Going from general fitness to a weekly 10mile TT - advice please

Over the last 3 years I’ve used TR to become fitter over the winter and spring for club rides (spring through summer). Being 57 it was more about keeping up with the more experienced and younger cyclist in the club, shedding some pounds and preparing for a holiday in Mallorca - so there has never been any sort of ‘A’ event to aim for. It all works fine - although I have found every year - by August the returns decline and maintenance seems to be the order of the day.

This year I’m contemplating a local 10 mile TT that is run every week throughout the spring and summer - from the End of April to Mid August and I’m really not sure how to approach this. Yes the new plan builder should help - but an all out effort every week looks like it may be too much to make continued gains - or do I just build it in to the schedule?

Started SSB in Nov and about to start SSB Part 2. With the new plan builder I wondering if I should factor this is now and take a different approach this year?

As far as the event is concerned - should I look at entering it every other week, or one a month? Or do them weekly in a bunch nearer the early summer?

Thoughts appreciated.

Build it into your schedule. Which plans have you been doing for the past 3 years between April and August? If it’s the Low Volume Sustained Build and Low Volume Sweet Spot Base, they tend to have 1 VO2, 1 Threshold/Sweet Spot and 1 longer more aerobic workout - you can just sub in a 10 mile TT for the Threshold/SweetSpot ride (usually the Thursday one).
If you’ve not done TTs before, I’d just do as many as you can/want to! A lot of the serious TTers seem to exist mainly on TT races between May and August - you can probably find a club race on each Tuesday and Thursday and do “Opens” every Saturday/Sunday during that time. I’d suggest that is too many, and you won’t make progress during the season if you do that, but once a week can slot into the majority of the plans with no problem.
If you wanted to have something to build towards, it might be fun to pick a local “Open” in late summer, make that your A race, put the weekly ones in as C races and see what the plan builder spits out. Just be warned - TTing can be addictive, and once you get the idea that you can go faster if only you can find those “aero gains” it can get expensive too! :wink:

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Previous years mainly SSB Mid Vol 1+2. General Build. Then a mix of SSB, VO2 max workouts and Club rides. And have done 6/7 10 mile TTs scatted randomly over the last three years.

TT ing is certainly addictive - I do over 20 opens/summer (10/25/50 miles) and our club series is on a Tuesday - I do most of those but sometimes on my road bike where I get 8-10 miles to and from the event as additional TSS. If we have an evening 25m tt I drive to the HQ. So I am racing 2x week and could do more as there are also evening series on Tue/Thr near me. You can get stale if you do too much but I wouldn’t think that will happen on one 10 a week. The problem you may have is that a 10m tt may hurt a lot but it isn’t much TSS and therefore your CTL drops if you do them week in week out - that is why a lot of time triallist seem to be flying and then their form drifts. I try and counter that by turning each evening event into a 90 min session by riding there and back. I wouldn’t do that for a Saturday/ Sunday open…that is full skinsuit/aero helmet/tripsuit and socks/ overshoes tt bike/race wheels…you get the idea. Also I add another short VO2max/anaerobic session in on the Thursday - like Bluebell/Bashful/Bird - just short 1 min efforts which keeps your top end in good order without killing yourself for Saturday/Sunday. I also use Truuli Saturday if I race Sunday - I am 51 and we need to keep our top end power topped up …use it or loose it! :grinning: So I would do 1xtt, 1xVO2 max - rest SS/Endurance


Thanks for feedback folks - this is all helping form a picture of how to proceed.

you could do those 10 mile TT’s every other week, but I’d also look to hit longer duration vo2max efforts, as these will help you raise your ceiling for your FTP…making you faster!

Also hit some back to back TT efforts with 10 min rest in between, they’ll make doing one much more tolerable and will seem easy after training yourself to do 2-3 in one ride.

Good luck and have fun!


Cheers Brendan - this sounds like a good mix. Any particular suggestions for the back to backs? I know where my VO2 max sucks - so have a few I need to revisit

When I was in my 20’s…long ago and did triathlon I used do a 90 min session where I rode down to the local 10 course (which was nice and quiet) for 15 mins - road it at 95% - sort of just about threshold pace (took about 25 mins at the time) did 10-15 mins easy and then did it again flat out - trying to be a minute quicker (which was surprisingly difficult no matter how conservative you went on the first one) . I did that Saturday morning in the late winter/spring every week for about 2 months. Looking back now at 50+ I wouldn’t fancy it now and I am sure there are better ways of doing it but it seemed to get me fit and bloody hurt :face_vomiting: When I could average 25mph on the second one I was in good shape (for me)

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Not sure which is best. Do the rest of SSB2 as a foundation for the Spring/Custom plan (on wk2). Or, stop that now and go straight for the new builder and put in events from end of April?

I never do the 40k speciality even though I am a time triallist - I’m at the end of week 3 of base2 (my version) - then I will do the full 8 week build with all those horrid 108%FTP supra threshold intervals - then I start racing end of March which coincides with the end of the build - ok it takes a few races to get into it but my first A race the Leo 30 isn’t until first week of May. If you want to do a full programme you will struggle to fit it in.


So how do you find the TR power build for the time trialling season jdman? I’m looking for ideas on what to try this year for the tests - I’ve improved steadily just by riding them over the past few years but think I need a structured approach now.
My situation is a bit different in that cyclocross is my favourite discipline and we’re into the last month of it now, so I’ve got a lot of intensity in the legs. Trying to figure out how to square the circle of having a rest, but also building on that strength to take into time trialling.

10 miles back to back! simulate what you’ll race!

I found that the 108% FTP intervals really useful as they are completed at a very high power output for a long time. The problem with them is that I can’t always do them with shorter rests - I can do the Wilhelm, Red Lake or Kosciuszko versions with 6-7 x5 mins with 5 min rest or 5x6 with 5 rest. But I can’t cope with the Elephants workouts @108% with only 2 mins rest so I just use the above progressed as 6x5, then 5x6 then 7x5 all with 5 mins rest. The o/u are ok but I have usually done so many sessions by then from base that I’m not sure they help any more. Plus VO2 max sessions are always useful at my age (51) as if you don’t keep them going it drops off quickly when you are old. The 2 hour SS only gets done if I can’t do a 3-4 hour Z2 ride with my mates Sunday ……like if it’s raining. So Sat/Tue sessions essential - Thursday less so. Hope that helps and of course this is for me and we are all different :grinning:

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