Time Trial Pacing

Some of you are still looking for that elusive personal best this season, in my experience, these can come late in the year – some of us have left it as late as 1st week of October!

If you have trained hard and have the form there may be a reason why you can’t quite crack that ride you did last season or a few years ago on the same course. There are a lot of variables but one you have control over is pacing.

Many people simply start way too fast and can’t maintain the effort, far better to start conservatively and build to your cruising heart rate over the first few minutes – this will be your functional threshold heart rate [FTHR] that you can maintain for 1 hour in a 25-mile TT and just a few beats higher for a 10-mile TT.

Heart rate, should rise gradually over the first 2 minutes to FTHR, after the initial acceleration from the start the rider used his power meter to manage his effort at FTP. If you’re fortunate enough to own a power meter this is a handy tool to use but with experience and little practice you can manage effort at the start by feel. The illustration then shows a gradual increase in effort over the last third of the ride to go virtually flat out for the last mile.

What are the effects of starting to fast?

Ironically you will in most cases record a slower time. A graph will show your HR rising almost vertically and overrunning FTHR, you will go anaerobic - recover - repeat the whole ride. In most cases you will finish feeling totally spent and wondering why you went so slow rather than tired but exhilarated knowing you paced the effort correctly and left nothing ‘on the road’.

Want to know more about how to train and pace a successful time trial and beat your personal best including how to find your Functional Thresholds

Contact us at Merlin Cycle Coaching