One month until A race. Can I improve?

Hey everyone. I have about one month until my A race. I did my first ever TT last night and it didn’t go so great performance wise, but was very fun. It was a 15.1mi race, 90ft elevation and no wind. My time ended at 39:11 with a normalized power of 205. I am 6ft and 77kg with an FTP of 240 according TR. I feel like I may have underperformed but my RPE felt fairly high. I’m not sure I could have held 240 for the full course. Is my FTP off?

With one month to go to my A race. It consists in a 30km TT, a rest day, then a 75km road race. I am currently on the 40k TT build and will get about 2 weeks of specialty before the race.

What improvements should I focus on to improve my TT?

You will certainly improve! It sounds like you’re in the hardest part of the build phase so just getting the fatigue level down should make a big difference.
The gap between your tested ftp and your race power is fairly high but not unusual if explained by testing indoors and not in aero position. Doing some more races between now and you A race could be a huge help in calibrating race power vs RPE, or do some on the road testing on your own

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How fatigued were you and did you taper for this event. I have a Half IM on Sunday and can barely hold race power for 30mins let alone 2hours plus. Your legs will come to you for your race.

Have a closer look at your power for the race, you could’ve started off way too hard and then struggled to hold your power, RPE doesn’t regulate your effort well in a TT, they tend to feel easy to start with and then get more and more desperate as you go, average and NP won’t reflect this, you have to dig a bit deeper.

I have found that what my theoretical FTP is and what I produce in TTs can be very different, both plus and minus. As Lance once said “some days your the hammer, some days your the nail.” Also worth bearing in mind outdoors vs indoors is very different, holding position outdoors on a TT bike is hugely physically more difficult than sitting upright on an indoor trainer, it is normal for most people who are new to TT to have a large discrepancy between their trainer tested FTP and their outdoor TT bike FTP.

That said your gap is quite large and a solid 40min effort should give a good indication of FTP as Coggan states it is an effort that can be sustained in a steady state without fatiguing for between 40 - 70 mins. If you are able to get through the workouts as prescribed then stick with your current FTP, if your struggling it might be worth retesting, maybe outdoors on your TT bike to get a more accurate figure. I have found that the ramp test doesn’t work that well for me so use the 20min test, plus it is a good workout which practices pacing, so it might be worth considering that.

Final bit of advice, the bike I use on the trainer is a normal road bike but with clip on aero bars, once I’m in build and speciality I do as much of the intervals as I can in aero position, it’s not the exact same as my TT bike but it has helped bring my aero tuck power up to my normal position power.

That doesn’t sound right. 85% intensity for 40 minutes should be pretty comfortable. How are you measuring power indoors and outdoors?

I am using my wahoo kickr in ERG doing the Ramp Test. Outdoors I am using mt Assioma Favero UNOs. I know they wont be the same but shouldnt they be close?

Thanks for this info. Its very insightful. I think I may have started out a bit too soft and lost some time. I actually found holding my aero position during the ride was tough but fine. On my trainer, I can only hold it for 15-20 min.

I am going to put my TT bike on the trainer for 3-4 of my riding days. Also, I might try and retest my FTP using my TT bike. I knew my FTP would be a bit lower, so I went at 85%ish over the course of the race. If I can raise my FTP in the next few weeks and bring up my aero position power closer to my FTP I think I may be ok…

I’d definitely do this, and make sure you use powermatch with the Assioma pedals. Then you know what power you should be able to hold outside (allowing for possibly putting out a little more outdoors).

At the moment there are too many variables in play: the device used to measure power, the bike, the position on the bike, indoors vs outdoors.

Only thing is now that you’ll have to keep adjusting your FTP in TR every time you change bike on the trainer. But it’s worth doing to get your training levels dialled in.

Just my opinion (and TR’s suggestion in the past), don’t use power match but do let the KICKR use the Favero power readings by checking the box in the Wahoo mobile app. Far better time.

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For the most relevance to your A race, I’d suggest doing the 20 minute test rather than the ramp test, in the aero position, and use the Assioma’s rather than the Kickr as the power source (or rather, take your FTP from what the head unit says, rather than what TR says).