The Pedal Stroke and the Track Sprint

The Pedal Stroke and the track sprint.

I look at the movement patterns as an important feature of the “engine” that drives the track sprint for example. It drives the acceleration and is integral at sustaining velocity. There is no “free” acceleration or free ride such that the fixed gear carries the athlete through the event. As a coach once remarked “you are either on top of the gear or you are not”. As much as some focus on the “downstroke”, the same focus should be given to the “upstroke” and other quadrants of the pedal stroke to the extent that one is able to unload. Important features of the movement patterns reside in enabling those transitions and drawing as much out of each quadrant as possible (net positive moments are unlikely), giving the appearance or feel of smoothness. Otherwise, as I see it the crankarm/pedal slaps or presses on the foot, creating resistance and slowing/limiting acceleration. The fixed gear is unforgiving compared with the freewheel. Back to the acceleration; off saddle, driven by the Sidebend Hip Hike (SBHH) or Trunk Pelvic Roll (TPR) or combination thereof, the same technique applies. Meet the downstroke with an effective off loading, and so on. Plus the physiological considerations. Take a look at the key features of elite sprinters, observe, practice, repeat, correct, strive, improve. To rephrase: “your movement pattern is either the master of the gear or it is not”. Regardless of the cycling discipline, the quality of the movement patterns is the “essence” of the athletic performance.