Individual and Team TT
dear fellow Timetralists
im new to the time trial scene. But may not professionally compete. But id like to look at it as more of being a enthusiast.
the names Jamie, im 31 years of age and male.
However, im having problems with commitment due to work & other commitments e.g family etc.
Plus the winter temps as well as lighting after 5 pm is not very encouraging.
So i find riding once a week (being a weekend warrior) is just not enough to keep the cardio vascular fitness & Endurance up.
THe PAIN of fatigue is harder to endure. Each time i get tired i just feel like stopping.
(my cardio vascular fitness is not that great to begin with... i would NOT do more than 40km ride at a time.)
I do realise if i was to do bits of riding thoughout the week, say 10 km each for 3 days... gives me more Ooomph on the 40km Saturday i ride.
I have a Time trial/Triathlon bicycle that i had decided to spend a whole lot of dosh on. (yes the whole ordeal, All carbon.... 65mm carbon front rim, rear carbon disc, Ceramic crank bearings, carbon aero crankset, Full Dura-Ace Groupset, $300 pedals and $470 aero helmet.. i have spent thousands) Will post pics on some later date.
at the end of say a 40km ride, due to being fatigued (im assuming that there are many people who can ensure more than what i could)... near the end of where i ride there is a steep incline... and being a TT bike, with disc wheel, and carbon cranks with 54teeth .. its fairly HEAVY.. (havent weighed it yet but will on a later date. But i can for sure be certain that even though its full carbon fibre.. its still heavier than a road bike). And i am aware that TT/Tri bikes are not as versatile as road bikes... especially in the uphill department.
And disc wheels are an disadvantage up hill also.
i find as soon as fatigue kicks in, especially up inclines... road bikes (with fit riders of course) start to either catch up and some beat me.
kinda embarrasing, as im fully decked out here and i know my performance is not too shabby. Currently for a 40km ride: 32km/average speed, 56km/h top speed.
also i dunno if its me, but in australia... on long designated bike paths... i find road bike riders are the most arrogant (no offence intended to anyone guys).. Touring bike and mountain bikers are more easier going and friendly.
a feeling of them being more condescending than anyone else. as well as a feeling of them trying to compete with me. (e.g when theyre behind, they can perhaps see that im not going that quick... passing them... "ok im gonna race him, gonna try smash him." which is what happend the other day.)
oh and those GELS and suppliments dont really do much.
any tips or is this something im just gonna have to accept?.. e.g no matter how fast you are... if your tired.. and facing difficulties.. a fresh rider will beat you and make you look like an idiot... thats bicycle life..?
perhaps tips of what to do the night before..
thanks in advance and looking forward to knowing more of you guys in the forum.
I have ridden a lot of time trials (I blog about some of them).
A few things...
Put your disc and front wheel away and buy a set of training wheels. Do the same with your helmet. You do not need to train with that stuff, save it for races.
I see a huge disconnect between the amount of $ you have spent and the amount of riding you do. That is fine if this is an expensive hobby, but if you are serious about competing you will need to find more time to ride. A 40 km ride on a weekend and even 10 km a day will not do an awful lot for you in terms of competing in time trials.
An indoor / turbo trainer is a great way to work on your TTing if you are running out of daylight.
Gels work fine. They top you up nicely on longer rides, which to be fair, you maybe haven't done yet.
obviously everyone has different goals etc.
but what would you suggest as a good starting point (if i was not not to choose the trainer) in distance wise a week to improve performance.
if you could gimmie some examples .. ie. you do 160km Time trial... with that you ride an average of 200km within 5 days to prep up.. etc etc.
thanks for the reply by the way. ( i was seriously thinking that no one would reply)
Leaving all the stuff about training (as i'm no expert and don't want to give you any wrong information, other than you definitely need more miles to get proper fitness), I think the best money you could spend is to get a set of lights. I have a Moon X Power 500 front light and Moon Gem rear light, both USB rechargeable and self contained, the pair cost me $150.
Riding at night is great, in summer the cooler temperatures are a godsend, and as my wife works of an evening it suits me perfectly. All you need is a good set of lights and away you go. Commuting is another way to get 'free hours' and as a bonus it can save you a fair chunk of money too.
As for gels, as derny driver says, 40k is not long enough to need them, but even on long rides I've never found much benefit from them, ordinary food works fine for me and is cheaper.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
If you have just started, you simply need to be riding as much as you possibly can, to build endurance and get used to riding on the bike. Is your position on the TT Bike correct? Meaning have you been fitted? See a bike shop that does fitting or if you want to spend $ get a professional (such as Retul) fit. The few hundred bucks you spend on that will have 1000% more impact on your performance than a new set of carbon cranks. When you stop seeing fitness gains from just 'riding' then you introduce specific TT training. Without a good fitness base in place (as in now) doing those efforts won't be effective. When you reach that point you would also consider whether you would use a power meter or a heart rate monitor (or both) as they increase the quality of TT training incredibly (especially the power meter).
As for 'general' TT training principles, you need to do efforts that are shorter than your target event (but harder) and efforts that are longer and a little easier. These are threshold low and threshold high efforts but without power / HR those concepts probably won't mean a lot; that will come later.
Did I mention already to put your disc, front wheel and TT helmet in the shed?
I beg to differ, 40km TT gels are great, with 1 hour at max intensity you will get a kick out of having the sugar hit, as food is hard to eat gels are the go. All the research points to a benefit from it also. Normal rides however normal food is fine.
well lets hear what brands perhaps... some can make good where others don't.
from memory i heard in Australia for e.g you do not need a licence or medical backgrounds etc to make your own brand in supplements. i can come up with one called Joe Bloggs magic gel... put a bit of steroids and cocain in it... get you charging LOL
But from those ones that those UK sellers sell like Hi5 SIS etc... i dont find them much of a difference... more of a placebo effect... (showtime i gotta go harder because i just had a gel... c'mon you can do it... i jsut had a gel.. its gonna help me do it!" kind of effect.
Maybe they do, but i dont notice it out on the field. Its definately not steroids...
On 40 km training a week, a gel isn't going to be a magic elixir. You have to train...
Thanks for your reply.
This REtul fit... i would like to know more about it... sounds interesting.
i was fitted upon buying the bike but the guy who did it... i felt was more concerened in selling me and making the transaction than answeriing my questions. pretty much rushing me out of the store because he was closing.
why are you against the wheel and helmet?..
i mean, if you can get some faster times at any time... why not? and they do look good. And i guess if i bring out the TT bike once a week... why not?
And may be a pain... seperate wheel = Seperate set of cassettes... and readjustment of the V-brake callipers .
and according a reputable bike mechanic i had spoken to recently... they recon a new cassette and new designated chain... can wear-in together... and then suddenly using the same chain thats adapted to the old cassette on the disc for e.g... on a new wheel + cassette... can cause potential problems.
regarding my ordeal.. ill explain what happened.
Recently after a good long ride 40 - 50km or so (the garmin shut off in between), near a steep incline at the end I was buggered... My calves were cramping.
I did come up with some good personal best results on the garmin.
On the incline. I passed 2 road riders that appeared to be group-drafting in a way but they did not appear to know each other and weren't traveling very quick. I had passed the pair of them...Then all of a sudden, 2 seconds later one of them shot past in an old dodgy looking road bike... Powered straight past, in an aero position that he didn't even have aero bars but used his elbows + forearms near the stem area on the road bars for the aero advantage. (WHat a tosser) and then slows down allowing me to gain on him 2 km or so after.
I smiled at him for the sake of being a fellow rider and just a polite gesture. He replies "I wish I had one of those".
I'm assuming he was being spiteful and indirectly pointing out that he can beat me on a cheap nasty road bike.
(That's the last time I'll probably show a friendly gesture. Will probably ignore W@nk#rs like that)
I think I'll ned to eventually accept the fact that there's always going to be ass#@les on the bike paths that intimidate and condenscend you.
Just focus down on the clock and ignore Everyone else.
Accept the fact that its not like a road car... an Nissan R35 GT-R that annihilates everything on the road including top of the line ferraris and lambo's all day-every day... no matter how many KM you do..
.a bike no matter how quick and efficient... it all comes down to how you feel, cardio vascular and your fitness performs.
i have lights, they dont seem to clip on so well to the aero frame and the aero bars.
i usually train or ride on the Hybrid bike i have.. Decent Merida 29er XT-edition.
From a training perspective, as you are starting out you just need to build a base and ride frequently. Not smashing yourself just yet. Can't build a solid house without strong foundations!
As already mentioned - ditch the disk, aero front wheel and aero helmet for training.
Never too dark or too cold to train in this country. Buy lights, buy warm layers and get out regularly during the week. If you can't get outdoors weekdays, buy a wind trainer.
One of the pluses focussing on TTing is that you don't have to crank out big weeks. As most TT's in this country are under 40km, you can go for quality and not quantity with your training. I get pretty good results on usually no more than 300km a week...
Plenty of good training plans for the time crunched cyclist to look into once you have a base.
300 ? how much a day on average?
what about nutrition and hydration?
5- 6 days per week training - Weekdays easy sessions mostly comprising of easy commuting km's plus two main sessions - usually intervals such as 2*20min / 3*15min / 4*10min etc and the other session hill repeats (2 or 3 15- 20 minute climbs).
Weekends either racing otherwise a longer ride in the hills.
Hydration water only. Nutrition - muesli bars and perhaps a banana if rides are longer than 2 hours.
Racing TT's up to and including 40km. Since TT's are usually in winter, I just hydrate and perhaps have a gel before the start. I don't bother with drinking whilst racing TT's.
Speed isn't a great measure of performance. Many things impact speed - wind, hills to name a few.
Once you have been riding a while and start training intervals, your focus will be on improving your FTP (functional threshold power - power you can sustain for an hour) for TT's. To do that you will train in various training zones for the best adaption and improvements. So say if you are wanting to ride an interval @95-100% FTP, you won't care if your speed is 28km/hr without or perhaps 32km/hr with aero equipment, only that you have performed the interval in the required zone...
makes sense in what your saying. Pehaps when the weather stays warmer and brighter ill get more opportunity. And make look into getting the Retul bike fit. theres actually one thats about 8km away.
and in regards to A$s#oles trying to taunt act like be a hero or King-$h#t... im just ignore the morons and not worth glancing
has anyone else noticed a stigma?
i know there are some good people out there. One time i had a flat tyre on the time trial bike... (yes all kitted up etc)...
there were approx 10 road bike riders that just rode past. when i was changing the tube....some glanced at the flash bike... some pretended not to look but was looking at the corner of the eye.
that day i forgot to pack my adaptor for the Co2 canister... luckily one guy stopped, unclipped/dismounted and asked "do you need a hand?" a bloke on a Cross country looking hybrid bike. lent me his hand pump and got me out of the sh#tter.
As soon as he left... bout to get on the saddle.. a middle aged woman in a European looking urban city bicycle asked "are u ok?".
im getting the impression of not only the Stigma... that they condescend .. but are arrogant... the ones that keep causing the so called havoc with the motorist and giving "riders" a bad name.
(like i said, i am not purposely attempting to offend anyone .. whom in this time trial section loves to road..and consider themselves a road biker.)
I'm a road rider and a time trial rider through and through. Yeah sure some of the attitude you talk about is there. It's not 'in' everyone but it is there for sure. I don't like it either. I'm not suggesting for a second that anything you have experienced is deserved, but the disc, aero wheel and helmet is pretty unusual and I know people would find it off putting to say the least.
Yes I find MTBikers are generally more laid back people. Alot of them are leisurely riding, not taking things too serious.. on the road... (Like the example I mentioned above about good Samaritans.)
where the road bikers are "I'm so sexy for myself" kinda demeanor.
Hmm I'm trying to relate what your saying about "the aero helmet, disc being off-putting".
I mean, isn't the time trial sport is all about a 'lonley sport'? and the ONLY opponents you should be competing against are 'yourself and the clock". And instead, NOT competing against what other people are thinking or worrying what other people have on thier minds?
Considering i paid for these things, I can't use them as I please because I have to worry about pleasing the world and its road bike riders?
I dunno man.
But Thanks for the input.
I'll keep it in mind for next time.
(E.g if I'm wearing aero and using disc I won't expect anyone to stop on a flat tyre. Because they'll think I'm a "yuppie" or a "hoon" on a bike path.)
If you want to improve, you need to ride more. 40km a week is not enough to get faster. I understand that time is a limiting factor, but from my experience you need to try to squeeze in at least 200km a week to see any significant improvements.
Now, I don't know you at all but you come across as pretty new so I'll just throw some very generic training ideas your way and you can try them out and decide whether or not they will work for you.
Break it up into chunks, 45km on Monday/Wednesday/Friday then do a longer 65km ride on Saturday. That gives you plenty of rest days to recover from your efforts. If your average speed is usually around 30kmh then each of the weekday rides is about an hour and a half, and then the weekend ride is a touch over two hours. Get some lights and ride in the dark, it's not so bad really . Maybe make Mon/Wed/Sat hard days, warm up for 15 or 20 min then 2 x 20min efforts with 5 min rest in between, then do the rest of the ride at E1 pace (able to hold a conversation, this should be all day pace). Or find some hills and do hill repeats, probably a shorter climb to start with - 5 min or so then as you get stronger (after maybe 6 weeks of that) move onto longer hills (not sure how the ol' TT bike will go up hills... or down, handling could be interesting?!). Maybe make the Friday a skills session (small chainring the whole time) so you aren't too fatigued before the longer Saturday ride, work on your bike handling, braking, steering, TT position, eating and drinking (water bottle in and out of cage, reaching into pockets etc), clipping in and out, moving hands onto TT bars and back to brakes, stuff like that. For the long ride on the weekend work on sustained effort in the TT position, not flat out, but a hard effort that you can maintain for the duration with 15 minutes warm up and cool down. If you are really pressed for time then an indoor trainer session can be good, an hour on the trainer is a good length workout, do some intervals or better yet grab a sufferfest dvd and discover what real pain is, lol. The main thing at this point in time is being consistent, you just need to be able to push the pedals harder and spending time on the bike will make that possible.
I would also try to do some solid flexibility work a couple of times a week, grab a yoga dvd and get the family to join you for an hour (I've got this one and I do a couple of sessions a week with the missus... good brownie points!). This will be especially important if you are exclusively riding a TT bike.
In terms of nutrition, I don't think you'll need to eat on any of the weekday rides as long as you eat and drink before you leave, for a 90min ride I would eat/drink the following about 20 minutes before leaving - 1 Up n Go, 1 Banana, 500mL water, 500mL of sports drink (because I love sugar), and maybe some fruit toast or a muesli bar if I'm still hungry or it's going to be a hard session. I find hydration has the biggest effect on my performance, drink lots of water. On rides over 90 minutes I usually need to eat something on the ride, for convenience it's usually gels (I'm on the shotz at the moment), but I'm equally happy with muesli bars/bananas/fruit cake/jelly lollies and stuff like that. I'll eat every 45 minutes or so, drink every 20 minutes. I like to eat rice or pasta the night before a long ride, I just knock up something with rice or pasta and eat a heap of it, nothing too scientific. Try different things and see what works for you, I know my nutritional requirements are different to the other guys I ride with, it is a fairly personal thing that you need to figure out.
If it was me, I don't think I would be riding a full TT rig on a bike path (unless I was fully insured and liked spending time in hospital!) there are too many numpties, and I don't think you could safely spend much time in an aero position... I'd want my hands close to the brakes. You would be better off on the road in almost all cases, but obviously you are a better judge of your situation and I can only offer my advice based on my experience. Also don't worry about other people, smile and wave and if you get a smile back that's great but there's no point getting upset if it doesn't happen, I would be lucky to get one in five return the smile but it doesn't stop me from trying
I'm sure there is a heap of useful information I have forgotten to tell you. If you want to get more serious, you should read something like The Cyclists Training Bible. Or even easier, join a club and get a coach (that's how I saw my biggest improvements).
Giant Trance | Giant Reign 3 | Trek 8000 | Trek Madone 4.5 | Look 695 SR ipack | Fuji Track 1.1
Suggest you sell everything you bought, go buy a road bike, get some k's in and then re-buy everything you sold
It is not fair for you to make assumptions about people who choose to stop or do not choose to stop to help you when you get a flat. When I commute I never take a spare tube, cash, phone, pump, patch, tyre levers, co2 or any other thing that could help another cyclist if they have a flat. So when I see a cyclist with a flat I never stop to help them because I don't have anything to help them with. That does not mean that I am a <language>. I also don't judge other cyclists if I get a flat because I don't know what their circumstances are.
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That sounds like our resident nutter bananaman. He wasn't eating bananas was he?
And this was an ordeal for you? more like #firstworldproblems
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Not everything is fair in this world right?
sure, you dont carry extra tubes, c02, patches, water for anyone. But my point was... there are GOOD samaritans that stop, and the 1 guy who actually wanted, to help and the woman that asked.. i can guarantee you that they did not carry spares for me.
sure, you are not OBLIGATED to stop... NOR are you OBLIGATED to stop to see if a person is hurt in a car accident or mounted the kerb and into someones fence, Nor obligated to ask if a woman who locked her keys in the car and needs to make a phone call, if she needs assistance.
like you said, "i dont know what thier circumstances are"... and say someone had a flat... how do you know the guy or girl knows what the hell hes doing?! They could have no clue...its no skin off your nose to ask if someone needs assistance... (OR is it?! )
i wasnt expecting anyone to stop. But its the fact 2 people did, and were coincidentally not the typical road riders.
and whether you like it or not... one of the other established members on this forum posted and admits that the 'Arrogance', is... there...
Last edited by DoubleSpeeded on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
first world problems.. well first world country... i am very aware that i am entitled to my rights of my own thoughts. Regardless of anyones opposition.
same goes for you...
your reply to me with your 2 cents as well.. is not a 3rd world country problem is it Eric?
I must say, i appreciate your effort in typing out such a length, detailed and productive reply.
LOL (AT) the brownie points... thats a good idea. Do yoga to benifit yourself in your hobby. as well as keeping the missus from complaining about "you never spend enough time with me"
Where i ride, the bike path is very straight.. except for the underpasses under the free way which turns into a dog-leg a few times along the way. i think its about 40 - 45km long... the M7 bike path in Sydney.
ive seen 2 TT riders get up to speeds between 50 - 60km/h drafting on the path.
sounds like you drink ALOT of water, what happens when you need to potty? lol
like i said champ, i wont forget your efforts in typing that email... much appreciated and ill keep you posted how i go.
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