Countdown to the Olympics with cyclist Pete Mitchell (week two)

As part of the countdown to the Olympics our weekly column comes from local athletes in the build-up to London 2012.

FOR me, the month of August has been one of training hard, preparing for upcoming competitions. But, how does a sprint cyclist train? Well, here is an example of a full-on training week, for a track sprinter.

Monday, an hour easy road ride in the morning to activate my legs, ready for a three-hour afternoon track session. I have 12 standing starts on big gears to develop strength and peak torque.

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Tuesday, a gym session in the morning, working mainly on legs.

At the moment, I am doing 10 reps of exercises such as squats, deadlift and power cleans. In the afternoon, I have another three-hour track session, this time with flying efforts to develop my peak speed, hitting around 73kph (just over 45 mph!).

Wednesday, a slightly easier day consisting of just 1½hrs on the road at a steady tempo to recover from the last few days.

I aid the recovery process with a sports massage in the afternoon.

Thursday, I have a lighter power-based gym session that takes about an hour, followed by a track session in the afternoon, this time targeting acceleration.

I usually have eight half-lap acceleration efforts, both seated and out of the saddle. My power can hit up to 2,200 watts, and is measured by “SRM” power cranks that we have fitted to our bikes.

Friday, start with another heavy gym session, again working the legs, with a further track session afterwards. Friday is always the toughest day, with the track session aimed at improving speed endurance. Four 30 second efforts leave me exhausted and ready for a bit of rest over the weekend.

Saturday, starts with two hours hard riding on the roads. This aerobic/ endurance capacity gives me the ability to recover fully in between the efforts that I do on the track.

Sunday, is a day off, leaving me well rested and recovered, ready to go again next week.

Now for September, with the National Championships being at the end of the month in Manchester, my training will begin to ease slightly, to allow me to be at my best for race day.