Ian's Training Notes


Although, as I indicated in my previous entry, I got a nice boost in my sprinting numbers following the changes I made to my training (reduced volume, overgeared sprint work, lots of time in the gym), I was still a bit disappointed with my rate of progress on my lifts.

This was especially frustrating given all the effort I was putting into it: not just under the barbell, but also in studying both the science and practice of lifting, and experimenting with different training approaches.

I'd had the usual initial rapid improvements that all novices experience, when your body is learning to use the muscle it already has more effectively. In my case, this lasted for about ten weeks, after which period further gains evaporated. I spent the next five or six months in a futile effort to tweak the novice linear progression approach (low volume, high frequency, high intensity), with little to show for it.

It was obvious at this point that there was no more blood to be squeezed out of that stone, so I switched to a real training plan (higher volume and more varied intensities). This helped a little, but still I wasn't progressing anything like I wanted.

Then, almost exactly one year into my strength training, the problem finally dawned on me.


The last five months saw me working primarily on strength development whilst continuing to refine my sprint training plan.

The transition from endurance to sprint training was pretty abrupt, but not difficult; my cycling volume has come down to around 6 or 7 hours per week and I'm actually spending more time in the gym than on my bike. Most of my cycling has been base training combined with short, overgeared sprinting. No group rides, no tempo or threshold work; almost everything has been either very easy or full gas. This is to ensure my cycling is as complementary as possible to my weight training.

In fact, it's so clear to me that strength is the limiting factor in my sprint performance that I've been almost exclusively focusing on it throughout this period. 6 days per week lifting weights in a garage in South Carolina wasn't the most fun way to spend the summer, but there's no disputing the results.