Time Trial Training. Can anyone make this article a little simpler to understand

The following is from here:

General Time Trial Conditioning

Perfecting the art of time trialing begins with increasingly specific forms of conditioning. Conditioning is systematically addressed via time-trial-general conditioning found in a properly designed Base Phase training plan.

  • First: A necessary emphasis is placed on elevating aerobic capacity. Through short, intense intervals well above FTP, long, lower-intensity blocks of steady effort, or sometimes a combination of the two, the ability to work aerobically at higher and higher levels of power output is targeted.
  • Second: A concurrent and no less important focus is placed on gradually lifting FTP via the use of moderately suprathreshold efforts such as over-unders. Workouts like this stress the mind and muscles in such a way as to hint at the level of effort and discomfort necessary to time trial at your highest level. They effectively set that stage.
  • Last: A hefty measure of muscle endurance work is layered throughout this phase of training. By working at high but subthreshold percentages of FTP for gradually increasing durations, stamina is incrementally enhanced. This is the ideal time to weave in work done in your aerodynamic TT position and begin the process of refining your fit.

Can someone please simplify this. It seems to cross over from one into another. The gist seems to be to train really hard in position and for realistic TT distances and times and using real TT-like efforts.

The wording in the article is confusing and overly wordy to my uneducated brain.

Help me understand it.

Thank you.

Hi There!

I apologize about the confusing wording there. We will look into simplifying that a bit to avoid any future confusion. :smile:

That being said, the portion of that blog post that you are referencing just outlines the goals of your Base Phase Plan, with goals of perfecting your time trialing. In more simple terms, here is that same bullet list:

  • First, the goal of your base is to grow your aerobic base. Workouts with VO2 max efforts, and long, easy rides will help here.
  • Second, you will want to try and push your FTP a little higher as you work through your base. Over-unders are the perfect type of workout to achieve this goal.
  • Third, to time trial successfully you will have to go for a long time, at a strong pace! So, endurance work will help that.

Don’t worry, as all of these elements will most likely be built into your Base Plan already, especially if you opt for the Sweet Spot Base Plans.

Additionally, it is always good to work into those positions on the bike that you will most likely be racing in. For time-trial specialists, this will be the aero-position, of course. Harder efforts may not be doable in the aero-position. So, that is why it is good to save that position for your endurance days if need be.


Hey @colinio!

To add onto the great explanation by @Tucker, I figured I’d drop a link to this recently published article regarding Time Trial Training. This article is designed to be a simple, and easy to follow, resource that breaks down what you need to do to get faster as a time trialist :slight_smile:

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