Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to TT/Ride Faster!


The Sports Medicine Publication from New Zealand took a look at a bunch of studies and compiled some of the best ways to improve your time-trial time over a relatively flat 40k time trial. I think there's some really good info here, of course some is common sense, but others may surprise you. They did me.

So here's 8 ways you can turn yourself into Fabian Cancellara:
  1. Improve Aerodymic Position: A fit cyclist with Aerobars will drop 5 minutes off their time. One that has found their optimum aero position will drop another 2 minutes.

  2. Training: A fit cyclist who increases their training intensity for several weeks improves on average 1.5 to 2 minutes over the 40k. I know that sounds vague, too bad.

  3. A TT bike frame will improve your time on average 86 seconds.

  4. Caffeine: 2-3mg per lb of cyclist will improve your time by about 1 minute. This may be the most bang for the buck thing you can do, besides train harder.

  5. Carbs: taking in the right amount of carbs (sports drink) during the TT will make you 8 seconds faster.

  6. Altitude Training: This surprised me, it'll get you a whopping 26 seconds. Not as much as I thought it would. Juicing on Caffeine is better.

  7. Your Weight: dropping 5 lbs will drop your time by 21 seconds for a well trained cyclist.

  8. Bike Weight: This one may or may not surprise you, but it's very telling. Going all out and spending your retirement money, kid's college funds, and eating Ramen Noodles instead of Filet Mignon by purchasing a TT bike 5lbs lighter than your current bike, your TT time will improve 7 seconds. The study wasn't on a flat TT course either, not hilly, but not flat.
So it looks like if you work on your position, train harder, juice on caffeine and lose weight, you are going to go MUCH faster than spending it on a lighter bike. Though if you have the money I say go support your local bike shop and get the bike. Cool bikes ALWAYS make you feel faster at least.

My suggestion: With the money you saved by not buying the spiffy TT bike, take a vacation to someplace warm with your current bike, train hard for 2 weeks, eat well, lose some weight, get some aerobars, and have fun. The money left over will pay your entry fees and gas money for the year's races too.

11 comments:

Kyle Jones said...

And your wife will be so happy she got to go on a trip also. And you can also buy her some flowers. I do not do this but think I should.

John P. said...

The Flower idea is a good one. That'll get you a lot more than a few seconds.

JAA said...

Do you have the link to the study from NZ? Thanks.

John P. said...

jaa, I'm sorry I don't. I got the info off of the tri-talk.com podcast on itunes.

I do believe you can get the script from tri-talk.com, or do a search for that publication in NZ. I was on their site and it wasn't very helpful.

I wish I could find it as well, as this info posted was taken from the podcast and it was very much just a summary I'm sure.

Gregoire said...

to john p: couple seconds, couple minutes, I guess it depends ont he guy...

John P. said...

Gregoire, indeed it does. can't dispute that one.

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