It's out and it's funky!
Those of you using Golden Cheetah to look at your power data, 3.0 has been released. It's available here : http://www.goldencheetah.org/
It's not like most other spin sessions
Many people run "spin" classes. There's sessions done at gyms, there's general sessions done by coaches, Personal Trainers (PT's, or "cheerleaders" to the rest of us!) and so on. The vast majority of these sessions are essentially context free. You roll up, you do the session, get tired, feel good, go home. Maybe there's some variables in the sessions but on the whole they're pretty general and there's no real progression or structure to them. It feels good to be tired, so it's doing some good ...
What's different about our enduro ergo program?
It's 26 weeks long - that's right, six months. It's not "drop in whenever you want", it's structured. If you do the "A" stream from the start, it builds up base in E3 then gradually inserts higher intensity intervals and more race-specific drills through the 26 weeks. You can attend casually, and that's why we have a "B" and "C" stream to provide paths into the "A" stream, but on the whole, you get much, much more out of it if you attend for the entire 26 weeks. By the end of it you're able to do things that would have killed you during the first few weeks. We know, we've been evolving the program since 2006. Every year we see our regular attendees get stronger and faster. From recreational roadies to former professionals and developing elite juniors.
Why do we do this?
Over winter the vast majority of your riding is long, slow distance. There's not many crits, there's a little track but it's irregular or you're already doing it (Tues & Thurs at DISC). The weather is cold and wet, the mountains are dangerously slippery etc. You're not doing high intensity intervals much. This program has evolved over years to fill that high intensity gap.
It's easy to go to any old spin session and get tired, but if you want structure and progression and don't want to shell out for a coached individual program, ours is pretty good. It also includes a good quaility meal after the session that's high in protein to help you recover. For $15? That's some seriously good value. We're so happy with it that we give it away for free to anyone that wants to do it at home but it's more "fun" to share the suffering with us and enjoy the feed afterwards.
Lisa Cochrane joins the team
I've needed a new enduro coach for a while now Nathan's moved on to concentrate on his photography career. Lisa Cochrane has been helping out at the Blackburn Friday night sessions for a few months and she is a good fit, with lots of road and track endurance experience and a bucketload of enthusiasm.
I asked her a few weeks ago if she was interested and she said yes. A big welcome to Lisa who will be looking after endurance riders as part of the aboc family.
It's our responsibility to know
There's been a bit of a thread on the Blackburn Cycling Club facebook page about UCI rules, some of which is ranting, some is not very constructive, some is tilting at windmills and some is complaining about the UCI or CA not doing enough to tell us what the rule changes are. Some is fair comment and it's all well intentioned (or at least, mostly ...). In my role as a moderator on the BBN FB page I've had no need to delete anything, so it's well behaved.
With regards to the dissemination of the rules, in some other equipment-specific sports, for example motorsport (CAMS) it is a requirement that each year competitors purchase a rulebook and adhere to the rules. We don't have to buy a rulebook, we can just download it for free (cheaper!). It is still "our" obligation to read and understand the rules and if in doubt, to discuss the rules with a commissaire to seek clarification. I have had reason to do this recently with the 5cm/aerobar rule change. So whether or not the rules agree with your philosophy, it is OUR (everyone who races under the umbrella of the UCI) obligation to know the rules and keep track of them. In particular, coaches need to be up to date. Yes, this is a little bit of work to do each year when rule changes get published and YES it can be inconsistently applied at races by well intentioned but not necessarily up to date or well informed commissaires, but it is still our obligation to know the rules of our sport. It's a lot easier these days to do so with the advent of social media, websites and so on. The following website may be of use :
And for local variants :
There's more in common than it may seem at first
http://maaml.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/ideas-for-visualisations.html - have a read. For us, as sprinters, we're not THAT dissimilar to martial artists. We have skills that we need to master, moves and countermoves that use those skills, and then "tactics" which is essentially the application of the right moves at the right times. Very similar to martial arts. I think we can learn a lot from them.
We are not alone ...
Well worth a look. I'm trying to see if getting her to give us a talk is feasible.
Nathan's moving on, thank you
Nathan Larkin worked with aboc for some years as a coach, but has now moved on to studying art at university and hasn't the time to coach any more riders. I wish Nathan the very best of luck at uni and in the future with his art and photography. Nathan's a top guy and a good friend and a talented photographer with a great eye for a shot. He's contributed a lot to aboc and the culture we're doing our best to encourage, with honesty and integrity. Thank you big guy, everyone I know appreciates your contribution.
So now I need to find a coach to look after enduro riders as I am only doing sprinters. If you're keen, let me know. If you're doing a level 1 and want mentored hours etc, I am keen to help.
Or how to suck up time!
Let's start a week ago, why not, it's a nice place to start. Before this we had Oceanias, sprint camps etc ...
Wednesday - 11am-7pm at DISC, VSG training
Thursday - 3:30-7:30pm Kids in the powerhaus gym
Friday - 10am-2rpm VSG, 5pm-9:30pm BBN DISC training sessions
Sat - 7am-12:30ish - Vic junior titles ITT
Sun - 7am-4pm - Vic junior titles sprint & keirin, 4pm-7:30pm aboc sprint group
Mon - Day off, powerhaus CLOSED!!!
Tues - 7am-2pm - travel to Adelaide, 3pm-11pm NJTS R4 Adelaide
Wed - 4:45am - 9am travel home from Adelaide, 11am-7:30pm VSG at DISC
Thur - 9am-12:30 DISC working bee, 1-2 visit IT client (make money to pay bills!) 3:30-7:30 powerhaus gym
Fri - morning SLEEP IN! 4pm-9:30pm BBN DISC
Sat - 11am-4pm VSG training, 4pm-6pm pack CV vans to go to Sydney for senior nationals
Sun - 6am? Drive to Dunc Grey velodrome (Sydney) for Senior Aust titles
Mon 'til um ... when're we back? Senior nationals, 18 hour days
Get back, get J17's ready for junior nationals in late Feb. Organise SSS R5. See wife?!
If I haven't returned your phonecalls lately ... I'm sorry!
Has the world imploded?
Not everyone's a fan of the 7m rollout for J17's. I've gone on to discuss this in the past. We now have our first lot of in competition times from Vic titles to look at. So let's have a look. I'm going to just look at sprint, I am not interested in the pursuits!
This year :
Event 3: JW17 Time Trial
2 Laps 500m Final - STANDINGS
|1.||32||Brook RAMSHAW (CAR)||38.735|
|2.||31||Chloe BAGGS (BBN)||39.023||+0.28|
|3.||33||Brit JACKSON (BBN)||39.145||+0.41|
|4.||35||Jordyn HASSETT (BBN)||40.033||+1.29|
|5.||37||Emily DUNK (BWK)||41.310||+2.57|
|6.||36||Jamie GOODING (BBN)||41.909||+3.17|
|7.||41||Freya WICKENDEN (CAR)||42.000||+3.26|
|8.||34||Greta CURRAN (BWK)||42.063||+3.32|
|9.||38||Madison FITZGERALD (BBN)||42.637||+3.90|
No new records. Reasonably close times.
Compare to last year
Courtney FIELD(CAR) 38.195
Emily APOLITO(BBN) 39.256 +1.06
Chloe BAGGS(BBN) 39.656 +1.46
Emma BILSTON(B-S) 40.629 +2.43
Zoe NICHOLSON(ART) 41.872 +3.67
Nicole CLARK(WNG) 44.980 +6.78
Rebecca THOMSON(LAV) 45.568 +7.37
Apart from the outlier (Courtney), they're pretty close. A little faster with the bigger gears, but there's too much variation in te size of the girls fields and the quality of them to make any judgements yet. There's a lot of depth (relatively) in JW17 this year.
And the F200 :
Event 15: JW17 Sprint Qualifying
Flying 200 Top 8 to Quarter Finals
|1.||31||Chloe BAGGS (BBN)||12.737|
|2.||33||Brit JACKSON (BBN)||13.046||+0.30|
|3.||32||Brook RAMSHAW (CAR)||13.128||+0.39|
|4.||35||Jordyn HASSETT (BBN)||13.373||+0.63|
|5.||34||Greta CURRAN (BWK)||13.512||+0.77|
|6.||41||Freya WICKENDEN (CAR)||14.029||+1.29|
|7.||37||Emily DUNK (BWK)||14.193||+1.45|
|8.||36||Jamie GOODING (BBN)||14.195||+1.45|
CF last year :
Courtney FIELD(CAR) 12.466
Emily APOLITO(BBN) 13.308 +0.84
Zoe NICHOLSON (ART) 14.670 +2.20
Rebecca THOMSON(LAV) 15.109 +2.64
Here we see some bigger differences - again, if we ignore Courtney as an outlier, the top three girls rode significantly faster this year. For the girls this isn't a suprise in the F200, they can wind up the gear, rather than have to accelerate it from a standing start (and most of the girls are not very strong, I don't think many of them lift), so I'd expect to see bigger changes here. What we are seeing is greater density at the top end. The girls field in 2011-2012 was tiny though, so the sample size is too small to draw any conclusions from, except that we have more JW17's racing sprint this year and that's a really good thing, there's also no (that I have seen) dead bodies on the floor. The horror of allowing 14 and 15 year olds to rev a little lower has not killed anyone. If anything, it's leveling the playing field a little, the mashers can keep up with the hummingbirds. AMAZING!
Where do we have depth? The boys. This is where we don't tend to see outliers so much because the talent pool is much bigger.
This year :
Event 4: JM17 Time Trial
2 Laps 500m Final - STANDINGS
|1.||4||Gary RAMSHAW (CAR)||34.323|
|2.||1||Ryan SCHILT (BWK)||34.592||+0.26|
|3.||2||David KOROKNAI (CAR)||34.852||+0.52|
|4.||7||Stephen ELLUL (BBN)||35.144||+0.82|
|5.||6||Thomas MCFARLANE (LGA)||35.699||+1.37|
|6.||5||Conor ROWLEY (BBN)||35.929||+1.60|
|7.||3||Kurt SANTAGADA (BBN)||36.556||+2.23|
|8.||13||Kyle MUIR (BBN)||36.626||+2.30|
|9.||11||James TICKNER (CAR)||36.915||+2.59|
|10.||8||Caiden HULL (CAR)||36.985||+2.66|
|11.||9||Nicolas ABELS (BWK)||37.483||+3.16|
|12.||12||Tomarsh LOKI (WNG)||37.853||+3.53|
|13.||14||Ryan KILPATRICK (SHP)||37.935||+3.61|
|14.||23||Jarrod WILSON (BBN)||38.223||+3.90|
|15.||16||Hamish WEBBER (BBN)||38.779||+4.45|
|16.||22||Lachlan VAN DER VELDEN (CAR)||38.970||+4.64|
|17.||21||Sebastian PRESLEY (BBN)||39.614||+5.29|
|18.||20||Adam PAYKEL-SAMUEL (CAR)||39.766||+5.44|
|19.||25||Clancy LLOYD (LAV)||39.847||+5.52|
|20.||15||Jacob MUMFORD (BBN)||39.910||+5.58|
|21.||19||Indiana MICHEL (SHP)||40.463||+6.14|
|22.||24||Ian HERMAN (BWK)||40.601||+6.27|
|23.||17||Samuel BROWN (BWK)||40.874||+6.55|
|24.||18||Stephen DAMM (LAV)||41.435||+7.11|
CF last year:
1 Jay CASTLES(SHP) 34.608
2 Mathew ROSS(CAR) 35.419
3 John COCHRANE(BBN) 35.484
4 James DANN(BBN) 35.600
5 Jack HICKEY(CAR) 35.775
6 Jerome BECHAZ(CAR) 36.075
7 Braeden DEAN(BGO) 36.142
8 Jordan STANNUS(CAR) 36.866
9 Angus LYONS(B-S) 37.349
10 Caiden HULL(CAR) 37.580
11 Thomas VERLEYS-DONK(CAR) 37.878
12 Pierce CONNOR(BBN) 38.381
13 Lucas HAMILTON(ART) 38.383
14 David KOROKNAI(CAR) 38.436
15 Jade MADDERN(CSL) 38.764
16 Angus FLOOD(BBN) 38.820
17 Jack WALK(WGL) 39.241
18 Steven CARROLL(PRS) 39.563
19 Nicolas ABELS(BWK) 39.679
20 Hamish HAYNES(SHP) 39.935
21 Ned EFE(CAR) 40.039
22 Tomarsh LOKI(WNG) 40.555
23 Michael STRINGER(BBN) 41.495
24 Jarrod WILSON(BBN) 42.294
25 Lex MUNOZ(CAR) 42.452
26 Stephen DAMM(LAV) 42.841
27 Jacob MUMFORD(BBN) 44.577
Quicker across the board. Not dramatically, but it's significant. No dead bodies.
In the F200, we're a little quicker, but interestlingly, a lot denser at the top end. I wonder if any of the kids can get into the 10's if we find any real outliers? Wouldn't that be amazing ...
Event 16: JM17 Sprint Qualifying
Flying 200 Top 8 to Quarter Finals
|1.||1||Ryan SCHILT (BWK)||11.543|
|2.||2||David KOROKNAI (CAR)||11.627||+0.08|
|3.||4||Gary RAMSHAW (CAR)||11.651||+0.10|
|4.||7||Stephen ELLUL (BBN)||11.662||+0.11|
|5.||6||Thomas MCFARLANE (LGA)||11.785||+0.24|
|6.||9||Nicolas ABELS (BWK)||11.866||+0.32|
|7.||5||Conor ROWLEY (BBN)||12.019||+0.47|
|8.||13||Kyle MUIR (BBN)||12.152||+0.60|
|9.||11||James TICKNER (CAR)||12.176||+0.63|
|10.||14||Ryan KILPATRICK (SHP)||12.477||+0.93|
|11.||23||Jarrod WILSON (BBN)||12.480||+0.93|
|12.||16||Hamish WEBBER (BBN)||12.669||+1.12|
|13.||25||Clancy LLOYD (LAV)||13.066||+1.52|
|14.||22||Lachlan VAN DER VELDEN (CAR)||13.366||+1.82|
|15.||19||Indiana MICHEL (SHP)||13.410||+1.86|
Last year :
Jay CASTLES(SHP) 11.631
Jack HICKEY(CAR) 11.682
John COCHRANE(BBN) 11.733
James DANN(BBN) 11.780
Braeden DEAN(BGO) 11.809
Jerome BECHAZ(CAR) 12.154
Jordan STANNUS(CAR) 12.383
Thomas VERLEYS-DONK(CAR) 12.623
Lucas HAMILTON(ART) 12.659
Angus FLOOD(BBN) 12.791
Nicolas ABELS(BWK) 12.839
Hamish HAYNES(SHP) 13.038
Jade MADDERN(CSL) 13.546
Stephen ELLUL(BBN) 13.635
Jarrod WILSON(BBN) 14.136
Ian HERMAN(BWK) 15.915
Any conclusions to draw? Not yet, it's too early to tell and I have only done a very quick and cursory look at the times from two Vic titles and I haven't considered atmospheric conditions etc. We'll see what happens at the Aussies and also when this lot of J17's move up to J19's next year. Remember the whole aim is to make the J19 -> senior jump less of a killer, and that will take 3-4 years to show itself. So far, no dead bodies, no velodromes lined with corpses and we saw some really good, close racing on the weekend, in particular in the JW17's sprint and keirens.
aboc is 10 this year
Wow, it seems like only yesterday that I was working with Neil and Trevor Cameron as my first victims while I got my level 1. I still get to work with Neil sometimes! A decade of coaching ... It's been a lot of fun and an amazing journey, but I am still a grasshopper with MUCH to learn! Bring it on!
Oh, and Neil's lesson to everyone : Wear your gloves eh?
How does doping start? It's cultural
Everyone wants to go faster, either in sprints, or boost their thresholds for those long, tedious bits before a sprint finish in an endurance race. One way to do this is to cheat, doping works. It's a fact. It works.
Culturally, how do we try and prevent it? For starters, we don't do what the Peaks coaching group have just done, they're now loudly flogging some magic concentrated beet juice as a miracle performance enhancer, but it's ok because it's natural or something. It's a supplement and it's not banned (yet, who knows if, like caffeine, it'll be a threshold thing, too much NO and you're busted), that's true, but it's the wrong thing to be doing (hey, I guess they want to make a buck, and they are the exclusive US distributor of one particular blend, all's fair, right?). No. Wrong. Wrong message.
"The nitrates in Beet It beet concentrate offer the athlete a competitive advantage, some studies showing up to 16% improvement in endurance! I noticed the difference with Beet It shots after my first use! It's a subtle ability to push harder for longer. Who doesn't want this!?!"
This is right when the fuss about Lance and doping is front page news. Seriously?!
25 uberbollas, 1 BBQ, and we're done!
Some stats :
150kg of mince beef
25kg of tomato paste
1.5kg of oregano(!)
50kg of canned tomatos!
That's a lot of bolla sauce!
Our busiest night had 27 people training at the clubrooms.
The hardest enduro session was the last one (it' a buildup)
It gets quiet once September starts, sprinters come en-mass, but enduros go road riding.
Very cold, wet nights seem to see attendance down a little, which is odd, because you didn't go riding that day, it was awful!
We went through a lot of deck tape on the Kurts with the sprint group using the big flywheels.
We'll be back for more in 2013, thank you to everyone that came, if you do it regularly, performance improves considerably.
Where do you want to go?
I've been thinking a lot about this, as over the past few years with working for Hilton (it's been almost 4 years!) in the Victorian Sprint Group program, we've seen some amazing growth and some brilliant results. It's not all been perfect, of course, lots of hard lessons have been learned and there's more to come. One of the things we need to consider is pathways into the VSG. Until reasonably recently, we'd pretty-much say yes to anyone that wanted to have a go, sprinters being rare animals. But, these days, we've got a pretty good hotbed of talent here and the VSG is full.
So what do we do with the kids that want to have a go?
We need pathways into the squad. I very briefly discussed this with Hilts yesterday, and it's softly-softly at the moment, but some ideas to toss around, based mainly on talent ID, where talent isn't just being able to ride quickly as a J15, but also being committed. We (Hilts and I) put our hearts and souls into the VSG, it's all consuming for both of us, and we expect that riders in the program are equally committed. If you're committed and prepared to bust your arse for years, we'll move heaven and earth to make the program fit you in.
How do you, as a J15 or a J17, show commitment? It's easy to see speed, just race fast. Are you in it for the long haul or just dabbling for a bit of fun before you go and do something else? There's nothing wrong with dabbling, but the VSG is not for that.
Is it realistic to expect a J17 to show long term commitment? I think it is, to a point. If you can't ever see yourself as being an Olympian sprinter, then you're dabbling - if it's something that you want, now, then we're interested in you. We know things change, and life intervenes all the time, but if it's not on the radar, you shouldn't be wasting our time. The kids I've fed up into the VSG want (at the moment) to be Olympians, Perko and Anna are their heroes. This is really important.
So, some pathways, I run a sprint group outside of the VSG, which you all know about, the aboc Sprint Squad, it's a bunch of masters guys and developmental kids and some senior riders who for various reasons aren't in state development squads (but may be working towards them). That's one pathway into the VSG - if you ride in my squad, I'll see you, and see how committed you are as well as if you have physical talent. If and when the time is right, I feed you up the chain into the VSG. I've done this with a few riders so far. This means paying me though, and that's possibly open to suggestions of nepotism, it certainly can't be the only way in and it isn't.
Other pathways - work with another coach, specialise in sprint (if you can find a coach that will let you as a J17 or J15, they're rarer than they should be), get them to speak to Hilts if you're showing the right stuff. Win sprint at Junior Vics beating the kids in the VSG, that's sure to get our attention! Get spotted by a coach or testing through Cycling Victoria, as an example Carnegie-Caulfield riders sometimes get pulled up into the VSG if they show enough talent at their club training sessions or testing sessions.
There's others - if you think of some, I want to know!
How Anna won in London .... Vicky's the best chaser in the world. Anna didn't want to lead her out. Watch ... I can't embed it here, but you can go to youtube and see exactly what happens
Not everyone's happy
Earlier this week CA announced that J17 gear restrictions would be lifted to a 7.0 meter rollout, which is around 90 gear inches, it was to be lifted to 86" (6.75m), up from the previous limit of 82" (6.5m).
Many of you reading here know I am very much in favour of this, but not everyone is pleased. I hope to calm the storm a little, or at least provide some argument in favour. Note please that this is my opinion, and I am not representing any organisation except for aboc Cycle Coaching (me!) when I write this. Furthermore, I don't have any influence on the people that made the decision that I am aware of. I don't even know who they are.
Enough with the preamble ...
Firstly, the rule change does not mandate that every J17 rider ride 90". It means they are allowed to, which is not at all the same thing. J19's are allowed to ride up to 104" or something, they don't, because they usually can't. I work with J19's who can squat small cars and deadlift your fridge, full ... they're not anywhere near being able to rev out the J19 gear restriction yet,. and managing them through J17's is a challenge (be patient, your time will come, being restricted to 82" sucks, but next year ... repeat and hope the kid buys in to the argument).
If a J17 is a great revver, they will choose smaller gears, if they're a big, strong kid, they will push bigger gears. Up 'til now the rules have biased against strong kids and towards super-revvers, at least in sprint, which is where my attention is focused. I expect it's the same in enduro circles. Big, strong kids can't rev as fast as the hummingbirds (heavy legs, can't move 'em quite as quick, but they can accelerate!). We build kids up to be strong so that they can be competitive as J19's and seniors, and not spend another 6 years trying to get them strong enough, this is an even bigger task with girls than it is with boys - they put muscle on a lot more slowly than boys. One of the causes for the loss of elite sprinters after J19 is the almost insurmountable gulf between a J19 and a senior (hey, kid, race Perko, who is pushing 108" or more and Anna who is superstrong! good luck ...). I've interviewed a number of guys who've given it up after J19's and this is a common theme. They don't want to spend 5 or more years getting smacked before they're even at a level where they can keep up and not be embarrassed.
By better preparing J17's to use bigger gears, we hope to lift the standard in J19, and thus, make the transition to senior riders be less daunting. If J17's filters out a lot of the strong kids in favour of super spinners (which, at present, it does), that means J19's are in general, weaker than they could otherwise be as a population, and then less likely to manage the jump into senior ranks. There's loads of examples of this in sprint in recent memory, in particular in the girls, but also many of the boys have failed to make the jump past J19. This is for many reasons, but one is that the jump is too big for most of them to manage in a realistic timeframe.
Some of my colleagues have mentioned that by allowing J17's to push 90", that this will kill the sport and other hyperbole (and a half!), or that we shouldn't change a working formula (hey, it's NOT working! We bleed riders after J19, you haven't noticed?! Where are they all?). Nonsense. The current situation is that strong kids are held back (and they're often some of the best talents, so they go off and play some sport where their talent isn't nobbled), hummingbirds prosper and the less talented kids are off the back on 82". The only difference by allowing bigger gears is that the strong kids will be able to keep up with the hummingbirds. The less talented, or younger, or less developed kids will be off the back no matter what anyway. It happens now, it will continue to happen. I don't think much else will change. If it does, the rules can be changed again.
And this is the rub. Many are suggesting that club racer kids will give it up because 90" is too big and they can't keep up, there'll be no tactical development etc etc. Here's the thing. At club level, clubs are free to introduce their own gear restrictions anyway. You want a race where no-one can push bigger than 82" - NO PROBLEM! Just put it in the race rules. Brunswick did this on Saturday, everyone was on 90" (magic number?!) and it was great. Close races, lots of skill and tactical development. GOOD! We had first year J19's (the ones I trained overgeared last year and got strong and who hated being forced to ride 82" in competition) keeping up with senior sprinters, which made for good training races. But, for opens, state and national championships, the talented kids should be allowed to display their physical talent. It may well keep them in the sport longer and help us find the next group of champions. State and National titles are not "every kid's a winner" races, they're championships and the best kids should be able to win them.
I'm sure there will be people who will cite examples of successful riders who came through our current system, they do exist, and this is good (look closely at their development path before you cite them though, some will surprise you at how they got into the system, Cadel rode MTB, Matthew Glaetzer was a pole vaulter and did not come through gear restricted juniors etc), but we can do better (we have to, everyone else is!) and we can't say everything is great because some physiological freaks have survived it, if they even came through it. Our rules and development programs should not be judged by the success of the very rare genetically gifted athletes that pop up, but rather by the health of the whole ecosystem.
Finally, the knee injury furphy. Where's the corpses? We train our guys overgeared ALL the time, putting out much greater torque and power numbers than anyone else in the state (wanna bet?! I have data ... ), I have not seen a single knee injury. Not one. If a kid isn't strong enough to push a gear (86, 90, whatever) they simply won't be able to push it. They can grind at 60rpm up a hill (that's ok ...) in a road race out at Eildon or the 1:20 etc already if they want or have to. Knee overuse injuries come from throwing kids at huge miles and on badly fitted bikes, not from pushing a gear that's too big for them.
So there you go. I don't think it will kill anything, I think it's for the long term good of developing better senior riders
J17's can be strong!
Long have I ranted and railed ... and good news!
J17's are now allowed a 7.0m rollout (~90").
Ranting on food, again
No significant differences were detected between VLCKD and WD in all strength tests. Significant differences were found in body weight and body composition: after VLCKD there was a decrease in body weight (from 69.6 ± 7.3 Kg to 68.0 ± 7.5 Kg) and fat mass (from 5.3 ± 1.3 Kg to 3.4 ± 0.8 Kg p < 0.001) with a non-significant increase in muscle mass.
Despite concerns of coaches and doctors about the possible detrimental effects of low carbohydrate diets on athletic performance and the well known importance of carbohydrates there are no data about VLCKD and strength performance. The undeniable and sudden effect of VLCKD on fat loss may be useful for those athletes who compete in sports based on weight class. We have demonstrated that using VLCKD for a relatively short time period (i.e. 30 days) can decrease body weight and body fat without negative effects on strength performance in high level athletes.
Thank you Brunswick!
Last Saturday afternoon (juniors) and evening (J19's and seniors) Brunswick ran the first of their "DISC-O" night Saturday racing. I'd had a little input into their race format. As anyone reading this knows, my big beef (apart from actual beef!) is that there's never enough racing for sprinters and we wanted to redress that a little.
The format had some of the usual enduro stuff, but it had abbreviated flying 200's (two lap windup) and lots of baby keirins. This is a format that I nagged Max Stevens about until he capitulated for the NJTS for this summer, and I can say, it works! It works really well. The baby keirins were 3 laps (kids) and 4 laps for the seniors (and we'll make them 4 laps for everyone from now on I think), with the bike swinging off with 1.5 laps to go. This is a pure sprinters keirin on little gears. Seniors were restricted to 90". Just about everyone was buzzing about how much fun it was, and how close most of the racing was (and no crashes in any of the sprint events). It was great to see how many of the guys learned and practiced keirin tactics in a low pressure, but very close and intense, format. Everyone got three keirins in the racing.
I got to have a bit of a look at some of the juniors and see if any showed any spark too, so that was handy.
Tick that one off as a win, a big thanks to the guys at BWK for having the courage to run it, in particular Cam McFarlane and David Morgan who made it entertaining and kept everything moving along well.
How strong is strong enough?
There's a lot of contention about just how strong you need to be to be a successful track sprinter. Numbers are thrown around by various institutes, talking about twice bodyweight for squats (presumably meaning power-lifting legal, raw) as an example.
Here's my take on it.
You can't be too strong, which is to say, you can't be strong enough, but you can do too much strength training. What does this mean?
If it's taking too much time to recover from a gym strength session, which it will once you start pushing seriously heavy weights, such that it has a negative impact on your on the bike training, you're doing too much strength training in the gym. You're probably as strong as you can be without starting to specialize in strength sports like powerlifting or strongman competitions etc. For many of us, this happens at around two to two and a half times bodyweight for squats, or anything up to about a 250kg squat 1RM for men, for women, around 150kg.
Zatsiorsky and Kraemer, in Science and Practice of Strength Training, 2nd ed, talk about the notion of time available for force development, and use the term Explosive Strength Deficit (ESD). This is essentially referring to how much force you can apply in a limited time. For example, they state that a shot put athlete who can benchpress around 220kg (~110kg/arm), can only apply around 60kg of force to their throw because it happens too quickly for them to use all their available strength, and that increasing bench press past a threshold doesn't significantly increase the force able to be applied. This is a different beast to our track sprint cycling though. We have the luxury of being able to control, to an extent, the time we have available to apply force. A shot put athlete, as they try to throw further, has to throw faster, reducing the time they have available.
We can put on a bigger gear, if we're strong enough to push it, to go faster and keep the time available constant, or even increase it, for a given speed. This is why you'll see riders like Shane Perkins and Anna Meares pushing big gears, while "weaker" riders like Vicky Pendleton, Theo Boss and the like will push smaller gears, faster. We can optimise our cadence with gear selection to take advantage of our strength, if we have it, by pushing big gears, or our explosive strength, by pushing smaller gears.