Fareham Wheelers Cycling Club
Time Trialling part 2 - Pace!
After getting all aero you might start thinking you should get out and do some training right? No way! Why not? Because if you don't know about TT pacing then you don't know what training to do! So get reading and let's worry about training later!!
I would write a long old article on this because it is so important but there is no point because the best article that will ever get written is already online, it is by Malcolm Firth and it is here..
Now that you've read all that, I just have a few more tips to help with pacing:
The shortest TT you are likely to ride regularly will be 10 miles. The fastest riders in the world will take 18 minutes to ride that distance. Now this is the important part so listen carefully: An 18 minute event is an ENDURANCE event - it is about 85 % aerobic. The fact that you can ride 50 miles quite happily does not mean a ten mile TT should be thought of as a sprint. You just can't sprint for eighteen, let alone twenty-odd minutes. In fact, you can only ride a few mph faster on a ten than you can on a century:
|B Wiggins OBE||Cofidis||00:17:58||33.40|
|C Boardman MBE||North Wirral Velo||00:45:57||32.64|
|M Hutchinson||In-Gear Quickvit RT||01:35:27||31.43|
|K Dawson||Life Repair CRT||03:22:45||29.59|
At the start of a TT you should be in a very easy gear - your car doesn't accelerate best if you pull away in third, so don't try sprinting off in 53 x 12 - that sure is a slow way to start. Start in low and change up through the gears as you accelerate. Get into your TT position on your aero bars and stay in that position for the whole ride if you can.
Remember - you must start out easy and gradually up the pace - if your legs are burning in the first minute you have gone too fast and are going to fade big time.
It actually is hard to go slow enough at the start - you won't want to.
If you are nailing the pace for the first five minutes of a ten mile TT, your thoughts will probably go something like this:
1st minute: "This is too easy, I must be going way too slow, I'm really worried that I'm going to do a terrible time going this slowly, I'm hardly even having to breathe."
2nd minute: "Surely my minute man behind me will catch me soon, I really want to go faster than this."
3rd minute: "OK, I feel like I'm getting into a rhythm but it is still way too easy, shouldn't I be working harder?"
4th minute: "Actually, this is starting to feel a bit like work."
5th minute: "You know what, this seemed really easy up until a minute ago but now I'm just starting to wonder if I'll really be able to keep this up for the whole ten miles."
From the fifth minute on, you will find that it will be all you can do just to maintain the pace that you thought was so easy at the start.
If you get to six minutes and it still seems too easy, it probably is - what have you been doing going so easy - put some effort into it!!
Do not use a speedometer during a TT - do not even have a speedo on your TT bike. I did read somewhere a guy saying it was ok to use a speedo if you have it set only to show miles (so you know how far there is to go) but this is wrong, wrong, wrong!! (You should know how far there is to go - what do you mean you didn't ride the course already???)
If you have a power meter, do not look at it during a TT. You can use it to look at your performance data afterward.
If you have a heart rate meter, do not look at it during a TT. Check the data later, when you're at home celebrating your great new personal best.
If you have a stopwatch, start it when your minute man starts (one minute before you start), do not look at it again until after you cross the finish line, before you get too upset at your time, remember to take that first minute off!
Do as many TT's as you can, try and do one every week during the season, if not two!