Ditching arm pump
Arm pump by far is the most common question I get asked at the track, “how can I get rid of it” “what exercises should I be doing”... etc. . . . I’m not sure I have the answer but I do have some things for you to try that does work for some riders.
Audit your arm pump first, are you getting during practice, or only during races? If you’re getting it while practicing then it is most likely an experience problem, so I want you to find a pace where you can ride without pumping up and build from there,(Start slow). Focus on your breathing, that’s where the real problem is.
If you’re only getting arm pump at races, it’s mostly psychological. You just need to get more comfortable racing, next time you’re on the starting line “nervous” tell yourself “I’m excited” the brain chemistry of “nervous” vs. excitement is the exact same so you can actually trick your brain into thinking your excited , which will allow you to focus more on your riding and breathing.
Everyone has dealt with arm pump at one point in their career (most still do) it’s a psychological thing, you just have to find the trick to get around it. In my opinion it has nothing to do with fitness, or strength.