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  1. #1
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Faster TTs over time

    I know we're mostly talking TDF in here right now but slightly off topic...

    I'm in a TT series that's over half way through and I seem to have already peaked. In fact I'm getting slightly slower. Does anyone have any advice for getting faster and faster times in a TT series?

  2. #2
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Find someone from Festina and ask them.
    i may have overreacted

  3. #3
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    If you can't chase down Willy Voet or Dr. Ferrari, I dunno. Focus on recovery between events?

  4. #4
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    spexy: What kind of distance are we talking about? What's your normal procedure for doing the TT? Do you start off a little slower and try to build at the end or just go falt out from the get go?

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  5. #5
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Zack,

    7.2 miles, I go pretty much flat out. When I feel that sickening lactic acid thing in my stomach I back off a bit but basically since its such a short distance I just grin and bear it. By the time I see the finish line I haven't got the strength to sprint.

    I'm not sure if I should be trying to drop some weight, or start leg presses (usually do in the winter) or try to bring my VO2 max up.

    There's only two weeks in between and I think I must not be training properly. Usually I ride 25 miles a day with a rest day every three days. First half of the ride is warm up the last half I ride all out.

    Probably more than you wanted to know but...

  6. #6
    Bring the tech Ajay213's Avatar
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    http://www.floridacycling.com/time_trial_training.htm is a link I found awhile ago about TT training, it's more concentrating on doing long distance (40k type stuff) TT's, but it could be adjusted to suit the short course work as well.

    And hey, if all else fails.....disc rear wheel, 3/4 spoke front wheel, TT frame, skin suit, etc.

    Andrew

  7. #7
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Originally posted by spexy

    7.2 miles, I go pretty much flat out.
    What sort of times are you doing?

    When I feel that sickening lactic acid thing in my stomach I back off a bit but basically since its such a short distance I just grin and bear it. By the time I see the finish line I haven't got the strength to sprint.
    If you're giving it all you've got there's not too much more you can do, particularly since it's a short distance.

    I'm not sure if I should be trying to drop some weight, or start leg presses (usually do in the winter) or try to bring my VO2 max up.
    Have someone look at your positioning on the bike. Perhaps there's some little tweaks you can make to it that will get you into a more aero position. What kind of bike and bar set up are you using?

    Usually I ride 25 miles a day with a rest day every three days. First half of the ride is warm up the last half I ride all out.
    First off, I am not a coach, nor do I play one on the internet but I think you need to change your riding style. You body responds better to a variety of workouts instead of doing the same thing over and over. Try incorporating some shorter TT speed intervals into your ride instead of trying to ride the 2nd half all out. Find a hill and climb it in a big gear while seated - this will help you build power for the flats.

    Have you tried a disc wheel cover? CH-Aero makes a cover that you can use cover the rear wheel which would give you some of the benefits of running a disc wheel without the expense.

    Probably more than you wanted to know but...
    Nah, man tell us more. We'll make you faster

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

  8. #8
    Bring the tech Ajay213's Avatar
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    Have you tried a disc wheel cover? CH-Aero makes a cover that you can use cover the rear wheel which would give you some of the benefits of running a disc wheel without the expense.
    I did some research on these, and they actually work with some tweaks. Basically make sure there is no "open space" between the disc and the rim, the cheapest recommendation is to use a lot of black electrical tape to close the gaps. A little heavy, but certainly a cheap solution.

    Andrew

  9. #9
    Dude who rides bike BikeInMN's Avatar
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    Originally posted by spexy
    Zack,

    7.2 miles, I go pretty much flat out. When I feel that sickening lactic acid thing in my stomach I back off a bit but basically since its such a short distance I just grin and bear it. By the time I see the finish line I haven't got the strength to sprint.

    I'm not sure if I should be trying to drop some weight, or start leg presses (usually do in the winter) or try to bring my VO2 max up.

    There's only two weeks in between and I think I must not be training properly. Usually I ride 25 miles a day with a rest day every three days. First half of the ride is warm up the last half I ride all out.

    Probably more than you wanted to know but...

    Good to see another local Twin Cities poster here.

    The course you're riding down on Black Dog is a tough course as it is pretty much flat and has no fast sections along with very little cover from the wind. One common mistake on that course is going out too fast and really suffering on the return stretch. Dropping body weight for this course most likely will not help much unless youíre really, really heavy.

    You may want to look at changing your training as I doubt you're recovering fully if every ride is "all out" for the last half. Going out slow and dropping the hammer every day will get you to a certain level of fitness but gains will be hard to come by after that. For a 3 on 1off schedule you should be mixing in some real easy, longer distance rides where you keep your heart rate at a low aerobic level. On your hard days, you need to really crank it up. 2x20s at LT with 30 min warm-up 10 min cool down in between and another 30-60 min cool down after the sets would help increase your anaerobic capacity. Black Dog is a perfect place to do LT sets as you donít have any stop lights to screw up your rhythm.

    Your best bet would be to pick up a book on training that covers everything from riding to rest and nutrition.

    Out of curiosity, what class are you racing and what type of times are you turning in? I donít race TTs but have had some friends mix a Black Dog TT in and most are surprised how fast everyone down there is and how tough the race ends up being.

  10. #10
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    These are all great bits of advice and links. I knew I could depend on you guys.

    I am in the women's 35 and up (36 yrs old in Aug). My best time has been 19:47 so I'm pretty near the bottom of the entire field but still have the podium in sight for my class. This is my first year of TT (coming from MTB) but I hope to have better and better years.

    This year I decided not to opt for any aero bars as I didn't have time to get used to them. I figured if I did well without all the gear, then all the better. Next year is another story. I like the disc wheel cover idea and do plan to clip some syntace on. I just didn't want to be pathetically slow with all the aero gear and look like a complete poser this year.

    Having said ALL that; my position is pretty darn aero for a regular bike. My stem's pointed down, seatpost up, saddle forward and pointed down. Keeping my back flat, helmet level, pointing elbows in, 80 rpms in the big ring, blah, blah, blah.

    I think it's like that stupid Subaru commercial, "It's what's inside." I gotta work on the engine baby.

  11. #11
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Good advice from BikeInMN, IMO. That sounds like a pretty tough workout schedule... recovery is when you actually get stronger... no recover, no improve. The other piece you may be neglecting is the taper... how much do you slack off leading up to each event?

  12. #12
    Bring the tech Ajay213's Avatar
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    Well obviously if the engine doesn't run hard no amount of equipment will make you run hard either. But here's a few places to check out to get as much information as possible.

    http://www.bicyclesports.com/ (home of John Cobb, the aero guru for USPS, mostly a retail website, but a lot of tech articles and a nice forum but small forum area)

    http://www.slowtwitch.com - Triathalon site for the most part, but check out the tech areas for articles, considering the bike part of such a race really is almost an all out TT, there's a lot of good cross-over information.

    http://www.timetrial.org - Just found this site the other day, but there looks to be a lot of good information available there as well.

    If you want a real disc wheel without breaking the bank, check out http://www.rennmultisport.com/main.htm $320 for a true disc is a good price (Zipp disc is around $1200 or so), and the performance difference between it and a Zipp will be minimal (just doesn't have the name, it weighs more, and fit and finish aren't as nice).

    Andrew

  13. #13
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Ajay, great links, thanks! Roadbuzz, I generally do the spinervals TT video on a trianer two days before and rest one day before. I have a feeling from what I'm reading here that it is true that I'm not leaving enough time for recovery. I'm just so antsy to ride all the time is the problem.

  14. #14
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    Ummm...

    There's not a lot you can do if you have only 2 weeks between races, if I'm understanding you correctly.

    When you train, you should have a periodization program, and you time your program so that you peak at a specific time. Within that, you can also schedule a few microperiodization plans within the general periodization plan so that if you have a few races, you'll be at maximum energy for each of those races.

    With so little time between races, and if you haven't put together a periodization program last fall, it would probably be difficult for you to work on your TTs at this point.

    My advice- drop out of racing for a month- that would give you enough time to do a small periodization schedule that will benefit you for racing in mid-August.

    In that month, you'll do 6 days of training, with a full 24 hours off. Spend 2 days in the hills training, 3 days of intervals, and one day of endurance training.

    Your training schedule will look something like this: hill, interval, endurance, hill, interval, power training, off- along that line for your training days. Normally, I wouldn't even advocate 6 days a week, but you'll need that extra day for now. After a month of this, drop down to five days, and take the power training out of your schedule. Anytime you have a race, that will substitute for your power training days.

    Get a heart rate monitor. There's just no use to training in a periodization program without one.

    PM me cause I just don't have the time to get into a lot of detail right now here, and we can discuss your heart rate parameters.

    In the fall, you'll take time off- the rest time- like a month to two months. In that time, send me a PM with your race schedule for 2004, and let's put together a superior periodization schedule. I bet next summer, your races will have improved by at least 50%, and you'll be peaking at the correct times.

    Of course, if you think my advice is crap, disregard this entire post. No feelings hurt, just a suggestion.

    Koffee

  15. #15
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Koffee,

    Wow, how incredibly generous. I really appreciate you taking the time. This season I'm kinda in it for the long haul though, as I've paid the entry fee and still have three races to go before finishing. I kinda want to see it through.

    I also have some small MTB races coming up in Sept. so I think my fitness is going to be all over the map this year. In fact, I'm really going to have to watch out for sickness.

    HOWEVER, I would love to contact you for fall/winter so I can start off next season appropriately.

    Yes, I do have a HRM but all I've used it for is to find my max. I rarely consult it during rides like I should.

    Thanks again, I will bug you soon


  16. #16
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    Cool.

    Please do bug me in September when you finish your last race, then let's seriously sit down and map out a 12 month plan from September 2003 to September 2004. Seriously. Drop me a PM the day after your last race.

    In the meantime, I like that you take a rest day every 3 days. When I get a moment, I will write up a plan that has a litle more variety and gives you a little more uumph in your training so you can bring up your speed time. Can you tell me when your next races are for the month in the meantime? I'll incorporate the races into the schedule I'll write up.

  17. #17
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Like any advice, you have to temper my best guesses with your experience.
    Based on what you're signed up for, consider the TTs part of your training program, they're excellent workouts. Maybe aim to peak for the last one. Here's what I'd do. Taper more... two days before the TT do a workout that gets your heart rate up around your anaerobic threshold for a good long time, but do it with high rpm spinning, not pushing big gears. This will 1) give you a good workout without doing serious damage to your muscles, and 2) make them thirsty for glycogen... feed them well. Next day do an easy ride, maybe 20 miles, with a couple of AT intervals... remember you're trying to keep your muscles in shape, but you want them near 100% on TT day. Day before, maybe 10 miles, and 1 AT interval. Eat well, but early, the night before... that's when you're really feeding your body for the event.

    If tapering more seems to help, maybe try tapering even more for the next one? My results usually suffer more from training too hard leading up to an event, than too easy. But I'm a relatively old geezer (48) with longer recovery times. My point is, experiment to find out what works the best. Make small changes and note the effects.

    It takes a number of days for your body to rebuild and allow you to reap the benefits of a hard work-out. It's hard to do, but when you're coming down to event day, you have to relax and trust your training. Now is when you're really reaping the benefits of all those boring hours on the trainer last winter.

    Just one more thing, and it ties in with Koffee's comments on periodization. Check out this article on peaking, by Joe Friel. It's an interesting read, and covers some points related to what I've been getting at.

    The Peak Period

    Knock 'em out, girl!

  18. #18
    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Good to know. I'm bookmarking sites to the point my browser's off the monitor!

    My tapering has been non-existant except for an abrupt halt the day before my race. I usually start a race with a few aches and pains and thought that was normal. I guess I'm one of those shmucks that thinks that since LA rides every day so should I. Duh, I know.

    **SPOILER**

    After today's TDF ITT maybe I should be consulting Ullrich's coaching system. Heh, heh.

  19. #19
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    Spexy-

    Keep in mind, Lance does not ride every day- he has a rigorous periodization schedule that he adheres to religiously. Somehow, though, people get the perception that Lance does ride every day, and/or he rides hard all the time, which is simply not true.

    Check out one of his training schedules, when he's closer to race time:

    http://lancearmstrong.com/lance/onli...training-Mar02

    He trains smart.

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