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How To Ride The Perfect TT

This is one of those questions I get asked quite a lot, and really when you think about it its one of the cycling disciplines which has the least amount of tactics involved.

A lot of riders especially in the UK compete in a weekly time trail of some sort and like to use them as a gauge of improvement or even as a competiton against their cycling companions.
Certainly here in the Isle of Man we have a 10 mile TT league which gets numbers towards 100 each week which always amazes me. Its such a painful discipline that I figure most cyclists must really have a screw loose to want to do these week in week out. Read More…
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Keep using that turbo

Even though the sun has come out and the days and nights are warmer the turbo trainer still has a role to play in your training routine.
For sure get out in the sunshine and enjoy riding outside whenever you can, but you can still add the turbo into that mix.

So lets say you're like most bike riders out there and you have limited time to get out. This is where the turbo can really be your friend. If you're time crunched you can do so much in the way of training in a short period of time.

I often talk to clients who have some days where they can do no more than 40 minutes training. Well if those 40 minutes are made up of a tough interval session you'll certainly know you've had a quality workout.
You may even find you are able to structure your workouts much better knowing you have the turbo set up and ready to go straight after work.
For example you might have 2 mid week days you can get outside for a ride, and 3 days where getting 40 minutes to an hour on the turbo is better for time management.

The other advantage is being able to do quality interval sessions without interruption of traffic lights or stop signs, particularly for those who live in built up areas.
It can be frustrating getting into a session and having to stop at junctions all the time when you're trying to stay on target with your planned session. With the turbo you can get stuck in using visual aids such as Sufferfest videos or software like trainer road which really help pass the time and let you get stuck in with no distractions.
I'll be doing an article on both of those items in the future.

If you're lucky enough to have an abundance of time available then why not add some turbo sessions to your training plan on double days. So for example you might do an endurance ride in the morning and stick in an interval session on the turbo in the evening.

I've also found it useful to try some warm up sessions which can be used on race days, this way you can tweak them to suit what will work for you and know that on race day you have a perfect warm up session to use with no guessing.

So don't put that turbo away for the summer, keep it dusted off and ready to go.

Try the following 40 minute high intensity workout as an example.

• 5 Minutes Warm up 60-70% FTP
• 90 seconds 110% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy < 50% FTP
• 3 Minutes 105% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy < 50% FTP
• 5 Minutes 95-100% FTP
• 3 Minutes easy
• 90 seconds 110% FTP high cadence
• 1 Minute easy
• 3 Minutes 105% FTP high cadence
• 1 minute easy
• 5 minutes 95-100% FTP high cadence
• Recover 8 minutes nice and easy

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Rough Riding

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I'm sure most of you watched Paris Roubaix over the weekend. Did you notice how fluid they look over what are seriously rough roads, trust me they are about the worse roads out there.

OK, so most of us don't have cobbled sectors on our regular training route, but some sections of rough roads can literally be a pain in the ass.
Think of those great little back roads that haven't been resurfaced since the donkey and cart and you get the idea.

So how do you ride over rough roads comfortably?
The secret is, relax. Simple right? Well, for some it is, but if you're new to the sport and you're getting bounced around, instinct says to hold tight. That's exactly what makes it even worse, gripping the bars tight allows the shock to go straight into the hands and transfer through the body causing discomfort and lack of control.

The best way to tackle these roads is to relax the grip on the bars. Still wrap your hands round the bar so your hands aren't going to get bounced off, but relax the grip so the bar can almost float within your grip. This goes whether you hold the tops, drops, or hoods, its all the same.
What you'll find is your upper body will be able to stay loose and relaxed which is also going to give you more control of the bike.
To test this next time you're out, ride with your arms and upper body tensed compared to riding with the arms and upper body relaxed. Which way allows you to control the bike like Joe the pro carving through the bunch?

The other area to think of is the saddle. Allow yourself to float on top of the saddle rather than putting all your weight on the seat.
To do this put pressure on the feet over uneven surfaces and allow the weight to be lifted off the seat slightly. Again this allows the body to relax and the bike to float underneath you instead of your weight taking the brunt of every bump you hit.
If you do a 500 meter stretch of bumpy road and come out with a raw rump, take the weight off next time.

To summarise, your bike should be a floating connection that works with the body over the bumps allowing you to move like liquid.
Release the death grip, and relax. Once you do that you'll be visualising your attack over the Arrenberg forest section and heading for victory!

Subscribe to be the first to get my latest updates and reviews, you will also receive a free one month sampler training plan as a thank you!
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