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The Pete Plan blog

10mile Cycling TT

Posted by thepeteplan on April 23, 2009

I mentioned having a go at a 10mile cycling TT last year sometime, where I punctured around 2miles into the TT. My bike has sat in the garage mainly unused since. I heard a couple of days ago that the same cycling club was running a “come and try it” 10mile time trial on the same course last night, so I thought it was about time to have another go. So with 0 miles ridden in the last 6months I got my bike out of the garage on Tuesday evening, fitted the pump I had bought, and filled the saddle bag up with a spare inner tube and tyre levers, put some air in the tyres, and I was all set to do a TT where I could at least replace the tube if I did puncture and ride back to the car.

After arriving at the start of the TT I got my bike sorted, and went for a warm up ride the opposite way down the dual carriageway. I did 4 miles in total, and timed it very badly getting to the start point just as number 11 was setting off (I was number 13) giving me a little under 2mins before my start!

With no cycling training, and no knowledge of how to pace it, I picked 30mins as a bottom marker, and so decided that I wanted to try to keep my speed at or above 20mph. I had a moment of doubt when I approached the turn whether it was the right place to turn, as the garmin GPS on my bike said I had done 4.6miles or so, so I went around the roundabout very tentatively looking down the road further to see if there was another roundabout close by. As I came off the roundabout I was on 4.9miles, so I knew I was right then. It was at this point also that number 15 passed me (14 passed me 6minutes into the race – they set you off every minute), and I decided I wasn’t trying nearly hard enough. The second 5 miles went by so much faster than the first (ok, so I was riding faster, but still…), and before I knew it I passed 7 miles. I then pushed on harder in the final 2 miles hitting my maximum speed at the line, but feeling like I could have carried out a good few more miles now I was getting into it.

This is a graph of speed and HR against distance taken from the Garmin 305 bike computer:


Which hopefully gives a better picture of the ride and how I paced it. I think it is clear from the heart rate that not only did I not push it all that hard, but I actually took it easy at times – 160-165 is the sort of HR I would expect to maintain during most of an erg half marathon, for comparison.

One Response to “10mile Cycling TT”

  1. Tim said

    Well done on your first TT. There is a big cross over from rowing to cycling, as rowers tend to have strong legs and big lungs. Enjoy it!

    Cycling heart rate isn’t as high as on the ergo, as you are only using the lower body (unless you get out of the saddle). In Triathlon I feel like I’m hammering the bike leg as hard as I can, but the Heart rate doesn’t go much higher than UT1 unless I am caning up a hill.

    The heart rate on a bike is also related to cadence. If you are pushing a big gear and the cadence is low for your speed, the stress on the muscle strength is high, but the heart rate is low. With a very high cadence the opposite is true.

    Take the ergo comparison. Even if you pull max power at rate 10, is your heart rate going to get higher than Anaerobic Threshold? But go at light as you like and row a full stroke at rate 45 and your heart rate is probably going to go much higher.

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