Time Trial Pacing...

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by The Flash!, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. The Flash!

    The Flash! New Member

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    Hello all...

    I've got a question about how to best pace myself in a time trial and to make full use of the PowerTap. If my FT is 300watts, should I go out and get instantly up to 300w, or should I go out at 280w or so and then steadily increase?

    When setting the display for the computer, should I leave it on Average and start a new Interval, so I can see where I am in relation to my FTP, or should I leave it the regular power setting ( I have it set on a 5 second average) and just try to keep around my FT level?

    Thanks!

    The Flash
     
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  2. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    How long is the TT?

    The rest others will have to help. There was a similar thread about a week ago.
     
  3. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    1. How long or how many TT's have you ridden and what pacing method(s) have you employed (PE, Power, HR)?

    2. Have you ridden any TT's with power recorded. How did your pacing look?

    3. What is the course profile like? Flattish, hilly, hilliclimb? Length and grade of significant climbs?

    4. TT length?

    5. Do you warm-up well?

    Even on typical flat-rolling courses there's a difference of opinion. IMHO, previous experience plays a significant role in what I would suggest.
     
  4. The Flash!

    The Flash! New Member

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    1. I've ridden about 10 of them, none with power....I usually look at pace per minute.

    2. Only practice ones, not race situation....

    3. Ultra Flat....Florida...

    4. 15k - 9.27miles

    5. Usually at least an hour of spinning and high intensity shorter efforts...

    The problems with my current pacing is that it does not take the conditions into account. If I want to do a mile in 2:30, that's fine if there is not wind and flat, but if I try to do that onto a slight uphill or into a headwind, I can pull that off but I've blown my load for the race....

    Now that I know what I can hold from a power standpoint, how do I leverage it on race day?

    The Flash
     
  5. shawndoggy

    shawndoggy New Member

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    15K = roughly 20 minutes.

    CONSERVATIVE: Set a governor on your power at your 20M power. Get up to this power right out of the chute, hold it there till final 5K then hold the throttle wide open (if pacing is close, you'll already be wide open).

    MORE ADVANCED: go harder into headwinds and up grades (i.e. over 20MP), let off a little (like barely, just a hair) on the decents and tailwind sections. That's basically it, you'll get much more advanced advice from other posters re this technique

    If you've never paced with a PM, I'd get comfortable (i.e. 5-10 TTs) with the conservative approach first before trying to go the advanced route. Advice would be different, of course, if you said there was a steep climb in the first 3K or something... but a flat TT is about the best scenario to ride an evenly paced TT.
     
  6. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    Okay - here's my opinion:
    1. Determine from training/past races what you can realistically hold for a well-paced 15k TT. If this is 20min, there can be quite a variation by individual in terms of %FTP power (from ~1.03 to ~1.15). Don't guess based on FTP alone.
    2. I'd use the PT in average power mode. Nothing worse than chasing an erratic power display IMHO.
    3. Start off with a short 2/3 to 3/4 of max power sprint for maybe 10 seconds to get your mass accelerated (NOT 20-30-60 seconds, keep it short).
    4. Check your average power every minute or so and ensure it does not significantly exceed your target power for the duration. 1st min will be a tad high due to the sprint start but that's okay. Things should be settling towards target power after 2-min. Make sure to rein yourself in despite how easy it may feel for 5-6min.
    5. Out & back course: take the turn as safely and efficiently as possible, get out of the saddle and get in another short sprint (~5s) to get back up to speed.
    6. On the way back, the AP that formerly felt like a joke should start to bite :D . If not, let PE dictate how much you can gradually push it. In the last k, don't look at anything except the finish line :)

    Wind is just too unpredictable to really plan for. I think it's important to develop/tune/calibrate your PE so you can adjust to conditions on the fly.

    But roughly speaking for modest length legs (~10k) and headwind out/tailwind back, I'd suggest trying for Target_AP + 5% into the wind and just hold what you can coming back. Much more than that and you'll likely blow on the outleg and just grovel home. It takes time to get this down - when in doubt err on the conservative side.

    That all being said, I check my SRM for power over the first 4-6min of most TT's and then just ride it by PE after that.
     
  7. Philsybob

    Philsybob New Member

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    For what its worth, I stopped enjoying myself with TT's when I started getting too concerned with pacing (in fact I completly blew up at the Nationals focussing on what my PM was saying).

    A TT at 20 mins in length is all about pain, you can start slower 5-10 watts below your FTP, but you don't have very much time and you can easily conserve so much energy that you don't have any time left to catch up. I have done this a few times, similarly I have overcooked myself by trying to push myself too hard.

    I would suggest riding with the PT, but cover it over. Ride as you would normally, have a look at your data after your race to see what you do and see if there is anything that you have to change dramatically.

    Trying to pace with a power meter stuffed me up big time. I am now getting back to enjoying them (and funnily enough, my power output is relatively constant throughout).
     
  8. The Flash!

    The Flash! New Member

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    Thanks for your input, all!

    This course tends to have a strong headwind for the first mile and a half, it then bends to the right where you've got a cross/tailwind for 3 miles. We then hit the turn around and then you have the head/crosswind for the next 3 followed by a tailwind the rest of the course.

    My first effort here was miserable because I tried to chase down the guy who started 30s before me. I caught him, but I blew up and did horrible the rest of the way. My next time on the course, I got a better warmup and held a better pace and did much better. Now that I have the PT, being able to know what I can do from the power standpoint in respect to the wind will definitely help. If I can get a proper pace in for the first couple of miles, I think I can tough it out and finish much stronger than before.

    Thanks again! Your input is greatly appreciated!

    The Flash!
     
  9. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    You have probably figured this out but I would not worry so much about the guy 30s ahead of you. They are insignificant. So you catch them, you have 30s on them not necessarily anyone else.

    And if the guy that started 30s behind you is 25s behind you at the finish line they beat you by 5s.

    It sounds like you are doing things right. Find your power/speed/time that you want to do. Ride the TT and see how you did. I have looked at what the times were in the past to get the placing I want and shoot for that. If conditions are better/worse then previously, we all are affected the same way.
     
  10. The Flash!

    The Flash! New Member

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    Hey guys!

    The TT was last night and I beat my time from the end of last year by 30 seconds! Conditions were crazy with the wind out of the North between 20 and 30mph. We had a strong tailwind for the first 2 miles out and then a turn to the East which made for a stong side wind. I started in the 50x11 and kept my power a little below my FTP. I was holding a good pace and kept my heart rate down. Made the turn to the east and dealt with the heavy crosswind, but kept my power up to FTP level but kept my cadence around 80 as my legs still felt good. I passed 2 people at that point, made the turn around and just kept my head down. I'm pretty solid at 225lbs, and I was getting blown all over the place. I'm real glad I didn't have a disc!

    So I make the turn back into the head wind with 2 miles to go, and I just hammered it! I still had enough left in tank to stay strong through the wind and pass 5 more people on the way in. Speed was way down at this point, but I held on and got a new PR!

    So I'm running the PT on a custom drilled American Classic Carbon 58 rear with a AC Carbon 38 up front on my Scott Plasma. Having the power available to keep my consistent really helped my pacing. The biggest thing I learned in this and my last FTP attempt was that a lower cadence works better for me, but I still think I can go just a bit harder.

    Hoping for better conditions in a month, but all of your advice really helped!

    Thanks all!

    The Flash!
     
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