Monday, January 20, 2020

Time Trial take #2

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Last night I joined the Newbury Road Cycling club for another 10 mile Time Trial (TT).  I'd like to say I was relishing the chance to improve on my previous 25:30ish effort, but in truth I was dreading it!

There's something about the sheer lung-busting leg-burning effort that really doesn't appeal - but in the spirit of 'what doesn't kill me will make me faster on race day', I duly turned up ready to give it 100%.

A slight kit clusterf*ck on my part meant I had to borrow pedals and shoes (don't ask...) for the ride, but I got my number and lined up at about 7.20pm ready for the off.

The course between Hungerford and Newbury was reasonably flat, but it was pretty chilly and it was hard to judge exactly what the wind was doing.

Anyway, as a novice to time trialling, my 'strategy' was simply to go out just about as hard as I reckoned I could sustain for 20ish minutes and then just hang on as long as possible until I blew up!  OK, it's not a particularly scientific strategy, but I'm still learning!

I managed to catch and overtake my 'minute man' (the person who set off one minute ahead of me in the TT) by 4km, so I felt things were going reasonably well.  However, the speedo on my cateye was telling me I was only doing around 30km/h.  So I ignored that and just concentrated on my cadence - keeping it between 88 and 96.

I'm not sure if it was me or the conditions, but I felt 'happier' with a cadence in the mid-90s than 80-90.

I got to the turnaround point in Hungerford and was baulked by traffic at both roundabouts - not great, but just bad luck on my part.  A conservative guess would be that it cost me 10-12 seconds.

By then, if truth be told, I already wanted to puke!

On the way back, the one hill I was fearing turned out to be ok and I span up it with a high cadence.  My breathing was getting laboured and I even shouted at myself a couple of times (never done that before!).

With about 4km to go I could really feel that I was tiring - not so much in my legs, but my aerobic system. So it was just a case of hanging on in there and trying to push hard.

I crosssed the line in 24:17, a new PB by over a minute (to be fair, the previous time was set on a different course).

Cruising back to the start line my chest was agony and I just couldn't stop coughing. I suppose that shows I did try hard!  But just to put a lowly triathlete in his place, I only managed 14th out of 35 competitors, with the winning time coming in at 21:54.  Clearly there is more speed to be found!

I'm not sure I will ever learn to love TTs, but I will definitely be back for more.

Race Results here: 

My Garmin Stats here: 

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Matt Fisher runs - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a two-times qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs