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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 05-02-16, 03:11 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
Hello TT thread.

Thinking ahead a couple months, this TT (rolling, 75 ft/mile, supposedly hillier than it looks):
https://www.strava.com/activities/329562425


A. Borrowed TT bike with no PM
B. Ti road bike with clip-ons and PM
C. Venge in road racing config and PM (crit is the same day, can't be messing with stuff)


What think you, TT thread?
I would be interested to hear what people who actually know what they are doing say.

My opinion is that it depends in part on what your goals/reasonable expectations are for this TT, which sounds like it must be part of a stage race? Is this something you are just trying to survive or you hope to do well in? And another factor is how used to riding TT efforts you are- as in how well you will be able to pace without a power meter. Obviously bike A will be fastest if it fits you well and you are able adapt to riding it- but if you're not good at TT pacing without a power meter and the race is important, you might be better off with bike B.

However Bike B might be faster than A if its the bike you have time to adapt to and bike A would be a last minute thing that you never get a chance to ride.

And Bike C might be the best choice if you're not willing to spend time riding in a TT position anyway.

Therefore I would say if choice B is your own bike and you will be able to ride it regularly and adapt to the position, then first choice B, second choice A provided you are decent at pacing and third choice C.
If however bike A is a bike you could borrow now and ride regularly until your race AND you're decent at pacing, then choices would be A then B then C.
If you're never going to ride any of these bikes much before the event, and therefore not adapt to a TT position anyway, then I'd say C then B then A.
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Old 05-02-16, 03:26 PM
  #27  
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You want context before giving me an answer? But I thought this was the internet!

This is a stage race but it's scored on points, I could do well on the other stages, so it's a case of minimizing damage rather than trying not to lose the event completely on the TT.

I've only ever done 2 TTs, both with bike B in TT-ish setup (seat forward, slammed negative stem, clip-ons), and I did OK on them. I will have at least a month to work with any of the bikes.

I have very little experience measuring efforts without a PM, that's probably the variable that worries me the most.
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Old 05-02-16, 04:37 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
You want context before giving me an answer? But I thought this was the internet!

This is a stage race but it's scored on points, I could do well on the other stages, so it's a case of minimizing damage rather than trying not to lose the event completely on the TT.

I've only ever done 2 TTs, both with bike B in TT-ish setup (seat forward, slammed negative stem, clip-ons), and I did OK on them. I will have at least a month to work with any of the bikes.

I have very little experience measuring efforts without a PM, that's probably the variable that worries me the most.
What power meters are available to you? Can you *really* not get a PM onto bike A? Even if you have to swap meters out between bikes for a month, it might be worth it. Because bike A is the best choice, if only it had a power meter. If you're not used to TT efforts, the PM could be pretty helpful in pacing (even if just to assure yourself in training that you are better at pacing than you believe). Come race day, the PM might be more useful on the TT bike than the Venge, don't you think? So if you had to leave the PM on one bike, you might be better off leaving it on the TT bike that day.

If you *really* can't manage to get a PM on the TT bike, then go with bike B and ride it as much as you can in the next month. Position is the more important than most other things in a TT, so you want to achieve the best position you can manage in a month's time.
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Old 05-02-16, 05:47 PM
  #29  
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Pretty good advice, thanks.
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Old 05-02-16, 06:07 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
Pretty good advice, thanks.
Well lets see what the smart people have to say.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:01 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
You want context before giving me an answer? But I thought this was the internet!

This is a stage race but it's scored on points, I could do well on the other stages, so it's a case of minimizing damage rather than trying not to lose the event completely on the TT.

I've only ever done 2 TTs, both with bike B in TT-ish setup (seat forward, slammed negative stem, clip-ons), and I did OK on them. I will have at least a month to work with any of the bikes.

I have very little experience measuring efforts without a PM, that's probably the variable that worries me the most.
I see very little, if any, advantage training for one month hoping for strength and adaptation on a TT bike or bike B with the seat forward (uses quads more). IMO, ride bike B set up like your regular road bike (same seat setup and hip angle equal to your road bike when riding in the drops when you are in the aerobars) and use the month to get used to aerobars and any limitations that may contribute to breathing. Work on keeping your head out of the wind. Plus you have power.

Also, you use the same muscles when training on the B bike as the road bike so that it enhances your crit and RR.

This is sort of an old school approach and will not be as aero as a fully rotated position on a TT bike. But who really cares that much about some aero watts that may or may not be offset by reduced power due to insufficient prep time. Plus, during your race, you can have confidence that you are riding in a strong position and there is no excuse for an under power performance in the ITT.

Last edited by Hermes; 05-03-16 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:12 AM
  #32  
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In addition, you will probably have to play around with the B bike setup until it feels right and your road bike dimensions may not exactly port over to the B bike. The goal is to make the B bike feel like your road bike just more aero than you could obtain by riding your road bike in the drops.
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Old 05-03-16, 05:11 PM
  #33  
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Bike C, practice IAB.



Bike "A" you're throwing a lot of hope into that mix (I hope I can adapt, I hope the bike is set up right)

Bike "B" you're going to end up in a higher position than either the drops or IAB, clip on bars are notorious for creating the "sit up and beg" position and end up with wide arms and a bucket.
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Old 05-03-16, 08:31 PM
  #34  
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Lol, see why you should never listen to me?

Interesting question, though.
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Old 05-03-16, 08:46 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Lol, see why you should never listen to me?

Interesting question, though.
I thought your idea to manage the best position you can in one month on the B bike made a lot of sense. Only GC knows how he looks and feels on the B bike and whether he can handle a rotated aero position or the clip ons raise him too high.
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Old 05-03-16, 08:50 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I thought your idea to manage the best position you can in one month on the B bike made a lot of sense. Only GC knows how he looks and feels on the B bike and whether he can handle a rotated aero position or the clip ons raise him too high.
If you read carefully, you can see that I hedged my bets and argued that each of the bikes could be the best choice. Clever.
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Old 05-03-16, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
If you read carefully, you can see that I hedged my bets and argued that each of the bikes could be the best choice. Clever.
And they could be. It all depends on the athlete and his motivation and capability.
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Old 05-03-16, 11:00 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Lol, see why you should never listen to me?

Interesting question, though.
Notice how I've stayed out of this. I'm learning, too!
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Old 06-22-16, 07:32 AM
  #39  
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I'm still flip-flopping on this TT. It's 85 ft/mile. Looking at the course elevation, there is up to 15 minutes of climbing, out of 30 minutes total.

I've just about ruled out using a TT bike. So it's down to either the race bike and lots of IAB practice, or the B bike with clip-ons, set up slightly TT-ish (bit longer stem, lose a spacer, push the seat forward a little -- this is how I did prior TTs). I'm sure I can be more aero with roughly the same power on the B bike but I'd be adding about 3 lbs.

If I had to do the race tomorrow I'd use the B bike because I just don't have a lot of confidence in IAB during an all-out effort. But this week I will try some dedicated IAB practice and see how it goes.
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Old 05-14-17, 07:17 AM
  #40  
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A little background. Riding and racing forever but never focused on TT's. I rode a few as a SR (late 80's) and did some Pursuit rides in the 90's but that was the extent of my Aero experience. Picked up a bike this winter. I've been fine tuning position since February. After a shaky start I'm getting closer to the Power & HR I can put out on the road bike. A work in progress.

Rode my first 20K a couple weeks ago and have a laundry list of things I can improve on. A couple of newbie questions for the riders here:
- What do you display to assist pacing? Right now I'm using my normal interval screen. 5s Power, Time & Cadence. Looking for some different displays to test.
- I have a tendency to "float" when the terrain lets me. Habit from years of setting up a sprint. Is that something I need to work on to TT more effectively? What would a good VI be?

Been fun so far.
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Old 05-14-17, 07:41 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
A little background. Riding and racing forever but never focused on TT's. I rode a few as a SR (late 80's) and did some Pursuit rides in the 90's but that was the extent of my Aero experience. Picked up a bike this winter. I've been fine tuning position since February. After a shaky start I'm getting closer to the Power & HR I can put out on the road bike. A work in progress.

Rode my first 20K a couple weeks ago and have a laundry list of things I can improve on. A couple of newbie questions for the riders here:
- What do you display to assist pacing? Right now I'm using my normal interval screen. 5s Power, Time & Cadence. Looking for some different displays to test.
- I have a tendency to "float" when the terrain lets me. Habit from years of setting up a sprint. Is that something I need to work on to TT more effectively? What would a good VI be?

Been fun so far.
I display:
Time, HR, instant power, ave power, cadence and distance.

My goal is for my VI to be 1.0 (and it usually is). The exception is a TT in which there is a some climbing and descents in which I spin out. Yesterday's TT for example had perhaps 1:45ish of non-pedaling descending which meant I could push a bit more up the hill knowing a rest was coming. This resulted in a VI of 1.2.

Generally speaking, in a TT my goal (as taught to me by my coach, @Racer Ex) is to never deviate from my goal ave power by more than 10%. No floating, you stay on the pedals with force 100% of the time. Every moment you allow yourself to back off is a little bit of time lost. But even more importantly, lost momentum that must be regained with a little surge. Since you usually get no rest in TTs and therefore no recovery, surges kill.

Disclaimer: I'm a newby too so take me with a grain of salt. I just happen to be a very well-coached newby.
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Old 05-14-17, 08:28 AM
  #42  
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I had no idea how ingrained that tendency is. As you pointed out it causes a lot of little accelerations, a leg killer. So far I've been working on it by using the gears more. I'm comfortable in a wide cadence range and on the road shift a lot less than most. I'm thinking that contributes a lot to the issue. Planning on going to Di2 later in the year to help this (more stuff )

I should be able to put a number on time inside or outside a given +/- % from target. That sounds closer to what I'm working on than VI, which is more "macro" averaging out all the little decel/accel stuff.
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Old 05-14-17, 12:03 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
I had no idea how ingrained that tendency is. As you pointed out it causes a lot of little accelerations, a leg killer. So far I've been working on it by using the gears more. I'm comfortable in a wide cadence range and on the road shift a lot less than most. I'm thinking that contributes a lot to the issue. Planning on going to Di2 later in the year to help this (more stuff )

I should be able to put a number on time inside or outside a given +/- % from target. That sounds closer to what I'm working on than VI, which is more "macro" averaging out all the little decel/accel stuff.

When I first got the TT bike, I had trouble getting enough leverage on my mechanical bar-end shifters because my hands are small. Its hard to know how much you should stick with trying something out vs just move on. That's why I appreciate my fitter, he will always tell me what is, in his opinion, best- regardless of cost. He is a purist and so am I, we get along even though he is big league and I am rinky dink. But it saves me a lot of time, just tell me what's best and if its inevitable anyway, I might as well just do it now, because I'm going to incur the cost regardless and its false economy to not just make whatever change now.


Anyway, his response to my shifting issues was: "Go with the Di2 now, it will encourage you to shift and the more you shift, the more time you'll spend in the right gear and the better you will race." Ok. Done.


(Haha I remember his advice when I had raced one TT and liked it. I was trying to decide between clip-on aerobars for my road bike vs buying a TT bike. "Get the TT bike. Anything less is just a compromise. And you know won't be happy with a compromise." Love it. Perfect advice for me.)


As to VI, I think it measures surginess for sure. It just lets you get away with more surginess than is ideal while still having a 'perfect' VI of 1.0. Even with 1.0, I usually could have been far smoother. It really takes a lot of focus to do, you have to be constantly anticipating terrain and adjusting accordingly. I'm sure it gets more automatic over time, but for me its still a major work in progress.


Welcome to the world of TTing. Its really pretty cool.
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Old 05-17-17, 04:32 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post

Generally speaking, in a TT my goal (as taught to me by my coach, @Racer Ex) is to never deviate from my goal ave power by more than 10%. No floating, you stay on the pedals with force 100% of the time. Every moment you allow yourself to back off is a little bit of time lost. But even more importantly, lost momentum that must be regained with a little surge. Since you usually get no rest in TTs and therefore no recovery, surges kill.

Disclaimer: I'm a newby too so take me with a grain of salt. I just happen to be a very well-coached newby.
I'm an oldie (?) at this and have ridden a lot of TT's and looked at a lot of files of the people I've coached, and I concur on the statement above.

Even on courses with a fair amount of gradient change, the winning efforts usually produce a VI of 1 or very close to that and the power looks like a pretty flat line for the most part. Rare exceptions are courses where you spin out your top gear, and I can only think of two courses where this happened (with a 56/11 no less...which was a bit of excitement).

The flip side of not keeping the power on is going over the 10% of target. For most folks this is a burned match that shows up in fatigue at the end of the TT or a big drop after that particular effort.

What I've seen is you can have a minute difference with the same average wattage on a 20k with most things being equal. It's when the power is, not necessarily when it is.

Of course I would concur with what I said
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Old 05-23-17, 06:08 AM
  #45  
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VI improved my second time out (TX State TT). I think that's going to come with experience, a cool feeling after 30+ years riding/racing. One thing that has hit me hard both rides is tightening up right after the turn. I feel fine accelerating back up to speed but can't settle back into the same rhythm. It's like my legs see the torque change and decide they are done for the day I'm going to work similar pauses into my longer intervals see if that helps. Is this a common issue?
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Old 05-23-17, 09:38 AM
  #46  
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Wouldn't hurt. Worth noting lot of folks go too hard coming out of the turn around or stay in too high a gear and grind out. That tends to zap the legs and/or creates an 02 deficit that can hang around.
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Old 05-23-17, 10:17 AM
  #47  
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Its interesting to me how much being a veterinarian influences the way my brain works. But I seem to go into everything I do with a clinician's approach: I develop a theory as to what is going on, while keeping an open mind to a variety of explanations/"diagnoses". Then I see over time how well my model fits with reality.


Anyway, with TTs I have this theory that, while there is real physiology behind what is happening during training/racing, a lot of what happens is governed by the mind. Your brain is constantly looking for clues and trying to define what is going on so that it can decide what you should do next. I could change this theory next year if I come to realize that's not actually what's happening. But right now...


For me, I have a tendency to "slump" half or 2/3s of the way through a TT. I believe this is a brain thing and I do much better if I explicitly focus on expecting this to happen and making a point of overriding it. The fitness and physiology is there but my brain thinks that's the time to rest.


So I think its really helpful to replicate in training any conditions that are tough for you in a race. Train your brain to have a different expectation. Long winded way of saying: if you have trouble settling back into things after the turn, then I'd put a lot of simulations of this into your training. TT interval with a turn, allow yourself X number of pedals strokes to get back up to power, say 7 or 10 pedal strokes. Then settle onto your number and sit there for another Y number of minutes. This doesn't have to be the main point of your workout. Just when you're doing a 20 min TT interval anyway, do 10 min out and 10 min back with a turn in the middle. Then just keep doing it that way for a few months, until your brain learns that the turn is a cue for 10 pedal strokes and then back on the previous number.


Whenever you can, work little things like this into what you're doing anyway and see if your brain starts to believe a new reality. Might make a difference or might be Heathpack BS.
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Old 05-23-17, 11:25 AM
  #48  
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Mental programming works. It's why people practice.
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Old 05-23-17, 12:02 PM
  #49  
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Ex, I did blow the gear selection (I had one job...), and jumped harder than planned Acceleration is my only talent as a rider, easy to abuse & step too far over the line I suppose. I did finally pull myself together and got back up to target the last 5m or so. But all of that struggle added up to a 14m out and 17m return

So do you try to keep your acceleration inside that 10% of target or is that an individual thing? Turns and accelerations I can definitely work into training, a detail I was taking for granted. I've primarily been working on neglected Aerobic capacity and adapting to the position.

Heathpack, at this point everything is unexpected as I'm currently at n=2.
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Old 05-23-17, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Heathpack, at this point everything is unexpected as I'm currently at n=2.

The interesting thing going into an all-my-eggs-are-in-this-basket race is that you spend a little time thinking, 'what is really the goal here?'.


For me, the goal is to become as good as possible at this TT thing.


So ultimately that translates into: win-or-lose, any individual race is ultimately part of the overall experience of cracking the TT nut.


And that includes figuring out what you don't know. Maybe in some ways, figuring out what you don't know is the most important part of the process. Once you know that, then you start to see what you need to do to improve.


There's a thread right now in the training forum about a guy training to "get faster" by improving his FTP. I need to find the energy to write up a response that increasing FTP is honestly just a small part of "getting faster". There's way more to it than that. Increasing FTP is way too simplistic of a goal.
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