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First TT - Any tips?

AllezGazAllezGaz Posts: 93
edited June 2012 in Amateur race
My first TT tomorrow. Nothing serious, but obviously it's gonna be competitive, which I ain't really but I'm gonna give it a good go! Just gonna have a go for the crack with the local club. Only got an Allez but watching the guys on Tuesday there's some serious kit out there! I've only been ridin about 8 months.

It 2 x 6mile sessions on closed roads around a showground, doing 6 x 1mile laps each session.

Tips appreciated.

Gaz
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Posts

  • NickelNickel Posts: 505
    A couple of months back I was in your position and my advice would be just to ride it as hard as you can, don't worry to much about pacing, if you do go off too hard and blow up before the end you'll know how to pace yourself better next time. Its also amazing just how much harder you can push yourself when you're riding a real event with a number pinned to your back compared to a standard ride or club run. I also own an Allez and TT on it, the way I look at it there's no point blowing a load on a TT bike when it costs nothing to work on my fitness, and when I get quicker maybe I'll think about building a TT bike.

    Have you got any tri bars btw? Its just if you have I'd recommend trying to get used using them a little before the event.
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Just enjoy it and dont worry about breaking any records. Try and keep a steady heart rate as going off too hard will leave you paying for it later on.

    Get a good warm up too
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    Don't be put off by the gear.

    Last week a chap at the 10 mile TT at our club (on an undulating rural course) finished in 26 mins on a hybrid (albeit a hybrid with a disc wheel!!)

    For me as an asthmatic, I need a decent warm-up and set off steadily gradually trying to build my pace up over the course. Go out too hard and you'll pay for it. Try to position yourself where you have others to chase (and hopefully overtake).
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    nochekmate wrote:
    Don't be put off by the gear.

    Last week a chap at the 10 mile TT at our club (on an undulating rural course) finished in 26 mins on a hybrid (albeit a hybrid with a disc wheel!!)

    I got passed by a now clubmate when i was time trialing about 12 years ago on a full TT bike - he had his mountain bike tyres on. and two panniers strapped to the back. I could have cried - thought i was going so well!! :lol:
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    The only advice given to me when TT'ing...

    'Vollgas from A bis Z!'

    i.e. Give it everything from start to finish!

    It's 6 miles around what sounds like a flat circuit. Get up to speed and hold it until you blow. If you're averaging 24 mph it'll all be over in 15 minutes anyway!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,007 Lives Here
    Moved to Amateur race.
  • SpaniardSpaniard Posts: 69
    Warm up well beforehand. If it's a short TT (10 mile) then you'll need a longer warm up with a couple of minutes at 'race pace'. If you go out as hard as possible as has been suggested, you'll quickly get into oxygen debt and will spend the whole race trying to 'catch up'. Don't start too quickly, ease yourself up to speed. For sure you'll be at your limit, but you need to build up to this in the first few minutes. I nearly always find that I'm going my best after 15 - 20 minutes in. Try to hold your position and don't rock around on the bike (elbows in head / body low - do you have tri bars?), you can knock loads off your time just by being aero. Try to stay positive - when it's hurting it's very easy to talk yourself in to backing off a bit, try to ignore the demons - pain is temporary as they say! Give it 100% all the way to the finish - if you've got the energy to sprint at the end then you've not paced it well. I read somewhere that riding a TT should be like unrolling a carpet - if your energy was the carpet then you'd reach the end just as you cross the finish. Don't be phased by anyone who passes you, you're racing yourself and they're racing themselves - there'll undoubtedly be some others with similar times to yourself and when you've done a few TT's you'll begin to know who you can / want to beat and who is in a different league. Personally, I'd say don't focus too much on your computer, I always found it a distraction - focus on maintaining your effort. Press on more on the drags and recover on the descents - you'll find it's the best way to maintain a higher average. On that note, use every opportunity for 'mini' breaks. Eg at the turn. Don't bother with drinks unless it's a 50 mile or more - they just add weight. Maybe take a gel 20 mins beforehand. You'll suffer on the ride, but it feels euphoric when it ends and you'll soon want to get out again to beat your time.
    Hope this helps, enjoy! :-)
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    If he's at his best 15-20 mins in he'll have finished before he reaches his best!

    It's only 6 miles! Go for it!
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Spaniard wrote:
    Warm up well beforehand. If it's a short TT (10 mile) then you'll need a longer warm up with a couple of minutes at 'race pace'. If you go out as hard as possible as has been suggested, you'll quickly get into oxygen debt and will spend the whole race trying to 'catch up'. Don't start too quickly, ease yourself up to speed. For sure you'll be at your limit, but you need to build up to this in the first few minutes. I nearly always find that I'm going my best after 15 - 20 minutes in. Try to hold your position and don't rock around on the bike (elbows in head / body low - do you have tri bars?), you can knock loads off your time just by being aero. Try to stay positive - when it's hurting it's very easy to talk yourself in to backing off a bit, try to ignore the demons - pain is temporary as they say! Give it 100% all the way to the finish - if you've got the energy to sprint at the end then you've not paced it well. I read somewhere that riding a TT should be like unrolling a carpet - if your energy was the carpet then you'd reach the end just as you cross the finish. Don't be phased by anyone who passes you, you're racing yourself and they're racing themselves - there'll undoubtedly be some others with similar times to yourself and when you've done a few TT's you'll begin to know who you can / want to beat and who is in a different league. Personally, I'd say don't focus too much on your computer, I always found it a distraction - focus on maintaining your effort. Press on more on the drags and recover on the descents - you'll find it's the best way to maintain a higher average. On that note, use every opportunity for 'mini' breaks. Eg at the turn. Don't bother with drinks unless it's a 50 mile or more - they just add weight. Maybe take a gel 20 mins beforehand. You'll suffer on the ride, but it feels euphoric when it ends and you'll soon want to get out again to beat your time.
    Hope this helps, enjoy! :-)


    there's a couple of things in there i would consider bad advice.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • RoadMeridaBenRoadMeridaBen Posts: 265
    sub55 wrote:
    Spaniard wrote:
    Warm up well beforehand. If it's a short TT (10 mile) then you'll need a longer warm up with a couple of minutes at 'race pace'. If you go out as hard as possible as has been suggested, you'll quickly get into oxygen debt and will spend the whole race trying to 'catch up'. Don't start too quickly, ease yourself up to speed. For sure you'll be at your limit, but you need to build up to this in the first few minutes. I nearly always find that I'm going my best after 15 - 20 minutes in. Try to hold your position and don't rock around on the bike (elbows in head / body low - do you have tri bars?), you can knock loads off your time just by being aero. Try to stay positive - when it's hurting it's very easy to talk yourself in to backing off a bit, try to ignore the demons - pain is temporary as they say! Give it 100% all the way to the finish - if you've got the energy to sprint at the end then you've not paced it well. I read somewhere that riding a TT should be like unrolling a carpet - if your energy was the carpet then you'd reach the end just as you cross the finish. Don't be phased by anyone who passes you, you're racing yourself and they're racing themselves - there'll undoubtedly be some others with similar times to yourself and when you've done a few TT's you'll begin to know who you can / want to beat and who is in a different league. Personally, I'd say don't focus too much on your computer, I always found it a distraction - focus on maintaining your effort. Press on more on the drags and recover on the descents - you'll find it's the best way to maintain a higher average. On that note, use every opportunity for 'mini' breaks. Eg at the turn. Don't bother with drinks unless it's a 50 mile or more - they just add weight. Maybe take a gel 20 mins beforehand. You'll suffer on the ride, but it feels euphoric when it ends and you'll soon want to get out again to beat your time.
    Hope this helps, enjoy! :-)


    there's a couple of things in there i would consider bad advice.

    Nice of you to point them out :P

    One thing is I would never take a gel 20 mins before as I find it tries to find its way back up lol
    but then I dont normally bother with gels.
    Got my 2nd ever 50 on sunday so that should be a laugh, took 2 kitkats to eat during last years 50 lol
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • mikey2341mikey2341 Posts: 170
    I did my first one on Tuesday, It was great!! I thought I'd had a good warm up, but timed it wrong, so was waiting around for 15 mins or so before the start which didn't help. Try to time it so your not hanging around for too much before you start, you need your heart rate quite close to working pulse levels to keep oxygen supply high. It should hurt as your doing it, but afterwards you feel great!! Good luck, let us know how it goes.
  • SpaniardSpaniard Posts: 69
    there's a couple of things in there i would consider bad advice.
    Well, that's really helpful for the OP!
  • SpaniardSpaniard Posts: 69
    One thing is I would never take a gel 20 mins before as I find it tries to find its way back up lol
    but then I dont normally bother with gels.

    I think, for me it's more of a psychological thing - part of the ritual.

    Good luck with the 50!
  • RoadMeridaBenRoadMeridaBen Posts: 265
    Spaniard wrote:
    One thing is I would never take a gel 20 mins before as I find it tries to find its way back up lol
    but then I dont normally bother with gels.

    I think, for me it's more of a psychological thing - part of the ritual.

    Good luck with the 50!

    Cheers, hoping to finish in the top 3, got scott povey of drag 2 zero starting 5 mins behind me though lol
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • AllezGazAllezGaz Posts: 93
    Thanks for all the advise guys, unfortunately I ended up having to work late so never made it :x

    There's always next week :D
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    The first rule of riding a TT is that you've got to turn up. Everyone else seems to have forgotten this important point and now look whats happened. FFS.
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    When I'm struggling I always remember someone telling me to "peddle faster", so I try to peddle faster in the same gear.
  • AllezGazAllezGaz Posts: 93
    P_Tucker wrote:
    The first rule of riding a TT is that you've got to turn up. Everyone else seems to have forgotten this important point and now look whats happened. FFS.


    :lol::lol:
  • RoadMeridaBenRoadMeridaBen Posts: 265
    willhub wrote:
    When I'm struggling I always remember someone telling me to "peddle faster", so I try to peddle faster in the same gear.

    If your struggling I think its a bit difficult to pedal faster in that gear, especially as you are already struggling in that gear, perhaps he meant shift down one and spin? sounds like poor advice otherwise lol.

    50 mile TT is over and scott povey didnt turn up, I knocked 11 minutes off last years time and won my 1st open :D
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Do what everyone does for their first TT...read for ages about not going off too hard and thinking yes...I won't go off too hard...then get to the day and go off to hard and blow up after 2 miles...STANDARD :)
  • alex1robalex1rob Posts: 95
    DavidJB wrote:
    Do what everyone does for their first TT...read for ages about not going off too hard and thinking yes...I won't go off too hard...then get to the day and go off to hard and blow up after 2 miles...STANDARD :)

    This. :D
  • indjkeindjke Posts: 85
    DavidJB wrote:
    Do what everyone does for their first TT...read for ages about not going off too hard and thinking yes...I won't go off too hard...then get to the day and go off to hard and blow up after 2 miles...STANDARD :)
    True :)
    Boardman Team C / 105 / Fulcrum Racing 3
  • FatamorganaFatamorgana Posts: 257
    On the same or similar, what is an average time advantage would you say to having a TT bike over say a middling road bike on a 10 mile TT route?
    If it takes rider A, 30 minutes on said road bike, no aero bars, then the same on a TT with aero bike, what would you expect to be riding the 10 miler in? And yes, I do appreciate there are variables.
  • Hard question to answer as it will depend on your position on the TT bike, personally for me its about 2 minutes with the same wheels, clothing etc...

    But on the other hand I do most of my training on the TT bike and my arms get knackered doing a TT on a standard road bike lol
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    On the same or similar, what is an average time advantage would you say to having a TT bike over say a middling road bike on a 10 mile TT route?
    If it takes rider A, 30 minutes on said road bike, no aero bars, then the same on a TT with aero bike, what would you expect to be riding the 10 miler in? And yes, I do appreciate there are variables.

    With a few months regular training on a TT bike you might take ~ 1 - 1:45 mins off your road pb on a 10 course - tons of variables though - getting dialed-in over-time is critical - some people adjust to a TT setup with aerobars quite a bit quicker than others. And there's plenty to play for regards your TT position, so it's quite normal to improve on it over many years.
  • FatamorganaFatamorgana Posts: 257
    Thanks.
    I was also looking at what the numbers mean, but am none the wiser! Ben's R10/17 (cracking time too!), and my local one: The course is officially recognised by the CTT as course code S1/10.
    Not that I am ever going to best their best time of a sub 20 minute lap time.
    I have worked out there's about a 5kmph difference in the mtn to road bike times on the same route, neither of which cost much (both sub £400 on eBay) but weigh 30 & 23lbs resectively.

    Cheers.
  • alex1robalex1rob Posts: 95
    Don't worry what the numbers mean... The best thing I learnt about doing TT's is that don't compete for the win, compete against your last TT.

    That's why I TT on my road bike with race wheels. I get into an aero position sure, but I don't use aero bars. I shaved 2 minutes from my time just through training. I honestly think it's more rewarding to do it through training rather than clip on bits.
  • alex1robalex1rob Posts: 95
    Oh but with regards to how much time bars could save you. Check out an app called bikecalculator. It reckons they would save me two minutes over 10 miles. 26:01 - 24:01
  • indjkeindjke Posts: 85
    alex1rob wrote:
    Don't worry what the numbers mean...

    I get into an aero position sure, but I don't use aero bars. I shaved 2 minutes from my time just through training. I honestly think it's more rewarding to do it through training rather than clip on bits.
    Totally agree!
    Boardman Team C / 105 / Fulcrum Racing 3
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Time difference between a road bike and a tt bike, all depends how quick you`re going anyway.
    Quicker you are the smaller the benefit.
    I`ve only managed 2 club tt`s so far this year , both done in similar conditions , went 30 secs quicker on my road bike than i did on my full on tt bike , including skinsuit and aero lid . Work that one out.

    Course codes , the first letter is the district , first numbers are the distance ,
    second numbers are the course.
    i.e, R10/17=
    R=SOUTH WALES
    10= TEN MILES
    17= THE COURSE. Happens to be A40, Abergavenny / Raglan.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
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