aerodynamics.

  • Hand numbness may be a symptom of being too quad dominant, which can occur when the hamstrings are not engaged properly, which can happen when calf muscles switch off because the cleats are too far forward.

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Another Aussie, Steve Hogg, has been saying the same for years re: mid-sole cleat position. His website is an encyclopaedia.

Watched a cleat position vid from Victor Campenaerts who says he positions his just behind the ball of the foot so he gets more power but also doesn’t sacrifice too much of his sprint.

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Joe Friel has been talking about cleat position for a really long time, here is a post from 2007: