How to improve sprint?

Guys, please give some reasonable advices to improve my sprint.
Here is my power profile.

All-time best is 690W for 5 seconds, which is indeed crap.
I try to grind the largest gear at 75-80 rpm, standing.
My normal cadence is quite low, 70-75 rpm I would say, I am lightweigt 63kg B-class climber.
All discussions I read about sprinting refer to 100, 120 or even 140 rpm, which is extremely unnatural.
Does my technique limit my sprint ability? Is high cadence is necessary, as well as seated sprint?

Technique is certainly a huge factor worth a watch of @Jake_Sanderson video for some starting tips.

I’m like you tend to grind and coming into sprint I’ll be usually my largest gear and look to spin at a higher cadence to increase power. last thing you want to be doing mid sprint is changing gears

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Here’s more advice from a sprinter. You can also do interval workouts that target typical sprint durations and max efforts.


Thanks. Watched, eager to try it out. Hope I will not crush my front wheel during push-pulls.

What could be the cealing for me, taking into account I am 63kg, 174 cm tall, I am 34 years old ?
I am very good at my 20 min power. I am a half-marathon / trailrunner too, my best time acheived this season is half-marathon under 1h:30m.
I know, it is kind of diffcult question, but what average person with such data could acheive, ballpark number to shoot at?
Historically, I was performing better at longer type of events and efforts, where all others were absolutely cracked in the process and I myself had just a lot in the tank left.

I could do approx 1000w at 68kg, 1m85.

A lot of it is technique and practice to build the right muscle groups.

How long you sustaining that for James? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

At my best, maybe 10 seconds :slight_smile:

gym work is important but you can make some gains on the bike. my favourite drills are:

1-3s slow start peak power efforts spread over 2 hours of easy riding (25+ of these, it’s only about 1 min 30s of actual work). i do these outdoors because smart trainers hate them and so do my ulnar tendons

30s max efforts, 2 or 3 of them, again spread over an hour or two. full rest between intervals

1 min max efforts, same thing

and rarely: 6x 15s sprints. full rest between efforts

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There’s a News Of The World headline in there somewhere.

James in ‘I can push hard for 10 seconds’ controversy.


that guy absolutely obliterated me in a 4km super sprint race once lol. glad to hear his advice is similar to mine anyway

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It’s so difficult to answer what your expected power would be.

Given your body composition you are more a climbers physique. That said Mark Cavendish isn’t a stereotypical sprinters physique and cannot put out the wattage of his fellow sprinters. The difference is he can sustain it for a lot longer.

You need to establish if your muscles fibres are more slow or fast twitch.

Looking at your exercise history you’re adept at sustained power.

1000w is a big big number for you to hit. You’re running history looks similar to mine but I’m 20kg heavier and circa 15 years older and i can touch a 1000w on a good day.

As others have said train for it if that’s your focus but in the first instance aim for 800, then 900 etc… Personally I’d love to say you’ve a 1000w in you but it might be too much.
Don’t be sad about this though as you will be amazing going uphill.
We are all different. There’s no such thing as a top sprinter and climber. You can’t be a world beater in both.

He’s something special for sure. Wearing gloves and outdoor sunglasses on a turbo trainer but making it look ok takes some doing.

800W at 5 sec is my nearest goal for sure.
All recommend more to spin, than grind like me.
Is grinding so unefficient ? Or it limits the total power output, so I had to spin more rpms anyway to hit higher numbers ? Seems to be so, as I am at 2nd largest gear (52-12), since 11th sprocket produces too much noise on my trainer.

I would definitely say that, for a sprint, a large gear is very inefficient. Primarily because it just takes time, and a huge amount of effort to get it going. Think about trying to get your car up to speed from a stop sign in 5th gear. It’s going to take a while, if you can get moving at all. Much better to start in a smaller gear, that you can get moving quickly, and then shift to larger gears as needed.


^^^What Nigel said very very important.

It all depend on how you are built. 90RPM is high for me. My peak 10second power is at 90RPM.

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at very high watts yeah. my peak 1-3s power usually brings me up to 130rpm. it becomes exponentially harder to produce the necessary torque the closer you get to your absolute peak

Try to do Spinning Drills at 100RPM Standing for 5 to 10s without any high power output and then when you get a good fell for this RPM’s slowly increase the gears for more Power output…i hope you own a Smart Trainer and not Wheel ON :smiley:

sprinter here - 90rpm is average for me, anything below 80 and my legs set on fire bcos fast-twitch gets activated, so have to save it for when it counts. no idea how u grindy bois sit at 60-80rpm all day on a long ride, it would kill me in no time :smiley:

for those saying large gear is inefficient - if you are a sprinter, you ideally want to be in a large gear b4 u sprint, bcos with the torque you are about to unleash when you stand up you are going to “spin out” if in an easier gear and you definitely don’t want to be changing up a gear after you’ve launched. don’t worry you will only be grinding for like a couple of seconds until the rpm’s get going :smiley:

how to improve sprint? lift big, eat big, & do some exercises that involve short bursts of explosive power (typically a road cyclist’s worst nightmare).

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shifting in the middle of a sprint = 90% chance ur chain is dropping or something gna break

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