As the end of summer is approaching, so are many of the racing/gran fondo season for many of us. I for one, need a goal at the end of the summer to keep the training vibe alive so together with a couple of friends, we participate in team time trials in our region.
It’s a 2 people team, and the race is about 21 km long, 3 laps of 7. Starting from a ramp down a trailer. There are categories for time trial bikes & regular road bikes (like ours).
Anyway, i’ve now got 4 weeks to train on some specifics for that kind of events, and based on previous years (2016, 2017), I know we tend to take turns of about 30-40 seconds. Power is bigger than vo2max so I’m training with 5 x 30" on @ 150%, 30" off blocks with 4 repeats of that block. I’m also doing some longer Over Unders (3 min off 93%, 1 min on 110%, 3 min off 93%, 1 min on 110%) -> I repeat that block 4 times.
I’m doing these to get some feel for the lactate clearing in the off periods, along with one or 2 longer endurance rides. Nothing too long, no point in doing 4-5 hour rides for a 30 min event I guess. 3 hours will suffice.
Some numbers from my last participation. 314W avg power (NP 319) for 30 mins.
Any tips on training for these kind of events that I missed or should try?
Thanks in advance!
Power shouldn’t be over VO2Max IMO. If you can Vo2 every pull for 20k, you guys will fly at your fastest. Most people will decline in power if they ON/OFF 150% for that duration. Don’t die before the finish.
Try to ride together beforehand, that will help a ton.
Over/unders are probably your best bet - totally agree with @brendanhousler that VO2 is probably too high
I’d also strongly recommend you get out as many times as possible with your teammate to practice the pacing and the pull timing. It’s unlikely you are equal in strength and you need to figure out how to work together in a way that leaves you both empty at the finish. Also - it is very important to know when to roll on and off of the power based on the course and timing of the other rider latching on the wheel after a pull
I suggest you get out with your racing partner and practise on a 2-3ml circuit, trying length of pulls and cadence to ride smoothly. if one is stronger, that rider should take longer pulls on the front. Time your laps and build up the speed until your are as close to dropping one or other of you - that is your race pace. Specificity in the teamwork is the key here, not indoor heroics. BTW TTT’s really suck - until you’ve finished.
I’ve been doing some reading before and for these shorter TTT’s they tend to report around or above 130% FTP for the pulls. See https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/anatomy-of-a-team-time-trial/ & https://www.wenzelcoaching.com/blog/how-to-team-time-trial/ for example.
Practicing will be difficult. We’ve both done the course before but in another team. He lives about an hour away with a car so that will be hard :). But we’ll try to practice on a different stretch of road to get a feel for the power.
Thanks for the replies so far!
If you’re stronger go longer, not harder.
I think those articles most likely refer to TTTing with 4 or more riders where you obviously get both a longer recovery and also a better draft. 2 man TT I don’t think there is any way you can hold 150% pulls. Would also question the duration, I would think the fewer the riders the longer the pulls. I’ve mainly done 3 and 4 man TTTs and we’ve tended to start off with 1 minute pulls, though they are also a bit longer at 40-50km.
The length of the pulls depends upon the wind and condition of the riders. If both riders are at the same level, in a tailwind take longer pulls of up to 300m and dont change on a tough climb or just before a corner as you want to retain as much speed as possible. In a headwind change more frequently, suggest 100m each. The front rider signals by flicking his arm and moves back on the sheltered side if there is a cross wind, its easier to get on the wheel. Ride as close as you can safely, even when dropping back, almost rubbing shoulders. Finally try and ride similar gears and cadence as acceleration should be the same for both riders. Being smooth is key, the rider taking the front maintains the speed and only speeds up very gently during the pull if needed, not jump to the front as this will make the resting rider suffer more.
Thanks for the tips guys! Most of them apply to the race itself, any ideas on the training / type of workouts I’d do for these last few weeks?
Over unders and VO2 Max intervals. Something like Bear Creek for the former and Baird for the latter, or variants of them.
There’s a really good thread on TTT if you use the search function. Covers all the advice you’ll need:)
Duo Time trial went just fine! Managed 294W over 30 mins (30:18 to be exact.) 41.2 km/h.
NP 300W so smooth. Had a bit more left at the end compared to my partner but we Made a good team
Thanks for all the tips!