Author Topic: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses  (Read 2033 times)

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Offline Herbie53

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Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« on: April 27, 2012, 09:42:14 PM »
My TT experience before this week was on pretty much pancake flat (Maryland's eastern shore) courses.

I learned two things at the informal/training/bike shop TT..  1) people take it way more seriously than my non-aero stuff / training mindset was prepared for... and 2) I have no idea how to pace on rolling terrain.

Maybe it's just learning the course... guys that did it last month went a minute or so better than their prior efforts, but I am not sure I learned anything. :facepalm:

Are there any basic things I should know?... here's the strava from it [size=78%]http://app.strava.com/rides/7372824[/size]
Sadly this is bike racing and not everyone gets a pony.

Quel

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Re: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 06:16:47 PM »
Beats me.  I still haven't figured it out, even doing the same course a few times now.  :banghead: So I'm interested in the thread, even though I can't help!

Offline Herbie53

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Re: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 06:48:41 PM »
I was trying not to over do it on the ups. 

What I have heard from others is hard effort on the ups, a kick over the top to get the speed back up and then recover on the downhills so you can have something for the flats and the next ups... repeat, repeat, repeat.

Barring any other advice, I'll try something like that next time... and maybe try not doing a hard ride the day before.



Sadly this is bike racing and not everyone gets a pony.

MDcatV

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Re: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 12:38:19 PM »
a TT expert i am not, but as I understand general pacing strategy:

A) go harder on the uphills than the down hills, go harder into wind than with it, go harder when conditions are harder, you make up more time incrementally than you do by going harder when conditions are easier - BUT you want your effort variation to be fairly narrow.  So ....

B) related to (A) shift your gears.  often.  front and back.  when i first started training with power, i'd set out to do steady efforts (tempo/SST/whatever we want to call them) and find that i was way above my wattage target on uphills and way below on downhills.  so i started using my gears to get into an almost "undergeared" range for uphills and "overgeared" range for downhills.  same applies to a TT.  Steady pacing with terrain based variation is what most folks are after because it results in going the fastest and is most efficient.  So, when going downhill shift into what feels like a huge gear and let your cadence catch up, shift bigger as you go; going uphill transition one cog at a time to keep your wattage steady and let your cadence catch up.

C)  try to stay aero the whole time.  TT bikes are meant to be ridden with the body low and narrow.  wide and high, might as well be on your road bike with road bars.

make sense?

Racer Ex

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Re: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 09:06:10 PM »
I could tell you but I'd have to kill you. But like "The Graduate" here's my word:

Momentum.

MD's post is actually very good overall. There are some nuances though and the one thing I like to see a tight cadence range throughout the TT.

You dictate cadence, not the course.

If your position is good then stay in the aerobars till you're in the 10-12 MPH airspeed range (if you're going 15 MPH into a 10 MPH headwind, your airspeed is 25 MPH). After that it's likely that most people (those who don't train on their TT bikes and make less power on them than their road bike) benefit from getting out of the saddle (there's also a benefit to changing the muscle engagement and letting the nether regions get some additional blood flow).

A good rule of thumb here is to listen to the wind noise. If it's getting quiet, it's OK to get out of the saddle.

Your effort should be gauged to around TH+10 (top of the hill plus 10% at plus 10% of your target power for the course). This means you're going to push over the top of the hill and keep going for 10% of the downhill. The folks that sit up at the top lose gobs of time. You want to get your downhill speed up ASAP then maintain it with a well reduced wattage while you recover. 

If you don't have a power meter approach it this way: You should be breathing HARD and on the downhill when you back it down a bit to recover. 



Offline Herbie53

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Re: Pacing on hilly (not pancake flat) courses
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 07:52:58 AM »
Thanks MD and X.  Next one of these (shop TT) is the end of the month.
Sadly this is bike racing and not everyone gets a pony.