Drafting and Sprinting Practice

Saturday morning Michael and I woke up in Yakima ready to tackle a bike ride. It was HOT out. Eastern Washington is desert and it was nearly 90 degrees by 10am. I’d found a place we could ride our bikes so we got ready. The hotel we were staying in didn’t offer a continental breakfast and we didn’t want to go out so we grabbed snacks. Michael ate beef jerky and raw almonds and I had leftover pasta salad. Not really the best breakfast but it was what we had!

We drove to Sherman Park where we parked the car and headed out on the Yakima Greenway trail.

It was early enough that the trail was pretty empty for most of our ride. It was hot out but it wasn’t uncomfortable.

The trail was flat. There were some other cyclists out and a few walkers but not many. I realized that my bike seat was crooked–I think from when I fell on the bike a month ago. That could explain some of the knee/back pain I was having recently when I rode. Michael fixed my seat and it made a world of difference!

The trail went right a long the river and it was a beautiful place to ride. The mountains in the distance were scenic and the water was fast moving and looked refreshing.

Since the trail was pretty flat and straight, and there weren’t a ton of people on it, Michael suggested we do some training. First we practiced Drafting. I’m not very good at Drafting. It makes me nervous to be that close to someone on the bike.

He instructed me to get my front tire about 1 foot from him back tire. He said to pay attention to which direction the wind was coming from and be either on the left or right side of his tire accordingly. We practiced for awhile.

He instructed me that if I lose him that I should sprint to catch up and get back on his tire. We passed by a few parks, a dog park, and some playgrounds while on the trail.

There were a few short hills that we practiced sprinting up. It was a nice exercise. My heart rate recovered quickly.

We took a quick rest under a bridge in the shade so I could drink some water and we continued on. The next thing to practice was sprinting. Since it was a flat, long road it was ideal for sprinting.

Speed training on the bike is just like interval training for runners. It’s also a crucial part of training.  Doing short, explosive sessions on the bike (5-30 seconds long) builds speed, stamina and recovery time.

We continued on the trail. I thought it was a 10 mile loop for some reason but we rode around a small lake and then reached the end of the trail. We turned around and practiced more sprinting and drafting.

The day was warming up nicely and I was kind of sad that the bike ride was coming to an end. We talked about doing the trail again but we had a time crunch.

I liked practicing the Sprints the best. It was really fun. I tried sprinting up hills too.

The Yakima Greenway Trail was a success in my book. I would definitely do it again if we were in that city.

We got back to the car in no time. I was happy to get in a workout on our vacation.

Ride Stats:
Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Calories Burned: 517
Distance: 14.9 

Total Distance for the week:  63.03 miles! Yay! My goal was to try and get in 60 for the week and I did it!

It was such a fun morning. The trail is really the winner in Yakima. There’s nothing else there worth writing about! 😉

QUESTION: Do you practice sprint drills on the bike or with running? What differences have you noticed as a result?


10 Responses

  1. Great job on the mileage! John and I draft off each other, but truthfully you don’t notice too much unless there is a headwind or going really fast (20mph). We average 13.5 mph on our hybrids.

    Our ride on Saturday was very windy and drafting was really helpful!

  2. Nice job on your bike ride! I really wish I had someone local to ride with (my one cycling friend lives 2.5 miles away) I think I would do it way more often then. I like to practice sprinting when I’m biking on flat trails too – oh and that trail is really pretty!!

    1. 2.5 miles or 25? Could you guys meet half way in between your houses for a bike ride?

      The trail was gorgeous! I’m lucky that I have a built in bike partner with Michael.

  3. Beautiful! I’ve done sprints on and off with running but never gotten too serious about it. The last time I did it, I got terrible shin splints and had to take a week off of running… so I’ve been a bit afraid to do it again. I’ve built up a pretty good base, now, so I should probably start! I would like to not have a victory dance just because I got a mile under 10 minutes anymore. 🙂

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