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  1. #1
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    First TT - training advice needed

    Well, the other night, while lurking in Foo, everyone was talking about VegaVixen and wondering how she did in her TT. I thought, what the hell, I might as well sign up for one of these and give it a go. So, I signed up for the next TT on 5/2.

    I now have about 3 weeks or less to prepare for this. I know I won't do well, not really expecting to, but would like to at least give it my all and do the best I can. I have no idea what to do to prepare for this. It's a 10mi TT on the nascar track in Concord, NC.

    My usual week looks like this at this time of year:
    Sat-group/club ride, which will usually be done at a fast pace, something along the lines of 17-19mph averages, with distances this time of year 25-30mi between now and 5/2.
    Sun-recovery rides of 20-25mi
    Mon thru Wed-rides of 20-25mi
    Thur-easy ride 15-20mi
    Fri-off.
    hours per week: 8-10
    miles per week: 90mi +/-

    Before even thinking about this TT, my only real goal for the year was to ride more miles than my first year of 3200mi and, to improve my average speed. So far, I've already improved the average speed from last year. Last year, I was a 14-16mph avg rider and this year already, I'm up to 16-18mph avg. I was also shooting for 4000+ miles this year. But, if I like this TT thing, I might try a mass-start race this year as well. If you race, do you even think about mileage totals for the year?

    So, I really don't know what to do in order to do this TT. I just need some suggestions on how to ride (intensity, intervals, time, distance, etc) for the next 3 weeks. Will the above schedule be too much? Should one or two of the days be intervals or completely off the bike and go do weights in the gym?

    Thanks, Karen.
    wolfpackcycles
    skiffrun: Enjoy the ride. Ride for the enjoyment.

  2. #2
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    5 minute intervals where you basically hold your effort at your lactate threshold and/or slightly above. They hurt....legs start to fill up with lactic acid and they can become very hard. Try to maintain a high cadence (90-100+ rpms) to help alleviate the pain and (attempt to) flush the legs a bit. After that, you'll look forward to a 5 minute recovery....obviously, no effort at all, and maintain a decent cadence to flush your legs. Rinse and repeat.....I can only do like 3 of them before I feel like I want to die, and then have to lower the amount of time (2-3 minutes instead of 5) for the interval.

    It's also important to meter your effort....better to keep a fairly constant effort rather than trying to kill yourself in the first minute, only to not be able to really complete the interval at the end because you went too hard. Takes a few times to figure out how hard you need to go.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  3. #3
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Assuming you are riding Eddy style, you should learn what a TT effort is. Go find 5 miles of flat road and go from beginnin got end as fast as humanly (for you) possible. Watch what your heart rate did. Watch what your speed did. How were you breathing? Most people start out way too fast and then have to recover from the initial effort IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EFFORT. Could you sprint at the end? (if you could, you did not go hard enough) Learn what it is like to have a steady effort over that 5 miles. The pacing is more important than any other gain you could make in such a short time. After you know what kind of pacing you want (approximate speed, HR, or RPE) then work on doing five minute intervals slightly above that speed, HR, or RPE.

    Racers typically think of hours training, not mileage, though a mileage goal is good to have as well.

  4. #4
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    5 minute intervals are good...probably my favorite workout is 4x5min.

    However, given that you're training for a 10mi TT, and given the information you posted I'd train for a ~30 minute effort.

    Which means you're training for a threshold effort...aka the domain of 10 minute to 60 minute efforts. I'd ramp up for the next 2.5ish weeks, working your way up to a 30 minute TT effort ~5 days before the big event, and then take the next 5 days super easy.

    Your goal is to introduce stress and adapt to that stress.

  5. #5
    Go Pre! DreamTheater's Avatar
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    I'd strongly suggest you doing a good tempo ride at least once per week.....maybe 2 rides per week. These should be done solo. Ride just below threshold pace. This should be a pretty brisk pace. You will be working hard, but not quite as hard as you will be doing in the time trial. Tempo pace is a pace that you can sustain for the duration of your ride without recovery periods. Start your rides with an easy warm-up of say 15 minutes...then ramp up to tempo pace and hold it there for 40 minutes or more. Maybe 15-20 miles...depending on where you are fitness wise and depending on what kind of mileage you are used to doing recently. You will need the right kind of terrain to carry this out....not alot of stop lights, stop signs, etc.

    If you do any interval sessions, I'd suggest that you concentrate on long efforts rather than shorter ones, since time-trialing will require a long steady kind of intensity. It definitely wouldn't hurt to get yourself in the red zone and hurt a little. Do not spend more than 10% of your overall training time in the red zone, which would be your most intense efforts at and above lactate threshold.

    I'd recommend that you do most of your dedicated time-trial training solo. Skip a club ride if needbe and go out on your own. Concentrate and have a plan.

    You should know that you will not derive much in the way of adaptations in the short run. Building for an event requires more time than three weeks.

    I think tempo rides are great training for time trials. Yes, you need mileage at threshold and above(red zone) ..but you can only spend so much time at that intensity before you will overtrain and enter the valley of fatigue. The body can take a lot of tempo riding, and the body responds well to these rides.
    Last edited by DreamTheater; 04-07-07 at 06:30 PM.
    "I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it"......a quote from my hero Steve Prefontaine

  6. #6
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamTheater
    Ride just below threshold pace. This should be a pretty brisk pace. You will be working hard, but not quite as hard as you will be doing in the time trial.
    Ummm....actually, you want to ride HARDER than you would in an actual time trial. That's why it's a short (2-5 minute) interval; it's at a pace/effort that you would not normally be able to maintain for the entire course of the time trial. Over time, this is how you get faster.

    Long steady state intervals just under threshold will enable you to ride at elevated paces for longer periods of time....those are crucial as well, but moreso after your base period and just before you really hit the hard intervals. However, the OP doesn't have much time, so.....
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  7. #7
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    Just match these stats and you'll be fine.

    Sandy Hook TT Race Report

  8. #8
    Go Pre! DreamTheater's Avatar
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    The nice thing about these brisk tempo rides is that they put you out there solo....working against the wind doing a steady type of effort. The time trial is a solo event, so there is no drafting, pacelines, varying pace, etc. as with group riding. The solo tempo riding puts you out there and exposes your physiology to these time-trial like conditions. Again, I'm also recommending interval training as suggested by guitarwiz..... I just think that the efforts should be a little longer and steady than Guitarwiz suggests. We respectfully disagree on that point.
    "I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it"......a quote from my hero Steve Prefontaine

  9. #9
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    now i know very little about training for TTs, but are u guys actually reccomending 5min hard intervals for TTing? sounds pretty off to me.

  10. #10
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stea1thviper
    now i know very little about training for TTs, but are u guys actually reccomending 5min hard intervals for TTing? sounds pretty off to me.
    Nope. They aren't the best training for a TT, but they're a crucial part of it.

    See:
    http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp

  11. #11
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    thanks guys. i know i don't have much time to get a lot of training before the event but i just needed an idea as to how to proceed up to the event. so far your comments have been very helpful. as i said in the initial post, i signed up on a whim, but, i'm signed up so i'm committed to doing it.

    when i first started riding last year, i thought about doing some racing, but was no where near ready. hell, i'm not ready yet, but you've got to start somewhere, right? i at least want to try this so that later on down the road, i won't have any regrets about never trying.

    how many days per week should i be riding? i would think that i wouldn't want to do intervals any more than 2x week, right? and the rest of the rides should be at a tempo that i can maintain for the duration of the ride, 45-50min with a ~15min warmup?
    wolfpackcycles
    skiffrun: Enjoy the ride. Ride for the enjoyment.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
    Nope. They aren't the best training for a TT, but they're a crucial part of it.

    See:
    http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/power411/levels.asp
    Correct. You have to hit the V02 max intervals in order to boost your high end LT. There is no distinct line drawn between them so working on one will help the other a little, and vice versa.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  13. #13
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpack
    thanks guys. i know i don't have much time to get a lot of training before the event but i just needed an idea as to how to proceed up to the event. so far your comments have been very helpful. as i said in the initial post, i signed up on a whim, but, i'm signed up so i'm committed to doing it.

    when i first started riding last year, i thought about doing some racing, but was no where near ready. hell, i'm not ready yet, but you've got to start somewhere, right? i at least want to try this so that later on down the road, i won't have any regrets about never trying.

    how many days per week should i be riding? i would think that i wouldn't want to do intervals any more than 2x week, right? and the rest of the rides should be at a tempo that i can maintain for the duration of the ride, 45-50min with a ~15min warmup?
    Congrats on making the plunge into racing. I hope it as enjoyable and rewarding for you as many others have found it.

    How many days per week should you ride? How many would you like to fit in your schedule. ride 2 days or seven days. Obviously fitness varies depending on saddle time, but one cannot say that you have to have a minimum number of days/workouts to be a racer. That being said, more fit riders ride more often. of course, which came first??

    "intervals" is a broad term. 2-4x per week is sufficient, but for a beginning trainer/racer I think 2 is reasonable.

    The rest of the rides. Some should be done at a tempo you can maintain for the duration of the ride, some should be done at a tempo you could maintain for 10 times the duration of the ride. It really depends. I would recommend consulting some books on training (cheap) or a coach (expensive) and many of your answers will be found with greater relevance to your current fitness. Good luck and enjoy.

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