Training for track racing

Is track racing for you? A track taster session could help you find out. Herne Hill Velodrome and Lee Valley Velopark offer inductions, taster sessions and intermediate training sessions. These support riders in progressively learning the skills of riding fixed wheel in a bunch. Most sessions at Preston Park Velodrome are only for youth riders at present.

If you are confident riding at speed in a group, you could go straight into track accreditation. Accreditation is a pre-requisite for track racing and SQTs – structured, quality training sessions, which are a great way to prepare yourself for the season. Lee Valley Velopark has a four-stage accreditation process. Those for Herne Hill and the Sussex Cycle Racing League are less demanding.

Track events are short and fast, mainly between 500m and 20km. There are typically four or five events for every rider at a track meet. The racing demands power, speed and anaerobic endurance. Once you have a good endurance base, you can train specifically to develop these areas. British Cycling’s 8-week track cycling training plan is a good place to start; its 4-week sprint plan is also very relevant: there is plenty of sprinting in track racing.

If you are interested in the training of a pure track sprinter, Up! Up! Up! offers a wealth of information. Pure track sprinters race match sprints, sprint handicaps, keirins, kilometre TTs, team sprints and little else. They focus entirely on power and speed in training – lots of maximal efforts with long rests in between, plenty of gym work and no long-distance riding or endurance training. Kenny, Awang and Pervis are highly specialised athletes.

Finally, if you want to know more about track racing, speak to club members who ride the track. We love it and are happy to share our knowledge and experience.