Forum home Road cycling forum Amateur race

Would like to try a TT

ClarebunnyClarebunny Posts: 64
edited November 2010 in Amateur race
I do quite a lot of riding (for a lass!) and would like a little advice! Firstly, what's the best way to find a loacl TT- and do they do different distances?

I'd really like to try a time trial but dont want to make an ar*e of myself! Are there amateur or first time specific TT?
~I like to bike~

Posts

  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Are you a member of a club?.

    Many clubs run club TT's, many on a "try it" basis, have a look at a local clubs website, a club TT would be an ideal way to start IMO.

    To do open events, you need to be a member of a club.

    Check the CTT website, tons of info and also an event calendar.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Best thing for a complete novice is to try a local club evening TT (usually 10 milers). Unfortunately, there are unlikely to be any of these until April now when the lighter evenings return. There is almost certainly a club local to you that organise a summer series, so maybe have a search on the club finder on Cycling Time Trials or British Cycling websites and contact the club secretarys. Or if you tell us what area you live, someone will be able to recommend a club to try.

    The other option are "open events" which you have to enter in advance, but these are a bit more serious, although there is no reason why you couldn't enter one (although you do need to be a member of a CTT affiliated club first). Once again, most of the racing is over now until March however.
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,395
    As above, most clubs do evening TTs in the summer and generally allow non-members to take part for a small fee (usually about £2 or £3). These are generally 10 miles or in some cases 25 miles and some clubs also have non-standard distances. The usual official time trial distances are 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles plus 12 hour and 24 hour where you basically ride the furthest you can in a set time. However, there are some sporting and hilly time trials with random distances.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    @clarebunny - where are you? If you're in London - I can rec the ones run by London Dynamo - they're round Richmond Park, closed roads, early in the morning, around 10 miles and fairly relaxed. They're done for the season - but look next year.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Are you anywhere near the Midlands? I run a series of time trials specially for women in the Midlands and it's a perfect way to get stuck in and have a go amongst lots of other women. We've had a fair few newcomers joining in over the last few years and there's absolutely no need to feel worried or intimidated. We had 57 women riding one of the events many of whom were first-timers. Have a look here if you're within a reasonable distance of the Birmingham/Coventry/Stratford area: http://www.midlanddc.org.uk/index.php?q=node/350

    If you want to PM me your address I'll happily drop you a copy of this season's results booklet in the post to you and you can see what it's all about.

    Ruth
  • Wow thanks for all the responses already! I'm based in Berkshire, but can get to London without too much difficulty! The idea of a Womens only sounds good- might mean I'm in my own league- but then I guess on a flat 10 miler it's you against the road and the clock!

    I think Reading Club holds TT with "tryouts" which would be ideal, but I'd hate to turn up and look like a plonker! :)
    ~I like to bike~
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Clarebunny wrote:
    I think Reading Club holds TT with "tryouts" which would be ideal, but I'd hate to turn up and look like a plonker! :)

    Don't worry, you won't 8)
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Nobody's a plonker who turns up for any race. Plenty on here talk about how good they are but never do anything competitive. I've been to plenty of TT's where you'll find people on MTB's, flat bar hybrids, fixed and all sorts. Nobody has ever said anything to them about what they ride or what time they do apart from 'did you beat your PB?' Thats the great thing about TT's, friendly,cheap and a great leveler.
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,708
    markos1963 wrote:
    Nobody's a plonker who turns up for any race. Plenty on here talk about how good they are but never do anything competitive. I've been to plenty of TT's where you'll find people on MTB's, flat bar hybrids, fixed and all sorts. Nobody has ever said anything to them about what they ride or what time they do apart from 'did you beat your PB?' Thats the great thing about TT's, friendly,cheap and a great leveler.

    +1

    The local MTB club usually turn up at our midweek 10's...
    Very few take themselves seriously at the club series level, just turn up and enjoy.
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • Phew- good to know that I wont be the only plonker!

    I do have a road bike- it's a second hand Carrera (I know!) but has had a really decent service by a very good mechanic (I need a new chainring to replace the bent one....)....

    I can run 5k (just over 3 miles) in 30 mins (and i'm rubbish at running!), so I'm sure I can ride 10 miles in 30 (which I believe is the challenge?!)... I just need to get some decent practice in!


    How do you all train for a TT? I'd like to just go out on a nice 10 mile ride with no barriers- traffic/ lights/roundabouts etc.... but not sure how to find such a route? Is it just legwork or are the places that you know are good to ride?

    Thanks again!!!
    ~I like to bike~
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Specific training for TT's, for me, just involves some interval work, and I try to do at least a couple of hours a week on my TT bike, in my TT position, what does your current training consist of?, you really want to be doing rides of more than the target distance.

    The rest of my training is commuting, club rides, and any event I can enter (be it sportive, curcuit, off road etc)

    Sub-30 is a good benchmark for a 10mile TT.

    As for running, I seem to be a better cyclist than I ever was a runner! (28min 5k, 58min 10k and 2:15 HM!!!)

    I wouldn't worry to much about what bike you have, aslong as you are comfortable on it, and its safe and sound, it will be fine, if you want to though, the best bang for buck for TT's is a set of clip on aero/tri/TT bars.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Clarebunny wrote:
    How do you all train for a TT? I'd like to just go out on a nice 10 mile ride with no barriers- traffic/ lights/roundabouts etc.... but not sure how to find such a route? Is it just legwork or are the places that you know are good to ride?
    I use a 25 mile route local to me that is relatively flat, has no traffic lights and not too many junctions and roundabouts to get held up at. I suspect I'm reasonably fortunate to have this on my doorstep.

    As long as you can find a route that is about 10 miles long without traffic lights or other major hold-ups, then riding this regularly as fast as you can is pretty good training for the distance.
  • I am in the same boat- runner/sportive rider who is now looking at training over the winter for some TT races next year.

    One thing I started doing is going flat out over 10 miles on the turbo which is a killer.
    I realise that the times aren't comparable to outside due to all the other factors such as wind/hills etc but taken as a rough guide on a flat course how different are the times likely to be- just to give me an idea of where I am starting from.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    You just can't compare, turbo is very different.

    As for training, IMO you really want to be training over distance.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    Clarebunny wrote:
    How do you all train for a TT?
    Ride as fast as my body will let me.

    Don't worry about your bike, your wheels, a target time or anything. Just go and do it.

    Check the club's website or ask a member beforehand. Then turn up, sign on, check the route (don't be afraid to ask questions) and make sure you're at the start line in time. Then ride hard for however long it takes. After you have recovered if you want to do it again - and most do - then you have a target time you'll want to beat next week.

    While time trialling might appear to be an arcane activity with hidden rules and secret codes, really it's just a bunch of people trying to ride faster. If you hang around and be sociable there will always be tips and advice forthcoming. Most clubs welcome new members with open arms, it's not as popular a pastime as it used to be. If you find a friendly one then they may do training sessions or weekend club runs you can join.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Clarebunny - if you look on the Reading CC website you'll see that they do have a full programme, 2010 here:

    http://www.readingcyclingclub.com/node/67

    Also, if you look on their website, there is a link for women, and a contact there. I think that you will find that the women will be most welcoming as they are generally outnumbered in cycling clubs.
  • Thanks everyone some very helpful answers in there!

    I found a route locally that's 10 miles and despite 2 soft tyres (idiot!), the wet road, some brutal side wind, more hills than I could remember, chicanes, roundabouts and other slowing factors, I managed my first attempt in 43 minutes. So ok, 13 mins to shave off for a decent TT time, but with all the other factors that was pretty ok I think.



    @Danowat- my current "training" isn't really training! I ride sometimes my commute and sometimes for fun- from 50-100 miles a week, averaging about 12-14mph with the traffic etc. So nothing amazing, but I do have general stamina and fitness (plus strength as I also do yoga). I've never really been a speed freak but I'd like to haev a go at the TT, so really this winter is me starting out.

    I don;t have and can't afford a turbo trainer and I'm terrified of aero bars!!
    So is there anything else worth doing? Exercise bikes for really horrible cold winter days? Should I just practice and practice different 10 mile routes til I get my time down and confidence up, or should I look at longer distanced and improving endurance and hope this impacts on the TT?

    Sorry for all the questions! :)
    ~I like to bike~
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    I am personally a fan of going "over distance" in training, the only time I haven't was in a half marathon I did a year or so ago, and I suffered for it.

    Going over distance means you have the capacity to go harder for longer, I am also a fan of mixing it up, even sticking some impromtpu fartlek style intervals in here and there.
  • LucanLucan Posts: 338
    In my very limited experience I've found that variety is the key and can have unexpected benefits. I spent about 6 weeks riding a short (25 miles) route once a week which has 3 stiff climbs in it. That was intended to improve my climbing. But, on my first solo flat ride after the 6 weeks I did 46 miles and found my average speed was almost 1.5mph faster than anything I've done before.

    So mix it up and you won't get bored. Plenty of miles and the gains will come.
    Summer: Kuota Kebel
    Winter: GT Series3
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    Unlike danowat, I'm not convinced that training for a longer distance than your target event is the way to go. I would suggest a mix of intervals and longer rides. As well as keeping a log of times for your 10 mile routes, find a longer ride that you can pay attention to your technique, particularly pedal speed and working on a smooth pedalling action (instead of top end speed) - preferably an hour or so. Long winter rides won't really help your '10' times but can improve/maintain your condition. Are you clipped in? SPDs make a significant difference to how well you put power through the pedals.

    Training partners or sharing knowledge can motivate you when you don't feel like going out. There is likely some info and training ideas in the Fitness section, though don't get too bogged down in the science or terminology - pick the bits you can work on easily: http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/

    After 3 years riding time trials I still ride in the drops, I haven't bothered with tri bars, pointy hat and so on. Having the gear is nice (and will usually help your times) but isn't the main purpose of time trialling for me. The low tech approach fits with my limited finances, and I'm still on the same equipment as when I started.

    Bear in mind that 30 minutes is a tougher target for female riders than for males so don't be disappointed if you don't get there straight away. Incremental gains are the way to go, so first crack 40 mins on your route, then aim for 38 and so on.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • Simon E wrote:
    Unlike danowat, I'm not convinced that training for a longer distance than your target event is the way to go. I would suggest a mix of intervals and longer rides. As well as keeping a log of times for your 10 mile routes, find a longer ride that you can pay attention to your technique, particularly pedal speed and working on a smooth pedalling action (instead of top end speed) - preferably an hour or so. Long winter rides won't really help your '10' times but can improve/maintain your condition. Are you clipped in? SPDs make a significant difference to how well you put power through the pedals.

    Training partners or sharing knowledge can motivate you when you don't feel like going out. There is likely some info and training ideas in the Fitness section, though don't get too bogged down in the science or terminology - pick the bits you can work on easily: http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/

    After 3 years riding time trials I still ride in the drops, I haven't bothered with tri bars, pointy hat and so on. Having the gear is nice (and will usually help your times) but isn't the main purpose of time trialling for me. The low tech approach fits with my limited finances, and I'm still on the same equipment as when I started.

    Bear in mind that 30 minutes is a tougher target for female riders than for males so don't be disappointed if you don't get there straight away. Incremental gains are the way to go, so first crack 40 mins on your route, then aim for 38 and so on.

    Thanks Simon- Well today I cracked the 40 minute mark so I was very pleased! Did the same route as before 10.1 miles (140ft ascent/ descent) (http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-kingdom/-bracknell-estates/682128834336125681).

    I think that for me, practicing a 10 mile route til I plateau than finding a different route might work, but I also do longer rides as part of my normal daily life anyway!

    I'm glad you TT without the gear- I have asked for some SPD pedals for Christmas so hopefully that's another step towards being a bit more prepared, but I don't see myself with tri bars and a pointly helmet! :)
    ~I like to bike~
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Clarebunny wrote:
    but I don't see myself with tri bars and a pointly helmet! :)

    Famous last words!!!
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,708
    Personally, I wouldn't get too obsessed with riding a 10 course as fast as possible, all the time...
    Don't train at race pace!

    I'd do a 'hard' 10, once per week, if you need to monitor for progress.
    Once per week do an interval session. A 1 hour ride including W/U & C/D.
    2 x 2 hour rides at you endurance pace.

    Spread these across the week, with rest days so you don't overdo it.

    Long rides give a good base, from which you build your fitness. But these need to be meaningful miles, not just aimless mileage...
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    Clarebunny wrote:
    Well today I cracked the 40 minute mark so I was very pleased! Did the same route as before 10.1 miles (140ft ascent/ descent) (http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-kingdom/-bracknell-estates/682128834336125681).

    I think that for me, practicing a 10 mile route til I plateau than finding a different route might work, but I also do longer rides as part of my normal daily life anyway!

    I'm glad you TT without the gear- I have asked for some SPD pedals for Christmas so hopefully that's another step towards being a bit more prepared, but I don't see myself with tri bars and a pointly helmet! :)
    Well done - progress already :)

    All the expensive equipment does is move the goalposts. Fine if you get serious and want to do well in interclub series etc but otherwise not at all necessary. Everyone should feel they can approach time trialling at whatever level suits them.

    SPDs are so good! Being connected to the pedals is a great feeling once you're used to it - I suggest you slacken off the tension until unclipping is second nature. Remember to practice a few times before you ride in traffic, everyone has at least one 'unscheduled dismount' (and it's likely to be rather embarassing).
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • hopper1 wrote:
    Personally, I wouldn't get too obsessed with riding a 10 course as fast as possible, all the time...
    Don't train at race pace!

    I'd do a 'hard' 10, once per week, if you need to monitor for progress.
    Once per week do an interval session. A 1 hour ride including W/U & C/D.
    2 x 2 hour rides at you endurance pace.

    Spread these across the week, with rest days so you don't overdo it.

    Long rides give a good base, from which you build your fitness. But these need to be meaningful miles, not just aimless mileage...

    That all sounds fair (though you've lost me on the W/U &C/D)!
    ~I like to bike~
  • Simon E wrote:
    Clarebunny wrote:
    Well today I cracked the 40 minute mark so I was very pleased! Did the same route as before 10.1 miles (140ft ascent/ descent) (http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-kingdom/-bracknell-estates/682128834336125681).

    I think that for me, practicing a 10 mile route til I plateau than finding a different route might work, but I also do longer rides as part of my normal daily life anyway!

    I'm glad you TT without the gear- I have asked for some SPD pedals for Christmas so hopefully that's another step towards being a bit more prepared, but I don't see myself with tri bars and a pointly helmet! :)
    Well done - progress already :)

    All the expensive equipment does is move the goalposts. Fine if you get serious and want to do well in interclub series etc but otherwise not at all necessary. Everyone should feel they can approach time trialling at whatever level suits them.

    SPDs are so good! Being connected to the pedals is a great feeling once you're used to it - I suggest you slacken off the tension until unclipping is second nature. Remember to practice a few times before you ride in traffic, everyone has at least one 'unscheduled dismount' (and it's likely to be rather embarassing).


    I've ridden using my husbands SPDs (only a couple of rides) and haven't yet fallen off- but we've kept the tension off! I'm fully expecting a slow descent sideways at some point- I've done it on a track bike at Herne Hill in toeclips so I'm sure I can do it on a real bike! I'm keen to get the TT to 35 mins at least, but still need a decent practice run somewhere without roundabouts and chicanes!
    ~I like to bike~
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Warm Up, Cool Down... :wink:
  • Clarebunny wrote:

    I've ridden using my husbands SPDs (only a couple of rides) and haven't yet fallen off- but we've kept the tension off! I'm fully expecting a slow descent sideways at some point- I've done it on a track bike at Herne Hill in toeclips so I'm sure I can do it on a real bike! I'm keen to get the TT to 35 mins at least, but still need a decent practice run somewhere without roundabouts and chicanes!

    The track is a great place to start training for short distance TTs over the winter, good m ix of endurance, speed, and most importantly enough riders around you to get the adrenalin flowing so that you push yourself hard.
Sign In or Register to comment.