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Training for the 500

by Carl Brewer last modified 2010-10-25 20:10

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 Let's look at some not too far out of date data from one of the very best at the 500.

anna_meares_500m_33.9s_poweranna_meares_500m_33.9s_powerWhen 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.



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