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TT advice?

Old 02-26-07, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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TT advice?

I did my first collegiate race this weekend, a 12 mile TT. (I'm a grad student getting into this stuff pretty late--first race ever). Please help me figure out what I need to work on.

It was pretty cold, and my lungs and throat were suffering from sucking in the cold air. I also saved some for a sprint at the end, but the way the race was so disorganized, I couldn't figure out where the line was until I had passed it without sprinting. That I know I can fix.

I've got a hillier 18 mile TT coming up this weekend. Need to get mentally prepared.

I don't know my exact max HR, but I'm thinking it's somewhere around 200 (the calculators put me between 194-196, but I've hit 194 and survived). The Carmichael 8 min TT on the trainer test put me at 175 avg, 186 max for each effort. I'm thinking this is 80-90% for me (?).

During the TT, I tended to stay around 174-176bpm, and my max was 183. It feels harder get my heart rate up when it's cold. My legs felt fine at the end of the race--good thing, because I had several miles to ride to get back to the start and our cars! I was breathing hard the whole race.

Did I do the right thing to keep myself from blowing up, or should I be spending most of the time in a higher zone, considering that I will (hopefully) get my sprint finish in next time. I'm trying to figure out what "max sustainable effort" really means for me.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:34 AM
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A "sprint finish" doesn't do much in a TT. Time is gained or lost out on the course through a concerted, consistent effort.

A "sprint finish" helps in road races or criteriums when you're "sprint"-ing against someone else.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:47 AM
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I would do a search in this forum for "first TT." There are a lot of great threads on the subject.

Generally though, you will do better to go slightly harder on the climbs, and recover slightly on the descents. You will also generally do better to increase your effort as you go: ride each consecutive third of the course harder than the previous, but this is a subtle increase, as you should be going really hard anyway. Just make sure that you are confident not only that you can hold your current pace, but that you can go even faster. In the final 2-3 miles, just ease into a pace that's as fast as you're capable of and don't let it go.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:49 AM
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Break the TT down into 3 equal pieces. First 6 miles try to ride it just below the effort you think you can maintain for the distance. Second section, if you're feeling ok, take it out to the effort you think you can hold. Third section, gradually build the effort until there is absolutely nothing left to give. If you do it correctly, you should be at the max that it is possible for you in the last kilometer with nothing left to " sprint" with.

Hills modify this a bit. You'll lose time going up hill, So you can go somewhat above LTHR on the uphills, and recover on the downhill, where your effort affects your time much less.

Your CTS test would indicate a LTHR of 161. That sounds a little low however. What was your average HR for the 12 mile TT?
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Old 02-26-07, 09:50 AM
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I swear I didn't read your post first Waterrockets.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:51 AM
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i'm making an elevation chart for the Navy TT right now. will post when finished.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:09 AM
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ok, well, Routeslip doesn't work at my office so there goes that idea.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I swear I didn't read your post first Waterrockets.
lmao, you and I should to a TTT together sometime -- methinks we would be pretty smooth, even if not fast.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by aicabsolut
I did my first collegiate race this weekend, a 12 mile TT. (I'm a grad student getting into this stuff pretty late--first race ever). Please help me figure out what I need to work on.
Was this the W&M race this past weekend? If so, do you have the results?
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Old 02-26-07, 10:19 AM
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I had Navy up on routeslip, but the site isn't working today.

I'm not sure my exact average HR for the 12 miles, because I forgot to stop my monitor at the finish and left it on for the slow spin back to the start (5+ miles at a low HR). Nearly every time I looked at it during the race, I was around 174. Data shows me I hit 183 somewhere. (Can't break down the data on a graph with my monitor).

If my LTHR is 161, wouldn't my legs have been destroyed at the end of the race?

The problem is that I feel like I'll always have a sprint in me, even after I *think* I'm going my hardest. I was never a good distance runner. I'd just hold on to a longer race for dear life, but I'd still manage to have a kick at the end. Maybe it's because I was really only good at sprinting. I don't know how to take the energy I'd have to go hard for a maximum of 30 seconds and spread it out over the miles beforehand. That may change when I do a course with more hills, but I think if I don't blow myself up early, there's always some sprint reserve that kicks in with the adrenaline rush of seeing the finish. I know cycling is not running, but this is probably psychological.

I think I tried to break it up into 4ths. I went hard the first half. Slight breather the next 1/4 (some headwinds forced me to slow down anyway), then hard at the end, but messed up and didn't go hard enough because the distance they gave us was inaccurate (longer than the actual course) and the finish was a clusterf*k. That's just instinct I guess from how I used to run a mile. I tend to lose focus in the third quarter, so I use that as an excuse to ease up a little and recompose myself for the final kick.

I was really kicking myself that I wasn't in pain or even anaerobic at the finish. I thought maybe if I had a number to shoot for, like an average HR of 177bpm, that it would give me more focus.

I'll try that hills technique. I need to work on my mental toughness during climbing. I hate hills.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SaddleBags
Was this the W&M race this past weekend? If so, do you have the results?
Yep. Results are at http://www.geocities.com/crazybikerfromtheaccc/
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Old 02-26-07, 10:20 AM
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We can do hill repeats... I'm free all of Wednesday afternoon. Also... when Routeslip comes back up can you post a pic of the elevation profile? Thanks!

Edit: wow, a top 10 finish! Congrats! I'm so proud of our team!
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Old 02-26-07, 10:23 AM
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I'll keep checking. I'm getting my new cranks tomorrow. I don't have time to go out on Wed . I'm thinking of heading to Charlottesville late Thursday and getting in some hills before Navy. I'm only coming back for the TT.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:24 AM
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Do you see why I'm pissed about my non-sprint, though? Behind the Duke girl by .01sec.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:25 AM
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blame it on the timekeeper
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Old 02-26-07, 11:38 AM
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Elevation chart:
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Old 02-26-07, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by aicabsolut
I had Navy up on routeslip, but the site isn't working today.

I'm not sure my exact average HR for the 12 miles, because I forgot to stop my monitor at the finish and left it on for the slow spin back to the start (5+ miles at a low HR). Nearly every time I looked at it during the race, I was around 174. Data shows me I hit 183 somewhere. (Can't break down the data on a graph with my monitor).

If my LTHR is 161, wouldn't my legs have been destroyed at the end of the race?

The problem is that I feel like I'll always have a sprint in me, even after I *think* I'm going my hardest. I was never a good distance runner. I'd just hold on to a longer race for dear life, but I'd still manage to have a kick at the end. Maybe it's because I was really only good at sprinting. I don't know how to take the energy I'd have to go hard for a maximum of 30 seconds and spread it out over the miles beforehand. That may change when I do a course with more hills, but I think if I don't blow myself up early, there's always some sprint reserve that kicks in with the adrenaline rush of seeing the finish. I know cycling is not running, but this is probably psychological.

I think I tried to break it up into 4ths. I went hard the first half. Slight breather the next 1/4 (some headwinds forced me to slow down anyway), then hard at the end, but messed up and didn't go hard enough because the distance they gave us was inaccurate (longer than the actual course) and the finish was a clusterf*k. That's just instinct I guess from how I used to run a mile. I tend to lose focus in the third quarter, so I use that as an excuse to ease up a little and recompose myself for the final kick.

I was really kicking myself that I wasn't in pain or even anaerobic at the finish. I thought maybe if I had a number to shoot for, like an average HR of 177bpm, that it would give me more focus.

I'll try that hills technique. I need to work on my mental toughness during climbing. I hate hills.
Sounds like you had a structured approach, which is great. You need to overcome your focus issue though -- that's one of the athletic challenges of a TT.

I think you might benefit from going even harder on climbs and even easier on the recoveries. I would find a 2 or 3-mile course with some hills where you can do some testing to see what works best for you. Try consistent effort vs. spikes of varying degrees on the hills. The descents might be a good time for you to lose your focus while you recover, then you can get all crazy on the next hill.

Still work for the increasing effort though. Hit the hills late in the race harder than those earlier in the race.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
lmao, you and I should to a TTT together sometime -- methinks we would be pretty smooth, even if not fast.
No, I refuse to be humiliated riding my disc and tri spoke struggling to keep up with you on your 36 spoke wheels.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
No, I refuse to be humiliated riding my disc and tri spoke struggling to keep up with you on your 36 spoke wheels.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:20 PM
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The elevation profile doesn't look that bad, except for the uphill finish. I'm gonna try and maintain a constant wattage over the rollers, maybe 10-15 watts above my FTP.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
Elevation chart:
That's the one I made. Good to see routeslip back up. I guessed at the start and turnaround based on what the flyer said.

Doesn't look like much recovery time between hills. Those are pretty short, but numerous. Routeslip wasn't super accurate on the W&M course, so we'll see what happens.
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