Intervals 2 UP TT

Hi all,

A friend and I are attempting a 25mile 2Up TT for the third year in the coming weeks and wondering on people’s thoughts about turns on the front. Length of time etc?

We are both around 4.3w/kg.

Thoughts?

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No advice about how long each of you should pull for but practice the transitions as that’s where I’ve seen people at my local club struggle. I think in a recent podcast they also talked about it in the context of rotating pacelines: how you don’t want to ease off too early coming off the front as you lose too much speed and then have to put out big watts to get back on the wheel.

I love TTT and 2-up!!

If this is your third year at it, you and your partner should be pretty slick at riding well together. The key thing is communication rather than deciding how long to pull for. Agree a few one syllable words that can be shouted at each other so you know how you are both feeling.

I’d advice trying to make sure you are smooth. The person pulling on the front should swing to the side and ease to let the following rider take over without surging. Simply soft pedal for a couple of revs. Don’t make the guy coming through have to lift the pace. You will get to the point that you will be able to change places without signalling once you guys get slick.

Plan the ride according to wind direction on the day so you know in advance which way to rotate for your maximum shelter.

I’d practise, practise, practise together. It’s a well drilled 2-up pair ot TTT squad that performs well.

Love TTT’s and have done a bunch with 2, 3 and 4 riders. In addition to Andy’s excellent advice, I just looked back at some race files to see what’s worked well and to get some numbers that might be helpful.

In addition to smooth riding / rotating and simple communication (you can’t hear with a TT helmet and at speed) make a plan and keep it simple.

Numbers…

In a recent 3-up TTT, 10 miles, with three similarly matched riders, we did 1 min pulls. My FTP at the time was 235-240w with a CP20 of 255-260. Took pulls at 290-300w and rest periods in the draft required 175 watts. The course was flat but this will give you an idea of work : rest power requirements.

For this example the math: Pulls = 1 min at 125% of FTP and Recovery = 2 min at 75% FTP 125% was hard but very doable for 20 minutes.

But… that was a 10 mile 3-UP so 1:2 work : rest. You are facing a 25 mile 2-up with 1:1 work : rest.

We need some data and some adjustments to pull time and power during pull and power during recovery. You can determine that empirically together with your teammate. Go out with your partner in race day kit and ride say 25-28 MPH. That will determine benefit of the draft for each rider and let you calculate the “rest” power required at race pace. Am assuming you both ride solo 40km ITT at around 26-28 MPH with decent aero at 4 w/kg. If you are faster or slower just adjust the pace you are looking for.

Once you know the “recovery” power you can figure out what your work power should be. Pulling rider needs to be able to do that power repeatedly on 2 min recovery and critically, the following rider needs to be able to hold the wheel and get his recovery so he can take his next pull. This balance is important here and the riders need to figure this out together or you don’t maximize the benefit.

Starting point – estimate around 110-115% of FTP for 1.5 - 2 min pull. Would suggest 2 min pulls. That gives good recovery time. In a 2-up you don’t want to spend a lot of time rotating because while rotating both guys are in the wind. 2 min pulls are easy to keep track of and importantly don’t require any communication because you know every two minutes you are rotating. 1.5 to 2 min pulls should feel about right but if that isn’t feeling good to you during practice then modify.

In terms of training and practice: Once you have the numbers just take your Pull power and your recovery power, program in a custom workout with 2 min on 2 min off bouts at those powers, and give it a go for 20-30 min. If it feels hard but not impossible you are in the right range. Get your teammate to do the same thing. Once you’ve got that dialed you can stretch the time up to get a feel for what 50+ minutes will be like.

Once you have the numbers estimated, go out and give it a go on the road in practice together. After all of that rumination, probably best tip I can give is obvious: Be Smooth out there. No surging or you beat up your legs and your buddies. Start with a plan and evaluate at 1/3 and 2/3 to see how it’s going. It’ll probably feel too easy for the first 8-10 miles, then start to hurt for the next 10, finally you get excited when the end is near and drill it home together. Hopefully !

Good luck - hope that helps you think about it. TTT is plan and practice before and smooth and consistent during. They are some of the most fun you can have TT’ing !!!

-Mark

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Some great advice above. Thanks all