how to time trial?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by John Kaiser, May 14, 2003.

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  1. John Kaiser

    John Kaiser Guest

    Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm hoping to
    improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high tech stuff. No
    disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a secret to fast time
    trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride fast with high cadence. I'm
    guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I need them by this
    weekend.:)
     
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  2. J999w

    J999w Guest

    Put it in the 12 and get on it.

    Seriously ... suffer until you can't suffer any more, then get out of the saddle and jump because
    you're slowing down. The more you suffer, the faster it will be over.

    Have fun!

    :^]

    jw milwaukee
     
  3. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "J999w" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Put it in the 12 and get on it.
    >
    > Seriously ... suffer until you can't suffer any more, then get out of the saddle and jump because
    > you're slowing down. The more you suffer, the
    faster it
    > will be over.
    >
    > Have fun!

    Yeah, if you're not seeing black spots by the time its over, you didn't ride hard enough!

    Mike
     
  4. > Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm hoping to
    > improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high tech stuff. No
    > disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a secret to fast time
    > trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride fast with high cadence.
    > I'm guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I need them
    > by this weekend.:)

    Best thing I ever did to improve my speed on the flats (which is generally where time trials are
    held) was to get a heart monitor. I always found it easy to stay motivated and work hard while
    climbing, but on the flats? Just didn't seem to have what it took. Well, with a heart monitor you
    *know* what you're capable of, and if you can climb for half an hour with a heart rate in the 170
    ranges, you really don't have a good excuse for cruising along on the flats at 150. In a nutshell,
    the heart monitor simply showed that I didn't have a handle on how much I could really push myself
    on the flats. Once I did (by watching my heart rate), my speed on the flats and rollers went up
    significantly.

    Your mileage (and speed) may vary.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  5. Bob Schwartz

    Bob Schwartz Guest

    John Kaiser wrote:
    > If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I need them by this weekend.:)

    The quickest payback would be to go to http://www.bicyclesports.com and look in the tech section.
    Make sure you are sitting on the bike correctly with the aerobars set up properly.

    Bob Schwartz [email protected]
     
  6. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "J999w" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Put it in the 12 and get on it.
    >
    > Seriously ... suffer until you can't suffer any more, then get out of the saddle and jump because
    > you're slowing down. The more you suffer, the
    faster it
    > will be over.

    Except for short events (prologues, pursuits), TTing isn't nearly as painful as people make it out
    to be...it can't be, because you can't exercise that far about your threshold for that long. Then
    again, if you keep getting out of the saddle and jumping, such that your power output is all over
    the map (and your aero drag goes through the roof), then maybe it is...

    Andy Coggan
     
  7. Russell

    Russell Guest

    John Kaiser <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm hoping to
    > improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high tech stuff. No
    > disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a secret to fast time
    > trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride fast with high cadence.
    > I'm guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I need them
    > by this weekend.:)

    Here's my 2 pence worth. I ride the most pathetic bike you could possibly imagine with tri-bars
    fitted but still hold my own against the 'serious' guys. Its my 3rd season of TTs and first for RRs.
    I'm finding an amazing difference with the sudden speed changes but it is a lot of fun. For a TT I
    start with abosolute maximum effort until I reach the speed I am going to try to maintain (so I'm
    going slow for as little time as possible), then ease off & stick at this effort level (say 90-95%%
    of max heart rate for 10 mile TT) until about 1 mile from the finish. Then ride as hard as possible
    without dying then give it everything for the last few hundred meters. Personally I don't think the
    cadence matters too much, its what works best for you. If its rolling, work slightly harder on the
    ups and rest a little on the downs. Breath big and deep from T-60 seconds

    works for me! Russell
     
  8. John Kaiser

    John Kaiser Guest

    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > John Kaiser <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm hoping
    > > to improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high tech
    > > stuff. No disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a secret to
    > > fast time trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride fast with high
    > > cadence. I'm guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I
    > > need them by this weekend.:)
    >
    > Here's my 2 pence worth. I ride the most pathetic bike you could possibly imagine with tri-bars
    > fitted but still hold my own against the 'serious' guys. Its my 3rd season of TTs and first for
    > RRs. I'm finding an amazing difference with the sudden speed changes but it is a lot of fun. For a
    > TT I start with abosolute maximum effort until I reach the speed I am going to try to maintain (so
    > I'm going slow for as little time as possible), then ease off & stick at this effort level (say
    > 90-95%% of max heart rate for 10 mile TT) until about 1 mile from the finish. Then ride as hard as
    > possible without dying then give it everything for the last few hundred meters. Personally I don't
    > think the cadence matters too much, its what works best for you. If its rolling, work slightly
    > harder on the ups and rest a little on the downs. Breath big and deep from T-60 seconds
    >
    > works for me! Russell

    Thanks. All good advice. I think a big part of it is just getting
    pscyhed up to push yourself really hard. BTW, saw Tyler on OLN tonight. Tour of Romandie TT. Looked
    like he was really flying.
     
  9. Suz

    Suz Guest

    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > John Kaiser <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm hoping
    > > to improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high tech
    > > stuff. No disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a secret to
    > > fast time trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride fast with high
    > > cadence. I'm guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give me some tips, I
    > > need them by this weekend.:)
    >
    > Here's my 2 pence worth. I ride the most pathetic bike you could possibly imagine with tri-bars
    > fitted but still hold my own against the 'serious' guys. Its my 3rd season of TTs and first for
    > RRs. I'm finding an amazing difference with the sudden speed changes but it is a lot of fun.
    > For a TT
    I
    > start with abosolute maximum effort until I reach the speed I am going to try to maintain (so I'm
    > going slow for as little time as possible), then ease off & stick at this effort level (say
    > 90-95%% of max heart rate for
    10
    > mile TT) until about 1 mile from the finish. Then ride as hard as
    possible
    > without dying then give it everything for the last few hundred meters. Personally I don't think
    > the cadence matters too much, its what works best for you. If its rolling, work slightly harder on
    > the ups and rest a little on the downs. Breath big and deep from T-60 seconds
    >

    I pretty much agree with the above. Get up to speed and settle into a rhythm as quickly as possible,
    a consistent, measured effort. (Note; don't sprint all out for more than 6-8 pedal strokes, you'll
    blow your power too early.) I agree with the 90-95 % of max rule, for shorter TT's at least.
    Hopefully you have a HR monitor to help you with this. I find it's easier to stay in a rhythm with a
    higher cadence, 90-100 is my preference. Just try to stay consistent (if it's not hilly). DON'T do
    what j999w said and be suffering like a dog, and jumping in & out of the saddle, (unless you have a
    hill), you'll just waste your energy. I bet j999w doesn't win a lot of TT's ;-). (No offense to
    j999w.) Don't rest TOO much on the downhills, unless they are too steep to keep pedaling. Some other
    time-savers, worth a few to several seconds:

    -Position is key- dial yours in. (You'll need someone to help you with this.) Just slapping the
    aerobars on may not cut it. I usually lower my stem and move my seat a bit, but you need to find
    what works for you. (Note: If your thighs are hitting your stomach, it does NOT work for you!) -Tape
    down your number, or pin it very securely, with at least 8 pins. Nothing sadder than passing some
    poor schmoe in a TT who has a small parachute sailing off his/ her back -Wear your tightest jersey.
    Tape your pockets closed. You won't need them. -Only bring the amount of water you need. If it's 10
    miles or less, and not too hot, you probably won't need a bottle at all. -Do hydrate well before
    your start, a sport drink of some sort is preferable. -TT bootie covers! -Have fun! It's really not
    THAT bad ;-)

    Hope this helps.

    -Suz
     
  10. Mike Jacoubowsky <[email protected]> wrote:
    : didn't seem to have what it took. Well, with a heart monitor you *know* what you're capable of,
    : and if you can climb for half an hour with a heart rate in the 170 ranges, you really don't have a
    : good excuse for cruising along on the flats at 150. In a nutshell, the heart monitor simply showed
    : that I didn't have a handle on how much I could really push myself on the flats. Once I did (by
    : watching my heart rate), my speed on the flats and rollers went up significantly.

    Basically one would need to learn how to ride with a constant effort. You could calibrate for a gear
    and cadence you can push for a given time. You could use a power meter. Or use all of those with HRM
    ;) In laboratory conditions, I think any of those methods would be quite accurate for me. But I have
    a little set of data to go with already...

    What's a good way to take hills into account? Not big hills, but they still get my pulse to jump
    up and down. Anything better than just to let it rise to the next zone on uphill and keep
    pedalling on downhill?

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  11. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Basically one would need to learn how to ride with a constant effort.

    The only time a constant effort minimizes TT time is when the course is constant (i.e., in the real
    world, never). Under varying conditions of wind or gradient, you minimize your time by varying your
    output. How much to vary and when to do it is what TT pacing is all about.
     
  12. John Kaiser

    John Kaiser Guest

    "Suz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<Zr%[email protected]>...
    > "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > John Kaiser <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > Now that I've watched a lot of races on TV and having done a few time trials myself, I'm
    > > > hoping to improve a little. I got the aerobars at least but I can't pay out on any more high
    > > > tech stuff. No disc wheels. No skin suits. Not even a weird looking helmet. So is there a
    > > > secret to fast time trials? Is it high cadence? I've seen Lance on TV and he sure does ride
    > > > fast with high cadence. I'm guessing that's a big part of it. If all you speed demons can give
    > > > me some tips, I need them by this weekend.:)
    > >
    > > Here's my 2 pence worth. I ride the most pathetic bike you could possibly imagine with tri-bars
    > > fitted but still hold my own against the 'serious' guys. Its my 3rd season of TTs and first for
    > > RRs. I'm finding an amazing difference with the sudden speed changes but it is a lot of fun.
    > > For a TT
    > I
    > > start with abosolute maximum effort until I reach the speed I am going to try to maintain (so
    > > I'm going slow for as little time as possible), then ease off & stick at this effort level (say
    > > 90-95%% of max heart rate for
    > 10
    > > mile TT) until about 1 mile from the finish. Then ride as hard as
    > possible
    > > without dying then give it everything for the last few hundred meters. Personally I don't think
    > > the cadence matters too much, its what works best for you. If its rolling, work slightly harder
    > > on the ups and rest a little on the downs. Breath big and deep from T-60 seconds
    > >
    >
    > I pretty much agree with the above. Get up to speed and settle into a rhythm as quickly as
    > possible, a consistent, measured effort. (Note; don't sprint all out for more than 6-8 pedal
    > strokes, you'll blow your power too early.) I agree with the 90-95 % of max rule, for shorter TT's
    > at least. Hopefully you have a HR monitor to help you with this. I find it's easier to stay in a
    > rhythm with a higher cadence, 90-100 is my preference. Just try to stay consistent (if it's not
    > hilly). DON'T do what j999w said and be suffering like a dog, and jumping in & out of the saddle,
    > (unless you have a hill), you'll just waste your energy. I bet j999w doesn't win a lot of TT's
    > ;-). (No offense to j999w.) Don't rest TOO much on the downhills, unless they are too steep to
    > keep pedaling. Some other time-savers, worth a few to several seconds:
    >
    > -Position is key- dial yours in. (You'll need someone to help you with this.) Just slapping the
    > aerobars on may not cut it. I usually lower my stem and move my seat a bit, but you need to find
    > what works for you. (Note: If your thighs are hitting your stomach, it does NOT work for you!)
    > -Tape down your number, or pin it very securely, with at least 8 pins. Nothing sadder than passing
    > some poor schmoe in a TT who has a small parachute sailing off his/ her back -Wear your tightest
    > jersey. Tape your pockets closed. You won't need them. -Only bring the amount of water you need.
    > If it's 10 miles or less, and not too hot, you probably won't need a bottle at all. -Do hydrate
    > well before your start, a sport drink of some sort is preferable. -TT bootie covers! -Have fun!
    > It's really not THAT bad ;-)
    >
    > Hope this helps.
    >
    > -Suz

    Yes, somehow all the good advice helped and I got my best result of the season with a 10th place
    finish in a time trial Saturday. Okay, nothing to jump up and down about but it looks like I might
    do alright in time trials after all. Something to build on, at least. It's definitely a unique part
    of the sport and obviously key to doing well in stage races.
     
  13. Suz

    Suz Guest

    > Yes, somehow all the good advice helped and I got my best result of the season with a 10th place
    > finish in a time trial Saturday. Okay, nothing to jump up and down about but it looks like I might
    > do alright in time trials after all. Something to build on, at least. It's definitely a unique
    > part of the sport and obviously key to doing well in stage races.

    Hey, good job, I just noticed you were at Enumclaw! You posted a very good time. I was there too,
    and also got one of my better TT results :) Missed the win by only 1/10 of a second, and I know I
    made a few small mistakes worth a second or 2. AAARRRGGGGHHHH!

    Suz
     
  14. Jeff Potter

    Jeff Potter Guest

    When I raced a lot I heard a lot that "TT's suck." I had a negative attitude about them at first. I
    had a break-thru only after I really learned my own strengths and developed my own style. Then I
    started simply treating it like any race. I find that TT's are interesting, fun and actionpacked: to
    make them this way, tho, I simply had to get into a full-on racing mentality for them. Can't let the
    mind wander in the event, for instance. I'd say that if 2 weeks is too short to prep for a RR, then
    1 week is too short for good TT prep. : ) But it sounds like you did good anyway. To me, getting the
    "it's a great way to race" breakthru was my biggest path to better results. For me, I also realized
    that there was no need to ride a TT any differently than any other race. For amateurs, every second
    really does NOT count. There is NO NEED to panic. I think one's overall ATTITUDE is what counts the
    most and where you make and lose the most time. Trying to milk every second might hurt your big
    picture view. You're racing everyone and you're trying to kick their butts and it is a totally fair
    event. There is no way for anyone to scam. Yet there are tactics: mainly you as regards you, it
    seems! Of course, if it's quiet to start and you get a tornado, finish results may vary and whining
    can come in. Don't let it.
    : ) Do a few and the cards will go your way. I found that I was far better in
    TT's when spinning. I'd max out my aerobics before moving to a harder gear. I found more capacity to
    increase cadence slightly than anything else, so that's what I did to boost speed first. A very
    competitive 'go go' attitude, with fight and fire, seemed to work. Of course one also wants to
    breathe deeply and relaxed. No tension or panic is allowed. I took 5 minutes off my hour just by
    attitude changes and finding my own best style. I used to dislike and be basically unable to handle
    breaks and bridging as well, but enjoying and prospering with them came at the same time as I
    learned to enjoy TT's. Fun stuff! It seems that things like these take a long time to find then
    suddenly you come upon them. So I guess if you luck out you could be in the right situation to find
    such benefits within a week!

    --

    Jeff Potter
    ****
    *Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com for modern folkways and culture revival...
    ...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, skis, books, movies... ...new books featuring: XC
    ski culture, a thriller about small town drug smuggling, and folding bicycles ... radical novels
    coming up! ...lots more books, downloadable music and videos ... articles galore! plus national "Off
    the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!
     
  15. Jeff Potter

    Jeff Potter Guest

    PS: Basically, your style and your attitude has a definite time associated with
    it. That's what the TT is all about. As your style and attitude improve, you go faster. In my view,
    this is why the worldclass dudes don't freak when they flat or even crash in a TT. They get up
    and keep laying it out there. I think that style/attitude aren't brittle. They're flexible. If
    you crash you can indeed put out more and catch up to give a true picture of your
    style/attitude. You do NOT necessarily lose that time to anyone. This "100%" stuff is largely
    nonsense and relative. Especially for amateurs anyway. I'm not sure that we necessarily lose the
    time from glitches. Our energy/motivation sources are too complex and flexible for that. Maybe
    after you have your own style dialed in you can work on further details, but I found that it was
    the most significant thing. And finding it brought on the most fun in racing. For all events.
    It's not about the event. Or the bike. Of course when you know your style you know that certain
    courses are in your favor, or certain parts of them. But then the additional challenge is to
    extend that range and master the parts that you haven't yet. Each aspect is important, but we
    are bigger than they are. Style likes to fill the space we give
    iu.

    --

    Jeff Potter
    ****
    *Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com for modern folkways and culture revival...
    ...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, skis, books, movies... ...new books featuring: XC
    ski culture, a thriller about small town drug smuggling, and folding bicycles ... radical novels
    coming up! ...lots more books, downloadable music and videos ... articles galore! plus national "Off
    the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!
     
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