First 10M TT advice?

dannyjames1dannyjames1 Posts: 48
edited August 2018 in Amateur race
Hi.

I recently started getting involved with a cycling club after cycling on my own for years and a couple of them have convinced me to go and give one of their weekly 10 mile time trials a go... I just have no clue how to approach it and wanted a little advice?

Obviously I want to do my best and set a decent time.. in terms of flat solo rides I'll usually hold about 19 or so mph over a few hours going at a moderate effort and not killing myself.. 20 if I push a little harder and start to feel the burn a little. still that's going to have me finishing at around 30 mins over 10 mi. If I could even finish on a mere 27 minutes on my regular road bike I'd be made up.

I don't know why but I just find it more difficult to push myself harder on a flat road or into a headwind? But going up a hill I'm great at pushing it more and have noticed that it can be a strength of mine over other riders?

I guess when the numbers on my back and the pressure is on it might encorage me to ride harder but does anyone have some advice on how to push/pace myself better on a flat 10 miler? Or is it just a case of practising?

Posts

  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 2,739
    Hi.

    I recently started getting involved with a cycling club after cycling on my own for years and a couple of them have convinced me to go and give one of their weekly 10 mile time trials a go... I just have no clue how to approach it and wanted a little advice?

    Obviously I want to do my best and set a decent time.. in terms of flat solo rides I'll usually hold about 19 or so mph over a few hours going at a moderate effort and not killing myself.. 20 if I push a little harder and start to feel the burn a little. still that's going to have me finishing at around 30 mins over 10 mi. If I could even finish on a mere 27 minutes on my regular road bike I'd be made up.

    I don't know why but I just find it more difficult to push myself harder on a flat road or into a headwind? But going up a hill I'm great at pushing it more and have noticed that it can be a strength of mine over other riders?

    I guess when the numbers on my back and the pressure is on it might encorage me to ride harder but does anyone have some advice on how to push/pace myself better on a flat 10 miler? Or is it just a case of practising?
    I think you just need to turn up, have a go and see where you need to improve. I struggle on the climbs on a TT, although by no means the slowest.
    Have you been for a recce of the course? It's handy to know what's coming up next, and can which way to go in case there's a shortage of marshalls.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    Do a few over the season rather than put everything on just one. Pacing and pushing yourself is a learning experience and you will go faster with no extra fitness. It's also good fun if you don't take it too seriously. A thing to remember is that you can stop and fall over after you've crossed the line, so 'negative split', finish strong then throw up.

    If you're really doing 19 or 20 over several hours solo then expect nearer 25 than 27.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,860
    ride as hard as you can for 10 miles. Enjoy. Go back next week repeat and enjoy.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • MapaputsiMapaputsi Posts: 104
    Don’t go off too hard.
    Push harder into any hills on the course than going downhill.
    Don’t go off too hard.
    Try to keep your position as consistent as possible.
    Don’t go off too hard.

    Enjoy!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,349
    From my experience TT's are all about finding your sweet spot - and sticking to it.
    Your first one is going to be the start of the process on finding where that is - expect to get Evens (30 minutes) - which is quite respectable on a road bike.
    Do you know the course? If not, go and ride it beforehand (if it's a busy DC then perhaps drive it).
    Do a suitable warmup - but don't bust a gut - aim to be at the start area a couple of minutes before your pushoff - but no more.
    Don't go off like a bull in a china shop.
    Try to ride at a level you think you just can't quite sustain for 10 miles (that'll be harder than you think)
    Don't pulse you effort level - try and keep it smooth and consistent - obviously adjust it if you think you can go harder - going easier won't be a choice.
  • dannyjames1dannyjames1 Posts: 48
    Thanks for the replies. Indeed I know the course, it's relatively simply going out towards a quiet motorway roundabout then turning back at another roundabout a few miles back down the dual carriageway, but still I will go and ride it some before next week to familiarize myself with the route and road conditions.

    It's the whole not going off too hard and riding at a consistent effort that I find difficult. Like I say I can do a flat 2 hours probably 3 on the road bike at 19-20mph but I just don't seem to be able to push that up more even if I just go out for 1 hour and do just shy of 20 miles I'll end up doing 19.5-20mph. My 'efforts' tend to be a few 200-300m sprint out of the saddle with a small break inbetween. I really need to figure out this FTP stuff and how to put it to use.

    Could going up one gear from my usual effort then riding to my usual cadence be a good way to put in a more elongated effort?

    anyway I shall just go and give it a go! I hardly done much riding last summer and have just came out of a winter with zero riding and gone straight to riding 650 miles in April (almost the same distance I done in the whole of 2017) so I'm sure I'll soon improve.
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    Just go for it. You’re overthinking it.
    First one? Set out pretty hard and see how long you can hang on for. You may surprise yourself. Record the ride but don’t have any data on show, it could well be a limiter as to how hard you can *really* ride.

    It doesn’t matter if you blow badly, it’s a club 10.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    The one misconception about not starting too hard is that you still have to avoid bleeding time in the first couple hundred yards. Get up to speed, then settle in.

    Your warmup should be longer than you think. Part of your warmup should also be pretty hard and end near your start time.

    But, the best advice..........do it for yourself. Don't try to break another person's time. Don't try to beat another person. Just be done knowing you gave it all. Part of TT is exploring your own personal pain cave.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472

    exploring your own personal pain cave.

    Kerrrrrrrching.
  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    Mapaputsi wrote:
    Don’t go off too hard.
    Push harder into any hills on the course than going downhill.
    Don’t go off too hard.
    Try to keep your position as consistent as possible.
    Don’t go off too hard.

    Enjoy!

    You'll probably go off too hard, so just keep the hammer down until you blow. Hopefully that'll be closer to nine miles than five. Once you feel like you're in a world of hurt, pedal a little harder.

    Save just enough breath to call out your race number as you pass the finish line time keepers! :D
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,467
    Ensure your number is pinned on correctly, then do a spirited warm up.
    Do not take anything like beetroot shots or unfamiliar gels beforehand, your shorts / local bushes will thank you for it
    Do not warm up near the start line, arrive at the start line approximately 2-3 minutes before your start time.
    As you are released, say thanks, now the hard bit.

    Set off hard, really hard, say to yourself "this is easy", 4 minutes later look down at your power or HRM reading and wonder why one is so low and the other is so high. Cross the line covered in spit, ensure you shout your number as you cross, do not sit up before the line. Once finished pester the time keeper for your time, they love that! Look at your time, think about how terrible you did, then remember the bad things you did, turn up next week, then the week after.

    Now think to yourself, "I really need a TT bike, TT lid, skin suit, disc wheel, aero socks......", purchase said items, eat ice cube sandwiches forever and watch your times tumble.

    But most of all, enjoy it! :)
  • All about pacing! Practice it in shorter durations to get a feel for it.
  • AndymaxyAndymaxy Posts: 197
    Shoot up some EPO and inject some blood, oh don't forgot to get an inhaler that's bigger than your head.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,320
    Ice cube sandwiches you say? :)
  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,101
    Thing is, as soon as you've ridden one TT, no matter how fast or slow, you'll be thinking about where and how you could have gone faster. It's very addictive - have fun!
  • Bumo_bBumo_b Posts: 211
    Turning up at my first TT, I was nervous, worried what people would think of me/my bike/my time etc but the truth is I was not that important for people to notice, but imprortant enough to be made to feel welcome. Been going back ever since. Oddly the more I do, the less I am concerned about my finishing time compared to others and the more concerned about beating my last time. You will make the same mistakes we all do but that will just drive you to improve further. My last attempt was one of my slowest despite good conditions and all I have done is obsess over how I can improve and what went wrong. It is true that the race is against yourself. Enjoy! (PS I come in the bottom third of riders in relation to time)
  • Despite reading plenty of articles on the internet in advance, one piece of advice I wasn't given before my first TT was the advantage of having a turbo trainer or rollers to warm up on before the start. I find it much easier than trying to find a suitable section of road. This was especially obvious when it was 3 degrees (7am on 31st March) and I actually got colder while trying to warm up.

    Another bit of advice I'd give, but only to those who are fairly committed, is to get a coach. Time trialling is as close to a science as cycling gets, yes, there is a degree of luck (traffic, weather etc) but you can predict what time someone is going to get with a surprising amount of accuracy if you know their power and CdA. A coach will help you improve your time in the most efficient manner in terms of time, effort and cost. Basically, don't feel you have to wait to be a certain standard first as you'll get the most value for money from the coach early on.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,188
    first ever time trial for me was turn up on road bike in ill fitting kit, get head down, go out too hard and suffer for 10 miles. Do a respectable time.

    4 years later its pretty much the same, except I wear more aero kit, and have a slightly better position. Times have dropped and I’m fitter, and I only really do the one course.

    don't over think it. learn the nuances of the course (strava has most of them on there or the ctt website also has decent info). if its a straight out and back, then you'll be fine but I've seen people do one too many roundabouts :)
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