Today I entered my first ever 10 mile TT. Quite a few of the North Cheshire Clarion guys have been doing time-trials all summer and have been bitten by the bug to the point that there are various time-trial bike projects secretly being built in and around the environs of Warrington! So I thought I’d see what the fuss was all about, entering The League International Sporting Open Championship in Cheshire.
All of my training and riding over the summer has been about distance, climbing and endurance so I figured that I wouldn’t be especially good at this, but that my fitness would carry me through it at a reasonable pace. Added to that I’ve done 10 mile laps on longer rides at around 27 and 28 minutes so I was aiming to beat that. However, spending all of Friday afternoon in the pub had left me feeling tired and listless this morning so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I have no frame of reference but I was told that this is a “sporting” course. When I turned into the car park I immediately suspected I was out of my depth. By some way. There were more pointy hats than at a KKK rally! Virtually everyone had the full gear – pointy hat, skinsuit, TT bike – and they were whirring away on turbo-trainers getting warmed up. I on the other hand had my normal road bike, my normal helmet and a pair of baggy arm warmers!
Met up with Gaz from the club and we did a few warm up runs up and down the lanes. After one full-on burst I didn’t feel too good so carried on warming up a bit more sedately. I was off 28 and Gaz was my minute-man, being off at 29. Number 30 owns the bike above!
Anyway, my time to start came and I clipped in. The guy holding me counted down – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! And I was off and immediately left into a narrow lane. I tried to keep my heart-rate at around 175bpm. Anthony and some of the other guys had said to ignore the computer and just go for it – but I can’t work without data. I can’t remember too much about the course – there were a few downs and a few ups, a few left turns which I tried to take as fast as I could. It also felt quite breezy. At 4.5 miles number 30 came streaking past me. At 6.5 miles number 31 did too! I was expected number 33 to come past around 9 miles but nobody else overtook me. Several times going up inclines my heart-rate alarm (set at 185bpm) went off and at the end the finish line couldn’t come soon enough. I was knackered.
My time was, I think, 28 minutes 42 seconds which I am quite disappointed about. The winner did it in 22 minutes, and there were a lot in the 24 and 25 minute bracket. I’m not sure the bug has caught me but I want to do it again simply to see if I can do better next time. My average speed was therefore only 21mph.
Here’s the route profile
Here’s the profile of my heart-rate
Ah well. Next time I do one, probably next year now, I’ll try and do a bit more preparation and see if that helps. I’ve got a target to aim for now, and hopefully I can improve.