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Improving time trial performance(9 posts)

Improving time trial performancePT
Jul 8, 2002 2:43 PM
I did my first road racing in over 20 years this past weekend. I wasn't a good time trialist back then and I am not pleased to find I haven't improved in 20 years (despite mtb racing a fair amount). So, what do I need to do to become a better tt rider? I faired well in the road and crit stages, and I feel I know what I need to do to overcome my shortcomings in those disciplines. But based on my results in the road race, crit, and mtb races, I feel I could/should do better in time trials than I did on Saturday (or did 20 years ago for that matter).

(By the way – the road race was far more fun than any mtb race I've done in recent memory – I've come back from the dark side.)
re: Improving time trial performancekaiser
Jul 8, 2002 7:05 PM
perhaps you might try experimenting with a slower start and building up speed to your maximum pace over several minutes. What's the worst that could might suck worse one time?

Maybe you're just going anearobic way too fast.

my 2¢
Spend time...hayaku
Jul 9, 2002 6:19 AM
training specificaly for the TT.

Do you have a TT that you are planning for? The TTs around here are generally short, 20-30 minutes so I do 3 15-20 minute repititions hovering on and just below LT, spiking with higher work loads throughout the workout. I do these 2-3 times a week. (Because I like TT and hill climbing)

I do most of my work on my trainer, even when its beautiful weather outside because I don't have to stop for traffic lights or slow down for corners or anything. Also riding on the trainer requires focus and disipline which I think pays off in competition.

Spend time at LT and you will become faster, go hard and you'll become even faster! Good luck!
re: Improving time trial performancebrider
Jul 9, 2002 7:34 AM
TTing is a mental thing, in my opinion. Many people are good at RRs and crits, where you can draft, there's tactics involved, and the head-to-head thing brings out the beast in you. But being all alone out there with no where to hide, and seeing an average speed that's maybe slower than a road race, can be demoralizing. Notice, all those things are mental. Like Hayaku, I loved TTs and hillclimbs. It's a race to the pain (for any one that remembers "Princess Bride"). Embrace the pain. Get a little Klingon jones going. Okay enough sadistic stuff.

If you're not already taking advantage of the fairly cheap aerodynamic advantages of clip-on bars, get them now. Dial in a position that is somewhat comfortable, allows you to transfer power to the pedals, and is low and narrow. Practice in that position (if you're not smooth in an aero position, you'll waste a lot of energy weaving all over the road). Work on your hip flexibility. Get familiar with what you can do in a TT situation, and concentrate on improving speed-endurance -- LT intervals, speed runs, slight uphill intervals in the aero-position.
TT on a road bikeJSchneb
Jul 9, 2002 9:29 AM
What do you guys do, just clip bars on to your regualr drop bars? What about seat position? I'm curious because I plan on doing a couple of TT's in the next few weeks. Thanks!
TT on a road bikebrider
Jul 9, 2002 10:09 AM
I've used a variety of clip-ons on my regular road bike. The first ones I had were the first generation Lemond clip-ons, then went to some that were marketed by John Howard (forgot the name), and the Profile Airstrykes, now P{rofile Split Seconds. In all cases, I left the seat where it was (though I did creep forward some times) and had the clip-on bars (when adjustable) fairly short, attached to the drop bars. The Split Seconds I'm in the process of modifying to shorten beyond their adjustability. Don't try to go too radical in the front end. My elbow spacing isn't all that narrow, which keeps me stable and lets me put the power to the pedals, but I'm fairly low (no spacers under the elbow pads). I really pull hard on the clip-ons (make sure they're secure). My pads come about half-way on my forearms (or maybe slightly toward my elbows). One thing to work on is "dropping your spine." What I mean is this -- drop your spine between your shoulder blades and stick your chin forward. This allows you to keep your head up without creating a drag-inducing profile.
Equipment and trainingKerry
Jul 9, 2002 5:21 PM
Two separate discussions. Equipment is a whole other track, so for training, the standard recommendation is "speed intervals" where you go three minutes on, 3 minutes recovery. "On" means at TT pace plus a little. Repeat this 5 times, with a proper warmup and cool down. Treat it just like other intervals - no more than 2X per week and a recovery day in between. You can do TT intervals 1X per week and sprint intervals 1X per week.
Jul 10, 2002 11:44 AM
Not all people have access to it, but if you can perform a submax test with blood lactate analysis, you can accurately train to increase your lactate threshold.
The test consists of 8-10 finger pricks within about a 15-20 minute test. If you have a coach (or get a coach) they aught to be able to plot out the data and determine where your lactate threshold is and corresponding heart rate. You can then use a heart rate monitor to train at or above (slightly though) your lactate threshold heart rate .
If you increase your lactate threshold to a higher percentage of your max, you are garanteed to see faster times in the TT! Lance Armstrong, for example, has a very high lactate threshold. Consequently, he can race closer to his max without "blowing up".
Steve Owens,
Lance is off the chartsDougSloan
Jul 10, 2002 11:50 AM
I heard that Lance's max is 201, and he averaged 194 in the prologue, hitting a peak of 197 near the finish. That's absolutely incredible.