25 mile TT this coming Saturday - What to do?

I am on Week 2 of Low Level SSB and have an Open 25 mile TT this Saturday potentially.

So far this week, I did our Club 10 on Tuesday with a hrTSS of 44 and then followed that with Goddard on Wednesday (Virtual Power 54TSS - Should have been 57) morning because I had osteopath later in the afternoon.

I should do Monitor today and, I assume, Cajon either tomorrow or Saturday as a warm-up? I’m a little unclear on this.

Background is I’ve done no base mileage over the winter and Fitness was on the Floor in middle of March showing 2 on Strava’s Fitness and Freshness curve. Now back up to 29 but still a long way to go.

I’ve got a 40km TT this weekend, too. I did a truncated VO2max workout Tuesday, a 2.5hr recovery ride yesterday, and I won’t do any other riding between now and the time trial save a few openers the evening before.

I was off the bike for 6 weeks starting 1st of April due to surgery so my fitness is in the tank but nothing I’m going to do between now and race day is going to improve it. I could, however, do a lot to screw it up! :wink: So I’m just gonna do a couch taper.

But, you’ve probably got more time trial experience than I do.

I used to race until 1987 and then returned in 2017.

I can hold 93% Max HR for 99% of the time in our Club 10 so I’m not afraid of hard effort but just don’t really want to mess it up worse than it could be.

When I did Goddard, my Form was -24 afterwards, yet it was -26 after the Club 10 the night before. Can’t understand how an effort could reduce the Form (in Strava that is).

If I do nothing else before Saturday, I will race with -8 which is fine but it just might be that doing Monitor could perhaps reduce that to -7. It may of course increase it as it is 6 x 6 minute rolling sweetspot.

When I get close to race day I try not to get too caught up in the numbers. Bottom line: no stimulus I apply today is going to result in material adaptation three or four days from now. That’s the law of physiology. Form/Fitness/Fatigue are just mathematical contrivances that help us track & summarize training.

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Divide course into 5 mile sections. plan a progressive increase in effort, starting at 80% and getting into your rhythm. 80%, 85%, 90% 95% and then finish as fast as you can (105%). (or whatever suits).

You used to race, so you know not to get too carried away on hills etc.

Hard to judge on hrTSS, but I would aim for perhaps 5-10 below your threshold for the first half and then up it as you get closer.

Treat it as a useful test that you plan to do a good negative split on.

I would do only an easy session the day before. Just polish bike and make sure your kit is ready -

If you can talk to someone in the minute minutes after you have crossed the finish line, you have not emptied the talk enough in the last mile or so…

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Thanks for the input @PhilSJones. It’s pre-race training that I’m more worried about. Then again, worst case scenario, I’ll just treat it as a full-out training session. I should be doing Antelope on Saturday so I will simply assign this to that as that has 96TSS but I reckon I’d ride around 108-110TSS.

I’ll aim to be at 172bpm average against my Max of 187. I know that’s sustainable.

As @Brennus says, physilogical changes take time, so anything I do know can’t help me improve but can sure help me ride less hard perhaps.

I think I’m going to do the Monitor session shortly and the Cajon tomorrow instead of pre-race and see how I feel. At the end of the day, when I’ve spent so long off, it feels like a learning curve yet again.

The beginning of not ONE season has gone right since I returned to racing in 2017 normally through operations keeping me off the bike for 8 weeks.

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They are as you say contrived but not without basis. I think Strava uses TRIMP from whichever decade it was but it’s a gauge.

I recently switched my Strava view to All Time and I can see that the angle this year is slightly steeper than previous years where I haven’t had such a short sharp shock to the system!

I should not have said ‘contrived’. They are very, very useful metrics. Just maybe not tightly tied to physiology.

I did no know that Strava uses a TRIMP model. That makes Strava much more intriguing to me. So thanks for that bit of info!

I believe that is what Training Impulse stand for. TRaining IMPulse = TRIMP.

I stand to be corrected as I am sure there are people way more knowledgeable than myself on here. I’m only just getting into it.

Depends on how much you care about this time trial.

Given where you are in your training plan I would assume you don’t care about the results here and you’re doing it for fun more than anything else. In that case do all of your other training rides and do the race in place of what you had scheduled for that day

If you do care about the results then you should taper a bit and go with an easier approach on the run in - cut the hard workouts and rest up

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So is it a A, B or C race? Assuming it is B or C from where you are, do a drop off taper. Simply miss out the TR session the day before, rest up, and treat it as a hard TR session. Do rest of week as normal. It is just another training session.

Next day - see how you feel and pick up TR as either a day missed to recover or an easy day then back in the flow.

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Thanks @PhilSJones

I treat every TT as an A race. I wouldn’t know how to ride one otherwise.

Of course, a B or C would be somewhat less effort presumably but by how much?

But from where I am, it’s a D race…

Is Cajon a drop off taper or do I need something with like 17TSS?

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@Roger_Widdowson You are misunderstaning A, B and C races. Its about how you prepare.

A race - full taper, its the one you are training for. Aim for max performance and peaking. It is the main races the season is designed around.
B Race - partial taper - test and experiment. Fit around training but continues pretty as normal. Drop off taper.
C Race - Go as fast as you like, but it is a training race. It is part of the training. perhaps no taper at all.

If you treat every race as an A race, then they will all be B or C races.

I do around 35-40 Time trials a year. However I have long 3-4 A races amongst those, though I have shorter A races (10 & 25s that I want to get performances out of. I am still trying hard all the races, even the weekly club 10s. It is the prep and taper and coming into form piece, that determines the peaking for the big ones.


There is a piece on B race strategy in the latest TrainerRoad podcast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOaBpdUra-0 at 8:55 it says.

Thanks for the full explanation.

I’m guessing tomorrow will be a B Race in reality.

Fact is, at the moment, with my lack of winter base training I’m taking all times with a pinch of salt.

My A Races will be next month and two in September (a week apart - not sure how I’ll handle those!)

EDIT: Podcast 294 has nothing on B Race Strategy. I have however found Podcast 134 which covers a whole host of things. I’ll give that a shot.

Hope you crushed it, @Roger_Widdowson!

I’d predicted between 1:06 and 1:08 a couple of weeks ago and revised that to 1:04:30 at a push.

I actually beat by PB by 84 seconds to do a 1:01:04. How? I have absolutely NO idea.

Every prediction for all of other 5 club members was within 2 - 31 seconds. Most within 2 - second bracket.

Over the moon!


ok. That was the correct taper, I guess! Now you have to tell the forum exactly how to do it…

I wish I knew. I’ve only ridden that course 5 times from memory and the conditions were the calmest I’ve ever known. Normally it seems to be 20mph winds with gusts of 36-40mph (which doesn’t particularly matter it just means there will be a very fast return leg).

I just decided to do SSB Low Volume 1 because I started at Mid Volume and was dreading the 2nd or 3rd workout. It makes sense after such a long layoff to gradually roll back on. The body and mind can be a wonderful thing. I always think that if you are the belief in yourself, you’ll never go far wrong.

Still analysing what is best for today. Going to do Silverthrone today to add a few efforts in whilst keeping a low underlying overall effort. Be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow.