Advice for 25 km TT

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by Kermithimself

Saturday I'll debut my time trial bike in a danish race. 25 kms, mostly flat.

I pretty much have my setup ready:
- Disc wheel
- Deep front wheel
- Skinsuit
- Aero helmet
- TT bike

Have practiced on it, getting used to the position. I even did a 25 km test run with my regular Mavic Cosmic wheels and normal helmet, just to get in tune with the pain I'm to endure.

But what are the general guidelines for at time trial? I guess I don't need to drink during the effort? Good warmup routine?

What pressure should the tubulars be run at(22 mm Continental Competition).

Is it worth investing in aero gloves?

I will race with a power meter, and have a pretty good idea of how far I can push myself. I guess the tactics is to start out "hard", then drop to my threshold values, and then kick it up at the end?

Any advice/nice to know is appreciated!
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by devinci

No, the tactic is NOT to start out hard, otherwise crapy things will happen. Start out conservatively after hammering the first ~5 seconds. Then settle into you target rythm. Generally i'd push the uphill parts a bit more and a bit less when its descending. If its flat, i'd divided my strategy in 3 parts with the final part being at a very high rythm.

Not sure about gloves or no gloves at all. Though I hope tou are a good pilot, especially if you have a tight position and a very deep front wheel. A side wind gust could scare you quite a bit. I'd just run the tubulars at recommended pressure, more pressure isnt always good cause it makes you bounce arround when the road is not perfect

You can drink if you need during the effort, just make it quick and strategic (ex.: before the U-turn). For warm up, choose anything that you will be comfortable with. Something quite long, over 30min with some intensities in each zones. I use to spin for 20-25 min, then hit Z3 for a few min, easy, then Z4 for 1min, easy, then 2x30/30 Z5-6 then spin easy.

by Weenie

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by CarlosFerreiro

Pressure depends on your weight and the road surface but likely something around the 120psi area, not going up to a 200psi tub limit for sure.
On a rough surface too much pressure will give more Crr.

If you know the average wattage you can do for the time, then go with that on the flat and roughly +10% on the uphills and -10% on the downhills.
Don't go out too hard!

Focus, both on keeping the effort up, and on holding a clean position, all the time, start to finish, don't let your mind wander.
Visualise the course beforehand, know where you will ramp up the effort a bit, focus.

Probably no drink needed during a 25km TT.

Be comfortable on the bike in its race setup, know how it will handle in the wind and how it brakes.
You can deal with a lot of things fairly easily if you know what to expect and can stay relaxed.

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by aerozy

Funny Ive got my first 30km TT next saturday as well. All advice is welcome.

Havent trained on my TT bike in 12months hahaha... if I finish above last I'll be happy (its an elite event!) :)

I dont think I'll need to drink as its only about 8degrees but I am taking a few gels. I remember seeing a few pros sliding them under their bib shorts last year. Will probably just stick them in the pocket though :)

EDIT: Like suggested my game plan is to ramp up above threshold for the first seconds. Then maybe keep at around 90% for the first few minutes until my mind and body are in the "zone" which can be anytihng from feeling crap or great. Once Im settled I'll try to hit threshold on the flats and +-10% on climbs and descents.
Sunny cycling holidays in Portugal @ Cherry Cottage Vintage B&B

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

Personally i dont think you "need" to drink or eat gels for an event thats that short. I'm happy upto 40kms without them. Just drink steadily leading upto the start.
Im not sure whether the time gained by being freshly hydrated will outweigh the time lost by faffing about and getting unaero...

If you must ride with your PM- at least hide the display.Numbers are a bad think to get hung up on. Just be able to hit the start/stop button. look at it after and analyse how your ride panned out.
There's too many things that can affect what you're putting out and to think about- surface, wind, traffic etc.
If you havent raced using your PM, how do you know exactly what you can do in these situations? best way to find out ;-)

Go out hard enough, and you will soon find a level you can sustain. The shorter the distance, the harder it is to get it right, but at 25km it should be okay if you do get it slightly wrong.

I have aero gloves- don't know if they've been of any benefit, but theres nothing worse than having your hands slide along your base bar as you try to hit the brakes in the rain, so gloves definitely better than none....

And don't forget to report back ;-)
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by Tapeworm

^ Concur with all of the above.

1. Don't start too hard.
2. Don't start too hard.
3. Don't start too hard.
4. All's you can do is all's you can do.

Regarding the PM, I like pacing TTs to the power meter at times. If it's a maiden voyage or unfamiliar course or getting back into TTs etc etc then I concur that taping up the screen and running on RPE can be a very good course of action.
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by bobqzzi

jekyll man wrote:
If you must ride with your PM- at least hide the display.Numbers are a bad think to get hung up on. Just be able to hit the start/stop button. look at it after and analyse how your ride panned out.

One of the advantages of the PM is one can regulate effort without using perceived exertion which alters with duration. I'd pick a number and stick to a strategy- +10% on uphills and -10% on dowhhills sounds reasonable

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by CarlosFerreiro

I don't watch the power figure all the time, but I have a few checks along the way, to keep my feel "calibrated", especially when the grade changes.

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by Rick

Has anyone said "Don't start too hard?"

I was completely wasted after about 10 min into my first 40K TT. :D

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by CarlosFerreiro

I thought I was past that, but a minute into my first national 10 mile I looked down and realised I'd got a bit over excited - 450W average to that point... unfortunately I should have been aiming for a 320W average :shock:
I don't think you are supposed to be wishing for the end before you even get to the turn......

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by Dalai

First TT I raced with a PM was on a course which I had ridden yearly for the last 4 years. Rode it within the zone I'd calculated based on my FTP and length of TT and did my slowest time! So disagree about sticking religiously to a zone...

Now I still watch the screen but only concern myself with a minimum power value; using it as a big carrot in case I start to loose focus and so make sure I keep above that. Otherwise I hit the hills hard and try and keep momentum over the crests and on the downhills. It always seems to end with an average power value around where I expect it to be.

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by CarlosFerreiro

The maths of optimal pacing from an Alex Simmons paper ... 3924,d.d2k

The +10% uphill, -10% downhill is the quick and dirty approximation for a course with roughly equal climbing and descending.
Of course, knowing the optimal powers and producing the optimal powers are different problems ;)

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by HillRPete

Just don't overthink it. Don't try too hard thinking of everything and doing it right, or you might lack the focus on the actual effort. Focus on how you go and how you feel.

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by Juanmoretime

Definitely no water or especially gels are needed. I assume your a sub 1 hour 40K so this is less than a 40 minute effort. I usually push hard for about 5 or 6 pedal strokes drop down onto my aerobars and then work steady to get in to my power zone. If you have done recent FTP testing that work with that number. If not don't think you can do what you where doing the end of last year.

The Competitions are not the lowest CCR tubulars you can get so there will be some loss there.

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by HotDoggin

Nothing new on race day. Ive heard many stories of trying a new something on race day and they rarely turn out for the better.

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