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10 mile TT - first shot pacing

andyebandyeb Posts: 407
edited April 2013 in Amateur race
Thinking about having a crack at a 10 mile time trial, but am not sure how to pace myself on the first attempt. I normally train with a heart rate monitor so it seems sensible to use this.

On the turbo I can ride:

- 20 mins at 90% MHR
- 1 hour at 85% MHR

Out on the road I can ride at 73% for 4 hours.

Consensus seems to be you should take a minute or so to work up to pace and then go at a steady effort unless the course is especially hilly or it's very windy.

So with those data points in mind, what steady effort should I pick? Somewhere between 85 and 90%?

What steady pace do most people here ride at?
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    You should, in theory, be able to ride a lot longer than 20mins at 90% - and a lot longer than 1hr at 85%.
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Imposter wrote:
    You should, in theory, be able to ride a lot longer than 20mins at 90% - and a lot longer than 1hr at 85%.

    As in difference in road vs turbo work?

    Or are you saying my general level of fitness is not where it needs to be yet for a 10 mile TT? :?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    andyeb wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    You should, in theory, be able to ride a lot longer than 20mins at 90% - and a lot longer than 1hr at 85%.

    As in difference in road vs turbo work?

    Or are you saying my general level of fitness is not where it needs to be yet for a 10 mile TT? :?

    Effort level is still effort level, regardless of where you do it. You can do a TT with any level of fitness.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    andyeb wrote:
    Thinking about having a crack at a 10 mile time trial, but am not sure how to pace myself on the first attempt. I normally train with a heart rate monitor so it seems sensible to use this.

    On the turbo I can ride:

    - 20 mins at 90% MHR
    - 1 hour at 85% MHR

    Out on the road I can ride at 73% for 4 hours.

    Consensus seems to be you should take a minute or so to work up to pace and then go at a steady effort unless the course is especially hilly or it's very windy.

    So with those data points in mind, what steady effort should I pick? Somewhere between 85 and 90%?

    What steady pace do most people here ride at?

    Think everyones pace will be different & not sure its a fair comparison to what you should be doing.

    HRM is a good point & if you are warmed up enough & trust that in your training your HRM % can get up to the right level pretty quickly off the line you need to be as close to 90% as you think you can handle without blowing up on the return half of the TT run.

    As Grill says the last part the numbers will be out of the window but you can use them to spur you to keep going and dig deeper but you might find that with the adrenaline pumping you can hold 90% for longer than on a turbo.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • xscreamsukxscreamsuk Posts: 318
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.

    ftp references will only come with more experience.

    Only way to tell is to ride a few, ease in for first couple of minutes, then at your 90% until about 5 minutes form end, then really empty the tanks. It's a learning experience.
  • Go to your local stretch of flattish road and time yourself over 10 miles. That will tell you more about how to ride a '10 than anything you'll read on here.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    I think I normally end up at around 95% of max HR in a TT. I don't really ride off HR though but from experience that's where it ends up. I try not to reach that level until at least 1/3 of the way through it though (10 mile).

    The one thing you don't want to do is overcook it at the start and hit your max TT HR (95% for me) within the first minute.
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Pokerface wrote:
    I think I normally end up at around 95% of max HR in a TT. I don't really ride off HR though but from experience that's where it ends up. I try not to reach that level until at least 1/3 of the way through it though (10 mile).

    The one thing you don't want to do is overcook it at the start and hit your max TT HR (95% for me) within the first minute.

    Yeah I have to watch this even on regular rides - if I go off too hard in the first 10 miles I pay for it big time for the rest of the ride. Seems I take longer than most to get warmed up. Fortunately my local 10 mile TT course is a nice warm-up away :)
  • A good warm up, start at about 80% so to bed myself in, I find if I'm changing down gear under a mile from starting I've started too hard, I don't need full tilt till around 5 miles then punch it to 110% with a mile to go
    Helmand Province is such a nice place.....
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    RPE is the same on the road as turbo but for me anyway at an RPE of for instance 8 or 9 my heart rate would be higher on the road than it would be on the turbo

    Imposter wrote:
    andyeb wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    You should, in theory, be able to ride a lot longer than 20mins at 90% - and a lot longer than 1hr at 85%.

    As in difference in road vs turbo work?

    Or are you saying my general level of fitness is not where it needs to be yet for a 10 mile TT? :?

    Effort level is still effort level, regardless of where you do it. You can do a TT with any level of fitness.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    RPE is the same on the road as turbo but for me anyway at an RPE of for instance 8 or 9 my heart rate would be higher on the road than it would be on the turbo

    agreed - same here.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.
    At least 110%? :shock: Maybe you need to dig deeper and push more in your FTP testing ;)
    A good warm up, start at about 80% so to bed myself in, I find if I'm changing down gear under a mile from starting I've started too hard, I don't need full tilt till around 5 miles then punch it to 110% with a mile to go
    80/110% of what?

    OP - what you have done for a 20 min test in training is probably around the right level.
  • NickelNickel Posts: 505
    Imo, forget the HRM and just ride off perceived effort, on a 10 my HR is easily 95%, probably hitting close to 100 in the last few metres to the finishing line, doesn't mean I pay any attention to my HR whilst riding though.

    Make sure you don't go off too hard in the first couple of miles or you'll pay for it later, ride at a hard but consistent pace but once inside the last mile push with everything that you have.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.


    I would think 105% of FTP would be more appropriate for a 10-mile TT. I certainly couldn't do 110% of FTP for 20 mins.
  • Tom Dean wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.
    At least 110%? :shock: Maybe you need to dig deeper and push more in your FTP testing ;)
    A good warm up, start at about 80% so to bed myself in, I find if I'm changing down gear under a mile from starting I've started too hard, I don't need full tilt till around 5 miles then punch it to 110% with a mile to go
    80/110% of what?

    OP - what you have done for a 20 min test in training is probably around the right level.

    FTP, if I do more than 2/3mins of 110% my head falls off. Followed by my legs.
    Helmand Province is such a nice place.....
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Well I had a crack at the local course today (HCC123A) - whether wasnt ideal; 10mph wind with 24 mph gusts (plus it was also sleeting). Result - a rather discouraging 31:23.

    Averaged 86% MHR and kept this fairly consistent through the course - heart rate trended up very slightly. Had a stitch for the last 1.5 miles and didn't have anything left for a final sprint to the line.

    On the bright side - I did a hard day on the turbo yesterday, so could probably do better with 2 rest days beforehand. Plenty of room for improvement. Plus I'm not last for the segment on Strava.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    FTP, if I do more than 2/3mins of 110% my head falls off. Followed by my legs.
    Fair enough, but do you need to start as low as 80%?
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Tom Dean wrote:
    FTP, if I do more than 2/3mins of 110% my head falls off. Followed by my legs.
    Fair enough, but do you need to start as low as 80%?

    I start at 0% of FTP. Then the starter let's me go. :P :P

    Good pacing would dictate starting off at around FTP and building to 105% after a few mins. Most people go off at much higher and drop into the right pace - but it costs them in the end.

    However, HR will probably be around 80% to start and rise quickly. Obviously takes a few mins to respond to the effort.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.
    At least 110%? :shock: Maybe you need to dig deeper and push more in your FTP testing ;)
    A good warm up, start at about 80% so to bed myself in, I find if I'm changing down gear under a mile from starting I've started too hard, I don't need full tilt till around 5 miles then punch it to 110% with a mile to go
    80/110% of what?

    OP - what you have done for a 20 min test in training is probably around the right level.

    FTP, if I do more than 2/3mins of 110% my head falls off. Followed by my legs.

    You just need a longer warm-up ;)
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • andyeb wrote:
    Well I had a crack at the local course today (HCC123A) - whether wasnt ideal; 10mph wind with 24 mph gusts (plus it was also sleeting). Result - a rather discouraging 31:23.

    Averaged 86% MHR and kept this fairly consistent through the course - heart rate trended up very slightly. Had a stitch for the last 1.5 miles and didn't have anything left for a final sprint to the line.

    On the bright side - I did a hard day on the turbo yesterday, so could probably do better with 2 rest days beforehand. Plenty of room for improvement. Plus I'm not last for the segment on Strava.

    Don't be discouraged, lots of people take several attempts to beat 30 minutes when they're timing themselves.

    Two crucial points:

    1) It was a windy day. Expect better results in the calm, especially as you probably haven't perfected your aero tuck yet.

    2) You always go faster in a race. No matter how hard you think you can push yourself on your own, you can always find something extra when you have a number on your back and you're racing against other riders. This is why a lot of the comments upthread about %maxHR are barking up the wrong tree - because if they're doing it properly, people will probably exceed their supposed maxHR in their first race if they're doing it properly! Their HR data will only be useful once they've done a couple of races and know what they're capable of and what to expect.

    3) You've done it properly, you've tested yourself before the event. Now you know what it feels like, you can pace yourself correctly on the day and improve on your time. Go for it!
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Thanks for the encouragement Mr Bunbury - much appreciated :D
  • Grill wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    For a 10 you should be riding at least 110% of FTP. Go out there and push, and when you think you have no more, dig deep and push more.
    At least 110%? :shock: Maybe you need to dig deeper and push more in your FTP testing ;)
    A good warm up, start at about 80% so to bed myself in, I find if I'm changing down gear under a mile from starting I've started too hard, I don't need full tilt till around 5 miles then punch it to 110% with a mile to go
    80/110% of what?

    OP - what you have done for a 20 min test in training is probably around the right level.

    FTP, if I do more than 2/3mins of 110% my head falls off. Followed by my legs.

    You just need a longer warm-up ;)

    I'll take that one on board! :)
    Helmand Province is such a nice place.....
  • Mr Bunbury wrote:
    andyeb wrote:
    Well I had a crack at the local course today (HCC123A) - whether wasnt ideal; 10mph wind with 24 mph gusts (plus it was also sleeting). Result - a rather discouraging 31:23.

    Averaged 86% MHR and kept this fairly consistent through the course - heart rate trended up very slightly. Had a stitch for the last 1.5 miles and didn't have anything left for a final sprint to the line.

    On the bright side - I did a hard day on the turbo yesterday, so could probably do better with 2 rest days beforehand. Plenty of room for improvement. Plus I'm not last for the segment on Strava.

    Don't be discouraged, lots of people take several attempts to beat 30 minutes when they're timing themselves.

    Two crucial points:

    1) It was a windy day. Expect better results in the calm, especially as you probably haven't perfected your aero tuck yet.

    2) You always go faster in a race. No matter how hard you think you can push yourself on your own, you can always find something extra when you have a number on your back and you're racing against other riders. This is why a lot of the comments upthread about %maxHR are barking up the wrong tree - because if they're doing it properly, people will probably exceed their supposed maxHR in their first race if they're doing it properly! Their HR data will only be useful once they've done a couple of races and know what they're capable of and what to expect.

    3) You've done it properly, you've tested yourself before the event. Now you know what it feels like, you can pace yourself correctly on the day and improve on your time. Go for it!

    Good points on one and three. Point two, Pokerface is a reigning Para World Champ, I'm a L2 RR/TT BC coach, Army PTI and got a 19.58 10 PB... Think we might know what tree is the right one....
    Helmand Province is such a nice place.....
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Despite my credentials... there is some truth to ride at a percentage of Max HR (whether it is 80, 90, 95, 99, 110, etc).

    Of course, if you don't believe this, I suggest you try the 'ride as hard as you can from the start' method and see how far you get. I'd bet not very far, despite there being a number on your back.

    The question was about pacing - not about pushing past limits.

    If you've got anything left in the tank with a mile to go... THEN you can empty the tank.
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    Thanks Pokerface - glad I wasn't a million miles off with this one. Main lesson I learned from my first shot was that the % MHR needs to be adjusted downwards a bit from what I can sustain on the turbo for 30 mins.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    andyeb wrote:
    Thanks Pokerface - glad I wasn't a million miles off with this one. Main lesson I learned from my first shot was that the % MHR needs to be adjusted downwards a bit from what I can sustain on the turbo for 30 mins.

    No - I think what you can do on the turbo for 30 mins should be able to be replicated (and improved upon) on the road.

    I do wonder where you got your Max HR figure from though.

    If you can (for the sake of argument) do 90% MHR in a 30 minute all-out turbo effort, then you should be able to do the same if not more in a 30-minute TT on the road. But I think it's a matter of how you ease into it.

    Too many people jump straight into that 90% level and suffer for it at the end. If you hold back a little in the first few minutes... you SHOULD be able to hold on and finish a bit more strongly. That's the theory behind good pacing.
  • andyebandyeb Posts: 407
    I got my max HR figure (206 BPM) from riding hard up a long steady hill three times, ramping up to maximum effort towards the top each time. I have matched but never exceeded that figure in other training/riding. FWIW the standard (but often inaccurate) formula suggest my maximum would be 185. Since my resting heart rate is relatively high at 65, it seems I'm just a fast ticker.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    That sounds like a reasonable way to get your MHR. Defo can work off that.
  • Mr Bunbury wrote:
    andyeb wrote:
    Good points on one and three. Point two, Pokerface is a reigning Para World Champ, I'm a L2 RR/TT BC coach, Army PTI and got a 19.58 10 PB... Think we might know what tree is the right one....
    In that case I'll bow to your faster PB and coaching skills!

    What I meant was that surely most people won't get the same HR in training that they will once they've raced and pushed themselves, so what they think is 80% is actually a false figure, more like 70% or whatever?
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