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How to racing a time trial(8 posts)

How to racing a time trialKramer7
Jun 18, 2003 2:15 AM
I have my first 40km time trial on Saturday.
How should I approach this time trial.
How hard do I start and what gear should I be pushing.
What heart rate percent should I aim for.

Just really need some advice and generally just give it ago on Saturday.

Cheers Kramer
re: How to racing a time trialbrider
Jun 18, 2003 7:17 AM
Good warm-up.
Start hard, settle in to LT pace.
Maintain through to the finish.

If you don't already have your position dialed in, it's too late.
general answerDougSloan
Jun 18, 2003 8:38 AM
Start hard enough to get up to speed quickly, but not sprinting. You don't want to blow in the first mile. I'd start in something like a 53x19, so you don't have to shift the front, too. Depends on your power.

40k is a long tt, so even more so than a 10 mile tt, you must pace yourself, including the start.

Heartrate should be at threshold. That's were you just start to feel the acid burn, and are breathing fairly heavily, but still deeply and controlled. For me, and it could vary widely, it's about 15-20 beats under max.

If in doubt, I'd say go a little slower than you think you should on the first half, then harder as the race progresses. That's much better than the opposite. Try for a slight negative split.

If you generally are familiar with the other racers, you can sort of guage your speed off them. If a minute man behind you comes flying by you, may be an indication that you are going too slow, and vice versa for the minute man in front. Even with racers of the same Cat, though, time trialing ability can vary widely. I've seen big guys who get toasted in hilly road racers destroy people in time trials.

If I could suggest any advice in general, it would be not to go too hard in the first half and blow up.

re: How to racing a time trialTime Trial dot org
Jun 18, 2003 6:36 PM
Here's and article off of on race day preparation for a 40K TT:

You've trained hard, done all your intervals, endured hundreds of miles of "hammer rides", and now it's time to test yourself in that Race of Truth, the time trial.

Preparation is the key to success, and the preparation doesn't end until the moment that the race begins.

On race day, you must plan your time carefully. Time trailing is as much a mental game as a physical one, so try to avoid things that will distract you from the job at hand. Plan your arrival so that you will have plenty of time to do every thing you need to do without feeling rushed. Here is a list of some of the things you will need to do before starting your time trial. (Not necessarily in order)

Register for the race.

Go to the bathroom

Pump up tires


Go to the bathroom

Put on shoes, gloves, etc.

Go to the bathroom

Warm up

Go to the bathroom again

Be at the line on time.

Warming up is the most important. I like to schedule a full hour on the bike before a time trial. The first 20 minutes is easy spin, just to loosen up. After that you should spend the next 20 minutes doing several accelerations up to time trial speed. Push only up to the point that you begin to feel "The Burn", then relax and recover. You will find that after two or three efforts, your speed will come easier. The last 20 minutes are spent on the bike, but close to the start area. Do a couple of jumps to simulate the race start, but otherwise just spin. Pay close attention to the starters, and be on the line on time. The officials generally insist that you line up several minutes ahead of you start time in the staging area. If you are properly warmed up, standing around for a few minutes before your start in the staging area will not hurt you at all. Arriving at the start line early is much better than arriving at the line late!

Now it's time to go.

The best advice I ever heard was that a time trial was really two separate races. The first race is from the start to the turn around, and the second race is from the turn around to the finish line. When you begin you must put your full effort into the first race, the race to the turn around. Get to the turnaround as fast as you can, without thinking about the return trip or saving anything for the second part. When you make the turn around, forget everything you just did in the first part of the race and apply all you strength to get to the finish line as fast as you can. That is just part of the mental game that you must play if you will succeed at time trialing.

Concentrate on maintaining steady speed. It is much easier to maintain a steady speed, than to keep having to re-accelerate if you let your speed drop. Avoid doing anything that will cause you to loose any time at all. Any seconds you loose are just plain gone, time lost from mistakes can not be regained.

The last thing I would like to say about time trialing is that the only competition you have on a time trial is yourself. You goal should never be more than to do the best you can. Shoot for a personal best time every time you compete. Never go into the race only with the goal of winning. In a local race there is always a Grant Potter or Dave Vanderlaan, at the states, it might be Carl Sunquist, or Carl Westergrin, at the national level, Bostick is likely to show up. The point is that if you focus on doing your best, then you will always be satisfied with your effort and you will never loose the desire to compete.
re: Thanks for all the adviceKramer7
Jun 21, 2003 2:09 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys
I finished in a time of 1h:1m:26sec placing me the 3rd fasted of the day.

Looking forward now to next year race to see if I can go faster.

Cheers Kramer
Some tips for next time (don't wait until 2004!!)Kerry
Jun 21, 2003 4:41 PM
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.
Some tips for next time (don't wait until 2004!!)Kramer7
Jun 21, 2003 5:31 PM
Thanks Kerry for the awesome advice, but unfortunately there is only one winter cycling club with only one time trial per year.
I'm mainly into multisports which cycling, river kayaking and mountain running.

But will save you information until next year.
Cheers Kramer
Some (more) tips for next timeOTG
Jun 25, 2003 7:36 AM
Already a couple of good replies, but what the hell.
This came with my voler newsletter, it was written by a former World TT champion.