The 40k TT Specialty training plans include dedicated weekly Time Trial workouts to provide riders with opportunities to ride at their time trial pace, in their time trial position, at roughly time trial durations. These TT-focused workouts are specifically designed to help you achieve your fastest outcome on race day.
Examples of Time Trial Workouts in the 40k TT Plans
To prepare you for longer, more sustained efforts at higher percentages of functional threshold power, there are practice Time Trial workouts prescribed starting week 1 of the 40k TT Speciality training plan.
Depending on the volume of plan you’re on, you will experience either one of two practice TT workouts in week one of your Speciality Phase of training. The primary goal of each workout is to practice pacing for a time trial lasting about an hour with the goal pace being that power output you plan to target on race day.
40k TT Low-Volume Plan, Week 1
The Saturday workout prescribed in week 1 of your plan is Dunderberg +2, a 90-minute workout that is 56 minutes of steady output comprised of 4 continuous 14-minute segments ranging from 95-102% FTP.
40k TT Mid- and High-Volume Plans, Week 1
The Saturday workout prescribed in week 1 of the mid- and high-volume 40k TT plans is Dardanelles +1: a 75-minute workout that is 48 minutes of steady output comprised of 4 continuous 12-minute segments ranging from 95-102% FTP.
The Importance of Practice Time Trial Workouts
Time trials boil down to one thing: Preparation. The single metric that determines how successful you were at preparing is the clock. Coach Chad’s Time Trial workouts (like the ones you see above) are specifically designed to help you beat it. Here’s how:
Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Spending time at your projected time trial pace is an extremely uncomfortable place to be. It’s the hardest you can go without falling over the edge. This means the more time you can spend riding at the given intensity, the more “comfortable” you will feel while performing in time trials and at the higher intensity training workouts. Thus, the impetus for event-practice workouts starting week one of your 40k TT plan.
If you want to get faster at time trials, your training should prioritize growing your muscular endurance at a high percentage of your FTP. This allows you to increase your maximum steady-state power and enables you to work harder for longer durations.
Every practice time trial is an opportunity to grow as a rider in this arena. In becoming accustomed to the mental strain of riding this close to your FTP, both physical and mental adaptations will occur and your confidence in performing future workouts and events will increase.
Nailing Down Your Pacing
A pacing strategy is the most important piece of the puzzle for a rider seeking their fastest time trial. Nearly all time trials reward a negative split pacing strategy, which centers on going faster the second half of the race. That means starting out easier than you can sustain and building up towards the top end of your sustainable power by the end. This is one of the most difficult aspects of time trialing and will reward the riders that can implement it into their training and racing.
Each practice time trial workout follows this structure and will allow you as a rider to feel what proper pacing feels like, and will allow you to have the highest performance on race day. Each time trial also starts with a hard effort to get up to speed, and after that short burst, the rider settles into the planned power for the remainder of the time.
Getting Familiar with Your Goal Power
Having a goal on race day is an important part of the training process. Your time trial training gives you ample opportunity to visualize the task at hand and provides motivation in the build-up to your event.
If you have been riding your practice time trials, then you will be familiar with your power and your previous performances. Use this to your advantage; and whatever you do don’t allow another rider or a specific time to change your carefully formulated plan to perform on race day.
Interval, Equipment and Positioning Practice
Practicing your time trials at regular intervals gets you as a rider more used to the demands that’ll be placed on you at future events. This means doing your intervals on the setup that you will use during race day and riding that setup multiple times a week. It also means finding the balance between aero, comfort, and power during these workouts.
This is your chance to find your sweet spot and figure out what you can sustain over the course of a workout, both in your power and in your position. Being familiar with your position and your equipment is essential to feeling confident going into your event. Ironing out every possible detail before race day is part of the learning process that occurs each time you perform a practice time trial workout.
Practice time trial workouts serve an important role in preparing you both physically and mentally for your 40k time trial. Use each practice workout as an opportunity to dial in your performance, equipment and confidence to get your fastest race-day result.
For more answers to your cycling training questions, listen to our podcast Ask a Cycling Coach — the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. New episodes are released weekly. Yes, we know that’s addiction territory 😉
— John Roberts (@j_roberts) June 21, 2016
Share this Post
Train Smart, Get Fast.
Learn how to become a faster cyclist. Sign up now to receive six emails with free cycling advice from Chad Timmerman, a USA Level I certified cycling coach.