Why do we time trial? Basically, to set a benchmark for your training, to learn your threshold and to keep in check throughout the winter training phases, monitoring progress and gains along the way.
They are NOTHING to stress about. Yes, they can be uncomfortable, yes, they may seem to be stressful but at the end of the day it’s just about YOU and no one else. People seem to dread and get more worked up about time trials than they do racing and that makes no sense to me! I actually get excited about time trials because it’s a chance to see where you are at and a chance to make sure your training is on the right track, and if it’s not, it’s a good opportunity to find out early so you can make any necessary changes to your training or goals.
Mental and physical toughness is certainly tested but you get to test that toughness without the added stress of spectators or the pressure of race results! It really takes the best of racing and combines it with the best bits of training!
For those new to time trialling, we have time trials for both our swimming and running, and something called an FTP test on the bike. Many of you will have already ticked off your first swim and FTP test for the season, with the run time trial just around the corner. Depending upon your race goals a swim time trial involves a timed 500m or 1km swim and your run time trial will be a 5km or 10km run at Albert Park Lake. The FTP test is on a Tuesday at windtrainer, you use your power meter or heart rate monitor, and you assess your threshold on the bike.
All of these will help you to know your limits and ability on race day. You will learn what effort levels are sustainable for you, you will be able to establish your best training zones and it provides an opportunity to set, or reset, your training goals. There’s nothing but benefits, plus a little hard work, to get out of time trials for each and every athlete so let’s embrace them!