5 sessions to boost time trial fitness

We’re SO happy to be organising Time Trials up at the cracking Castle Combe Race Circuit again. It must be one of the best venues for TT racing in the country. A relatively short circuit – about 2-miles – with smooth tarmac, traffic-free and mostly flat. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned pro, you’re very welcome to join us this summer and put that training into practice!

To help you on your journey, here’s 5 sessions to boost your time trial fitness:

  1. Aero drills: You don’t have to use a time trial bike for this session (or indeed for our TTs at Castle Combe) but this session is all about practicing your most aerodynamic position on the bike. After a 20-minutes warm up, spend 60 seconds in the most aero position you can hold – think crunched shoulders, low head, strong core etc – before taking 60 seconds to relax in a more comfortable cycling position. Do this 10 times before 10-minutes recovery before another 10 reps of these drills.
  2. Sweetspot power: You don’t need a power meter for this session, but the term Sweetspot (SS) derives from training with power. SS i approximately 90% of your threshold effort – the power / speed / heart rate which you could hold for an hours max effort – so it’s that ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone. It’s a great zone in which to develop TT fitness, however, so intervals where you spend an increasing duration in this zone is handy. After a solid warm up with some strides, start with just 5-minutes in SS with 5-minutes off, gradually extending the interval and reducing the rest until you reach 3 x 20-minutes SS on 5-minutes rest. That’ll pinch!
  3. Cadence work: Being able to generate power and speed at a range of cadences is important because you’ll changes in gradient will require you do this anyway. Head downhill and cadence increases. Up and it decreases. Being able to churn out a relatively even effort throughout will take you from A-B in the shortest time. So, for this session, complete a solid warm up and then – in your best TT position – spend 60 seconds at high cadence (90rpm+) before 60 seconds at low cadence (65rpm max). Repeat this 5 times before 10-minutes easy spinnning. Then repeat the set two or three more times.
  4. Strength set: To develop the power and strength of your legs (but also your core) and improve cycling efficiency, time spent cycling at low cadence can work wonders. This session is simple – simple spend an easy ride in as hard a gear as possible. The trick here is not to grunt through the pedals – after all, the effort should remain relatively easy – but focus on a smooth pedal stroke, applying pressure to as much of the circle as possible.
  5. HIIT intervals: While a well-paced time trial shouldn’t involve sprints, this type of training is still useful to boost your threshold power at which races are often completed. This short, intense session requires a good warm up with some leg-openers to get the blood flowing. When you’re ready, start the main set: 10 x 30-seconds sprint, 90-seconds rest. 10 minutes easy and then repeat the set again. Aim for the highest sustainable power for all reps!

So, once you’ve nailed the training, come and put your progress to the test with one of our friendly, professionally organised time trials at Castle Combe Race Circuit. We look forward to seeing you up there!