Going the distance

Wow, May is coming fast. I hope it isn’t too late to get ready for it. Yes, I’ve been training using the Time-Crunched Cyclist Plan, but I don’t know if it is going to really be that helpful for me in doing something I have never done before… an Olympic distance time trial.

The farthest time trial I have ridden is 14 miles. This one is going to have me covering 24 miles. The good news is that I won’t have to swim before doing it!

The time trial (at least that is what I’m calling it) is one segment of an Olympic distance triathlon relay. A swimmer does the first leg. He will transition to me for the bike. Then I will hand off to a runner to finish it out.

The challenge interests me. However, I just don’t know what to expect. I’ve only seen triathlons on television. Those presentations don’t even acknowledge the relay portion of a triathlon.

Memphis In May TT Course

A view of the course

How do I transition? What is considered a reasonable time for the bike only leg of the relay? What is the course like? Is it hilly? Is it flat? Is it really windy at that location in May?

There is a lot for me to learn before I mount up to do my part. Anyone out there done this before who can give me some pointers? What are some strategies for approaching this distance of a time trial?

Of course, I’ve ridden 24 miles before — just not against the clock. I can recall a couple of years ago when I rode from Greenville to Charleston that for several stretches on the 220 mile ride that I was averaging 22 mph for an hour on a typical road bike. At the same time, I can recall nearly dying averaging 25 mph at the Spinners 10 mile time trials out at Donaldson Center. Granted, Donaldson is a rolling course.

Here is what Can’t Stop Endurance blog has to say about it.

Memphis In May has always been known as a fast course. The new route will certainly lend itself to super fast times.  The Mississippi Delta is pancake flat and except for one overpass on the run… this course is FLAT.   There are also not a lot of turns so the bike will be all about getting in your aero position and hammering.

Well, I can do that. The question is, will I croak before it is time to get off the bicycle! Should I aim for 60 minutes?

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About Jonathan Pait

Jonathan started riding mountain bikes in the early 1990s. After discovering the ride can start at the end of his driveway, he moved to the road in 2006. Little did he know that first pedal stroke would lead him on an adventure that has become much larger than the bicycle.