What the rest of the world does
In the UK :
youth A u16..6.93m - ~7m, ~same as us, 1 year offset younger kids
youth B u14..6.45m - bigger than us
youth C u12..6.05m - bigger than us
youth D u10..5.40m - ~same
youth E u8..5.10m - do we have U8's?!
They're not falling apart, in fact, Le Poms seem to do pretty well ...
In the US (not so much a powerhouse anymore, but interesting all the same) :
15-16: 6.78 meters (22'3")(48x15)
13-14: 6.36 meters (20'10.5")(48x16)
10-12: 6.00 meters (19’8”)(48x17)
For Juniors 16 and under who are competing in Championship team sprint, team pursuit, keirin, or Madison the 17-18 (unrestricted) gear limit applies.
I don't have the rules for other countries yet, watch this space ..
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.
An open letter to Minoura Japan
I have two sets, the VIS has heaps, the AIS, NSWIS, Cycing Vic and WAIS all own dozens of them. Hilton owns at least 4 sets, of the Minoura Action roller. Why these rollers in particular? They're not perfect, they have aluminium roller drums with 105mm diameter, which is good, but nasty plastic endcaps that fail with heavy use. The big plus for us is the way they fold up into a small space and they have a reliable, simple bag to transport them. I get to carry them around a lot, and the bag, and the trifoldability, is a BIG win. This is why just about every state track team has heaps of them. 105mm metal roller drums and great transportability. Got it?
Not that long ago they got discontinued. Why? I don't know, the replacement is the Moz roller, same trifold frame, but smaller 80mm plastic roller drums (BAD!) and a fancier bag that has a zip instead of a flap. This is bound to fail in our use-case. We move lots of these rollers (Hilts' van may have a floor lined with 16 sets of rollers when we travel to championships etc) and anything with a zipper is bound to fail.
So, Minoura, please re-release the Action rollers. If you want to make them better, replace the plastic roller endcaps with something more robust, but otherwise LEAVE THEM ALONE!
A new peak power PB!
Last night at Spin, I set a new power PB of 1,597 watts. I had a goal of 1,600, how close is that? Given that it's a Powertap and not 100% accurate, I could stretch the truth and say I got it, but that's bollocks! Anyway, power is going up reasonably consistently, it's amazing what a bit of unbroken training can do. There's a hint - consistent training ... Keep working ...
Basic maths, but interesting all the same
http://plus.maths.org/content/leaning-2012 is well worth a read.
What a mess ...
I'm trying to sort out a workable, scalable calendaring solution for the millions of things, people etc that I have to keep track of. Google Calendar seems to be pretty nice, it has the ability to show and hide things, share calendars, delegate permissions etc. I'm trialing it with some of the guys in Norway and hopefully will find a way to integrate Plone events (this website, the aboc.com.au site) with it somehow. Adding things in multiple places is error prone and a PITA. Watch this space ...
Formalising my ergo programs a bit
Well, you know, we all want to change the world ...
Tonight at Spin we tested the Lemond Revolution under Dino.
To paraphrase :
It's much harder to spin up than the Kurt Kinetic, but it's too easy once it's going.
That's Dino's thoughts - given that we care about the acceleration phase, this might be a good thing. It's noticeably less stable than a KKRM, and a LOT noisier (as you'd expect, it's a wind trainer after all, albeit a fancy one). I will try it under a few other guys and see what they think.
I have a Lemond Revolution on order to try out
Ok, we won't get power from it, at least, not acceleration, although it may be calibrated for steady state (enduro) training, but I have one of these coming which will hopefully be in time for this Tuesday's ergo.
Interesting bit of kit ...
We'll review it once we've tried it out. Rumour has it it has a decent flywheel in it, and if so, and direct drive, it might be a game changer for ergos. If they made one with a built in powermeter ...
Riding around in circles gets pretty cold
It's proving to be a cold winter, and riding around in circles on the motorbike at DISC is .. pretty chilly. It's been around 10 degrees or so in there for the last couple of sessions, and after a few laps, one starts to shiver somewhat!
So, how do we keep warm? I have a few layers on, but one nifty thing I got recently is a kayaking neoprene skullcap. Yep, a rubber hat (insert gimp joke here now). One of these, nifty!
DISC, motorbike ...
I've been working on going faster (oh, really?) - not just on the pushbike, which my untalented body will resist as much as it can, but also on the motorbike. At DISC, to motorpace the really fast guys, I have to be able to ride the bank at around 80km/h. That's bloody quick. It takes a lot of 'turn off your fear' to do it. Anyway ... Under Hilton's tutilage I'm slowly becoming a reasonable motorpace rider - far from perfect (Hilts is THE master of this art ...) but I have a few thousand kilometers logged riding around that track now and am getting to be ok at it. I can even ride the bank at 70km/h looking backwards now. That's taken some time to get comfortable doing. I don't like doing it in the lane or close to the rail yet, but above the lane I'm fine with it now.
But .. to go really fast ..
The motorbike is speed limited by basic physics. Gravity, friction and centripetal force. Centripetal force increases to the square of velocity - ie: increases in speed means much more friction to stop the bike slipping up the bank, the faster you go, the more it tries to fly up and over the fence. The banks at DISC are 42 degrees steep, slower than around 30km/h and the motorbike slips down, faster than around 90 (I guess) it will slip up (I haven't tested this yet). Unless the tyres hit the painted lines, in which case there's a lot less friction and it slips, which is quite un-nerving but so far, hasn't resulted in a crash. You get used to it when crossing the lines at speed. It's just a little wobble ... And after the first few times and realising it doesn't mean a crash, it's ok!
So .. to go really fast ..
The speedo reads fast, 80km/h indicated is really about 75km/h. Riding the motorbike down in the sprinters lane at indicated 80 is a bit spooky, it's a reasonably tight radius and feels "iffy", but is doable, even in winter, once I've warmed up the tyres. I used to be a bit scared at 60km/h .. heh .. 60? That's creeping! It's a lot easier to go that fast just below the blue line, so that's what I was trying yesterday between efforts with the NTID/VIS guys. I saw close to 90km/h on the speedo (estimated that's around 85km/h actual) when I felt the left hand footpeg touch the boards. Ok, that's as quick as we're going! To go any quicker than than I'll have to hang off the side of the bike. Erm ...
So .. I went pretty quick ..
And that's today's blog entry. Sometimes I reckon I have the best job in the world, riding a motorbike in circles at an indoor velodrome at stupidly quick speeds is ace fun.
Looks good for enduros, potential to be good for sprint
For a long time I've been a champion of the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine ergo. I think I own 6 of them? It's got a stonkingly heavy flywheel which makes it good (ok, at least, viable) for standing start and acceleration work, which sprinters need. It's not without issues - the main one being tyre slip under heavy torque - ie: Those standing starts that we want to train on it. It's issue is that it uses a roller drive, and we can work around that with skateboard deck tape (lasts around 5-10 starts depending on the rider) and it does eat tyres. We can mate it up to a road powertap and get power and torque (sorta) from it, which is good too. They're also pretty quiet (fluid), unlike wind trainers.
But ... it's roller driven. A direct drive would be better, without doubt. Of course, to do this, would mean that the powertap wouldn't be any use, so we'd lose our data. Bugger ... We could use SRM's, if we had a huge budget, alas, not this week!
The other good trainer is the BT Ergo, which is a direct drive wind trainer. It's bulky, it's very expensive and it has next to no inertial load (no flywheel) so it's not good for training acceleration (great for constant power etc, but not for sprint work where we want to target acceleration). It, being direct drive, does not suffer from wheel slip though (although, since it has no significant flywheel, that's not really an issue with it anyway!). There's a power-based trainer or two around as well, the Computrainer is probably the most famous of them, but it's not a sprinters trainer. And the AIS's Wombat, the VIS's Godzilla etc (custom made jobbies, with uber-flywheels and SRM's and a big budget to put them together!)
Here's a new player on the block (thanks to Scott McGrory, we had a brief chat about it yesterday at DISC). It's the Lemond Revolution. Direct drive (no slip) and a flywheel. We lose out on power measurements with it, at least at the moment, but it might be worth a play - I will see if I can get one to add to the collection of trainers I have, to see if it can fill a niche in our sprint ergo program. If the flywheel has enough mass and we gear it up right it might be a valuable tool.
Especially for junior females
Modelled by Emily, I present the 3T Scatto.
Compare to her using the Easton EC90's, which were 38cm c-c :
Bear in mind that the camera used to take these shots is a GoPro with a very wide lens, so there is a bit of distortion that makes it look worse than it was with the EC90's
At last I can squat again
Where there's an orthopaedic issue, there's an engineering solution. I present Dave Draper's Top Squat
Not since April 2010 have I been able to do a proper squat. I've been able to front squat (sucks....), deadlift etc but with a SLAP tear and osteoarthritis in my shoulders the rotation of my arms was restricted (and still is and probably always will be) such that I can't hold the barbell properly. But with this doodad I can. Sorta - it's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than not being able to do it.
So on Monday (still full of mental and physical fatigue after the Aust titles in Sydney) I got under the bar for the first time in about 9 months or so. I only worked up to a lazy 80kg workset, the technique is a little different and there's a couple of tricks to using it (keep the thing LEVEL! or the barbell slips to one side, not ideal!) but in general it's a great bit of kit. On Tuesday I had DOMS and that is good!
Yesterday I got to DISC early and Hilts gave me a couple of MACC's for fun. I slapped on 96" to do 'em. Here's the graph of the last effort. It was supposed to be 375m, with me riding the last 125m unassisted, but Hilts blew the whistle, which means keep going, and it ended up being 500m. I think I found a new HRmax ... They are FUN! Hilton is a superb derny rider. I have much to learn.
This is what I want!
The guy who did it used car power telemetry software, which just reads CSV data. I reckon we can hack something up to do it with our track powermeters and that will be sexy!
I never ask my guys to do something I'm not prepared to do myself ...
And so we trained tonight at Blackburn, a solid session, the two who are off to the Junior Vics next week did some gate technique practice and some short, sharp but low volume stuff as part of their taper. I did the same as them. It was pretty warm, so afterwards it's off to the aboc powerhaus to do some recovery ... The AIS recovery protocol for sprint is 10 mins at 15 degrees in an ice bath standing up. Cue one big green wheelie bin, two bags of ice, a ladder and three hot sprinters.
I never put my charges through something I'm not prepared to do myself. Brrrr!
Dino got photos, I'll put them up when I get them. Dino .. send photos, the people demand proof!
Next week I'm off to assist the NTID and VIS guys at the Oceania track championships in Adelaide. That's why we moved Spin forward a week. I'll be carrying Hilton's bags mainly, but it's another great opportunity to gather experience at elite level, even if all I do is carry heavy stuff and push buttons on stopwatches I'll be soaking it all up and learning as much as I can. It'll be quite different to the NTID sprint camp I went to way back in July, where I pretty-much ran the show for all the NTID sprinters for two days, it'll be a good intro to how it's done with more coaches present etc.
I'm supposed to be in at DISC today with the squad (my usual Wednesday, 11am -> 9:30pm or so), but I've got a bit of a cold, it's not enough to stop work etc, but it is probably contageous, so I've pulled the day off so I don't share the bugs with the guys in the squad who are racing the Metros this weekend and/or are going to Adelaide.
Last weekend I was given one of the most enjoyable jobs in cycling, I was asked to commentate at the Country Track Championships. This was heaps of fun, I hope I added some value to the event and didn't make too many mistakes. Two days in a row of full-time commentating is not as easy as it sounds. The next time you get cranky with Phil and Paul, just try doing it yourself! Maybe it's the non-stop yapping that's brought on this cold?
Anyway, I'll be right in a day or two. I spent some of today getting equipment for the 'haus, we now have a pair of 20 and a pair of 25kg bumper plates. These are expensive things, some of the guys are strong enough to need them now (good!). I had another visit to the physio which was positive - my cranky shoulder is slowly improving (about time!) - I got out on the water on Monday evening and surfed some standing waves and felt very happy in whitewater, so that's good. I hope to be able to get some heavy squats done soon. It'll be a long rebuild, I reckon I'll be pretty happy with a 120kg squat to start with! But .. slow progress is good.
The countdown sample on FGF is crappy ...
Anyone who practices standing starts wants to 'sync their clock', which is to say, to get your timing spot-on.
At championship events, you get a beep at 10s to go, then 5,4,3,2 & 1 are beeps, then a different tone beep for 0.
There's a recorded sample of this over on Fixedgearfever, but it's full of background noise and is generally a bit ordinary. So I sat down for 15 mins or so with Audacity and made a new one. Here it is. Feel free to use/abuse/distribute as you see fit.
I have a few riders now who specialise in the 500m ITT, some info on how we train for it (33.295)
The 500m ITT is a classic sprinter's time trial. It's a shame it's no longer an Olympic event, but it is a world championship event and is very important. A few members of my squad love this event and it's their pet.
So, what does it take to be good at it? Let's look at some not too far out of date data from one of the very best at the 500.
When Anna Meares set a world record (33.944) in it back in 2006, she went from 0 to ~145rpm in about 15 seconds, her peak power output was ~1400 watts at about 120 rpm and 8 seconds into the event. She got to about 63km/h 15 seconds into the ride and held around 145rpm/62-63km/h for a further 19 seconds. By the time she crossed the finish her power had dropped to about 500 watts. An important part of this is the second 8 seconds, Anna went from 80rpm to 145rpm in 8 seconds.
So, how can we train for this?
We need to accelerate from 0 to ~145 rpm in around 15 seconds.
We need to have a solid peak power output of somewhere around 1400 or so watts
We need to hang on to the effort for 34 seconds.
With riders preparing for this race, one of my favorite drills is on an ergo. We use Kurt Kinetic Road Machines at aboc, Hilton prefers the BT ergo, but they both do the same thing. Hilts uses the ergos as a fitness tool doing short high intensity intervals, I like to use them also as a specific, targeted training tool for specific events.
We want to come at the 500 from both ends - the power at speed is important, but so to is being able to work up to that speed with acceleration.
So, we do acceleration efforts on the KKRM, scaled to the rider's current strength. How?
One tool is my RGRS(80:8) effort. What's that? RG is "race gear", RS is rolling start, 80:8 is the starting cadence and the duration of the effort. How do you know what RG is? On the KKRM we do a race gear calibration drill where we start in a small gear (60" or so), from a rolling start (~80rpm), and go all out for 8 seconds. If we get up to 160rpm, we rest for a few minutes, increase the gear by a couple of inches and go again, until we can't get to 160rpm anymore. That gear, where the rider can't quite get to 160rpm, is their RG for this drill. Then we use that gear to work on ergo standing starts, ergo efforts etc when we start getting specific about the 500.
Every few weeks we repeat the calibration drill, the gear should be getting bigger, or something's going wrong.
Small cameras .. Nifty
Recently I added an extra video camera to the video arsenal. My workhorse is a standard def Sony VX2100. These babies are the ducks' nuts of SD video cameras, the documentary film makers camera of choice up 'til HD took over, thank you Nick Bird for the recommendation! I got myself a little GoPro "Hero HD" for a bit of novelty value after seeing some really good kayaking videos shot with one. If you're into whitewater 'yaking, this is brilliant, these guys have done some good videos but this one's their best ...
Anyway .. To cut a long story short, I've used the little thing a few times at DISC and at Blackburn to record some tutorial-ish video, flying 200 lines mainly, from a rider/handlebar PoV. Today I did some rear-facing stuff on the motorbike at DISC so I could see what the guys in the squad were doing while at speed. My editing is very crude, rough and ready using PowerDirector and I don't spend much time making it pretty, but it's still handy stuff, I reckon.
The lens is a very wide angle (170 degrees in most modes including the default 960p/30fps) so there's some distortion when the subject is close (as they should be when being motorpaced, but SOME OF YOU SIT WAY TOO FAR OFF THE DAMN BIKE! The roller is there for a reason, YOU CAN TOUCH IT!) but even so, it's been quite revealing. We don't often get to look closely at sprinters under load at speed and everything happens pretty quickly. The video I'm getting isn't going to make our coaching service 107.65% better, make you 30-40% faster or any of that other marketing bull, but it's a pretty handy thing to have and I'm going to use it quite a bit, I think.