Don't mince words
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vacaville, CA
Bikes: '08 Orbea Diva "The Avocado"; Specialized Dolce comp "Sweet Thang"; Co-Motion Roadster "Blue Jay", Fuji Team Pro
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A local LBS holds a 10 mi. out-and-back every other week, from March until late Sept.
It's pancake-flat, a few turns, then the turn-around.
About 5 yrs. ago I asked for advice for an 18 mi. TT I was attempting as my first race. I received excellent advice that to this day I utilize.
Divide the ride into 3rds. You'll be hot the first few minutes after you launch; dial it in and get yourself into your rhythm.
The second third ramp up somewhat; either HR or RPM. I know my RPM so I use cadence as my guide.
The 3rd 3rd you'll be suffering big-time, so be ready for that. Anything you've held back you'll give up now. Go hard, strong, and know that you have what it takes to finish strong. When you see the "1 K" sign just amp it up and give it all you've got.
My best time for the 10 mi. is 25:10. I'm 56 and fairly fit (ahem). My goal is a sub-25 min., and I have 2 more chances to achieve that.
Good luck, ride strong, have fun! Oh, and suffer.