"Propa Boring TT report"

I promised the good people at RCC a TT report. Due to the ‘head down work hard’ mentality of TT – there is only so much to make it interesting I’m afraid..

I’ve not done a 50 before so this was new territory, but I expected it to take approximately the same amount of time as an Olympic tri. Therefore, I made the decision to prepare nutrition in the same way : Peanut butter and jam sandwhich (yumyum) 2hrs before (should be 2.5hrs but no way in hell was I getting up before 4am), 2gels to use, 1 emergency gel and water.

Lately, I have been racing without my Garmin, and I have absolutely loved it. However, decided I could not (would not) do 50miles with no idea how many miles I had mapped.

The plan was to pace the first 25miles steady then give it everything I had over second 25. Due to having scheduled myself some sort of event every weekend for almost the whole season so far, I’ve barely (if at all) ridden 50miles since the wet and windy throws of winter so I was a tiny bit concerned but perfectly confident I’m capable of riding 50miles – just unsure how fast.

I had decided: 1) this is training (a TT 50mile will make a 25mile tri leg cycle seem like a dance in the dark) 2) There were 3 old Phoenix friends and 2 Redhill Riders, so all else fails I was quite looking forward to the social outing.

First 10miles or so I went off with a bit more bang than I’d bargained for, then either intentionally or not so intentionally, I took it down a lot of notches from 10-25miles. I lost a bit of concentration here and a few times had to remind myself this was actually a timed event and I wasn’t meant to be cruising.

I had gel number 1 at about 1hr (approx swim+half tri bike) and I was a bit concerned to feel I really needed gel number 2 at about 25miles. Decided gel number 3 would be needed but must not be touched until I had AT LEAST reached 35miles for fear of actual bonk. Thankfully I was fine and ended up waiting till I got to about (or exactly..)38 miles. I do find it odd that I felt so much hungrier during a bike only event over the same amount of time. Could be that I work harder on a bike full stop.

At 25 I put the hammer down a bit, but kept a bit back for the ‘1st lap left, 2nd lap straight on’ sign at 35 miles.

Miles 40-45 felt a bit torturous as the wind picked up but were totally manageable as I knew as soon as I turned the Southwater Roundabout I would be on the safe and narrow back home.

I did clock 50miles just before the flag, and slowed down for a couple of seconds before realising I hadn’t seen anything black and white and waving so picked if up for the last couple of meters.

Overall, clocked 50.15miles – likely due to following some wobbly lines, especially at roundabouts.

I was quite happy with my time. Then I had a look over the last few months training notes. I realised that my average speed over 6.7miles (20mins-ish TT) in April was 19.4, and I had, in this event, averaged 20.5 over 50miles. That was enough to make me feel that I have improved adequately over the last few months – and to make me feel rather excited about the rest of the season.

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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