“The bike segment in triathlon is a time trial, and athletes who learn how to evenly spread their energy throughout the distance will come out ahead….” Triathlete magazine 2014
Ashbourne Triathletes are very pleased to announce we are now members of Cycling Time Trials (the national governing body for cycling time trials in England and Wales).
For the uninitiated, an individual time trial is a road bicycle race in which cyclists race alone against the clock on flat or rolling terrain, or up a mountain road.
ITTs are also referred to as “the race of truth”, as winning depends only on each rider’s strength and endurance, and not on help provided by team-mates and others riding ahead and creating a slipstream.
Starting times are at equal intervals, usually one or two minutes apart. The starting sequence is usually based on the finishing times in preceding events.
Competitors are not permitted to draft (ride in the slipstream) behind each other. Any help between riders is forbidden. The rider with the fastest time is declared the winner.
There are about 1400 open events every year. To ride in any of them you need to be a member of a club affiliated to Cycling Time Trials. There are at least that number again of “Club Events” for the vast majority of which, it is advisable to be a member of an affiliated club to race.
Time trialling benefits are similar to the benefits of doing a standalone 5km or 10km for running—benchmarking fitness, predicting goal race pace—cycling time trials can help your training for these reasons:
- Data gathering in a race setting
Getting your best effort out of an at-home functional threshold test can be daunting, and adding in the race environment can give you that extra level of intensity.
- Poor-man’s motorpacing
Professional cyclists use motor pacing for the neuromuscular training effect and pure speed component, but for less experienced riders (and those who don’t have a friend with a scooter), the mentality of “athlete and machine vs. the clock” is similar in a TT.
- Dedicated aero practice
It’s easy to fidget and sit upright for a few seconds during training, but time trials teach you to deal with the discomfort created by riding at race pace and staying on the aero bars the entire time.
- Realistic race simulation
Many triathletes ride in groups for safety and comradeship, which adds a lot of fun to training, but on race day we are all alone with our bike and need to face the wind without the protection from our training mates
- Mental strength test
The mental side of riding at that steady intensity is just as important as the physical side. Treat a time trial as a practice run for visualization and motivational techniques that you can call upon in your next triathlon.
It never gets easier, you just go faster…..
If you want any more information on time trialling grab Munch or Russell.