Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sprinting, Cake and Monkey’s Humping Tennis Balls

These words of wisdom come from the AIS Sprint Cyling Strength and Conditioning Coach.

On keeping sprinters on the straight and narrow (God knows I need a bit of this):

‘We do three gym sessions and two track sessions for most of the year. Road is just for recovery, to keep them a little bit lean and to keep the sprinters out of the pub and out of trouble. It is generally a max of 2hrs, but mostly only 1 and is very easy - talking the whole time.’

On training hard with Ryan Bailey (in between trips to KFC):

‘A Gym session lasts about 2.5-3 hours for 6 or 7 exercises, a maximum of 33 sets including 12 warm-ups sets, so that's about one set every six minutes or more on average. We don't set maximum rests, just minimums. If they need longer to get their heads in gear, they take it. Ryan Bayley is the slowest trainer in the world. Lucky he's so bloody fast, they'll pay my bill to sit there and talk about muscle cars and heavy metal music.’

Coca-Cola and Chocolate cake- sprint energy (an area I currently excel in):

‘On the track they take about 3 hours for 3 or 4 efforts including half hour warm-up routine - same as pre-race warm-up. Warm-up, change gears, roll-up, effort, roll down 20-30min rest, roll-up, effort, etc. Lot's more rest. Rest usually consists of sitting on their arses, paying out on each other, drinking Coca Cola (sponsorship please - the Coke bill is killing us) and the occasional chocolate cake. This is especially good when there is a joint sprinter/enduro training session. (Enduros don't get any cake - they're too paranoid about body fat).’

On the difference between Australian sprint training and other nations:

‘The one thing we do that most coaches can't cop is this. If you don't make the target times or loads on the first effort or set, you warm down and go home. You aren't fresh enough to train at a level that will make you improve. If you do a PB, you warm down and go home. If you are on fire that much you can blow yourself to pieces in a couple of sets or efforts and it will take weeks to dig you out of the hole you put yourself in, so whatever it is, if you PB, you stop and come back next time. This philosophy takes everyone a while to accept, but it works. When we don't follow the rules, if we let someone pump out a series of PBs in one session, they are almost invariably wrecked for weeks afterwards and we never get close to quality training during that time. Sometimes, you can see it coming, but sometimes it just comes out of the blue. When it does, warm down, go home. Sometimes, at lower levels you can get away with it, but the better you get, the more capacity you have to exceed your normal limits, the more this becomes important. Enduros don't need to do this. Everything is submaximal.’

I’ll need to do some extra hours on the road:

‘In general prep, the sprinters might do 2 x 1hr easy aerobic/coffee rides per week and an easier recovery ride on days off (unless the're too fat, then they might do 2hrs and less chocolate cake). This year, we are doing a total of six aerobic development rides (over Christmas - fat time). In spec prep, they just do the recovery rides.’

And just remember:

‘Ryan Bayley may look like a monkey humping a tennis ball when he sprints but most of his power is getting onto the track’

I think there’s something in that for all of us.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

Oh, this is pure gold, funny too. I love the idea of taking the day off if you've got good legs, makes sense to me, why would you want to leave your form on the training track?

This allows you to manage and control the good form for a longer period.

1:08 AM  
Blogger timboy said...

Yeah.

It's good to see the AIS sharing its training information too.

Despite the idea that they have no secrets, I still think they could do more to educate the general public in achieving peak sproting performances.

9:46 PM  

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