Personal Time Trial Record- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Personal Time Trial Record

    Since I train with a hr monitor, one of the ways I gauge improvements is by a personal time trial I do every few weeks at a local trail loop. It helps keep me motivated and also lets me know if the training effort I've been putting in is paying off. I know there are factors that can come into play, like wind and trail conditions etc...but it still gives me an overall idea on improvement, and it's always sweet to knockout a personal best.

    Below our my most recent time results. I shaved off nearly 3 and a 1/2 minutes in the last 6 weeks (same amount of time I've been following a more structured training plan).

    12/20/2010 - 56:49
    1/2/2011 - 54:35
    1/22/2011 - 53:54
    2/8/2011 - 53:20

    Any of you guys (with or without a power meter) also follow a personal time trial record to gauge improvements?
    Last edited by RideStrong; 02-09-2011 at 10:16 AM.
    I may not have the best of everything, but I have everything.

  2. #2
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    yes, well I used to. There was a hillclimb I did at least once a month, i started in the 23 minute range and last time I did it was 16:30ish.

    I also had a loop that I measured as well before I got into more structured training.

  3. #3
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    I have 2 routes that I will use for time trials...I keep them the same from year to year.

    One is a continuous 25 min. climb. The other is mostly climbing with some rollers, the last 400' is pretty steep. I've improved from 36 minutes down to about 33. My goal is 30 to be competitive at the level I want to be. The hard part is finding a chunk of time over 1 hour to train to meet these goals

    I need to run these time trials to assure myself that I'm not getting fat and slow. So I guess I do it out of insecurity.

    Oh yeah, and I try not to be "that guy", you know him..doesn't yeild to other trail users, nod, or say hi because he's trying to set a PR.
    Last edited by brentos; 02-09-2011 at 11:46 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    Oh yeah, and I try not to be "that guy", you know him..doesn't yeild to other trail users, nod, or say high because he's trying to set a PR.
    Lol, guilty as charged. Actually, I did manage to mutter atleast a "hello" or "pardon me" on my quest for personal best yesterday.
    I may not have the best of everything, but I have everything.

  5. #5
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    I have several. And I probably get as much satisfaction out of personal bests as I do getting on podiums.

    One of my goals is to ride up 276 from Pisgah Forest near Brevard, NC to the Blue Ridge Parkway in under an hour (solo, without anyone helping pull which would help significantly for about the first 10 miles). I've dropped my time from about 1:21 to 1:12--so an hour is going to be tough and won't happen easily or in a short amount of time. I'll get to try it again in about a month and hope I've shaved a few more minutes since last summer.

    I've got a mtb hill climb in Pisgah as well from the North Mills River bridge where it goes from pavement to Forest road and climb to the top of Yellow Gap Road. That one is pretty consistent in terms of road conditions and it is all forested so wind isn't a factor. I get to try it about 4 times a year, so it really helps me judge my progress over time.

    I've also got a regular mtb training ride where I "time trial to the bridge"--but the trail route has changed once already in the last few years and is about to change again. The changes aren't huge, maybe a tenth of a mile re-routes, but they are unfortunately big enough where I'm kind of starting anew each time there is a chance. Heat is also a huge factor on that course throughout the year--in the colder months you can ride significantly faster in Florida. 95 degrees after work on a summer day for a 45-50 minute mtb effort is very different from when it is 65 degrees out. But that time trial route gives me an idea of where I am compared to "recently" as opposed to more extended periods.

    And I don't run over kids or little old ladies--you've got to leave the singletrack TT routes for times when the trails don't have many people out there. You'll just get frustrated and/or make other people mad.

  6. #6
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    I have a couple bite-size ones... a ~10-minute road climb, and a ~9-minute switchbacking singletrack climb up the side of a bluff.

    My biggest one is the Midnight Century route, about 95 miles self-supported, with light systems. Part paved, part country gravel roads, part rocky doubletrack (the actual event starts at midnight). That's for mid-season when I have the training and the mindset to just go suffer for 5 1/2 hours straight on a hardtail. I make sure there's pizza and chocolate milk waiting at home and keep notes on how I felt, what the wind was doing, etc. Now that I have a GPS, I can also save the GPS tracks and have Topofusion play them back on a map simultaneously.

    And I don't run over kids or little old ladies--you've got to leave the singletrack TT routes for times when the trails don't have many people out there. You'll just get frustrated and/or make other people mad.
    Night can be a great time to TT on singletrack for that reason.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideStrong
    Lol, guilty as charged. Actually, I did manage to mutter atleast a "hello" or "pardon me" on my quest for personal best yesterday.
    That's why my timed climbs are all on the road.

  8. #8
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    I have a tough twisty, hilly, 10 mile (16 km) road loop with 180 m of climbing that I like. My best time is around 27 minutes.

    On the trails, i find conditions mean so much that I don't really do TT loops. Maybe I'll start.

  9. #9
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    There's a steep 1.2 mile road climb up Kennesaw Mountain, about 6 miles from my house. I like to ride to it for warm up and time myself up the mountain, from the visitor center parking lot at the bottom to the scenic parking lot at the top. Last season my PR was 7:24. The route never changes and the traffic is always sparse.

    I have some routes I use to test myself on my home trails at Blankets Creek, but conditions can change the speed of the trails significantly.

  10. #10
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    IMO, MTB time trials is probably the best type of testing, because it takes into account all the elements:
    -Power
    -agility
    -bike handling
    -Power efficiency
    -etc.

    A power meter may give you a baseline power, but putting that power to the actual dirt is another issue.

    For example, last summer I could put out great short term power (1-3 min) on smooth pavement at 100rpm, but on rocky terrain, it's much different (the high rpm is more of a hindrance, and that seemed to be my rpm sweet spot). Getting that power to translate takes adaptation.

  11. #11
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    My xc races are usually about an hour, so I try to make my tt also close to an hour. This forces me to train at race pace for the same time required during an actual race. Outside of riding with a faster group, there's few things that will motivate you to go all out, at or near your race pace for an extended amount of time. Especially if you ride by yourself. I count the tt day as a hard, high intensity threshold to above threshold training day.
    I may not have the best of everything, but I have everything.

  12. #12
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    There is a pretty popular little trail near my place that everyone knows about. I have ridden it about a thousand times and still don't know how long it is. I'm guessing about a mile and a half? I don't know because I only go by time. The trail is popular enough as a time trial that it even has its own blog run by another local rider. This has been going on for a few years now and it is always interesting to see how you stack up. It is almost a race within itself. My first year I did about a 13:30 and this last year I was able to drop it to 11:59, which included a re-route at the top that made it about 1:30 longer. I was as proud of that time as any podium finish. My goal for this year is a time in the 10's.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideStrong
    My xc races are usually about an hour, so I try to make my tt also close to an hour. This forces me to train at race pace for the same time required during an actual race. Outside of riding with a faster group, there's few things that will motivate you to go all out, at or near your race pace for an extended amount of time. Especially if you ride by yourself. I count the tt day as a hard, high intensity threshold to above threshold training day.
    That makes sense. Sometimes I TT our local 24-hour course (14.6 miles), which gets me mentally fired-up. It's also one of the courses used in our local race series, so it's good to know it really well anyway.

    Unfortunately, it's rare that I get through it without being slowed down by other trail users (hiking, riding, or on horseback a couple times), so I have to guesstimate the relevance of the results most of the time. Nighttime use is a good way to get an expensive ticket from the park rangers. But I keep a list, and whatever the result, it's always a top-notch workout.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    IMO, MTB time trials is probably the best type of testing, because it takes into account all the elements:
    -Power
    -agility
    -bike handling
    -Power efficiency
    -etc.

    A power meter may give you a baseline power, but putting that power to the actual dirt is another issue.
    I have to agree with the above statement. I have a friend that I feed turd sandwiches to on every group ride and hill workout on the road. The forecast is always the same for him when he tries to ride with me: pain. However, on the trail he wears me down with his kung fu trail skillz until I cramp. He can't pull away from me, but he never seems to need to slow for turns, logs, switchbacks, rock gardens, etc. I still smoke him on the steep sections, but it'sobvious that it's only a matter of time before I'm unable to sprint to close the gaps that seem to magically open after every turn and obstacle. His kung fu prowess has made me reflect on my own skills and start to practice basic bike handling in an effort to close the Skillz Gap.

  15. #15
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    About every 6 weeks I do a 30 minute TT (power test) on my road bike w/ a power meter to see how my FTP is progressing. The numbers tell the truth albeit ugly sometimes.

    Chiva

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