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Old 05-20-09, 12:42 AM   #1
Ryon
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Strength training for Time Trialing?

TT gurus, I need your advice... If you dont want background info, just skip down...

As odd as it sounds, my season is already over. And thankfully no, nothing bad happened. (Except that I cant attend the CA state TT champs due to a research conference) I'll be aiming to be back in good form in October for the SoCal TT series. (It runs Oct thru May!)

This was my first year working on time trials. I did 5 TT's this year, my best performance being 20K at 27.1mph avg. I can usually breathe well enough (in a very aggressive position, mind you), and I tend to have a race cadence of 95-100. On the trainer I can hold 172bpm for 10+ minutes, and it's my legs that usually give out before my lungs. I feel that I could gain a fair bit from some more strength/muscle. I've heard that the best time for this is the off-season.

My tentative plan is such:

I'll be taking it easy for a month, then base training for a month (small ring only), followed by a month of miles and strength training, then a month of speedwork and strength training, then race time.



So my question is such: What type of strength training is good for young time trialists? I admit that I'm still building up my cycling muscles. I've heard mixed reviews about weight (room) training. I have a few long, steady grade hills around me, how effective is big ring, out of saddle climbing? How about weighted lunges? Uphill / stairs running?

Or other suggestions? Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 05-20-09, 07:43 AM   #2
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I don't bother with a chainring limitation during base. I use the nose-breathing test. If I think I'm going to hard, I close my mouth and let the power stabilize there. A small-ring limitation can make for an unsteady ride if you have any significant descents. I'd rather just dial my power in at 250-275W up or down hills.

You will only hear mixed reviews with weightlifting for endurance cycling. It's possible that it can increase your "time to exhaustion" at a given HR, based on some studies I've read. Does that relate to more power? Unclear.

In my opinion, weights are for strength training, and weightlifting is not going to improve your threshold power any more than the same time spent on the bike would (doing threshold training). I don't think it will hurt you, and it may be a nice cross-training/mental break, and that's fine, but I don't think it's any better than just riding.

If you do any kilo or match sprints on the track, or maybe even road racing sprints, the weights are a different story.

BTW: nice work on the 27.1mph
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Old 05-20-09, 06:24 PM   #3
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I don't know anyone that thinks weight training will do much for time trialing. Perhaps if you feel that strength is a limiter, some low cadence intervals would be good. Try intervals at and FTP exertion(something you could hold for an hour in a race), at 50-60rpms for 5 to 10 minutes. Sort of like the big ring out of saddle climbing you are asking about, but in the saddle in your TT position.
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Old 05-20-09, 06:30 PM   #4
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I've done a few tt's but mostly do tri's. The evidence and studies I've seen say weights have little, if any, benefit in terms of cycling speed and endurance. Where they help is keeping your body balanced which also prevents injury.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:30 AM   #5
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I feel off season weight lifting is important. Gives you some cross training (time off the bike), helps burn calories/lose weight, and keeps your body in proportion fitness wise. During spring/summer seasons you shouldnt waste energy on anything except bike riding.

Indirectly lifting helps.....
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Old 05-21-09, 10:18 AM   #6
JaRow
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^^ agreed.

How long have you been riding? 27 mph is mighty fast.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for your advice, everyone. I hadn't considered seated low cadence work in TT position. I had some knee problems earlier in the season so I'll be careful.

As for cross training, I'll also be doing some Yoga between now and base training. My flexability isn't bad, but I figure the extra stretching and wind control couldnt hurt, as is the ratio of men to women in yoga classas

JaRow, I've been cycling about a year and a half, and I started taking time trialing seriously about 5 months ago (when I was finally able to build up my TT bike). At this point, any improvements in speed from gear would incurr unreasonable expense. I'm pretty sure I could still improve the engine a bit. Plus, my team could use a good leadout man and stronger TT's in the collegiate A's, if I'm able to upgrade.

Do you do time trials?
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Old 05-22-09, 08:02 PM   #8
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Yoga ftw. High girl to guy ratio in yoga classes ftwx2.

I do TTs when they are convenient. I've been riding for less than a year so my coach says I shouldn't focus on them yet because I still need to become a better cyclist in general.
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