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Thinking about doing a TT(4 posts)

Thinking about doing a TTnodima
Jun 27, 2001 6:44 AM
I am entertaining the notion of entering a Time Trial. I have not done any road racing, but did race mt bikes several years ago. My thought is that a TT would be better, as I do not have a lot of experience riding in a group, and it fits my riding style better.

I have not picked a specific race yet, but expect to do so soon. I am in Mass, and along with some longer weekend rides, I commute to work a couple days each week, it is 20 miles each way with some rolling hills. In the morning, I have been averaging just under 20mph, and going home in the evening, about 18mph. There are a number of places I need to slow down and/or stop on the route.

Ideally this race would be about 20 miles. I believe that I would be able to maintain this pace in a race situation--no stops etc. Would this be fast enough to make it worthwhile (not be dead last) to race? I know I will be in Cat 5, and I am 32 if that matters. Any advice on finding a race schedule for SE New England would be appreciated.

Also any advice for preparing for the race would be helpful. Not so much the training, but what to expect on that day.

Thanks in advance

TT is an excellent first race experiencelonefrontranger
Jun 27, 2001 6:05 PM
I'll bite - 20 views and no reply, c'mon guys.

Try, and for additional race calendar info.

I have a lot of questions, but if you e-mail the answers I'll give you a more complete run-down- my posts are long enough w/o help.

A TT is basically a fine balance between going hard and blowing up, but a first-time TT racer should err on the conservative and go for the experience alone, IMO. The beginner racers I've coached all did ITTs as their first event, BTW.

Question #1 (Equipment): Do you have aerobars / heartrate monitor / cyclocomputer? If your answers are no, don't bother running out and getting them - comfort, focus and form are more important than equipment.

Question #2: (Course, TBD when you pick a race): What is the event distance and course profile (flat or hilly)? I think you said you were looking for something around 20 miles, but I'm unclear. For 20 miles, without knowing you better, I'd say your time goal is 1.00.00. This is a jumping-off point, not written in stone, so you can factor in a couple minutes either way for feeling good/bad and other conditions (windy, unbearably hot, etc.)

Question #3: (Course Part II, again TBD) Is this a loop or out-and-back? If it's the latter, you need to practice doing turns properly.

Question #4: (Prep time) How many weeks will you give yourself to prepare? If you pick a race that's at least a month away, you will be able to do things like pre-ride the course (always a good idea) and establish a baseline time to work with.

Question #5 (Prep again) Will they be using "holders" and/or a start ramp? If so, you need to practice being held prior to actually doing it, doubly so if they use a ramp.

Preparation Advice: Good grief, there's a lot of day before / day of advice. THE BARE BASICS: Pack everything up the day before, know the directions cold, get there at least 90 minutes before you start, and make sure you have your shoes, helmet and bike (the whole bike, I've seen folks arrive w/o front wheels!).

Beyond that: Get good sleep, warm up properly, don't eat too much / too late for breakfast, check in/register in a timely fashion, know your exact start time and be there with 5 minutes to spare, start on your 53/19... There's a whole laundry list of others, but this should get you safely off the line.

Again, if you want me to elaborate on any of this, please e-mail me.

Good Luck - Beth
re: Thinking about doing a TTKerry Irons
Jun 27, 2001 6:41 PM
There are two obvious aspects to doing time trials. Training and the event itself. There are three key training points: 1) Do 1-2 mile intervals at speeds above what you want to do in the TT, with 1/2 to 1 mile 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 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 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.
re: Thinking about doing a TTnodima
Jun 29, 2001 7:40 AM
Thanks for all the information.