or Connect
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › Expectations For Improvment
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Expectations For Improvment

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I'm a 44 yr old dude wondering just how fast I could expect to ride given no "exceptional" physical characteristics (I don't have super human sized lungs or quads).

 

I just completed a 10 mile time trial in 30:50, approx 19.5 mph.  I want to get at least into the middle of

the pack of the guys who show up for this thing regularly.  The problem is, most of them are young guns

with $6000+ TT Bikes riding the thing in 24 minutes!  I don't expect to ever have $6000 legs!

 

There are however plenty of 50+ riders who are posting times in the 27-28 minute ranges and I see no reason

to think I couldn't reach this level.

 

Can anyone give me an example of how long I'd need to "train" to get from 30:50 down to a 28:00 minute 10 mile TT?

 

For example:

5 days a week with sprints, hills, weights and a long slow ride once a week?

Would 3 days a week do it with maybe a sprint day, a hill day and a long day?

I've seen the 2x20 references but havent read up on it, I'm guessing this means go out and ride for 20 minutes at a very hard effort

recover then do it again a second time.

 

So if I could put 4-5 days a week in with about 1.5 hours a day doing the various types of workouts listed above and at a sufficent

effort.  How long would one expect to take before they would see a drop of nearly 3 minutes on a 10 mile TT?

 

Thanks for your responses in advance!

 

Cheers!

post #2 of 6

No super-sized lungs? Sorry can't help you then.....

 

TT's are something of a unique animal in that performance in them is tied not merely to your fitness, but just as much to aerodynamics. Much as we may go out for a spin on our bikes, sadly we, as in the rider, are the biggest source of resistance when propelling the bike forward. Enough that, beyond slow speeds, the vast majority of our energy is directed towards overcoming said air resistance.

 

The good news is you needn't have super-sized lungs, $6000 TT bikes, or even a cape or shirt with a big "S" in the middle for that matter, to achieve substantial improvements in your TT performance.

 

My suggestions:

 

a) look around this forum and others for threads related to optimizing your position on the bike. believe you me, position is an absolute case of "free speed" whereby you can go a whole lot faster without necessarily being fitter. One such thread: http://www.cyclingforums.com/forum/thread/464643/a-few-simple-time-trial-questions

 

b) I've no idea what your setup is, but there are some pieces of gear that are quite handy to have and would reduce your drag. The obvious recommendations are a TT helmet, a skinsuit, and tires with a lower CRR. By the way, and this ought to be a relief to you, said 3 items will not break your bank.

 

c) There's an adage which says you get good at what you practice. Hence it is axiomatic that if you want improvement in riding TT's then you ought to ride in the TT position regularly.

 

d) 2 x 20's or any combination of several long intervals in the 15-30 minute duration at a pace where you find it challenging (but not impossible) to complete are a good starting point with regards to training. In a sense most training falls in the realm of "its all good" but for TT's, my recommendation would be to work long intervals at/near FTP (or LT if that concept is more familiar to you.)

 

e) Develop a mental edge to TT's. I've done very well in TT's in part because I've practiced them but also due, I think, to learning to relish the challenge that comes with them and of pushing myself as hard as possible, w/o any others to motivate me. I can assure you that plenty of local category racers look at TT'ing as an afterthought. If you learn to love them, practice, and train smart, then your results will improve while some of your fellow racers may keep thinking of TT's as a "chore".

 

f) A good coach can work with you in achieving your specific goals.

 

Oh and surprisingly, our lungs are generally considered to be over-engineered for the job they do. :-)

 

post #3 of 6

I agree with Dancen, but she didn't mention clip on aero bars. Are you already using them? If not, they are the number one piece of equipment I would invest in.

 

Now, I am not the best person to talk to about time trialing because I am one of those local category racers who look at time trials as a "chore"!!!  However, you can definitely train for them. 2x20s are great, and are what I would focus on. However, some anaerobic efforts at power outputs greater than you would put out in a TT are also good for raising your threshold, so I wouldn't overlook them completely.

 

I could see a periodized training plan of 3 weeks of 2x20s, 3 weeks of VO2 max work, followed by a few more weeks of threshold work (2x20s) being very good for you.

 

I can't tell you how much faster this will make you, as everyone responds differently to training. However, if you stick to your training plan, work hard on your hard days (and easy on your easy days), you should see improvement.

 

Good luck.

post #4 of 6
I got back into cycling a year ago and trained for a long challenge ride which I completed June 26th. With the training focused on climbing and endurance I was slower than my fitness would have suggested, by which I mean guys that I dropped in the mountains would murder me on the flats. I wanted to get faster for a team time trial so I incorporated the ubiquitous 2x20s at L4/LT. The TTT didn't happen but I have done the monthly TTs since august and have been fairly successful.

When I started doing 2x20s my avg mph were 22/20 going out and coming back respectively now I'm about 26/24+ on the same roads and my PB 10 mile TT is 22:26.

I think it's worth mentioning that training for a time trial requires a lot of LT work. VO2max work will pay dividends as will climbing long hills. Sprints and intervals lasting less than 5 minutes are less important. Work on getting aero (low and narrow) and pacing during your L4 intervals, figuring out how hard to go from start to finish with a constant effort or getting comfortable handling your bike on the aero bars or tucking your head down out of the wind will all pay off more than practicing sprints/anaerobic bursts.
post #5 of 6

quenya, great progress in your TT; it certainly makes the 2x20 training worthwhile.   From your relative performance on climbing vs flats, I'm guessing that you're a lightweight rider, or at least a lean one.  Correct?  Asking because at 6' and 190 lbs, my results are just the opposite:  I find the skinny guys consistently drop me when the road turns up.  My strategy (only choice) is to just let them go and hope to catch them on the descent or on the roll out, where my 190 lbs of momentum can help out a bit.  Of course, losing the 20 lbs I've gained in the past five years would be the real answer to getting my climbing performance back, but for me dieting to keep the weight off has proven much tougher than riding the bike....that part I like.    

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhk2 View Post


quenya, great progress in your TT; it certainly makes the 2x20 training worthwhile.   From your relative performance on climbing vs flats, I'm guessing that you're a lightweight rider, or at least a lean one.  Correct?  Asking because at 6' and 190 lbs, my results are just the opposite:  I find the skinny guys consistently drop me when the road turns up.  My strategy (only choice) is to just let them go and hope to catch them on the descent or on the roll out, where my 190 lbs of momentum can help out a bit.  Of course, losing the 20 lbs I've gained in the past five years would be the real answer to getting my climbing performance back, but for me dieting to keep the weight off has proven much tougher than riding the bike....that part I like.    





dhk2, I'm 5'10" and weigh 162ish (down from 197 June '09) so while I'm slim for the general population I'm not a featherweight, my weight resides below the waist at least since I got rid of the gut.

The reason I was slow on the flats compared to the hills I think was in part I'm smaller than several of the guys I ride with and they were my frame of reference but, also all of my cycling training had been LSD and brutal hill/mountains building up to the Climb to Kaiser. I was basically riding 'piles of miles' at L2 with the occaisional 30-50 minute foray into L4 for the big climbs. Once Kaiser was over I decided I wanted to 'catch up' to the guys flat land speeds which usually was too fast for me to even hang on to the tail of their paceline. Then I ended overshooting them and... well we will see how racing goes next year.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling Training
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › Expectations For Improvment