What Does It Take to Be a Top Track Cyclist? By Marty Nothstein


Track cycling is an exhilarating sport that demands speed, power, and precision. If you aspire to become a top track cyclist, you’ll need to possess certain qualities and commit to a rigorous training regimen. Are you ready to take on the challenge? Let’s delve into what it takes to reach the pinnacle of track cycling.

Calories, and More Calories

For track cyclists like Marty Nothstein, calories are the lifeblood of their training. Fueling intense workouts and building muscle requires a significant calorie intake. While athletes in water-based sports like swimming have access to abundant food sources during training, track cyclists rely solely on land-based training. Unlike swimmers who can find sustenance in snacks provided at pools or lakes, track cyclists must plan their nutrition meticulously to ensure they have enough energy for their demanding workouts.

Train Like a Pro

To excel as a top track cyclist, you need to train like a professional. Pro cyclists are known for their ability to ride hard and fast for short bursts, followed by quick recovery periods to repeat the effort the next day. This training methodology is crucial for developing the explosive power and stamina necessary for track cycling.

Most workouts for track cyclists are short and intense, typically lasting less than an hour. It’s important to schedule these sessions when your body is fresh, ideally in the morning. This allows you to maximize your training potential and optimize your performance.

To create an effective training plan, identify your specific goals and areas for improvement. Determine whether you need to focus on speed, endurance, recovery from injury, or any other aspect that can impact your race day performance. Based on your needs, select appropriate drills and exercises. These could include hill repeats to enhance strength and power or sprints against imaginary opponents to improve speed and agility.

Mental Toughness and Strategy

Becoming a top track cyclist requires more than physical prowess; it demands mental toughness and strategic thinking. Track races are fast-paced and often unpredictable. You must develop the ability to make split-second decisions, anticipate your competitors’ moves, and position yourself strategically to gain an advantage.

Marty Nothstein Additionally, track cycling involves various race formats, including individual sprints, team sprints, keirin, omnium, and kilo. Each event requires a unique approach and tactical understanding. Analyzing your opponents, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and adapting your strategy accordingly can give you a competitive edge.


Becoming a top track cyclist is a challenging journey that demands dedication, discipline, and perseverance. Fueling your body with the right nutrition, following a focused training plan, and developing mental toughness are key ingredients for success. With a passion for speed and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can pursue your track cycling aspirations. Embrace the physical and mental demands of the sport, and always strive to push your limits. Remember, the path to greatness in track cycling is not an easy one, but the rewards are immeasurable.