Time Trial Training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by awilki01, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Hey everyone! My brother got me into cycling a year ago, and I have fell in love with it. I'm 38 and mostly sit behind a desk at work all day. I have become so much more healthier - lost 45 pounds so far (still another 30 to go to get me down to 170). I've been training for a time trial coming up in November (17 mile ITT on Saturday and 40k TTT on Sunday with my brother). I train with power and have read both Joe Friel's Training Bible and Allen and Coggan's Training with Power. I just need validation that I am training right for this.

    I just finished up my Build 1 phase and have been doing Tempo work of 1.5 hours or greater twice a week to help maintain the aerobic fitness I've gained in my base periods while also pushing the system a little. I've been doing threshold intervals right at FTP three times as week. A typical session may include 4 or 5 x 10 min threshold intervals. I threw some VO2 intervals in one last week (3.x 5 min). I will push the threshold intervals up to 4 x 15 min in Build 2.

    I believe I fully understand what I need to do - train at race intensity and in as similar conditions as possible. So, since this is a TT, I've been focusing on just that - FTP. Should I worry about VO2s or even anaerobic right now? I think VO2s would be beneficial, but I think the majority of work should be at threshold. Would you tend to agree?

    Regards and thanks in advance!

    Adam
     
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  2. qcwtom

    qcwtom New Member

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    Generally, it depends on the length and terrain of the TTs you're doing.

    If you are only doing 40K on flat ground, then FTP is the primary goal. As soon as you add hills, then you might want to do some VO2 work so you can climb better (expecting to recover a bit on the descent).

    If you are doing 20K (or the occasional 8 miler), then you should definitely include some VO2 work since you can go significantly above FTP for the shorter duration.

    There's also a theory that VO2 work in the weeks before a race is benefical in general.

    So yeah, I'd say between FTP work and the VO2 work, you should be fine.

    I'm going to be focusing my entire 2012 season on TTs, so I'll be giving things like this a lot of thought in the coming weeks :)

    My question is this: how much time have you put into improving your aerodynamics (finding the most aerodynamic position in which you can generate the most power) on the bike?
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I am for sure not an expert on the TT but I alway recommend training at 80% of goal, whatever that may be. 80% of maximum over the entire distance. You don't want to over do it and peak too soon. Just my opinion.
    11/17 is a great day to do anything. I intend on celebrating a birthday that day.

    Additional thought: I also recommend focusing on technique. Andreas Kloeden has one of the best TT forms in my opinion. Studying his technique could be of benefit.
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Good advice above, focus on FTP and to a lesser extent VO2 Max work for time trials.

    I'd strongly urge you to extend your Threshold intervals. Ten minutes of sustained effort is usually considered the bare minimum for L4 intervals but IME results are much better if you sustain them for at least 12 and ideally 15, 20 or 30+ minutes for each effort. So if you can find long enough open roads or do these on your trainer then try to do something like 4x15 or 3x20 or the classic 2x20 minute version of Threshold intervals rather than doing more of the shorter 10 minute variety even if you have to ride them at bit lower intensity. IOW, I'd strongly advise 2x20 or 3x20 or other variations of longer efforts performed at say 90-98% of your current FTP rather than 5x10 performed at 100-105%. That might sound backwards but IME, the longer but slightly backed off efforts are more reliable in terms of FTP improvement and much better for dialing in your race day pacing strategies and mental focus for time trialing.

    If time trials are your main focus then do most if not all of your higher end training in your race day TT position especially if you're running an aggressive and low aero bar position. Most folks lose power when they initially ride in the aero bars but can adapt to that position with time spent training there.

    Practice starts from a standstill during some of your Thresold or VO2 Max training. The start can ruin your TT if you go out too hard and struggle to settle into a sustainable pace which is very common for folks with less TT experience. Do some of your longer intervals starting with one foot on the ground, start your interval timer, get up to speed and on top of your gear smoothly and learn to settle into your Threshold pacing. The problem is that it takes up to six or eight minutes for your perceived exertion and HR to catch up to your full out effort so many folks start out way too hard, don't realize it because it feels easy and then suffer badly and lose both power and speed after that initial six minutes or so. Get this dialed in training and don't forget to pace the start on race day which is a challenge with the extra excitement.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  5. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    Some good advice above. I agree with Dave about extending those TT intervals. However, I find long TT intervals at near 100% to be pretty taxing (in the sense of taking a few days to recover), so I wouldn't do them more than twice a week and actually I personally only do them once per week (3x20 or 4x15 at 100%). As an alternative I would recommend putting in some long efforts at high L3/low L4. E.g. build up to something like 90-120 mins at 80-90% of FTP (with the goal being 90%). These are pretty hard too but in a different way -- you will be more drained of energy at the end but your muscles will be less tired the next day. Also I think they are equally good (if not better) at raising FTP, and the two intervals are complementary I think. Note that just like the TTI's you will have to build up, so start with 30mins or something like that and then build up. A typical Tues/Weds/Thurs for me during an FTP build period is 3x20 at 100% on Tuesday, 2hrs of high L2/low L3 on Weds, Then 105mins at 90% on Thursday. Good luck!
     
  6. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Thanks everyone! This forum is great! I will definitely extend my intervals to 20 minutes now. I will also do them from a standing start when I can. Great advice everyone! I will definitely take this all and run with it.

    I do need to work on my TT position. I don't have a dedicated TT bike. I have a Cervelo S2 that I put some TT bars on and use a reversible seat post to give me a more aggressive seat tube angle. I ride in the TT position all the time now - even on my easy days. I also need to get a TT helmet and shoe covers. The wheels and other more expensive items will have to come in time. I'd like to get a dedicated TT bike in a couple years.

    My schedule during the non-rest weeks looks something like this in my Build 1 and Build 2 periods:

    Monday - rest day
    Tuesday - LT and VO2 intervals
    Wednesday - Zone 2/3 ride
    Thursday - LT and VO2 intervals
    Friday - rest day
    Saturday - LT and VO2 intervals
    Sunday - Zone 2/3 ride - maybe I should incorporate that long ride at 90% of FTP here
     
  7. qcwtom

    qcwtom New Member

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    I'd also think about decreasing the Wednesday ride to just Z2 (or even Z1).

    Personally, I usually structure the week with VO2 on Tuesday and LT on Thursday, assuming that you get in the higher intensty day first and don't need as much power on Thursday (and have more steam for a longer workout on Saturday).

    If you're doing LT or VO2 on Saturday, I think you'd really struggle with a long 90% ride on Sunday (and be rested enough for intervals again on Tuesday). Personally, I'd make that long harder ride on Saturday and then do Sunday as a Z2 ride.
     
  8. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Well, I don't have much of time on Wednesday to do a longer Z2 ride, so I was doing a shorter Z3 ride of about 1.5 hours. As you suggested, It would make sense to do the VO2 on Tuesday though. And, for Sunday, I'll just stick with the Z2/Z3. I get a little over-zealous at times.
     
  9. qcwtom

    qcwtom New Member

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    I didn't mean for you to make Wednesday a longer ride. I meant for you to use it as a semi-recovery ride on the days between intense workouts :)
     
  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You read books by 2 knowledgeable coaches. Follow their plans - one or the other. No need to come here to ask for advice.
     
  11. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    I agree; however, you can never stop learning and getting advice. Knowledge is a life long endeavor. I reference these books all the time. I just like to get opinions from other people and read other things as well.
     
  12. qcwtom

    qcwtom New Member

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    As great as those books are, there's always room for interpretation and questions about application. Neither one is 100% prescriptive for a training program.

    To get that, you'd need to purchase one of their training programs or hire them as coaches.
     
  13. hrumpole

    hrumpole New Member

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    I totally agree with this. Reading Coggan's book by itself won't tell you how to put together a plan. What's most helpful is seeing how those principles (and the periodization principles in Friel's book) can be applied to correct specific weaknesses. For example, in the Coggan book, there's a chapter on a case study about "bob." After a year of using the PM, that case study makes a lot more sense than it used to. Similarly, the "it's killing me" thread was a great way to figure out how to build a base, and then put a point on it.

    This forum is simply awesome for questions. Folks like swampy and dave are incredibly generous with their knowledge.
     
  14. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You missed the point. If you believe either of the coaching programs you read in the books, you should follow the programs as outlined in the books. I gave you the validation you asked for.

    You might notice that you have perhaps 10 different "opinions" about how to alter your training program. No offense intended, but you lack the ability to determine if any of those opinions are better than just following one of the books.

    I wish you well.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words - but there are folks that give way more than I. But I'll take it when I can get it :)

    The main points for time trial training.



    -Increase threshold.

    -Increase threshold. (yes, it's there twice - you really need to increase threshold)

    -Become invisible as possible to the wind (work on position but not in detriment to the power). This includes testing.

    -Work on bike position for power and comfort. As most time trials are shortish, you can deal with some discomfort for aero unless it stops you from putting down the power you're able too. You need a position that is aero, helps you put out power and doesn't require you to keep shifting around on the saddle every 20 seconds.


    -Learn how not to lose too much speed around corners, the far turn, on hills etc and how best to get back up to speed. Different people handle different types of acceleration during true threshold efforts differently. How do you handle this? Find it out in training. 10 minutes at 100%FTP, acceleration from simulated U turn (you really don't have to do a u turn, just slow down), 5 minutes a 100%FTP, another U turn simulation, 5 minutes at 100FTP. Do that twice in a session but with different rates of acceleration upto speed at 100%FTP effort and you'll have a nice 2x20ish and some increased knowledge.


    -Event specific prep. Peaking, nutrition, practise runs, . The shorter the event the more crucial it can be.

    -"Overspeed" If you never train faster than you normally train then you'll not be fully used to race pace when fully motivated. If you're aiming to get under the hour for 40km and you never train in a 14 on the flat with no wind, when you find yourself in that gear it might feel like you're dragging the weight of the world behind you.

    -Never, ever, start too hard. If necessary, start a little slow. This holds true in the kilo on the track as it does for a 100 mile TT.


    Andy Coggans presentation on preparing for an individual pursuit will give you everything you need. It works as well for you as it did the subject of the study - his wife, who went on to win at US Nationals.


    Don't confuse "a base" with just getting the miles in. If I were seriously racing, the weekend rides at the start of winter would be 2.5 to 3.5 hours long, fairly hard with some shorter efforts thrown in to add variety and to tax the relevant aerobic/anaerobic systems. If 2 hours at L3 is hard for you then 3 hours is a way off... It is what it is - the effort is individual, so don't compare or bench race with friends. The hardest part may well be with being entirely honest with how hard your training really is.

    You don't want to go too easy but going too hard can be even worse.


    Train, recover... rinse and repeat. You can't train properly for an extended period of time without recovering enough.
     
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