Improving 40k

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Eric Lambi, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. Eric Lambi

    Eric Lambi Guest

    Hello rec.bicycles.racing,

    I am interested in centering part of next season around becoming a better time trialist. I have
    always been very poor at time trials, but I cannot figure out why.

    At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding on an
    indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout). I am about 5'4" and weigh under 130lbs (at least
    during the season). I was told of a gentleman who was 10-15lbs heavier than I am, and a few inches
    taller, who can do a 40k in under 56m with about 260W. Is this realistic? My 40k PR is around 1h
    30s. Not impressive.

    So, how do I do a 40k in a respectable time, say <58m? The only aero equipment I currently own is a
    set of LEW Palermo wheels. No aero bars (I do have spinaccis), no aero bike, no nothing. I am hoping
    with a solid training program to get my AT up to ~270W this year. What do I need to do and/or buy to
    translate this power output into a fast 40k time trial?

    Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

    Best Regards,

    Eric Lambi [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. [email protected] (Eric Lambi) wrote in news:7054b10.0310201113.61b15b4 @posting.google.com:

    > Hello rec.bicycles.racing,
    >
    > I am interested in centering part of next season around becoming a better time trialist. I have
    > always been very poor at time trials, but I cannot figure out why.

    <snip>

    > Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    >
    > Eric Lambi [email protected]

    Danny Pate said in an article (sorry, I'm not going to go and find it) that when training for time
    trials, he does 2-3 sets of 30min intervals with 15min rest in between.

    Seemed to work ok for him; he won the espoir World Championships TT last year.

    - Boyd S.
     
  3. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Eric Lambi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello rec.bicycles.racing,
    >
    > I am interested in centering part of next season around becoming a better time trialist. I have
    > always been very poor at time trials, but I cannot figure out why.
    >
    > At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding on
    > an indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout).

    While 2 x 20 min is one of my personal favorite workouts, I won't attempt to claim to be the one who
    originated it, nor do I view it as possessing any magic properties - when asked what sort of
    intervals I recommend for improving LT, my standard reply is usually along the lines of "any
    combination of efforts 15+ min in duration totaling 40-60 min".

    To get faster at TTs, you need to increase your threshold power and reduce your aerodynamic drag -
    the specificity principle dictates that your training should include lots of LT-type intervals
    (although not exclusively), whereas www.bicyclesports.com is a good place to start to learn about
    how to best cheat the wind.

    Andy Coggan
     
  4. Boyd Speerschneider wrote:

    > Danny Pate said in an article (sorry, I'm not going to go and find it) that when training for time
    > trials, he does 2-3 sets of 30min intervals with 15min rest in between.
    >
    > Seemed to work ok for him; he won the espoir World Championships TT last year.

    The adage "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger" needs some modification here. "If you are
    strong enough for it not to kill you, it makes you stronger". "It" here being the 30 min intervals.

    I see an improvement in TT form with sets of no more than 3km at 40K pace or above with 3km spin
    recovery. Usually 4 reps.

    But I reckon my biggest improvement this year has been dong yoga to improve flexibility so that I
    can wrap my shoulders around and reduce frontal area while remaining comfortable. STF
     
  5. Pete Harris

    Pete Harris Guest

    "Andy Coggan" <[email protected]> wrote
    > >
    > > At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding on
    > > an indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout). I am about 5'4" and weigh under 130lbs
    > > (at least during the season).

    Sounds like you have enough power at threshold for your height and width to get better times than
    you're now getting. Definitely an aero issue.

    Sure, a TT bike would help. But probably you're just not low enough. Get a mirror or have someone
    take a picture. If your shoulders are much higher than your butt, keep working on your position.
    You may have try other stems to get lower. Sometimes the best way to get lower is to get longer.
    As I remember, the Spinaci bars are pretty short. Get some longer clip-on aerobars, the longer
    the better.

    All the air that dams up in front of your chest and belly is slowing you down. You want to
    minimize this.

    And if you were fibbing a little about your threshold power (or maybe your powertap is optimistic)
    then by all means train harder and longer. No one mentioned hills, but I think long climbs are a
    great way to increase your power at threshold. But, in general, it's much easier to get 10% more
    aero than 10% stronger, and 10% would take you from 60 down to 54 minutes, which is what you say
    you're looking for.

    - Pete
     
  6. Donald Munro

    Donald Munro Guest

    Stewart Fleming wrote:
    > But I reckon my biggest improvement this year has been dong yoga to improve flexibility so that I
    > can wrap my shoulders around and reduce frontal area while remaining comfortable.

    I expect your SO also approved your improvement.
     
  7. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Pete Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Andy Coggan" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > >
    > > > At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding
    > > > on an indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout). I am about 5'4" and weigh under
    > > > 130lbs (at least during the season).
    >
    > Sounds like you have enough power at threshold for your height and width to get better times than
    > you're now getting. Definitely an aero issue.
    >
    > Sure, a TT bike would help. But probably you're just not low enough. Get a mirror or have someone
    > take a picture. If your shoulders are much higher than your butt, keep working on your position.
    > You may have try other stems to get lower. Sometimes the best way to get lower is to get longer.
    > As I remember, the Spinaci bars are pretty short. Get some longer clip-on aerobars, the longer
    > the better.
    >
    > All the air that dams up in front of your chest and belly is slowing you down. You want to
    > minimize this.
    >
    > And if you were fibbing a little about your threshold power (or maybe your powertap is optimistic)
    > then by all means train harder and longer. No one mentioned hills, but I think long climbs are a
    > great way to increase your power at threshold. But, in general, it's much easier to get 10% more
    > aero than 10% stronger, and 10% would take you from 60 down to 54 minutes, which is what you say
    > you're looking for.

    All reasonable commentary (except the part about the PowerTap being optimistic), but for one thing:
    you messed up the attributions.

    Andy Coggan (who isn't 5'4" 130 lbs)
     
  8. elambi

    elambi New Member

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the reply. I am not fibbing about my power output. It isn't that impressive to begin with.

    Anyway, I should have mentioned in my previous posts that all my PRs in TTs have been set with good aero equipment (one biece aerobar and Tri-spokes). A disk wheel would have helped, but not enough. I just don't have it anymore.

    Is it possible that I actually require a 650c bike to optimize my TT speed in order to get lower? (because I am so short) I have been looking into TT bikes, but have been focused on getting a 700c frame so that I can use my current wheels (and my powertap) with it. However, if this is going to make me go a lot slower, I suppose it isn't that smart.
     
  9. Donald Munro wrote:
    > Stewart Fleming wrote:
    >
    >>But I reckon my biggest improvement this year has been dong yoga to improve flexibility so that I
    >>can wrap my shoulders around and reduce frontal area while remaining comfortable.
    >
    >
    > I expect your SO also approved your improvement.

    The feedback has been encouraging.
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Here's realism. I rode a 54 min 40 k a few years back with a good TT position, disc, tri-spoke and
    not what I'd say my highest level of fitness, as well as a sub 21 min 10 mile TT with better
    fitness. I'm 5'9" and 138 lbs. I think you can definately improve.

    CH

    [email protected] (Eric Lambi) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello rec.bicycles.racing,
    >
    > I am interested in centering part of next season around becoming a better time trialist. I have
    > always been very poor at time trials, but I cannot figure out why.
    >
    > At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding on
    > an indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout). I am about 5'4" and weigh under 130lbs (at
    > least during the season). I was told of a gentleman who was 10-15lbs heavier than I am, and a few
    > inches taller, who can do a 40k in under 56m with about 260W. Is this realistic? My 40k PR is
    > around 1h 30s. Not impressive.
    >
    > So, how do I do a 40k in a respectable time, say <58m? The only aero equipment I currently own is
    > a set of LEW Palermo wheels. No aero bars (I do have spinaccis), no aero bike, no nothing. I am
    > hoping with a solid training program to get my AT up to ~270W this year. What do I need to do
    > and/or buy to translate this power output into a fast 40k time trial?
    >
    > Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    >
    > Eric Lambi [email protected]
     
  11. Pete Harris

    Pete Harris Guest

    elambi <[email protected]> wrote

    > Is it possible that I actually require a 650c bike to optimize my TT speed in order to get lower?
    > (because I am so short) I have been looking into TT bikes, but have been focused on getting a 700c
    > frame so that I can use my current wheels (and my powertap) with it. However, if this is going to
    > make me go a lot slower, I suppose it isn't that smart.

    Cervelo claims that wind tunnel measurements show no significant drag difference between the 650 and
    700 versions of the P3. Whether YOU would have less drag on a 650 is problematical.

    I'm 6-1 and bought a 650 P3 because I got a great deal on a used one. 650 bikes seem to being going
    for less, possibly because the tri guys buy a lot of them, then lose interest. I for one don't think
    it makes a significant difference; almost anyone should be able get aero on a wide range of sizes by
    experimenting with seat and bar locations.

    -Pete
     
  12. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Pete Harris) wrote:

    > elambi <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > > Is it possible that I actually require a 650c bike to optimize my TT speed in order to get
    > > lower? (because I am so short) I have been looking into TT bikes, but have been focused on
    > > getting a 700c frame so that I can use my current wheels (and my powertap) with it. However, if
    > > this is going to make me go a lot slower, I suppose it isn't that smart.
    >
    > Cervelo claims that wind tunnel measurements show no significant drag difference between the 650
    > and 700 versions of the P3. Whether YOU would have less drag on a 650 is problematical.
    >
    > I'm 6-1 and bought a 650 P3 because I got a great deal on a used one. 650 bikes seem to being
    > going for less, possibly because the tri guys buy a lot of them, then lose interest. I for one
    > don't think it makes a significant difference; almost anyone should be able get aero on a wide
    > range of sizes by experimenting with seat and bar locations.

    A big part of it is that there was a fashion for 650 bikes for some time, on the assumption that
    they were more aero. I don't have attribution, but I have heard that the latest wind tunnel
    thinking is that the taller head tubes or stems necessary on 650 bikes to get a normal-size rider
    back to their normal position are less aero than making up the height with a taller wheel.
    Obviously, for riders who are short enough to naturally require a 650 wheel (or be close) there
    could be aero benefits.

    As has been pointed out before, aerodynamics depends first on frontal area, which is actually more
    important than coefficient of drag (it's just that Cd can vary widely for two objects with the
    same frontal area, and Cd changes are relatively free; it's usually hard to make a person's
    frontal area smaller).

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  13. Pete Harris

    Pete Harris Guest

    Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote

    > As has been pointed out before, aerodynamics depends first on frontal area, which is actually more
    > important than coefficient of drag (it's just that Cd can vary widely for two objects with the
    > same frontal area, and Cd changes are relatively free; it's usually hard to make a person's
    > frontal area smaller).

    I disagree. You can make a person's frontal area smaller by getting their back and shoulders lower.
    Have a look at

    http://damonrinard.com/tt/01may06/01may06.htm

    for some contrasting positions, and how close some people get to horizontal. Not surprisingly, the
    ones who look most aero in the pictures could not use these positions in a UCI race (seat and bars
    too far forward).

    These guys are very low on a tandem: http://damonrinard.com/tt/01may06/mvc363s.jpg.

    The other way to decrease your frontal area is to get narrower. The forearms should be close
    together to pull the upper arms inward and the shoulders narrowed by rolling them forward.

    I don't know what you mean about "Cd changes are relatively free." Aero tubes, disk wheels,
    skinsuits, shoe covers, and aero helmets all are attempts to lower Cd, but aren't free by any means.

    What you might consider "free" is that getting more horizontal will actually lower your Cd at the
    same time it lowers your frontal area: less turbulence behind your shoulders, and MUCH less
    turbulence in your concave "lap" area, which gets increasingly protected from the wind by your trunk
    as you get lower in front.
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Pete Harris) wrote:

    > Ryan Cousineau <rcousin[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > > As has been pointed out before, aerodynamics depends first on frontal area, which is actually
    > > more important than coefficient of drag (it's just that Cd can vary widely for two objects with
    > > the same frontal area, and Cd changes are relatively free; it's usually hard to make a person's
    > > frontal area smaller).
    >
    > I disagree. You can make a person's frontal area smaller by getting their back and shoulders
    > lower. Have a look at
    >
    > http://damonrinard.com/tt/01may06/01may06.htm
    >
    > for some contrasting positions, and how close some people get to horizontal. Not surprisingly, the
    > ones who look most aero in the pictures could not use these positions in a UCI race (seat and bars
    > too far forward).

    I was aware of Damon's study. And yeah, some frontal areas are smaller than others. But in a bit of
    semantic dodging, I would describe this as optimising frontal area, not reducing it :).

    > These guys are very low on a tandem: http://damonrinard.com/tt/01may06/mvc363s.jpg.
    >
    > The other way to decrease your frontal area is to get narrower. The forearms should be close
    > together to pull the upper arms inward and the shoulders narrowed by rolling them forward.
    >
    > I don't know what you mean about "Cd changes are relatively free." Aero tubes, disk wheels,
    > skinsuits, shoe covers, and aero helmets all are attempts to lower Cd, but aren't free by
    > any means.

    I meant that Cd changes don't rely on changing frontal area, just making existing parts more
    aerodynamic, and that there is a lot of leeway to make parts more aero within UCI rules. You can't
    go recumbent or faired, but you can make "helmets" that happen to work better as fairings than
    protection, wheels can be as aero as possible within some safety rules and the desire to avoid
    wind-steering, and similarly the frame can be made more aero within certain limits.

    > What you might consider "free" is that getting more horizontal will actually lower your Cd at the
    > same time it lowers your frontal area: less turbulence behind your shoulders, and MUCH less
    > turbulence in your concave "lap" area, which gets increasingly protected from the wind by your
    > trunk as you get lower in front.

    As you point out, it's often hard to separate Cd and frontal area. It's possible to create
    structures with lower Cd and higher frontal area than non-aero structures for the same purpose. The
    classic example is an teardrop shape versus a round shape (say, spokes). The teardrop can have a
    much larger frontal area than the "ball" before their total drag becomes equal.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  15. Steve Leuty

    Steve Leuty Guest

    This probably isn't what you are looking for but it has worked for me. Training for TT is tough and
    I think the main thing is for you to understand your mental and physical limitations and how not to
    hit that limit at the wrong time. The way I've always trained for TT's is by doing TT's on most of
    my training rides. I usually train between 20 and 40 miles per day, 5 or 6 days per week (depends on
    how I'm feeling). I go at the same intensity for both distances. It takes a lot of trial and error.
    The ultimate goal is to go at an equal intensity so you can finish faster than you began. Usually I
    finish both TT training and competition in tears (sheer pain). Preparing for competition is
    different though. I usually train hard at the beginning of the week and max out on Wednesday. I
    might go for a casual ride on Thursday and no riding on Friday (That is if the race is on Saturday).
    I guess this is long and drawn out. The only TT equipment I have is an old pair of Scott TT bars
    (LeMond erra). Nothing else. Forgive me for the length. Steve Leuty

    Eric Lambi wrote:

    >Hello rec.bicycles.racing,
    >
    >I am interested in centering part of next season around becoming a better time trialist. I have
    >always been very poor at time trials, but I cannot figure out why.
    >
    >At my peak fitness this year I had about 255W @ AT (as determined by my powertap while riding on an
    >indoor trainer doing Coggan's famous 2x20 workout). I am about 5'4" and weigh under 130lbs (at
    >least during the season). I was told of a gentleman who was 10-15lbs heavier than I am, and a few
    >inches taller, who can do a 40k in under 56m with about 260W. Is this realistic? My 40k PR is
    >around 1h 30s. Not impressive.
    >
    >So, how do I do a 40k in a respectable time, say <58m? The only aero equipment I currently own is a
    >set of LEW Palermo wheels. No aero bars (I do have spinaccis), no aero bike, no nothing. I am
    >hoping with a solid training program to get my AT up to ~270W this year. What do I need to do
    >and/or buy to translate this power output into a fast 40k time trial?
    >
    >Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.
    >
    >Best Regards,
    >
    >Eric Lambi [email protected]
    >
    >

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