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Improving Time Trial Pacing

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Old 06-29-10, 07:08 PM
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Urthwhyte
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Improving Time Trial Pacing

I ended up participating in my first time trial today, and after a dismal 7th out of 8 placing I'd like to try and improve my technique before next week's comes around. Since training won't be able to have much effect between now and then, advice on my pacing would be appreciated.

The ride started with a warmup and tour of the course, I flatted during that and pushed hard to get back to the group, perhaps too much so given that I was the second rider in the lineup. We had a clipped in start, so I went with a 50x19, which in retrospect was probably slightly large. There was a fairly stiff headwind from the west, and I definitely felt as though I had poor pacing from the get go.

For equipment I've got an entirely stock Giant Defy, neither clip-ons nor deep section wheels. I've only removed one spacer as my flexibility has improved, how much would slamming stem down another centimeter help given that my back is fairly flat in the drops as is?

Here's a link to the Garmin trace, critique away and assume you're talking with a moron who has never raced a bike in his life: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/38657410
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Old 06-29-10, 07:45 PM
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bwunger
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A piece of advice that was given to me by a pro TT specialist, was to shoot for an average speed and not necessarily an average power output. His point was that you should push a bit harder on the uphills, a bit easier on the downhills, and just average on the flats. The thinking is if you slow down on the hills, you spend more time, at a slower speed. I'm no expert though, just relaying some advice I was given. I thought of this looking at how spiky your speed profile was and it looks like the course is pretty rolling but with no real climbs. Those with more experience feel free to revise or contradict.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:50 PM
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El Diablo Rojo
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There is much to add/revise but first read the sticky at the top of the forum about TT'ing. Lots of very helpful advice from some very very fast time trialists.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:53 PM
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I would go with pedal harder.... you'll go faster.

Beyond that +1 to the sticky, it's longish and takes awhile to search, but is chuck full of nuggets.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:57 PM
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I would add that it looks like you may have started out a little too hard going by the way you heart rate goes pretty high in the first mile, then drops somewhat before heading back up.

Here's my first and only time trial. I made a point to throttle back at the beginning. There was a huge tail wind on the backstretch and opposing headwind at the front stretch. Looking at the HR chart you can sort of see what bwunger is refering to about going harder on the hill(or headwind).

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Old 06-29-10, 08:10 PM
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Herbie53
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I like this from post #84 of the sticky:

So, there you are racing the course: You have settled into your aero position, you are riding at your planned race pace (or power goal), and the pain is getting a bit uncomfortable. What often separates the winners from the losers is mental attitude and mental work. The poor time trial rider often deals with the pain by disassociation Ė the rider thinks of pleasant, distracting things to get his or her mind off of the incessant pain. The good time trial rider embraces the pain, and works at testing the limits of that pain. You donít have to slow down simply because you are experiencing lactic acid build up in your legs. Perhaps you can even increase your speed without suffering additional pain. And if you do suffer additional pain, embrace it!

Time trials are stupid...... and yet I'm oddly attracted to them.
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Old 06-29-10, 08:53 PM
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So, there you are racing the course: You have settled into your aero position, you are riding at your planned race pace (or power goal), and the pain is getting a bit uncomfortable. What often separates the winners from the losers is mental attitude and mental work. The poor time trial rider often deals with the pain by disassociation – the rider thinks of pleasant, distracting things to get his or her mind off of the incessant pain. The good time trial rider embraces the pain, and works at testing the limits of that pain. You don’t have to slow down simply because you are experiencing lactic acid build up in your legs. Perhaps you can even increase your speed without suffering additional pain. And if you do suffer additional pain, embrace it!
I remember that quote well when I TT.


But anyway, I saw your post in the Juniors thread, and I think you actually did pretty good pacing by looking at your HR... Sure you might have started out a little hard, but that's a pretty flat HR graph. Although, we can't see the cadence, so we can't tell what you were able to do with that steady heart rate.

The advice about going hard up the hill and slight recovery on the way down is sound advice.
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