My first proper CTT time trial, only done a racing circuit event before this.
Training had been going pretty well in the run up to this on the 8th Feb. I’d gotten out for a mid week training loop which was pretty hard work, and I’d even managed an hour interval at sweet spot round RP on the TT bike in prep. The weather was looking good as well so I was all set to give it a good bash. That is until I decided to go out on Friday night with a friend for a couple of drinks… We ended up wandering round half of London and in between bars I was getting seriously cold. This combination of a heavy training day, not eating too well, alcohol and limited sleep meant I woke up Saturday with a horrible head cold feeling pretty horrific.
However after thinking about it, I thought if I woke up Sunday feeling better than I did Saturday then I’d ride. Woke up at 6am to get ready and felt a little better, so I dosed up with Sudafed and got on with it. The course was in Ripley, so a good 20 miles from home. Decided to give myself the best chance of not getting more ill I’d get the train most of the way there so cycled to Clapham Junction, got the train to Woking, then cycled the remaining 5 and a bit miles to Ripley. By the time I got there it was warming up a bit, but the roads were still very greasy. I was unseeded and therefore one of the first off at 9:02. I signed on and got my number pinned on, before bimbling over to the start. So much for a warm up!
I lined up at the start still feeling pretty groggy and totally unsure at how my legs and lungs would feel. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and I was about to find out, felt good off the start, and quickly settled into aero position. (The course for anyone that doesn’t know is two almost 7 mile laps, with the beginning half lap largely an uphill drag, followed by a section of rolling A-road, before a steady downhill/flat section back to the start of the lap.) I looked down to settle into an appropriate power to see no power or cadence readings. Great start. Annoying as I knew the PM was fine, it was just a Garmin issue. I tried several times to re-scan for the PM but the Garmin was having none of it, before I just switched off and switched back on. On doing so I had everything back on screen, however I’d spent the first 6 mins riding blind so to speak, so had probably been going way too hard knowing me. I settled back in and started aiming for my target 300w which at this point felt ok. Negotiated some of the technical turns before getting onto the A-road, which I felt like I did at a snails pace due to the roads being so slippy.
Turned onto the A-road and felt OK, still hitting c.300w and was quickly gaining on my minute man. Up to the left hand turn at the roundabout and onto the downhill section I took the next sweeping right handers pretty steady, before getting back in aero and passing the guy in front at some speed. Back through the start finish and onto Hungry Hill Lane for the second time. The surface on the road goes from sublime to ridiculous as just certain sections have been resurfaced which adds to the struggle and struggling I was, it was getting tougher to push a gear at the watts I wanted, and I couldn’t seem to find the right one. I was pretty quickly passed by Pat Wright who had just set off, and made me look like I was going backwards. As I got up towards the A-road again I was in dire straights and seriously struggline. Not sure if this was fitness, or the cold meaning I was struggling but I felt like I was out of juice. Turned onto the A-road and tried to keep the speed up but at points it felt like I was struggling to even keep to 200w. Eventually got the the next left turn at the roundabout and started the downhill section. The legs seemed to come back a bit at this point, and I maintained some good power back down to the finish before putting in a good dig to cross the line in 36:40.
Pretty dissapoitned with this overall, no power PBs which given how i’d been going in training I was expecting, not a particularly good time, and mentally I felt I’d been really weak too, especially during the middle of the second lap! Probably not helped by the fact I’d gone in with no particular aim or target time. Got back to HQ had some tea and cake, but was feeling crap and just wanted to get home. The weather was decent so just crawled home, still felt like a bit of a clown crawling along on a full TT rig with a winter jacket and backpack with all my gear on! Pretty frustrating day all in.
Looking forward to putting in a proper effort on another course soon. Not sure the hilly nature of this course is something I’m suited to either.
Avg Power (for the time it was working) – 280w. Power curve below, note the drop at the right hand of the curve where I had no data.
HR avg – 176bpm (which I think tells the story. Would have ideally wanted this to be closed to 180+ throughout. Only hit a peak of 182bpm (max is 194bpm)