Time Trial Tip #2
Have you ever started a Time Trial and “blown” (become exhausted) at the half way mark?
Haven’t done a Time Trial yet?
Well have you ever attempted a breakaway and popped after 5km, or found yourself off the back of of the bunch by a couple of hundered metres and you have gone too hard in an effort to get back on and blown when you get there?
This situation is the most common in any type of racing and is always accentuated in the Time Trial, it could be because for the vast majority of us we don’t practise the skill of Time Trialling.
So with less than 4 days remaining here are some suggestions for you to consider to help get the best performance from yourselves this weekend.
- Ride as hard and fast as you can and hope you last the distance. (don’t laugh this is an option)
- Ride to a target speed at a level of effort that you feel is close to but not at or over the level where you blow up.
- Ride to a target cadence at a level of effort that you feel is close to but not at or over the level where you blow up.
- If you have a heart rate monitor (and know how it works) you can try to ride at an effort that has your heart rate at the number which is 5 beats below that which you know is the one that you blow up at. Example, you pop at 175 so use your gears to control your cadence and will hold your heart rate at 170..Welcome to basic threshold theory.
- You can apply the previous example to power output if you have a power tap hub, SRM type cranks or a computer that has power conversion ability.
- If all you have is a computer try setting yourself a minimum speed for the first half, say you can go for a hard training ride for 45 minutes on flat terrain at around 38 kph, when you consider that the course is a slow drag to the turn then consider setting a target minimum speed of 35 till you get to the turn and then chase speed all the way to the finish. If you are doing 33 then aim for 34, when you get to 34, aim for 35 etc til you feel that you are at your maximium and hang on!!
A realistic goal to set yourself for saturday and for that matter every time trial you do from now on is to try and ride at a consistant effort.
Break the race into sections, this is a tactic used by tri athletes where they “Race” to a land mark like a power pole or driveway, when they reach that point they refocus, check their position, technique, adjust it if necessary then look down the course, pick another pole or landmark and “race” to that, before they know it 1 kilometer becomes 2, 5, 10 and they are at the finish.
This can help minimise the negative “are we there yet” thought that creeps into the mind as the event progresses
The terrain will dictate your speed so if you concentrate on being at that level of effort just below where you pop you can be happy with your efforts!!
Other goals on race day can be,
- to complete your warm up without allowing youself to become distracted
- be early so you don’t rush
- resist the urge to go too fast in the early stages
- minimise the negative thoughts during the event like “I’m going too slow”, “not another hill”, “the wind is too strong”, “am I there yet”. Negative and unproductive thoughts and considerations like these distract your mind from concentrating on the important issues like positioning, breathing, pedalling technique etc.
- Maximise the positive and motivating thoughts, rather than have doubts about your first kilometer and was it fast enough, turn it into a positive, after you have done your checks of position, technique, breathing etc praise yourself for having started…”good, on my way, cadence feels strong, breathing is deep and in a rhythm” You will be suprised at the power of positive self assesment during an event, it will help you maintain and at times increase your efforts.
If you have any interest in how the human body and mind can endure sustained effort then Time Trialling is a great event to explore this…(golf is another)