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Old 05-17-05, 02:51 PM   #1
travismcgee
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Training for 16 mile team time trial

I am planning to enter a 16 mile two-man team time trial in 9 months. I typically ride one hour per day six days per week either on a stationary bike, a single speed mountain bike or fixed gear road bike. The course (with three climbs and three fast descents) seems inappropriate for a fixed gear. I do own a geared road bike, but I rarely ride it.

I would greatly appreciate any advice on training. If it makes a difference, I am 45 years old.

Many thanks.
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Old 05-17-05, 02:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by travismcgee
I am planning to enter a 16 mile two-man team time trial in 9 months. I typically ride one hour per day six days per week either on a stationary bike, a single speed mountain bike or fixed gear road bike. The course (with three climbs and three fast descents) seems inappropriate for a fixed gear. I do own a geared road bike, but I rarely ride it.

I would greatly appreciate any advice on training. If it makes a difference, I am 45 years old.

Many thanks.
The name of the game is intervals and PAIN! Here is a URL to some training that enabled me to break a state record:

http://www.floridacycling.com/time_trial_training.htm

You must train over lactate threshold to be able to race above LT. You should be able to do a 16 mile TT at 90 some odd percent of your maximum heart rate. I did my last one (a 10K TT) at 97% of maximum. When you finally find yourself in the race, if you are racing properly, you will not be terribly comfortable. The secret is to focus on positive things. Check your grip, check your pedaling technique, listen to your breathing, check your position on the bike, think about how joyful it will be to make the podium or set a new record, or be one of the better times of the day. Do not allow the pain to enter your mind.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:41 PM   #3
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Right on target... I run itts less than 10k at 182-183 BPM with a max of 194... that is 95 percent of max, which is fast. For the 30 - 40k you will be looking at less than that number, about 90 percent is about right, in my case LT is approx 87 percent of max, so we are talking zone 5a or about 4 beats over LT. I would focus though on staying right at lt for anything over 20k then increase it gradually. I know if I went over 90 percent now I would blow up at a 30 or 40k itt.

The best way to get there is to do LT intervals at about 90 percent of MHR (our a few beats over LT) for about 10 minutes at a time for 3 reps (about 30 minutes total), then slowly increase your total time until you get to the point where you total training time is just over your proposed itt or ttt time. Remember you need to hold back a little (no 95%) on the longer ttt's and itts or you WILL blow up...

Leave everything on the road... if you can go more at the finish line you went to slow. But one important dynamic about a ttt is the others you are riding with. Generally that means pacelines and such, so you can theoretically go harder when at the front and if the group rotated proportly you will have an awsome time...

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-05, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quick question for skydive69 and my58vw if you would please indulge me...

When you guys are doing your Time Trials, how quickly do your heart rates get above 90%?

The reason I ask is I don't seem to be getting above 90% until the last 10 minutes of a 30 minute TT effort. For example, last night I did 17 minutes of warmup followed by a 30 minute TT effort. When I started the TT I hit the lap counter button and got underway. My average HR for the 30 minutes was right at 85% of my known cycling max of 191 BPM. About 20 minutes into the ride I was at 170 BPM or 89% of max and from there it quickly climbed over 90% and didn't come back down until the cooldown when I was finished.

That seems to be pretty typical of my shorter efforts no matter how hard they are. Even with intervals the first two it is always much harder to get my HR between 80% - 85% yet my spedometer shows that I'm going quite a bit faster than the last two yet my HR climbes to 85% much easier. I only do four 5 min intervals at most with 5 min easy spin between them.

Recently I did a 50 miler and was trying to push myself a bit and my average HR was 162 BPM or 84.81% for the duration of the ride. For the last 30 minutes my HR was a minimum of 170 BPM but I wasn't pushing myself like I was for the 30 minute effort last night. I was pushing myself but not like I was on the 30 minute TT effort on my trainer.

I think this is one of the reasons so many cyclists train by power/wattage these days instead of HR as it seems HR is a byproduct of the effort levels which lead it. All I need to do to train with a higher HR is ride longer as is the case with the 50 miler above but I'm certainly not pushing myself like I am on the 30 minute TT.

P.S. Last night's 30 minute effort would have been a good one to have tested my lactate threshold via the Friel Test (at 20 min mark of 30 min TT hit lap counter). I'll have to do that next time. Since my HR was around 170 BPM 20 minutes into last night's session, I'm guessing my LT could be as high as 88% of Max.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
Quick question for skydive69 and my58vw if you would please indulge me...

When you guys are doing your Time Trials, how quickly do your heart rates get above 90%?
It depends. If I'm fatigued, it can take 10 minutes or so to get to 90%. If I'm really fatigued, I won't be able to sustain 90% at all. That's when I know it's time to take a rest day.

If I'm rested and reasonably warmed up, I can reach 90% in 2-3 minutes.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:26 PM   #6
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I find just like you say unless I go really really hard at the beginning my HR also takes about (hard to say exactly but...) 10 minutes to get to zone 5a/5b which is approximatly 89 - 90% of max HR. I believe that is why on the 30 minute itt they say take the HR for the second part (20 minutes). Also it seems that after 10 minutes your HR finally settles down, mine right at 170 - 171, 87 percent of max.

Now if I really want to get my HR up fast I do a fast sprint start and I can hold my HR at 178 - 180 BPM (92 - 95%) for as long as I can suffer through it, usually about 8 - 10 minutes at race pace there. After about 10 minutes fatague starts seriously setting in at that point and I come close to blowing up. The longest in a itt I have held 92 - 95% max is during a 11k tt, and I believe that was 18 - 20 minutes or so but you would have to scrape me off the ground after.

To be honest I pay less attention to HR on the shorter itts than on the longer ones, and more to percieved exsertion. I went out and preran Saturday's 4.1 miles (6.2k), a very very hilly route in 12minutes 5 seconds and ran a 90 percent HR, but I admit I was not motivated to go 95%, I am estimating mid 11's on Saturday.

Hope that helps...
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Old 05-17-05, 11:38 PM   #7
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It depends. If I'm fatigued, it can take 10 minutes or so to get to 90%. If I'm really fatigued, I won't be able to sustain 90% at all. That's when I know it's time to take a rest day.

If I'm rested and reasonably warmed up, I can reach 90% in 2-3 minutes.
It could be that I needed some more warmup but I was well rested last night when doing the 30 min. Had a big nap and everything. Felt pretty fresh.

I would have to be very warmed up or be on a 2 - 3 hour temp ride to be able to get to 90% in 2 - 3 minutes. The longer the ride the easier it is for me to achieve the higher heart rates. That's what's so odd. I can have the same average HR for a 3 hour ride as I can for a 30 minute all out effort. And I am hydrating well on the long efforts so I'm sure that much cardiac drift isn't due to dehydration.

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Old 05-17-05, 11:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I find just like you say unless I go really really hard at the beginning my HR also takes about (hard to say exactly but...) 10 minutes to get to zone 5a/5b which is approximatly 89 - 90% of max HR. I believe that is why on the 30 minute itt they say take the HR for the second part (20 minutes). Also it seems that after 10 minutes your HR finally settles down, mine right at 170 - 171, 87 percent of max.

Now if I really want to get my HR up fast I do a fast sprint start and I can hold my HR at 178 - 180 BPM (92 - 95%) for as long as I can suffer through it, usually about 8 - 10 minutes at race pace there. After about 10 minutes fatague starts seriously setting in at that point and I come close to blowing up. The longest in a itt I have held 92 - 95% max is during a 11k tt, and I believe that was 18 - 20 minutes or so but you would have to scrape me off the ground after.

To be honest I pay less attention to HR on the shorter itts than on the longer ones, and more to percieved exsertion. I went out and preran Saturday's 4.1 miles (6.2k), a very very hilly route in 12minutes 5 seconds and ran a 90 percent HR, but I admit I was not motivated to go 95%, I am estimating mid 11's on Saturday.

Hope that helps...
I can also push my HR up high early on in a ride, however, that doesn't mean that my 30 minute average speed will be it's best. If I push it early on in order to get my HR up then I'm usually too burned up to sustain a decent average speed and I may not have enough steam to complete the effort or my average speed will be lower than if I started out at a slower pace and maintained that until near the end.

Keep in mind this is on the trainer where I have no traffic, no stops and no distractions. I usually try to maintain an average speed for most of the ride and if there's anything left during the last 5 minutes I'll push harder. At the 1 minute mark I usually give whatever is left.

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Old 05-18-05, 05:30 AM   #9
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Quick question for skydive69 and my58vw if you would please indulge me...

When you guys are doing your Time Trials, how quickly do your heart rates get above 90%?

The reason I ask is I don't seem to be getting above 90% until the last 10 minutes of a 30 minute TT effort. For example, last night I did 17 minutes of warmup followed by a 30 minute TT effort. When I started the TT I hit the lap counter button and got underway. My average HR for the 30 minutes was right at 85% of my known cycling max of 191 BPM. About 20 minutes into the ride I was at 170 BPM or 89% of max and from there it quickly climbed over 90% and didn't come back down until the cooldown when I was finished.

That seems to be pretty typical of my shorter efforts no matter how hard they are. Even with intervals the first two it is always much harder to get my HR between 80% - 85% yet my spedometer shows that I'm going quite a bit faster than the last two yet my HR climbes to 85% much easier. I only do four 5 min intervals at most with 5 min easy spin between them.

Recently I did a 50 miler and was trying to push myself a bit and my average HR was 162 BPM or 84.81% for the duration of the ride. For the last 30 minutes my HR was a minimum of 170 BPM but I wasn't pushing myself like I was for the 30 minute effort last night. I was pushing myself but not like I was on the 30 minute TT effort on my trainer.

I think this is one of the reasons so many cyclists train by power/wattage these days instead of HR as it seems HR is a byproduct of the effort levels which lead it. All I need to do to train with a higher HR is ride longer as is the case with the 50 miler above but I'm certainly not pushing myself like I am on the 30 minute TT.

P.S. Last night's 30 minute effort would have been a good one to have tested my lactate threshold via the Friel Test (at 20 min mark of 30 min TT hit lap counter). I'll have to do that next time. Since my HR was around 170 BPM 20 minutes into last night's session, I'm guessing my LT could be as high as 88% of Max.
Mine must come up rather fast, because even in my 5K TT I averaged just a few beats below my max for just 7 total minutes of riding, hence my heart apparently wastes no time getting right to business.
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Old 05-18-05, 10:12 AM   #10
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Mine must come up rather fast, because even in my 5K TT I averaged just a few beats below my max for just 7 total minutes of riding, hence my heart apparently wastes no time getting right to business.
Or your just incredibly unfit! This difference could be physiological or it could be that I'm not pushing myself hard enough. Just not sure which one. On 30 minutes though if I push hard early my HR does climb but my average speed for the entire 30 minutes suffers. I have to pace myself for that 30 minutes.

On a 5K TT (3 miles) there's no way I would get even close to 90%. And that's such a short distance that, although it's not a full on sprint, it isn't too far off. I'd have to warm up for about an hour at a good clip to get my HR up that high for 3 miles. However, as I stated earlier, that hard of a warmup would mean my speed would suffer.

The same thing holds true if I do 2 x 20 min intervals with 10 min easy spinning between them. The first interval will always be faster with a lower HR and the second will always be slower with a higher HR.
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Old 05-18-05, 10:57 AM   #11
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Or your just incredibly unfit! This difference could be physiological or it could be that I'm not pushing myself hard enough. Just not sure which one. On 30 minutes though if I push hard early my HR does climb but my average speed for the entire 30 minutes suffers. I have to pace myself for that 30 minutes.

On a 5K TT (3 miles) there's no way I would get even close to 90%. And that's such a short distance that, although it's not a full on sprint, it isn't too far off. I'd have to warm up for about an hour at a good clip to get my HR up that high for 3 miles. However, as I stated earlier, that hard of a warmup would mean my speed would suffer.

The same thing holds true if I do 2 x 20 min intervals with 10 min easy spinning between them. The first interval will always be faster with a lower HR and the second will always be slower with a higher HR.

Well, I warmed up for one hour before the 5K TT, and broke the state record so I must have had some HP left. During the warm-up I do lots of sprints and do some runs at race pace, and hence come to the line pumped and sweating. I can immediately get my heart into high gear. I suspect those that cannot, either do not have the genetics or adequate preparation (both from a training and warming up perspective) for racing.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:57 AM   #12
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The team time trial is, hands down, the hardest cycling event I've ever done. 2 man is bad enough, but 4 or 5 man is just horrific.

In addition to building fitness, remember to practice riding with your partner at race pace. The two biggest things you can remember are 1) don't accelerate when you pull through and 2) don't sprint at the end and drop your partner.
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Old 05-18-05, 12:35 PM   #13
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The same thing holds true if I do 2 x 20 min intervals with 10 min easy spinning between them. The first interval will always be faster with a lower HR and the second will always be slower with a higher HR.
Hmm. Maybe you're going out too hard on the first interval. I've read that you're supposed to slowly build the intensity, so that you're going hardest at the end of your last interval.
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Old 05-18-05, 04:26 PM   #14
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Well, I warmed up for one hour before the 5K TT, and broke the state record so I must have had some HP left. During the warm-up I do lots of sprints and do some runs at race pace, and hence come to the line pumped and sweating. I can immediately get my heart into high gear. I suspect those that cannot, either do not have the genetics or adequate preparation (both from a training and warming up perspective) for racing.
Next time I try something like that I'll warm up a lot more than 17 minutes and see how different things are. I know I don't have the most favorable genetics when it comes to endurance activities. However, it seems that my HR values should be a little more consistent.

I wish power meters would drop in price to about $200. Then I wouldn't hesitate to plunk down the long green for one. For me - and underemployed outsourced tech worker - $200 represents a decent wheelset. It used to be pocket change! I'd rather train by power/watts than HR as it seems HR can be all over the place depending on certain variables - i.e. temperature, hydration, food in stomach, intensity of warmup, etc. It seems that pedaling at 300 watts would be much easier to track and train by than maintaining a steady HR. The last book I read by Charmichael stated that they only use HR for lower intensity zones, such as base and endurance miles, and they use power for the high intensity stuff.

Congrats on breaking the new record by the way. It's pretty exhilarating I'm sure. I know how I feel when I set a new PB, much less break a State record!

I remember you describing some national champ that beat you a few months back. This was before you got your new TT bike and you were racing on the Roubaix. You said his wamup consisted of light easy spinning with no sprints and no hard stuff prior his TT. I wonder if his HR would take a while to break 90% as well.
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Old 05-18-05, 04:32 PM   #15
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Hmm. Maybe you're going out too hard on the first interval. I've read that you're supposed to slowly build the intensity, so that you're going hardest at the end of your last interval.
Possibly. But that's how it goes if I do my 2 x 20's by HR. I find it odd though that there can be as much as 10% difference on my averages between my first and second interval. I'm going to try what Skydive did sometime soon and that's doing considerably more warmup before doing any intense work. I'll see how that goes. As I said earlier, getting to 90% and maintaining it isn't really much of a problem. It just usually happens on the longer 2 - 3 hour rides.
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Old 05-18-05, 04:34 PM   #16
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Good work. I can't wait to get out there for my upcoming ITT.
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Old 05-18-05, 05:10 PM   #17
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Yes, I would love to incorporate a power meter into my training also. Heart rate monitors are so often affected by outside influences (such as other wearers).

Interestingly, the guy I beat has often raced against the other guy I alluded to, and usually beats him, so it was a particularly pleasurable weekend of racing for me! One comes down from Ohio, and the other comes from Virginia to take the medals that rightfully belong to us Florida boys!

It was quite a thrill. The TT bike made all the difference in the world. I should have queried this particular chap as to his warm up regimen, but I just seem to do better on a very long warm up. I literally had to slow myself down at the start, because I was doing just over 30 mph, and I knew that it was a bit fast. That would be difficult to achieve with a minimal warm up. The other chap did indicate that it worked best for him though. I guess the bottom line is that we are each an experiment of one!
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Old 05-18-05, 07:14 PM   #18
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Yes, I would love to incorporate a power meter into my training also. Heart rate monitors are so often affected by outside influences (such as other wearers).

Interestingly, the guy I beat has often raced against the other guy I alluded to, and usually beats him, so it was a particularly pleasurable weekend of racing for me! One comes down from Ohio, and the other comes from Virginia to take the medals that rightfully belong to us Florida boys!
Actually, it sounds to me like the medal belongs to one Florida boy in particular!

Your TT bike looks pretty impressive as does My58vw's. At those high speeds minimizing the wind resistance is what it's all about. I feel sorry for your Sequoia. It must feel unloved. You don't even mention it in your sig.

P.S. Just as I'm saying I'd like to have buy a powermeter, Nashbar has a Tacx Flow Trainer in their returned section for $268. Combined with the 20% off $75 coupon code AF43 [Exp 5/23] and stack a 10% off coupon on top of that it would be just under $200. Sooooooo tempting. I'm going to hold off though and do a little research on power meters first. I'll probably kick myself in the arse for not getting it but you know how it goes.

Do you use your CycleOps anymore or do you just train outside? I recall you saying that it wasn't what you expected. Frankly I love the trainer. No traffic!
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Old 05-18-05, 07:47 PM   #19
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Actually, it sounds to me like the medal belongs to one Florida boy in particular!

Your TT bike looks pretty impressive as does My58vw's. At those high speeds minimizing the wind resistance is what it's all about. I feel sorry for your Sequoia. It must feel unloved. You don't even mention it in your sig.

P.S. Just as I'm saying I'd like to have buy a powermeter, Nashbar has a Tacx Flow Trainer in their returned section for $268. Combined with the 20% off $75 coupon code AF43 [Exp 5/23] and stack a 10% off coupon on top of that it would be just under $200. Sooooooo tempting. I'm going to hold off though and do a little research on power meters first. I'll probably kick myself in the arse for not getting it but you know how it goes.

Do you use your CycleOps anymore or do you just train outside? I recall you saying that it wasn't what you expected. Frankly I love the trainer. No traffic!
Actually, I am very fond of my Sequoia. I take it out at least once a week, and ring it out. It is comfortable, and it has a very special place in my heart - it is the bike that started my passion for cycling.

Regarding the trainer, I used it only once when I first got it, and have not used it since. The main issue is that I have not had need to use it - the weather is always great here. Having said that, we are about to start our hurricane season, so I will probably get some use out of it when the serious all day rain comes.

The power meter does sound tempting at that price.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:12 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the advice. I checked out the website. It looks very helpful.
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Old 05-19-05, 01:40 PM   #21
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TTT isn't just about conditioning, it's also about the team dynamic and playing together well. Practice with the team, learn to communicate... when to rotate off, everything. A weak rider on race day is a liability, but you'll have to make the most of what s/he brings to the game. As you get close to the end, keep the line going, not a bunch sprint. You have to work it out in practice.
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Old 05-19-05, 02:01 PM   #22
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TTTs record second man over the line?
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Old 05-20-05, 12:36 AM   #23
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A good source for time trial training advice, technology recommendations, etc.:

www.timetrial.org

For a TTT, you will definitely need to work with your partner to work out the kinks in pacing and strategy. Riding in a paceline on aero bars is definitely an advanced skill...on that very few cyclists achieve. Due to the up and down nature of the course, you'll probably need aero bars fitted with brake levers, and possible gear shifters (they might be required for safety anyway).
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