Competitive Cycling Tips : Training for Criteriums in Competitive Cycling
SAL COLLURA: Okay, now some specific training
for criterium racing. I would recommend, if you can find a course near your home or some
place you can get to a couple of times a week where you can actually ride laps on let’s
say a half-mile course or a kilometer course that has at least four corners, you’re training
yourself to ride corners. Now, I’m going to assume you know enough about riding corners
that I don’t have to go through that, but inside pedal up, enter on the outside, go
into the apex, and exit on the outside. But just getting your body and your brain used
to doing that is important. Now, the other thing for training for criteriums is you don’t
want to be at 75%, 80%, 90%. You want to be at 100% for an hour, maybe an hour and a half.
One way to do this is to ride with other people who are going to push you. Maybe you’re on
that crit course and you’re pace-lining. Also, I would add a few jumps into that. So, you’re
already almost at 100% and someone takes off. Well, guess what: now you can go on 110%.
So what it does is it gives you those jumps because in a criterium, that’s what’s going
to happen. People are going to take off all the time, you’re going to come out of a corner,
and you’re going to have to accelerate, so you’re getting used to that environment. And
again, like I mentioned, the Thursday-nighter that we do, riding with other people and they’re
making you go faster than you want to: That’s the kind of training that I recommend for
criteriums. Also, your sprint workout that we talked about for Tuesday is very important
because, chances are, at the end of a criterium, you’re not going to be by yourself even if
you’re on a break. There’s going to be two, three, four, five guys with you. How are you
going to beat ’em? You’re going to out-sprint ’em. Working on that is really helpful. One
thing I would also recommend is doing some uphill sprints and some downhill sprints.
The downhill sprints will get you in that 53-11, really turning it over, and it’ll just
get you used to making speed out of your legs. And in the uphill sprints, what that’ll do
is build some power and I think it also helps on your form. Sprinting uphill, it can look
ugly, but as you keep doing it, you’re going to smooth out and you’re going to turn all
of your energy into forward momentum, and that’s how you’re going to win those sprints.