Should I do 3 Time Trials each week or carry on with my training?

In a few weeks time, the local Time Trial scene kicks off.

I am nearing the end of SSB2.

I have the opportunity to do a 10 mile TT on a Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and Sunday morning. This is pretty much every week in my area until August.

I want to get better at my 10 mile TT’s. That is the overall goal for the season. My current 10 mile PB is 21m 14s. My FTP is currently set at 305 and maybe next test will be about 320.

Chad says that if you want to get better at something you have to do that something.

I don’t leave anything in the locker when I do the TT’s. Full on effort for the 20+ minutes it takes me. This can feel harder than any Threshold workout I have done so far on TrainerRoad, but is over quicker.

So will I get faster by doing 10’s three times a week with a sprinkling of other TrainerRoad recovery rides and the odd harder workout.

Or should I limit my 10 mile TT’s to just once per week and carry on with sustained build and speciality TT program over the coming months?

I hope Coach Chad can pick up on this question. It may make for an interesting conversation on a future podcast for a few minutes.


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Do one a week, doesn’t matter how hard you go. If you are doing 3 a week that means you will have 3 sessions week which will amount to 22minutes of supra threshold work. It isn’t enough stress. Unless you are willing to add more intervals after the TTs on tuesday and thursday and add sweetspot or endurance miles to the TT on Sunday just keep on going with the plan.

I would only do 1 a week max, with a threshold of 305-320 you are likely pretty well trained and going to require a lot of stress consistently to improve.


How much TSS a week have you been accumulating during SSB2?
My plan is to do one 10 a week - either on Tuesday evening or the weekend. I’m restarting Low Volume Build after an aborted one earlier this year, and I figure I can probably replace the under/over workout with the TT, but I’m going to have to add some extra stress, either by riding out, or doing more riding after I’ve finished the TT (or by doing the odd 25 instead of 10).
I wouldn’t think that three 10s, even with warmups and cooldowns could deliver enough TSS to keep your load high enough to even maintain your current fitness.
It would be interesting to hear @chad on this - how many of your TR workouts can you replace with racing before it’s detrimental to your fitness (and is there any justification for doing this e.g. as a sort of taper)?


Can you add some more training on top of a TT?

I used to do my Saturday club TT, take a break while we got the results, and then do another 20 minutes round the course at threshold after it. So it was a bit like a 2x20 session.

I would do 2 at most, and consider the 2nd one as part of such a training session.

If you do one, then add a vo2 session and a threshold over/under session into your weekly plan, plus easier endurance / tempo work.

If you do two (AND can extend one of them into a longer workout), just add the vo2 intervals on top, plus the endurance/tempo.

My worry is that just doing TTs you might find yourself stagnating.


Hi, last year I was pretty much doing what you said @colinio . There was a pair of local 10m TTs on Wed and Thurs evenings (both sporting courses of various degrees) and then I would race at the weekend 10, 25 and a 50. I think I did 38 TTs last year. Basically it was my first proper season. And I used it for

  1. Testing incremental kit upgrades (progressively as I went through the season)
  2. Getting used to pacing a course and a TT
  3. Giving myself a good feeling about progress.

It was never a problem doing two 10s on consecutive nights. I was clocking a PB every week (though from a low start, and sometimes only a second) until the last 2-3 events of the season. Kit improvements helped. Occasionally there was something different (a 17 or a 22 or a 2-up.) Like you I would finish, coast to a stop and have trouble talking for a couple of minutes. Nothing was left in the locker.

This year I am cutting back on the non-club one (even though it is a minute faster than the club one). I am going longer though, planning at least 2 or three 100milers. I am following 40k specialised, but adding in longer TT rides and some VO2 max work (as I feel I miss it) as well as the occasional hilly road bike ride (just because I enjoy them). I have been through Base 1 & 2, sustained power build and am now half way through 40k speciality. I am NOT a natural fast person (not a sprinter). I am much better at endurance - longer stuff. I enjoyed the longer club rides over winter as well. They pushed me. To @DuncanM23 's point. my weekly TSS last year doing multiple 10s, was around 400-500. I am now working at over 600 through winter. I think (hope) I am carrying much more fitness into the season.

My suggestions and observations:

  1. Sounds like you have quite decent times already
  2. Use the regular TTs for testing kit and position and stuff.
  3. Learn to try different pacing strategies, especially with hills and wind direction. Different courses have different challenges, even the 10s, but especially the 25s and 50s, (&100s)
  4. I would suggest you also do (and train for) 25s as they are quite a different beast. Just doing 10s suggests you will have to find faster open courses at the weekends. (and frankly that is not much effort for a long Saturday/Sunday out).
  5. I was training around the 10s, on the other days. I know a VERY fast guy who rucks up to the evening 10, having done a sustained workout for 30-40 mins before hand, and still kills it. So the 10 can be part of a wider training regime, not just the session in itself, but on the day. (Last week I did an open 10 on a sat pm, rested for 30 mins and then went off for another 11m ride, after a 4mile warm down, just to do some endurance (and kill some time as I was off very early).

For info my FTP is around 240 and I just clocked a 23:07 in my first 10 this year on a flatish course. Best is 22:53 from last year, so you should be much faster than me. This year I will occasionally do 3 TTs in a week, 2x10 and a 25. If I have a 50 or 100 at the weekend I will definitely only do one 10. This is partly about tapering and partly about using the TR sessions to specifically train aspects I want to develop.

(PS: I am in general dropping the race simulations from 40k TR weeks, eg Dunderberg-2, when I have a 25 at the weekend. However I do feel I should do a few of them.)

I hope that helps. I too look fwd to Chad’s comments.


You guys must be much more aero than me. I only did the club 10s last year (so not super fast courses) but my fastest time was 27:28 and my ftp at that point was around 260. It’s nice to think that I can go a lot faster if I can sort the aero stuff out.

For clarity - when you were doing 2 or 3 TTs in a week, what else were you doing? It sounds like you were getting through a fair amount of TR work as well…

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OK full disclosure @DuncanM23 (But I don’t think you can compare times across two completely different club 10 courses arbitrarily),

  1. I was not using TR last year. Only started around Nov.
  2. On the two sporting club courses my times dropped from
    a) Slower course 29:40 (cold & wet) first race, to 25:50. (climbs up & down 79m)
    b) Slightly faster course (climbs up & down 59m) 27:52 to 24:56 (I had a 25:59 from 14 years ago as a previous PB when I was a triathlete).
  3. The fast time was on F2A/10 at 22:53, which blew me away as I had no times that began with a 23… and very few with a 24. When I put this in bestbikesplit, I get a ridiculously low CdA. (It makes no sense)
  4. First race this year was draggy dual carriageway on a warmish day and a 23:07. Pleased with that.
  5. Best 25 dropped from 1:11 to a long 1:02. Work in progress.
  6. I turned 60 last year. Well overweight!

As season progressed I added a skinsuit, Giro helmet and shaved legs (yes I know) and with FFWD disc rear and 90 front. Losing some weight helped. I have a reasonably nice (but not madly expensive) second hand TT bike.

Last year I suspect my FTP lifted from around 215 to around 235/238 over the year.

Last year training I was doing 25’s at the weekend and longish TT rides - from 45-60/70 miles to prep for the 50 I did. Interval training on road bike mainly on turbo, as I felt I could do.

There - short of my (short) inside leg measurement, you have everything now…

(I definitely still have work to do on the aero front)


Thanks everyone for the useful replies. I appreciate it.

All more or less say that doing just 3 x 10 mile TT each week won’t be enough TSS.

I tend to agree, but I also feel that TrainerRoad doesn’t “award” sufficient TSS for the effort I put into an all out 10 mile TT. In fact a recent 10 in poor windy weather that totally beat me up gave me just a TSS of 39 at all out pace. My legs were still recovering 36 to 48 hours later.

My FTP is currently 305 on the 8min test and 318 on the ramp test. I have set it at 305 for my current workout cycle. My average TSS each week is about 275 to 325.

I like the idea of using at least one of the TT’s as an experimental ride. I could use it to test position or pacing strategy etc.

I’m usually too risk averse to test anything in my main club 10’s in case I screw up and lose too many points. I can test in other club event 10’s, not in my main club 10’s.

The weekend rides are usually Open Events and often on faster courses.

I will also probably ride a 25TT once per month too.

Usually the TT’s I do during weekday evenings are a bit rushed time wise, so I don’t think I could add any TSS on those evenings. I am also reluctant to do much on any Saturday before a Sunday race.

At 54, my powers of recovery are not what they were. Maybe if I upped the TSS a bit generally then I would recover better (not be as smashed after a race). But that is a chicken and the egg situation. If I do too much training (for me) maybe my races will be affected. Not enough training, and I won’t improve in my races.

This coming season will only be my second season and I have only been doing structured training for 5 months (TrainerRoad), so I guess I need to be patient.

Maybe I should also use good judgement and see how I feel. If I feel OK then I can add in an interval workout. Even if that comes the day before a mid week 10.

Also, maybe I should consider doing a short but intense workout on the Saturday before Sunday’s races and see how it goes.

Decisions, decisions…

pretty normal for Merckx class at our bi-weekly 10 mile TTs. There is one guy that is super aero and racing Merckx class, and he is usually a couple minutes faster.

That seems a little low, but not too far off if you did ~28 minute effort. Roughly speaking max effort for an hour is 100 TSS, so 28 minutes is 47 TSS.

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Incidentally, my time was just over 23 min for that event. There is no way that me doing a Tempo or Sweet Spot ride for an hour and getting approximately 70 to 80 TSS comes any where close to the effort I put in to a 10 mile TT.

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By definition 100 TSS = riding 1 hour at FTP.

100 * 23 / 60 = 38 TSS

I’ve done my share of “hour of power” and 10 mile TTs and group rides at 1.0 IF, and I agree, they all hurt more than any sweet spot work on trainer.

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Yes indeed.

The thing is, yes I can see that I ought to have more TSS if I only do 3 x 10 mile TT’s each week, but there is no way that 3 TT’s should only represent a TSS score of about 120 for the week.

So basing my training load on just this 120 TSS would not be accurate. Off the top of my head, I would say 3 full gas 10 mile TT’s would more likely equate to an equivalent TSS of approx 200 or so in the real world, imho.

just make sure you don’t stagnate and hit a plateau if you go the route of repeated TT’s.

I wouldn’t do it over and over again. Some athletes want to peak for a Nationals TT and do too much of the EXACT effort that the nationals course will be, and doesn’t seem to pan out well.

We adapt to the same stimuli over and over; I’d either do what you recommended or start building up to longer sweet spot as well, along with the TT efforts. Work the edges as well, so shorter efforts and long one hour efforts.