The Occasional Athlete

A cyclist trying to be fast(-ish) again

First Time Trial in Years

Posted at — Jul 24, 2020

Tuesday was my first time trial (outside, with real people!) in at least five years. I’d forgotten how much they hurt! The race was one of my club’s midweek time trial series, 10 miles on the K11/10B.

Overall, it went pretty well. I rode 22:39 for 16th place, which is only 7 seconds off my personal best set way back in 2011. 22:39 is a reasonable good time for 10 miles but I was completely schooled by the fast guys - I was over two minutes behind the winner!

There are plenty of positives to take away but also some things I really need to work on. On the positive side my power was good. I averaged 303W - slightly above threshold. I wouldn’t expect to be able to push much over threshold, measured on my road bike, on my time trial bike for this duration given the narrower hip angle that comes with being aero. I reckon I could hold around 310-320W on my road bike so I’m pretty pleased with relatively small drop.

This brings me to the main area for improvement - I’m bad aero! My torso isn’t too bad. I’ve never been able to get my back flat, but then neither could Lance. However, if you look at my chest it’s fairly horizontal. The problem is my head - it’s way too high! I need to get that right down and push my helmet back on my head to try and nestle the point (well, stub!) in the gap between my head and back. I may even be better off with a long-tailed helmet to fill that hole.

Credit: Chris Yip

How am I going to address my lack of aero? Stretching, stretching, and more stretching. I hate stretching. It’s boring. But, being more flexible, particularly in my hamstrings and glutes, will allow me to get lower and race faster. Riding my TT bike more will probably help as well!

Next up is the club bash on Sunday followed by a recovery week, which I’m very much looking forward to after being completely crushed by yesterday’s workout!