Time Trial Pacing Advice

I am participating in a sprint triathlon team relay this Saturday. I’ll be doing the 25km bike leg, which will be a 38-43 minute effort depending on wind conditions. From ramp test a month ago my FTP is 295. Did a short 20 minute criterium last weekend (obviously not a steady state effort) and averaged 281 W with a NP of 315 W.

I would welcome any advice on pacing strategies based on power.


Try and hold 295 as steady as possible. Your average will be a bit lower for cornering but keep it steady. If you’re feeling fresh/good halfway through up the wattage a touch.

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I had a tendency to go too hard at the start of TTs, then suffer the second half of the event. So my first recommendation is to start with breathing only through the nose the first 2-3 minutes to help moderate power. Secondly, it’s hard to judge whether you can do 295w for the 38-43 mins based on a ramp test. Same bike, same position, same power meter? So perhaps be a bit conservative. Do the first half of the event at a slightly lower power of 290w and concentrate on good head positioning and pedalling smoothly. If you’re feeling good then you can go harder the second half.


The danger of the ramp test FTP estimate is that it is unlikely (but not impossible) that you did it in strict TT position so it might be a slight overestimate. Ideally you should try and do a steady state max effort for 40mins on the TT bike on the trainer (roughly around the 300w mark) and this will generate a very good estimate for the day. good luck!