First official TT - mildly disappointing

CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
edited 23 August in Amateur race
Did my first officially timed 10m TT yesterday. Weather was good, slight breeze - course consists of out and back with slight (~1%) gradient out.

Was hoping for 24(ish) mins, ended up well over 25. This was on a (low end) TT bike and I hit my power target of a consistent 250 watts (~3.8w/kg). Quite a bit lower than my FTP, but am struggling a bit on the TT bike as is second time on it this year.
I'm pretty sure the power meter is accurate as I've raced with it and it certainly rings true on other efforts.

The position on the bike felt OK and I felt like I was holding a low front end with head down and shoulders in.

Was really expecting to get a better time for those watts on a TT bike. There are guys on the same course doing the course in the 22s putting out only a few more watts?! Am I really as aero as a brick...
«1

Posts

  • hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 411
    I've started doing 10 mile TT's this summer in a local league. did 2 on my road bike, with TT clip on bars, then picked up a cheap planetx stealth TT bike 2nd hand locally and have done a 15m and a 10m TT since then on the 'new' bike.

    I'm down at 26.5mins for 10 miles and hoping to get to around 25mins for 10 miles so not where you are now !

    What I would say is everyone tells me it takes time (and training) to get used to the TT position. People also tell me your FTP is 20-30 watts lower in TT as a result of being hunched up etc.

    We have a guy who comes along with a good camera and takes photos of us on the road during the TT's, very useful for looking at your position and comparing with others - I should be down lower/flatter when looking at others positions on their photos.

    I'm a TT newbie so what do I know, other than to say its very early days for you if you've only done one TT and you should get quicker, as you get used the bike and the courses etc. I would look at as a starting point and should give you plenty room for improvement !

    Do you have a skinsuit and TT helmet ?

    Good luck with future TT's
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,667
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This might work for some people but not so sure with me. I generally need a carrot / stick. If I have something to chase I tend to do better. Same goes for having a number, even on longer rides - I'll often look down and find I need a poke as I'm slacking, even though it feels hard.
  • mickledore.fymickledore.fy Posts: 404
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.

    +1
    You are overthinking it. It's only 10 miles. Just go as hard as you can. Eventually you will get used to it, but it will take some time. You need to learn how to do a TT.
    How many times is the TdF put to bed on the TT result?
    Mental training is as vital as physical training.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,667
    CptKernow wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This might work for some people but not so sure with me. I generally need a carrot / stick. If I have something to chase I tend to do better. Same goes for having a number, even on longer rides - I'll often look down and find I need a poke as I'm slacking, even though it feels hard.

    The point I'm making is that riding to a target power may be holding you back. Especially if you could actually go harder. In my view, you really don't need a power meter for a 10. I doubt if anyone does.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,348
    CptKernow wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This might work for some people but not so sure with me. I generally need a carrot / stick. If I have something to chase I tend to do better. Same goes for having a number, even on longer rides - I'll often look down and find I need a poke as I'm slacking, even though it feels hard.
    yup I agree with you - I tend to go for time at specific points of the course - I have power displayed, but it's a small box on the screen - I still tend to go to HR.
    I can see what they're saying - it's not something you should be concentrating on - just ride as hard as you can - but "as hard as you can" is still a bit grey - sometimes you need a little nudge to tell you to put some more effort in - be that a competitor in front you're catching or one just overtaking you that you're determined to keep in sight till the finish - or, slightly more reliable - some data on your screen ...

    Watts on the bike - you can't directly compare against the other guys - depends on their weight, their bikes, their position and crucially (IMHO anyway) - where they're measuring power from - wheels read differently to cranks ...

    Take a critical look at your data for the ride - avg power is fine - but it's average - it could be you're putting the power in where you're not making the best speed gains and backing off the power when you're going fast - but you could be going even faster ... if you can - compare it against one of the faster guys - see where you're losing time - then work out why.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,047
    CptKernow wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This might work for some people but not so sure with me. I generally need a carrot / stick. If I have something to chase I tend to do better. Same goes for having a number, even on longer rides - I'll often look down and find I need a poke as I'm slacking, even though it feels hard.
    Given that inexperienced riders are set off in front of the faster riders. I always found that the thought of getting caught and passed was enough to make me go as hard as I could.
    You need some sort of mantra to keep repeating yourself.” Where’s my f*cking power gone, where’s my f*cking power gone” :D
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,030
    Split the course into speed targets.
    Being realistic of course - any lumpy bit can you really ave 25 mph?
    Practise on those tri bars - get your triceps able to hold up for 15/20 minute before you get a corner/turn respite.
    Being aero cuts your wattage/energy costs but you get that speed difference if you get it right.
    Unless you are built like a juiced up iron man, you probably aint going to ave 400watts for 4 hours.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This. 100% this. I discovered this the other day purely by accident, when I got to the start and found out my PM and HRM were both playing up. Instead of looking at them, I just rode it on feel instead - so didn't have that niggling feeling that I was going too hard that I always get about 2-3 miles in when I'm over my 20 minute FTP. Result of that was over a full minute (20:24) off my PB (21:27) set the week before on the same course, with pretty similar conditions. This is after a year or so of my PB hovering around the same mark (21:40) - and the only difference was not staring at the PM

    For a 25 I'd still use the PM because pacing is far more important - but unless you're absolutely incapable of moderating yourself at the start and end up dying 6 miles in, you should be able to ride to RPE for 25 minutes or so
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Have you taken into consideration that for many people FTP is guestimation of 1 hour power derived from best 20 min effort? Maybe you could get away with as much as FTP+10% in competition environment ^ ^
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Thank you for all the wise words.

    Looking at guys who went faster than me it looks like their power output was pretty level for the course. Normalized power coming out nearly the same as avg...

    There's even a guy who put out exactly the same watts as me and more or less the same w/kg - but he was over 1.5 mins quicker.
    Like I said I felt my position was OK, but it seems compared to this guy I'm a brick...
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,884
    CptKernow wrote:
    Thank you for all the wise words.

    Looking at guys who went faster than me it looks like their power output was pretty level for the course. Normalized power coming out nearly the same as avg...

    There's even a guy who put out exactly the same watts as me and more or less the same w/kg - but he was over 1.5 mins quicker.
    Like I said I felt my position was OK, but it seems compared to this guy I'm a brick...

    Could be that your power meter needs recalibrating, could be that you put down the power in the wrong places (you get more return on the inclines than on flat/downhill) and of course could be that your position is not very aerodynamic at all. Could even be that you waste time on the bends and have to put a lot of power down to bring the bike back to speed, where others don't.
    Look at the power profile Vs speed and see where you have wasted it
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,188
    Imposter wrote:
    CptKernow wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This might work for some people but not so sure with me. I generally need a carrot / stick. If I have something to chase I tend to do better. Same goes for having a number, even on longer rides - I'll often look down and find I need a poke as I'm slacking, even though it feels hard.

    The point I'm making is that riding to a target power may be holding you back. Especially if you could actually go harder. In my view, you really don't need a power meter for a 10. I doubt if anyone does.

    totally agree with this. whilst I only dabble in TT's when work and life allows, I've always found that going on feel worked better for me and got better results. also staring at numbers and watching them change doesn't do anything for me. I'd rather just ride as fast as I can for that distance, and hope my half minute men/ women are slower than me so I can motivate myself to bridge across and pass them.
  • 5858558585 Posts: 223
    There is a huge gain to be had by working on your kit and your position, so yes, you could easily be giving away 40W+.
    What is your set-up? We can maybe give your some pointers.

    If you're only on the TT bike a couple of times a year then you can't expect too much in my experience, a bit more practice and I'm sure you can go significantly faster.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    58585 wrote:
    What is your set-up? We can maybe give your some pointers.

    At present I'm riding an Argon 18 E80 (alu frame) I got of eBay. Not much of a weight penalty and same aero as their top end frames.
    Wheels are a set of 50mm clinchers running Conti GP 4000s.

    Helmet is a Giro Synthe - so slightly aero. Have just ordered a Giro Vanquish with visor - which is supposed to be 8+ watts more efficient...

    I also have a Castelli Sanremo speed suit. Fits perfectly, but does have pockets.

    Beyond that no other tweaks. Didn't really want to lay down any money until I was at least getting under 24mins....

    And yes... I take your point about getting on the TT bike more and have been using a little more.
    I did manage 21.5mph for 30 miles on 206w average the other day - that seems quite a good power to speed return, but I realise that it is more of an exponential curve as the speed gets higher...
  • Worth bearing in mind that aerodynamics are a funny thing. What often looks/feels aero isn’t always quite the optimum position. It’s worth playing around with different heights/angles with your bars, get a mate to take a front on photo of them all and looks at how the different changes affect the overall frontal area you present and so on.
  • DezzaDezza Posts: 155
    Time on TT bike.
    You need to turbo, train and race on the TT. Anything else and your body won't adapt to the different riding position.
  • cruff wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Switch off the power meter and ride on feel - you don't need it for a 10. Just ride as hard as you can sustain. Either way, it's a TT, your time is what it is.
    This. 100% this. I discovered this the other day purely by accident, when I got to the start and found out my PM and HRM were both playing up. Instead of looking at them, I just rode it on feel instead - so didn't have that niggling feeling that I was going too hard that I always get about 2-3 miles in when I'm over my 20 minute FTP. Result of that was over a full minute (20:24) off my PB (21:27) set the week before on the same course, with pretty similar conditions. This is after a year or so of my PB hovering around the same mark (21:40) - and the only difference was not staring at the PM

    For a 25 I'd still use the PM because pacing is far more important - but unless you're absolutely incapable of moderating yourself at the start and end up dying 6 miles in, you should be able to ride to RPE for 25 minutes or so

    That is a gigantic increase for an experienced tester, Cruff - minute off at those times, v impressive.

    I don't ride to power or HR (will record them to look at afterward) but do use average speed quite a bit as motivation. Did a 22.09 at the weekend on a fast course (albeit not a fast night) and felt like that's me topped out, absolutely broken with the effort. Like buying a time trial bike and just showing up to time trials has taken me this far, but anything more will need some focussed training. Pushing the bike along at 27, 28 mph felt like another level that's a bit beyond me atm.
  • john1967john1967 Posts: 366
    I've never met a TT rider who wasn't disappointed with their time unless it was a PB.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Did the same course again yesterday. Did 24:56 this time which included a bit of a hold up in traffic. So, some improvement, but still a way to go.

    This time I didn't try to ride to a target power, I just tried to make sure I didn't drop below a certain number. Ended up at 256w avg - just under 4w/kg. Felt a lot better than last time on the first 3/4 too.

    Still a good bit slower than some guys putting out similar power, and still feels harder to get the power out than when I'm on the base bars.

    I feel my position overall is quite good - at least it's low and narrow. Any suggestion on what to try tweaking?

    At the end of the day I want to get under 24 mins without spending any more money...
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    CptKernow wrote:
    Did the same course again yesterday. Did 24:56 this time which included a bit of a hold up in traffic. So, some improvement, but still a way to go.

    This time I didn't try to ride to a target power, I just tried to make sure I didn't drop below a certain number. Ended up at 256w avg - just under 4w/kg. Felt a lot better than last time on the first 3/4 too.

    Still a good bit slower than some guys putting out similar power, and still feels harder to get the power out than when I'm on the base bars.

    I feel my position overall is quite good - at least it's low and narrow. Any suggestion on what to try tweaking?

    At the end of the day I want to get under 24 mins without spending any more money...
    Train more
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    CptKernow wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
    :D

    It was a glib statement, but in reality, if you don't want to spend any more money it's the only thing that will work (other than getting lower, or more narra, or losing weight)

    Even then, you're looking at a pretty big investment in training time to drop from 24:50 to sub 24:00 - a strong winter of over/unders and base miles will get you there but you aren't likely to get sub 24:00 this year

    In order of effectiveness, provided you've gone as far as you can with your position on your own, then investing in a skinsuit will provide the biggest bang for your buck, followed by a TT lid, followed by a deep section front wheel, followed by a rear disc, , followed by wind tunnel testing, followed by a better TT frame. Actually, wind tunnel testing will probably give you greater overall benefit, but will be very expensive
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,047
    cruff wrote:
    CptKernow wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
    :D

    It was a glib statement, but in reality, if you don't want to spend any more money it's the only thing that will work (other than getting lower, or more narra, or losing weight)

    Even then, you're looking at a pretty big investment in training time to drop from 24:50 to sub 24:00 - a strong winter of over/unders and base miles will get you there but you aren't likely to get sub 24:00 this year

    In order of effectiveness, provided you've gone as far as you can with your position on your own, then investing in a skinsuit will provide the biggest bang for your buck, followed by a TT lid, followed by a deep section front wheel, followed by a rear disc, , followed by wind tunnel testing, followed by a better TT frame. Actually, wind tunnel testing will probably give you greater overall benefit, but will be very expensive
    Reading this I wonder how everybody managed back in the day. When other than a skinsuit it was steel framed bikes, no aero helmets, bars or wheels. Training was rather rudimentary as well.
    I would argue that from a 24:50 you should be able to get under 24 mins with a bit of hard work and getting to know where you need put in the hard efforts on the course. As other people’s power is showing that you are not far off.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    webboo wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    CptKernow wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
    :D

    It was a glib statement, but in reality, if you don't want to spend any more money it's the only thing that will work (other than getting lower, or more narra, or losing weight)

    Even then, you're looking at a pretty big investment in training time to drop from 24:50 to sub 24:00 - a strong winter of over/unders and base miles will get you there but you aren't likely to get sub 24:00 this year

    In order of effectiveness, provided you've gone as far as you can with your position on your own, then investing in a skinsuit will provide the biggest bang for your buck, followed by a TT lid, followed by a deep section front wheel, followed by a rear disc, , followed by wind tunnel testing, followed by a better TT frame. Actually, wind tunnel testing will probably give you greater overall benefit, but will be very expensive
    Reading this I wonder how everybody managed back in the day. When other than a skinsuit it was steel framed bikes, no aero helmets, bars or wheels. Training was rather rudimentary as well.
    I would argue that from a 24:50 you should be able to get under 24 mins with a bit of hard work and getting to know where you need put in the hard efforts on the course. As other people’s power is showing that you are not far off.
    If he was coming from an untrained position, with no improvement having been made in aero or position, then yeah. As it is, he's already stated he can't really do much more position-wise, so provided he's not wearing a parachute, knocking 50 seconds off a 10 without some real graft in training would be no mean feat.

    As to what they did 'back in the day' - depends who you talk to. They either trained reet hard, or rode behind cars in the middle of the lane to get a better draft :lol::lol::lol:
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • mickledore.fymickledore.fy Posts: 404
    Those were the days when we used to dream of Saturday afternoon events on the A1 in Yorkshire. The drafting effect was a given. Courses were so fast that you had to be fast to get in. 50-55 minute "25"s were almost a given. T252, V134 etc.

    Yes steel frames, but aero helmets and tribars had arrived. No need to ride in the middle of the carriageway (and it would have been suicidal) because the volume of traffic just sucked us all along.

    Happy days.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,671
    CptKernow wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
    Cheapest by far.

    If you already have a TT frame, 50mm wheels, skinsuit and aero hat you've covered the main areas for improvement using your wallet, short of wind tunnel/velodrome testing.

    I'd expect to be a bit quicker than 24:56 off 250 watts. It can be misleading to compare with unfamiliar people on different courses but last night a slippery young rider got under 22 minutes on a flat course with that power yet 2 others on good kit (Ribble Ultra, Trinity Advanced, both with deep front + disc) only managed around 23:30 with a few more watts.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,047
    cruff wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    CptKernow wrote:
    cruff wrote:
    Train more

    Guess that'd be the cheapest option!
    :D

    It was a glib statement, but in reality, if you don't want to spend any more money it's the only thing that will work (other than getting lower, or more narra, or losing weight)

    Even then, you're looking at a pretty big investment in training time to drop from 24:50 to sub 24:00 - a strong winter of over/unders and base miles will get you there but you aren't likely to get sub 24:00 this year

    In order of effectiveness, provided you've gone as far as you can with your position on your own, then investing in a skinsuit will provide the biggest bang for your buck, followed by a TT lid, followed by a deep section front wheel, followed by a rear disc, , followed by wind tunnel testing, followed by a better TT frame. Actually, wind tunnel testing will probably give you greater overall benefit, but will be very expensive
    Reading this I wonder how everybody managed back in the day. When other than a skinsuit it was steel framed bikes, no aero helmets, bars or wheels. Training was rather rudimentary as well.
    I would argue that from a 24:50 you should be able to get under 24 mins with a bit of hard work and getting to know where you need put in the hard efforts on the course. As other people’s power is showing that you are not far off.
    If he was coming from an untrained position, with no improvement having been made in aero or position, then yeah. As it is, he's already stated he can't really do much more position-wise, so provided he's not wearing a parachute, knocking 50 seconds off a 10 without some real graft in training would be no mean feat.

    As to what they did 'back in the day' - depends who you talk to. They either trained reet hard, or rode behind cars in the middle of the lane to get a better draft :lol::lol::lol:
    As you had to be under the hour or done a 22 to get in any races that were on the A1 or similar. You had to either lie about how fast you went in your club 10 or be able ride without traffic assistance. Training wise it was sprinting between lamp posts or through and off.
    I still it’s more about application.
  • CptKernowCptKernow Posts: 467
    Managed 24.40 last night on the same course. This time my avg watts were 260 (~4w/kg).

    Didn't use the power meter so much as a guide - just as a stick to make sure I didn't slack off. Power still came out very consistent and HR was more or less flat throughout...

    Still a bit disappointed as I thought this wattage on an out and back (1% out) course should get me under 24 mins.

    I suppose at least now I have a target for next year. Having not done any TT specific training to date I can focus more or this - plenty of plans out there.
    May also try and get some 3rd party assessment on my position as I'm losing a bit of power and the numbers seem to suggest I'm not as slippery as I could be...
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,359
    CptKernow wrote:
    Managed 24.40 last night on the same course. This time my avg watts were 260 (~4w/kg).

    Didn't use the power meter so much as a guide - just as a stick to make sure I didn't slack off. Power still came out very consistent and HR was more or less flat throughout...

    Still a bit disappointed as I thought this wattage on an out and back (1% out) course should get me under 24 mins.

    I suppose at least now I have a target for next year. Having not done any TT specific training to date I can focus more or this - plenty of plans out there.
    May also try and get some 3rd party assessment on my position as I'm losing a bit of power and the numbers seem to suggest I'm not as slippery as I could be...
    Do yourself a favour and post over on timetriallingforum

    There are any number of people there who will help you out - much more knowledgeable than me or any of the other choppers on here :lol:

    If you ask nicely and post a picture of yourself, some of them will even give you pointers on making improvements based on your position

    As for expecting a sub 24 minute on a course based on a specific wattage - so many other factors come into play that it's not possible to be anything like that precise. Wind, air pressure, road surface, applying a bit extra in the right places, technique at the turn, draft effect from passing traffic etc. etc.. There's a tool called MyWindsock (developed by a bloke who rides one of my local 10s actually) that will make a reasonable fist of telling you what your time *should* look like on a given course, with the power number you enter, on a given date, with the forecast weather - but even this isn't infallible. I've 'beaten' my expected time for a 10 by over a minute (good legs) and been 'slower' by over 30 seconds (sh*t legs)
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
Sign In or Register to comment.