Top 5 Training Tips for Time Trial Beginners - Tour of Cambridgeshire

Top 5 Training Tips for Time Trial Beginners

In the Time Trial, it’s you against the clock. On the day, it will feel like nothing else matters outside of the 16.4 miles ahead of you, but it’s the weeks before the event that will make or break you. That might sound daunting if you’re still new to time trialling, but not to worry! We have put together five of our top tips to help you make the most of your #ToC2021 TT training.

1. work on your form

Speed is the ultimate goal in TTs, so being as aerodynamic as possible should be a top priority. The riding position for TTs is certainly unique, but all it takes is some trial and error (and possibly some initial discomfort). Set your handlebars as low as they can comfortably go, and get used to riding with rounded shoulders, a lowered head, and tucked in elbows. There’s also some exercises you can do to get used to this position: start by doing a plank on your forearms, making sure that you’re looking towards the floor and not ahead, and then shift your weight onto your elbows, lifting your hands and forearms off the floor. 

2. use your heart rate

It’s time for some maths! Heart rate is a measure of effort, so it’s important to monitor it when your aim is to push yourself to the max. Use a heart rate zone calculator (there are plenty online) to work out your heart rate zones. Most calculators will use your maximum heart rate to do this, so make sure to have that data ready! Next time you train, keep an eye on your heart rate monitor. If you’ve just started riding and your heart rate is higher than it should be, you’re going too fast. You don’t want to fatigue yourself too early on!

3. frequency over intensity

Similarly to the previous tip, intensity is not everything. Focus on building your stamina instead of overworking yourself in each training session. At 16.4 miles, our Time Trial is neither a sprint nor a long-distance ride. Focus on training for this specific length of event, combining sessions whereby you’re working just above or just below the required intensity. Training more often instead of over-training will help you sustain a high level of effort over a long period of time!

4. pacing

Here’s where we’ll combine the last two tips: pacing. In a Time Trial, it’s important to build speed as time goes on. If you start too fast, your energy levels will drop too soon and you’ll end up slowing down. You should start a TT at a fast, but comfortable pace, then build up speed and go hard in the middle section, and complete the last third at a pace that feels only just about sustainable. Using heart rate zones during training will help you easily recognise if you’re hitting the right paces on the day.

It’s also important to train under different conditions so you can adjust your pace according to the weather or the elevation level. Keep in mind that the Tour of Cambridgeshire TT has an overall elevation of 500ft!

5. schedule recovery days

Finally, allow yourself to rest! This is especially important in the few days leading up to the event. You want to give your all in the ‘Race of Truth’, so don’t tire yourself out before the big day.

But most importantly, have fun! Especially if this is your first Time Trial, don’t put too much pressure on yourself – you’re sure to set a personal best.

Also, check out HIGH 5’s nutrition strategy for faster times in the Time Trial.



Tour of Cambridgeshire postponed to June 2022

It is with a heavy heart that, despite the Tour of Cambridgeshire team straining every sinew to deliver this year’s event, we have been forced to postpone the event to June 3rd – 5th 2022.


Our Official Nutrition Partner: HIGH5

With over 25 years of experience providing sports nutrition products under their belt, HIGH5 are committed to helping sportspeople achieve their goals. As the Tour of Cambridgeshire 2021’s official nutrition partner, HIGH5 will provide you with essential sports nutrition tips ahead of September, as well as give you a HIGH5 hit on the day!


Our Headline Partner: Rapha

We’re proud to introduce you to one of our headline partners: Rapha. Over the ToC weekend, Rapha will provide you with exclusive experiences.


Our Presenting Partner: Canyon

As the Tour of Cambridgeshire’s presenting partner, Canyon will be central to your weekend experience, and they will be providing you with some amazing opportunities throughout the event! They will be bringing a massive fleet of bikes for you to try on a dedicated demo circuit. From their race-winning road bikes to their fully integrated e-bikes, there will be something for everyone!