Training for a 23 second sprint

The street in front of my condo was used for a cycling drag race back in 2016 (and who knows when else). It’s basically flat, but does have a bit of a noticeable decline at the beginning and then a very slight incline at the end. Overall, it is -0.1. There are 20/30 meters or so before the start, but the road tees there. There isn’t a lot of time to get up to speed, but there is a bit. Traffic is pretty light if it isn’t a game day which is a plus and a minus. I’m sure the guy with the KOM caught some draft. It’d be a huge gamble to try intentionally to draft. Most of the turns are going to be to the left which makes figuring out the patterns easy, but there are three places to turn and the finish line is the last place to turn.

The KOM is currently 23s. The segment is 0.34kms. I am ok sharing it.

Currently, my time is 28s, but I haven’t used an arrow helmet at all and I haven’t used my skinsuit and my road pedals together yet.* I have a gravel bike, so there is room for improvement there, but I don’t think there are 5 seconds to be gained there. I need to hit the gym and build the legs a bit, but I probably need more than that. I thought track would be the obvious event type to pick in plan builder, but there is nothing.

In any case, should I use plan builder? Should I just use specific plans? Should I use something other than trainerroad for this specific endeavor?

*I know some people don’t think there is a difference between road pedals and MTB pedals, but I can definitely tell a difference personally…hard to separate pedals from fitness, but my times immediately after switching suggest they make a difference.

23 seconds is an all out sprint. Train like a track sprinter.

Flying 10 second sprints. A short sprint day of all out 10-15-20 second bursts with full recovery. Practice your starts, drive phase and once you get max speed maintaining that speed. Shifting is key and you will need to train one minute power for endurance. And of course a tail wind is your best friend. Good luck!


There’s a post somewhere on the forum about how to build a track plan — it’s combining a couple different disciplines for base/build/specialty.

ETA: found it! Feature Request - Track Cycling for Plan Builder - #6 by brycel

1 Like

Do you have road tires at least? I agree the bike won’t make that big of a difference but a gravel tire to a fast rolling road tire will be a huge watt savings at full gas speed.

I would just do the sprints like 2-3x/week 4-5 times with 3-4 minutes rest in between and one day you’ll catch a good tailwind and you’ll get the KOM


I was using Schwalbe Pro Ones but they didn’t have any of those last time so right now I have some 30 mm Panaracers. I have some GP5000s ready to go after the Panaracers. I have never tried those before, but heard good things.

I do have a different wheelset/tires for gravel.

For the curious, this is the bike: Warakin Ti – Otso Cycles

1 Like

Can I just add that I love that you’re building a training plan around one KOM? Hahaha keep us posted on how it goes!!


I have my eyes on another KOM too. That one is a little more in my wheelhouse distance wise. The KOM is currently 1:04 and I am at 1:07. I think probably I need some different tires for that one. I have a fat bike and 35 mm gravel tires and I probably need something in the middle, because that gravel is super chunky railroad track gravel.

I was a competitive high school 400m runner and while that was a long time ago, I think it does exhibit sort of my natural aerobic/anaerobic contribution. So, 23s is…a little short, which is why I feel like I need to train for it specifically.

I will probably find some other segments during the period, but I am the Local Legend on the drag race segment. It taunts me every time I ride!

1 Like

for what its worth, my short power numbers go up simply by doing the following:

  • ride a lot, for for me personally is doing 2 months above 9 hours/week, I have no idea what that is for you
  • do some anaerobic capacity intervals of 30-sec and 45-sec
  • Over the past 3 years I’ve done different formats and this year a very effective set (single set, workout had multiple sets) was 4x30-sec(180s off) all-out efforts. That quickly fired up the glycolytic system and delivered results all the way out to 2+ minutes. More so than previous years when I did sprintervals of shorter lengths (10s, 15s, 20s, 25s). Again that worked for me, no idea if it would work for you.

I’ve been doing some regular “sprint” work for 3 years now, and the biggest thing for me is increasing volume. Not the gym, but simply riding more and doing some glycolytic work.

those aren’t impressive numbers, but shows a trend… IMHO trend is a) getting old sucks, but b) you can fight it and improve repeatability and power simply by riding more and doing a little glycolytic work (intervals between 15-sec and 2-min).

With sub 60s sprints a lot of it could just be down to a lucky GPS flux. As you go longer the influence of GPS flux/error diminishes. Your 1:04 is a worthy goal, smash it :four_leaf_clover:


In the 10-30sec range the Garmin battery saving mode trick helps fool Strava’s segment matching algorithm. Plenty of times I’ve sprinted ahead of other riders and lost :angry: on Strava because of my 1-sec recording rate.

1 Like

I got food poisoning Tuesday/Wednesday which messed up my normal training so tomorrow I’m going out KOM hunting on the fat bike. Putting the road pedals on the fat bike right now. Skinsuit will be worn.

…not the 23s one though because :joy:



I have never understood the value of carbo loading until now. Wow. Just absolutely wow. I guess I’ve never quite emptied the tank like the food poisoning did. I felt fine but absolutely no go juice in the legs. 19 seconds off the 1:07 PR. Oh well. I have an event tomorrow that is going to be slow. I don’t need juice in the legs for it but I didn’t want 4 straight days off the bike. I mean, maybe I didn’t get in as good of a warmup as I needed. Maybe the wind was against me but neither of those would account for such a gap by themselves unless it’s a hurricane.

1 Like

I have a number of short KOMs. The key has usually been the fastest entry speed as possible. I found that starting the attempt 100-200 yards before the start line and then holding on for dear life was the fastest way. I’ve tried doing it the other way where you start off slower and finish strong and this was always slower.

Waiting for a tail wind helps immensely. :wink:


I also have some short KOMs, and I 100% agree! …but in these particular cases there are problems with this strategy on both of the segments.

  1. On the 23 second KOM, the road Ts. I have realized though that Salvation Army is closed on Sundays so Sunday morning is probably the time when I can take the curve at the highest speed.

  2. On the 1:04 KOM it is a railroad grad that rises over the road. There’s 10-20m to pick up speed.

1 Like