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Five reasons to give a time trial a go

Updated: Apr 25

The cycling Time Trial (TT) season is in full swing, but if you're new to them, they can seem a bit confusing or intimidating at first. Luckily once you can see past the unintelligible course codes and overabundance of aero equipment, it’s actually a very friendly scene and rewarding way to pass a few hours.

Here’s my 5 top reasons to get involved:

1) Time trials are known as the race of truth – you are racing yourself. Competitors are set off at 1 min intervals and other than occasionally overtaking or being overtaken by each other, have little to do with each other. So you don’t need to worry about what anyone else is doing, you just need to focus on yourself and do the best you can on the day.

2) How often do you get to do an all-out effort on the roads in the UK – whilst they’re run on open roads, the courses are usually selected because they’re fairly quiet and good for TTs (generally long flat stretches of road without too many technical bits to slow you down). And although you could of course just ride it by yourself, a risk assessment will have been completed to minimise the risks on the day - there will be signs up about the event and you’ll be surrounded by lots of other riders, all with their red lights on, so other road users know there’s a cycle event on. Plus it’s far easier to stay focussed and motivate yourself to go as hard as you can when you’ve got people chasing you down/ to chase down.

3) Practice your aero position – hands up who’s been doing some great training on the turbo but it all goes to pot when you race outside? Your position on the bike, combined with your bike handing, is absolutely key to how fast you go outside (for example your ability to stay aero the whole time, especially as you go round a roundabout, drink, deal with cross winds etc). Whereas Zwift doesn’t care what position you hold or whether your cornering is good enough to hold 70kph downhill, the real world is less forgiving! But if the real world is where you want to be racing, then the more practice the better. For more on getting aero (and its not all about expensive kit) see my next blog in this series - Five tips for time trialling

4) If you’re a triathlete then they’re great to practice your pacing and check it’s realistic for race day (10 miles for a sprint, 25m for an Oly, 50m for a HIM and 100m for an IM) – it’s up to you whether you want to add the run off the bike! They're also great for practicing nutrition at race pace (yes, that is a 'nose bag' of jelly cubes between my aero bars above!).

5) They're great for working on mindset - I'm a big fan of developing your mindset to help you get the most out of your training, as well as the rest of life. So often our mind gives up before our body, but we can train it to go that little bit longer, and these are the ultimate for putting that to the test.

Next read my blog on Five tips for time trialling

If you'd like a chat about how to build your training most effectively and get faster without having to spend more time, book in a call here

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