Working on TT weaknesses

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Kermithimself
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by Kermithimself

With the first part of the season done, I've sat down to evaluate which weaknesses I need to improve for the upcoming second leg of the season. One of the things I really want to improve is my TT'ing. I'm a puncheur kinda rider. I have a great punch on the flat but also when the road starts to rise.

But reading about training for TT'ing there seems to be 2 schools:

1. Do longer intervals at around 100% of FTP for 2x20 minutes, or maybe something like 90-95% for 2x30 minutes.
2. Do shorter intervals at 100% of VO2max for 3x3 minutes, with 3 minutes of rest in between

Or is it better to do both? :D

My FTP is around 290 watts, and my 5 minute(Vo2max) is about 360.
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Have renamed thread to something a little more specific.

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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

The only power I eschew training for TTing is neuromuscular power (NP) ie: sprinting.

Generally the "golden standard" of TTing, the 40km, is very essence of the whole the FTP concept, max power possible for one hour (for some this will be longer or shorter of course).

Hence for a TT FTP is a very good determinant of performance. I generally structure a TT program in cycles of shorter efforts, lending more to VO2 max, of 10, 5 and 3 mins and longer efforts of 20 and 30 mins. This is always a "focus" and not an exclusion. LSD, tempo rides etc are still used, longer efforts in the "short" block, short efforts in the "long" block.

The other important, and strangely ridiculed and sidelined, aspect of TTing is aerodynamics (the number of times I've heard words to the effect of, "Aero what? Just pedal harder p*ssy!")

You can buy speed. You can gain speed by merely changing hand position. You are the biggest impediment to speed and doing everything you can to get low and "slippery" will yield gains. As a someone who looks more like a track sprinter these days I still nudged very close to 40kph on a mere ~250 watts. In this vein I also advocate at least 50% of effort to be done on the TT rig. Positional specificty of training I feel is key. Also TT bikes usually handle differently, you should be comfortable enough to corner in the drops.
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grid256
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by grid256

There's quite a bit to consider within Tapeworms post. All of this of course depends greatly on what else you're up to - other racing and training etc. I focus solely on tt's and include two days of 2x20s at 95%-100% ftp each week. The other days are a mix of tempo and recovery rides with one long ftp ride on the weekend. I also play it by ear quite a bit. Sometimes my legs are ready for action and other times I'm beat so I adjust. If I'm racing that week, I adjust further by pulling back on the intervals and upping the zone 2 work.

Also, I'm a huge advocate of riding the tt bike for at least 50% of the week. Again, this depends greatly on what you're up to and if tt is a big focus for you. I tend to ride it more like 75% of the week. I've read Cancellara includes at least 100k of the tt bike a week.

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by Juanmoretime

Well at my age recovery is the key to doing well. I ride my road bike 4 to 5 days per week and ride my tt bike only twice and those are my hard workouts. My team hosts a tt night every week so that is one of my hard workouts and I get a second one but that one is more of a fast paced hour on the bike. Our tt course is 10.85 miles so that gets me one 23 to 24 minute hard workout and I warm up about the same before. Everyone is different but this seems to work well for me.
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Ghost234
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by Ghost234

I'm amazed that some people ride their TT bikes 50% of the time. I usually only ride it once, maybe twice a week, and those are usually short(er) rides. Generally speaking I try to get 80-120 minutes of my week spent at or near my FTP. Most of my FTP workouts are done on my road bike, but I try to do them in the drops. When I'm riding the drops, my hip and arm position is almost dead similar to my TT position. The saddle position is a little different, simply due to UCI regulations (I race UCI sanctioned TT's).

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to replicate positions between their two bikes.

No need to be amazed, you simply differ to what others (including pro's) tend to do.


If that works for you and you're cleaning up races then stick with it. No one's claiming they have the magic pill.

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Kermithimself
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by Kermithimself

Alright, so a bit of everything :D I don't have a dedicated TT bike, but will try to work on aerodynamics.

Just another question when doing 3x3 intervals for VO2max - what intensity? 120% of FTP or something like 110%?
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Vo2 max is normally between 105%-115% of FTP (iirc)

KWalker
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by KWalker

3x3 isn't really enough IMO to illicit a strong vo2 response. Generally speaking, the goal for a decently trained athlete is 15min/session and/or multiple sessions in a row for a cumulative effect. As I stated in the other thread I do a lot of 3min. intervals since that's where my MMP curve tanks a bit, and my normal protocol is 8x3 and then on the 7th I see where my power is and if I can use the intervals to exhaustion principle. Rest is generally 3-4 min., but unlike a lot of people my rest pace is around 200w.

If you're more of a puncheur, I actually think a 30/30 workout at vo2 max could be of use to you because it would teach you to maintain power over rollers without going straight into L6 on each one.

I'm also a big fan of subthreshold work in the sweet spot zone and have found it to be very effective in terms of %FTP gains and recovery between workouts. I'm not particularly fast at recovering, but I've managed to fit in SST work up to 4 days in a row just fine. Another thing I've had a rider do is go out and literally practice a 20km TT like they would an actual race in terms of starting from a dead stop, pacing, using their race wheels (if the roads permit) etc. So many people go out of the gate and ramp it up to their L4 zone like the race is a workout, but I've found that that's not always the most effective strategy and that a lot of people end up riding that L4 border too much in the first few minutes and blow up.
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Hasn't training that is event specific (ie: riding a 20km TT to train for a TT/run a marathon to train for a marathon) been found to not be very effective...?

KWalker
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by KWalker

Tinea Pedis wrote:Hasn't training that is event specific (ie: riding a 20km TT to train for a TT/run a marathon to train for a marathon) been found to not be very effective...?


There's 4 areas where people I've worked with/know have used it to great effect:
1. When they haven't been on the TT bike in a while.
2. Pre-riding parts of target race courses as part of a workout.
3. Acclimate to new temperatures, humidities, etc.
4. When they're the somehow weird anomaly that can race, recover, do the odd long ride during the week, and follow the Merckx 'ride lots' principal and seemingly never plateau. A surprising amount of regional elite/pro riders are like this.

I wouldn't do it weekly, but once in a while is fine. A 20km TT is basically like a sub 25m interval anyways, just do another after and there's your FTP work.
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

KWalker wrote:I wouldn't do it weekly, but once in a while is fine. A 20km TT is basically like a sub 25m interval anyways, just do another after and there's your FTP work.

Maybe you need to clarify this to the OP, as that's not how I interpreted your post.

Also don't see how 1, 2 and 3 necessitate adding a 20km TT effort to your (again, as I interpreted) regular training. Espeically when 1.) would be even more effective if done at efforts that are not totally flat out and 2.) is a little hard when you're, again, pushing hard and have snot and sweat flying everywhere (unless that's just me who gets that in TT's :lol: ).

Which just leaves 4.) which is not really an apples to apples for the OP, as I get the impression Kermit is not quite at the point. Not saying he won't improve from it, just from my experience (and coach's recommendations) there are better ways to elicit the same or better response with shorter intervals.

beardking
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by beardking

Tinea Pedis wrote:1.) would be even more effective if done at efforts that are not totally flat out


its more effective to train on the TT bike at a none flat out effort? so you have to do interval training and some base miles on the TT bike if possible?

Ypsylon
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by Ypsylon

Tinea Pedis wrote:Hasn't training that is event specific (ie: riding a 20km TT to train for a TT/run a marathon to train for a marathon) been found to not be very effective...?


That's a very broad statement. If you want to win Milan-San Remo I wouldn't suggest riding that course 364 times before your race.

But if one of your races happens to be a ~20' TT, then you can't do 2x20s anymore?

Doing the exact same thing over and over has been shown to usually not bring you to your next level, but event specific for every event there is in a sense of totally omiting that time frame/intentsity I've never heard of and doesn't sound convincing to me.
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