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first time racing question(4 posts)

first time racing questionbiker_eric
Apr 4, 2003 2:49 PM
Hi, I'm 17 years old and I'am planing on racing a few weekly time trials this summer. I've never time trialed before and I was wondering what is the usual average speed for kids my age on a relatively flat 15km course.

I know it varys but it would really help me before I get stomped on.
re: first time racing questionMR_GRUMPY
Apr 4, 2003 3:02 PM
Anywhere from 18 mph to 27 mph, depending on talent and condition.
Don't worry about the others, worry about your raceKerry
Apr 6, 2003 4:43 PM
There are two obvious aspects to doing time trials. Training and the event itself. Emphasize these things rather than worrying about the other rider's times.

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.
Have funB123
Apr 6, 2003 11:04 PM
Your first TT won't be a good judge of your capacity. Like any test you will improve the more you take it. After three or four TT's you will probably take off a minute or two as your mental focus improves. It may take the whole summer to find out what gears/cadence is best for you, as well as position and equipment.

Talented juniors will throw down times in the low 20's, of course they've been racing since age 10 and have top equipment. My first 20k took 32min as a 15yr old with a $50 bike. The fastest kids were doing 26min on $3000 bikes, although I'm sure they could have beaten me had the bikes been switched. Times also depend on your body type. I'm a skinny climber, while I've improved my TT times in the past years I'll never be a great TT'er.

Summer training, mental focus, guidance from wiser riders, aero bars...easily 2min off your current time.