Beat the Clock - Time Trial Training - Intermediate - 8 Weeks

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:15

Here is a program to help you smash you next time trial! This program is for experienced riders/racers, who are familiar with Time Trials but have never done any specific Time Trial preparation. The program is designed with time crunched athletes in mind. No weekday session is longer than an hour and a half. Get more bang for your buck with highly TT specific sessions. It is preferable if you are using a power meter in this program. What you get:

- 2 x 4 Week Training Blocks
- Program designed to get progressively more difficult but allow for recovery
- Built in recovery periods
- Variety of sessions to keep you engaged and help you coach yourself going forward
- Detailed session plans (inc. Power/Wattage guidelines for each session).
- For best results commence program 8 weeks out from target TT.
- Power Testing (including instructions on how to establish training zones) and Warm Up Protocols

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
30TSS
Optional: Core Strength

Doing some core strength work will do your TTing wonders. Particular attention should be paid to your glutes, lower back, and lower limbs. There are a wide array of resources out there on the interwebs. Yoga and pilates are also fantastic activities to pursue. I've included some useful links below. Ideally you want to be doing strength work 2 - 3 times a week for TTing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVeHIDTy6MA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ic0URFZrzw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_nzO_bm05s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mROpewU414

The one thing I will say is to not try and copy some of the advanced exercises you may see the pros doing. Start with the basics, do them well and go from there. My athletes normally get an assessment from a strength and conditioning coach and then work off an individualised program. If you feel like going down that path, ask around and find someone in your area.

Sample Day 2
1:05:00
72.9TSS
20 min POWER TEST!

So this is the first power test in the program . Head out to a relatively flat road that will allow you to do a 20 minute effort uninterrupted. The protocol is as follows:

- 10 min easy pedalling
- 4 min progression starting at a fast bunch riding pace, finishing at a THR pace (or breakaway pace).
- 3 x 10 sec sprints, 4 min apart.
- 8 min rest
- 20 min max effort

Use the lap function to record the average power for the 20 minute test.

So what is all this for? We are going to try and APPROXIMATE your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). Functional Threshold Power is supposed to be the power at which you could hold for 1 hour. A colleague of mine commonly calls FTP the Failure To Perform and in a sense he is right. A lot of athletes think that successful riders have high FTP's. But successful athletes win races. Training with FTP is a tool and a guide, not the be all and end all.

You may not always be able to achieve the wattages that your FTP suggests. Mental stress creates physical stress. FTP's are not the be all and end all, sometimes it will feel like a struggle to hit your power targets while others it will feel a lot easier. Be prepared to listen to your body and adjust the intensity of future sessions based on how you feel.

Download the attached document before you do the test, have a read and set some zones for yourself.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
84.2TSS
TT Efforts: 5 x 5 min THR

The goal with this session is to be riding at a similar intensity to what you would ride at in a TT. The aim is to hit the same power that was achieved in your power test. If you do not have a power meter, remember that HR won't always be accurate for the first minute or two. So it is better to go off feel at the start.

Session: 5 x 5 min:

Power: 100 - 105% FTP
Cadence: 90 - 95 rpm
RPE: 7/10
HR: Appr 100 - 105% THR (Not reliable guide at start) and HR will naturally drift higher for each effort.

If you are looking to ride indoors one day of the week, then this is a good session to do on the trainer.

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
30TSS
Optional: Core Strength

Doing some core strength work will do your TTing wonders. Particular attention should be paid to your glutes, lower back, and lower limbs. There are a wide array of resources out there on the interwebs. Yoga and pilates are also fantastic activities to pursue. I've included some useful links below. Ideally you want to be doing strength work 2 - 3 times a week for TTing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVeHIDTy6MA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ic0URFZrzw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_nzO_bm05s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mROpewU414

The one thing I will say is to not try and copy some of the advanced exercises you may see the pros doing. Start with the basics, do them well and go from there. My athletes normally get an assessment from a strength and conditioning coach and then work off an individualised program. If you feel like going down that path, ask around and find someone in your area.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
94.1TSS
Progression then 2 x 2/8 min TT Efforts

Warm up of 20min:

Start the session with a 5 minute progression warm up. Start at what we call tempo pace and finish at the top end of your threshold. Make sure the ramps are even. You don't want to hit threshold until the last minute.

Take 5 minutes of active recovery

The main set:
2 min @ (Aerobic Power/V02)
115 - 125% of FTP
Heart rate is not reliable
RPE: Should be around 8 out of 10

8 min @ Lactate Threshold
95 - 105% FTP
RPE: Should be around 7 out of 10

10 min riding at active recovery

Repeat again.

General ride to finish. Note that the cadence should be higher than 90rpm

Sample Day 5
0:45:00
15.53mi
18.8TSS
Easy Recovery Ride Short

Anywhere between 45 min to an hour is fine.

Sample Day 6
2:30:00
105.6TSS
Endurance Bunch Ride or Racing

Feel free to do what bunch ride takes your fancy. The benefits of doing longer rides at this intensity are immense. If you can lengthen it out to 3 hours that's all good. I'd be cautious going more than 4 though.

Having said that there's no harm in riding up a climb hard, or doing the local club race though. So be social and enjoy!

There is flexibility with this ride too. Feel free to do it on Sunday if you have more time then. Also if you'd like to ride on both days of the weekend then go for it. My advice would be to either repeat this session or one of the efforts from earlier in the week.

Alex Quirk
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Endeavor Coaching

Endeavor is the passion project of coach Alex Quirk. After helping some riders progress from club racing to the higher echelons of the National Road Series. Alex decided to formalize his coaching activities with the creation of Endeavor Coaching Services. Since then endeavor has propelled riders towards success national and world championship events on both the road and track. We've worked with riders of all sorts: juniors, elites, masters, males and females.