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TTT strategy

Old 07-01-10, 10:43 AM
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forrest_m
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TTT strategy

Talk to me about team time trials. Signed up for a 4-man TTT in a couple of weeks. 52 km (!) course, pancake flat but curvy. Based on previous years' results, should probably be around 1:15. We're getting together to practice a few times, but it's highly unlikely we'll manage to actually do a full-length practice run.
  • Is it generally better to do longer, regular pulls (i.e. 1-2 min each)? Shorter, harder pulls like in a breakaway situation (30s or less)?
  • Start out with same length pulls for everyone and gradually have stronger guys increase the length of their pulls / less strong guys decrease? Start out with different length pulls?
  • For an ITT, I've found I go best using the negative splits strategy (for 40k, I'll do the first third at 95% FTP, second third at 100% and shoot for 105% the last third). But how does this translate to a drafting situation? If I'm only pulling 25% of the time, does that mean pulling at a higher proportion of FTP, like 105%, 110% & 115% during my pulls? Harder? Easier?
  • Any other tips or things to watch out for?

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-10, 11:01 AM
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kensuf
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I'm pulling out an old post from YMCA from my "saved" file on the subject..

Originally Posted by YMCA
I wrote these tips for TTT's a few years ago when I was coaching some squads.


1) Start easy. The first half mile or so is to get settled. Have your steadiest/experienced rider start first and roll it up to a manageable speed. Then after a few turns, the group should find what is sustainable. Usually a point where the weakest member can only roll through and off and the stronger rider pulls for 30” or so.

2) Smooth and steady. The pace should rarely fluctuate. The stronger rider should pull longer, not faster. The weaker rider should not slow the pace, rather sit on if needed.

3) Converse often. Talk to each other as you go. Don’t just expect the others to know what you are thinking.

4) Figure out what order you will take off in. That way there isn’t a jumble in the first few seconds. This does not mean it has to stay in that order throughout.

5) Do not drop your extra rider. In other words, if the 3rd person across the line counts, then make sure you have four riders still together for as long as possible. This way if there is a crash or flat, you still have 3 riders to finish.

6) Sacrifice extra riders as you get closer to the finish. If you only have to finish 3 and have 5 riders left near the end, but a couple of them are just hanging on, have those two riders do one last long pull at pace until they blow.

7) Pull off into the wind! Very important. If the wind is from the right, riders should be pulling off to the right. If it from the left, pull off to the left and make sure to leave enough room for the echelon, so nobody gets caught out in the gutter.

8) No quick movements. TTT’s are done on aerobars and have little room for error, as you are not near the bakes. So no herky-jerky stuff.

9) Nobody should be over their limit in the first half. Better to sit on if needed and then give whatever you can in the second half. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be pushing hard, but if you blow in the first couple miles and make the group slow for you, then the damage is done.

10) Read rules 2, 3, and 7 until you can recite them in your sleep.
/thread closed
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Old 07-01-10, 11:05 AM
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Man, the search engine on this site sucks. I spent 20 minutes looking for something like that and didn't come up with anything, thanks for reposting.

I see your /thread closed, but still wondering if somebody can give suggested FTP percentages for the equivalent of negative splits...
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Old 07-01-10, 12:06 PM
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I can't answer your FTP question, and I've only done one TTT, but we talked about/practiced it quite a bit, and it was a blast.

Kensuf's post pretty much covers it, but I think #3 from the list above is really important. If anyone is getting gapped, they need to say something immediately, rather than waiting until they've got a sizeable bit of ground to make up. Once they catch back on, accelerate slowly so they don't get popped again.

Also, we planned ahead of time who would pull on the uphills/downhills/flats when feasible. This worked really well, especially for the climbs, but partway through it became clear that our descender was slowing up a bit, so someone else took over the descents on the second half.

Oh, and we did 30" pulls to start out with, then the strongest person took longer pulls at the end and the weakest person (me) took shorter pulls.
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Old 07-01-10, 12:46 PM
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@forrest - kyle and I and a couple of the guys are talking about doing this... best of luck, we may see you out there!
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Old 07-01-10, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
Also, we planned ahead of time who would pull on the uphills/downhills/flats when feasible. This worked really well, especially for the climbs, but partway through it became clear that our descender was slowing up a bit, so someone else took over the descents on the second half.

Oh, and we did 30" pulls to start out with, then the strongest person took longer pulls at the end and the weakest person (me) took shorter pulls.
If you can, you should meet together as a team (more than just once or twice) and go over these details.

Practice riding together as much as possible so you get accustomed to how each other handles their bikes.

Last, practice together on a flat (ish) course so you can try and "dial-in" the pace you know you can maintain. You don't want to get out there and blow each other up 'cause you don't know the pace you each can ride.

Here's my write-up from my 2-man TT experience. Not alot on wisdom, but you can glean a few things. Like, at the end of our race, we passed a 4-man team that blew each other up, 'cause they went out too hard. Even more interesting is that they had just passed us 1-mile before.
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Old 07-01-10, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post

Kensuf's post pretty much covers it,
proper credit where it's due. YMCA was the original poster, I just channelled his spirit. I wonder what happened to that guy...
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Old 07-01-10, 01:53 PM
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YMCA's post is spot on. Some thigns to add:

You should pull off before you start to weaken or lactate up

DO NOT BE A HERO...you're much more likely to go OTB and that slows everybody down.

If you're the strongest guy put the weakest guy in back of you. If he does go OTB you can help get him back on. Also try to be the guy that pulls off right before the turn around and let your weakest guy lead you off the corner. Much less likely to kill him this way.

We have 2 signals that get passed up and down the line LOUD:

"OFF!"

"BACK!"

The guy pulling is responsible for slowing the pace until the guy gets "back". The last guy still on should be checking under his arm to make sure he gets back on.

If you come off more than once you should be sitting on and letting the guy coming back know to

"TAKE IT"

And if you're toast it's "GO" with a hand motion.
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Old 07-01-10, 02:00 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
@forrest - kyle and I and a couple of the guys are talking about doing this... best of luck, we may see you out there!
Have fun with that!
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