Time trial

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by John Dunlop, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    I'm thinking of entering a local time trial next year, as much to
    give me something to aim for over the winter as anything else. How
    much could I expect to improve if I devote, say, 10 hours a week to
    training? The route is an undulating 17.5 miles, and I can currently
    maintain 21 mph. Never having done any training before, I've no idea
    what to expect. Is a gain of 2 mph in 6 months realistic or am I in
    the realms of fantasy?
    John Dunlop, Sep 29, 2011
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  2. John Dunlop

    Rob Morley Guest

    I'm not sure that time triallists think in terms of average speed - I
    used to measure my performance only in terms of times on a particular
    course, because that's how you do time trials. :)
    Rob Morley, Sep 29, 2011
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  3. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Rob Morley:
    Well, there you go. I'm no time trialist. I did try the David Millar
    position though, forearms resting on the middle of the bar and hands
    dangling out in front. Precarious but effective.
    John Dunlop, Sep 29, 2011
  4. John Dunlop

    thirty-six Guest

    That depends on how much you are currently underperforming and
    whether the undulations are sufficient to be "hilly". Go by the
    times other riders have acheived and aim to close the gap bit by bit,
    looking for where you are weak in the course.
    thirty-six, Sep 29, 2011
  5. John Dunlop

    bugbear Guest

    If you can currently sustain 21 mph over 17.5 miles
    you may not have been "training", but you've definitely
    been "practising" or something.

    bugbear, Sep 30, 2011
  6. John Dunlop

    Simon Mason Guest

    Or join a club that has women/youths and old duffers in it, rather
    than one solely composed of the local hard men. I speak from
    experience :)
    Simon Mason, Sep 30, 2011
  7. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Simon Mason:
    They call it a hilly time trial, but one man's hill is another's
    bump, isn't it? One or two of the inclines I'd call hills, but
    they're short, less than two minutes long.
    Would riding with the hard men not help you improve? I've not joined
    a club yet, but I was out the other weekend for a century with the
    local bunch, a friendly lot, and Graeme Obree joined us - you don't
    get much harder than that! :)
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  8. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Just cycling a lot, nothing structured, no training as such.
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  9. John Dunlop

    Paul Rudin Guest

    For the most part training is "just cycling a lot".
    Paul Rudin, Sep 30, 2011
  10. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Paul Rudin:
    I agree there's a lot of cycling involved, but this site, for


    seems to suggest there's more to it.
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  11. John Dunlop

    Simon Mason Guest

    Oh yes, you come on in leaps and bounds when you go out training with
    them, but you have to take an awful lot of pastings before you get
    anywhere near their level. But if you stick with them, you will get
    much fitter and quicker than you would if you train on your own, as
    you get taken out of your comfort zone time after time.

    On your own you tend to ride within yourself a lot. I came 5th and 6th
    in the Vet category in our local club's TT two years running by
    training that way .

    For me commuting 150 miles a week is not training as it is too easy.
    Simon Mason, Sep 30, 2011
  12. John Dunlop

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Get some tri/aero bars and that makes that work much better. It's not a
    peculiarity of David Millar, they (and their attendant position) have
    been around a lot longer than he's been in the meejah, and they're
    pretty standard in triathlon and time trials.

    Peter Clinch, Sep 30, 2011
  13. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Peter Clinch:
    Yes, that's an option.
    Not a peculiarity, I agree, but I think he is associated with that
    position. I'm sure a commentator at the World's mentioned it when
    Millar was at the front of the peloton. Millar himself talks about
    it in this article:


    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  14. John Dunlop

    bugbear Guest

    I (very strongly) suspect there a severe
    law of diminishing returns on the more complex

    bugbear, Sep 30, 2011
  15. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Don't worry, I'm not going to buy the book.

    I think, as Simon said, commuting 150 miles a week (avg. ~15 mph & heart
    rate < 70 %) wouldn't really help me trounce my fellow competitors in a
    17.5 mile time trial. I need to practise something that's closer to what
    I'll be doing.
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  16. John Dunlop

    Simon Mason Guest

    What I used to do as well as commuting through the winter which gives
    you base miles and keeps the weight off, was to cycle out to a local
    12% hill about 3/4 of a mile long with a heart rate monitor and cycle
    up and down around 4 or 5 times. I could reach my max heart rate of
    175bpm easily on that hill and that boosted my fitness a lot. I did it
    at least 3 times a week.

    Mind you, I had this as motivation :)

    Simon Mason, Sep 30, 2011
  17. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    Simon Mason:
    I might try something similar.
    Mmm. Very nice looking machine. One day ...
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  18. John Dunlop

    gdr Guest

    Just the one? I think most time triallists do lots of them. My local club (the Cambridge Cycling Club) has a time trial every Thursday evening during the summer. So you go along each week and see how fast you are, and set your aims accordingly.
    gdr, Sep 30, 2011
  19. John Dunlop

    John Dunlop Guest

    That sounds good to me, though I don't think I'd test myself every
    week. How much could you improve from the week before? My local club
    is quite small, half a dozen or so riders, and I don't think they
    organise a weekly time trial. Maybe I can get them to start one.

    (Away for the weekend, chaps, so don't take umbrage if I don't
    respond before next week.)
    John Dunlop, Sep 30, 2011
  20. John Dunlop

    thirty-six Guest

    I see what you mean. It's just not a flat course. If it's a
    pleasurable course in your locality, just go and ride it whenever you
    have the opportunity on a good day. Consistently undergear for at
    least six weeks steadily increasing effort without getting so puffed
    you can't sing (tonal qualities not important) a song. This first
    phase of training is essential for complete vascularisation of the
    working muscles. Only after this is completed should the effort be
    raised in the inclines a little. Raise the effort after your body has
    compensated for training and it gets easier. You should see a gain
    every two weeks. Keep lifting the effort (each week) on the rises
    until until you unable to speak and are pouring with sweat. With a
    least a couple of months to the event, you can return to this high
    level effort every two weeks. Your times should reduce as long as you
    interspace these afforts with rest, recovery and moderated efforts in-
    Only if you are riding your appropriate training level. You need to
    find someone in a similar position so as you neither undertrain nor
    overtrain. This may be different people on different days and usually
    the constraints of work and family mean that for the most effective
    training, one ends up training alone when one gets the chance.
    thirty-six, Oct 1, 2011
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