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Time Trail Racing(4 posts)

Time Trail Racinglexington476
Mar 12, 2003 4:47 PM
I have heard that racing in a time trial is better when first getting into racing. True? There is a time trail in a few weeks that I am thinking about going to. What should I expect??? I have yet to do a road race (only MTB).
TTs as the starting pointKerry
Mar 12, 2003 5:51 PM
The reason the TT is a good starting point is that you don't have to worry about tactics, riding in a pack, lots of cornering, and so on. Just you against the clock. You need to prepare yourself for the TT by learning what you are capable of - the TT is a large part mental in that you need to know how hard you can go and hold it.

There are two obvious aspects to doing time trials. Training and the event itself. There are three key training points: 1) Do 3-5 minute intervals at speeds above what you want to do in the TT, with 2-3 minute recoveries in between. Depending on your current fitness and desire, do as many as 5 intervals, twice a week with at least a day off (recovery rides) in between. 2) Have a good base of mileage before actually doing a TT (500-1,000 miles). The amount would vary with TT distance and your general fitness and cycling experience, but the longer the planned event, the more base mileage you should have to both perform well and more importantly, avoid injury. 3) Work on your position. Get as low as possible on the bike while still being able to breath well. Hold that position for long periods. If you're going to use aero bars, practice with them. And practice your turnarounds.

For the event itself, there are a whole bunch of little points which, when added together can both improve your time and make the TT a more "enjoyable" ride. Be well fed and well hydrated, with a good carbo intake the day before and the day of the event. If its an evening ride, snack & sip through the afternoon. Some caffeine 30-60 minutes before the ride doesn't hurt. Be well warmed up - the saying is the shorter the TT, the longer you should warm up. A 10 mile ride to warm up for a 10 mile TT is good. Shortly before your start, do a couple of "jumps" up to maximum effort for 1/4-1/2 mile to get your body ready for a fast start. Arrive at the line sweating, but not out of breath, and ready for a rapid acceleration up to TT speed. Try to get to your maximum sustainable effort ASAP (remember, you're already warmed up). If your legs seem like they are the limit to going faster, shift to a lower gear. If your lungs seem like your limit, shift to a higher gear. Get into your best aero position and stay there. For the turnaround, hold your speed as long as possible, jam the brakes and bank the turn faster than you think you can go. Forget this business about sprinting for the finish - you should have nothing left to sprint with. Around here, the finish of a TT is described as "notfarfrompukin" if you get my point.
Great post!jesse1
Mar 12, 2003 8:42 PM
More (and better) info than at least 3 issues of Bicycling Mag!
good infoDougSloan
Mar 13, 2003 9:35 AM
The only other thing I'd recommend is to do your warmup on a stationary trainer. You'll get warm faster, if it's a cool morning, you can control your effort more precisely, you won't risk puncturing your $60 racing tires right before the race, and if it's like most races I've been to, you won't have to dodge other racers and spectators wandering all over the roads near the event.

If you can pre-ride the course, that's a good idea. Might be better the day before, though.

Doug