Friday, February 25, 2011


I was out on my own to do a 40km TT on the bike. Doing TTs has become an important part of my training in the last year. I counted over 20 TT’s (not including triathlon races) since I started this blog.

At an average 25km each, that’s over 500 kilometres of riding against the clock. If we count the triathlon races (3 half iron rides, 2 oly, 2 sprints) we get close to 1000km of TT riding. It is a fair bit. After a time one starts to get the hang of it and finally like them. They are demanding, usually on the upper reaches of our heart rate and they are tough on the mind. One has to be perfect synch to get all cogs moving and going well in them. I can count three great TT’s in the past year. The rest are good, and then a few average ones and one or two that sucked big time.

Yesterday was a particular one as it is one of those key workouts 2 weeks out of race day. It was the race distance, there was a hard run after and I had carte blanche to go for it. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it with the rest of the squad in our little handicap system. Coach was worried and worried me by saying that I would benefit for being in a situation where there are more around me acting as carrots. I knew I was in a good frame of mind, but the question kept popping. Can you do it? Can you get yourself into a racey frame of mind even if you’re on your own in the middle of the airport logistics and industrial hub?

So it was time for mindgames. this time of the positive ones, the ones that can work enhancing our performance and aid our workout. I originally had nothing in mind other thank going out there and pushing hard on my pedals. But after coach’s questions I thought I’ll put more of a plan into place and got into my mind that this was the most important workout of the whole training programme, that this was THE race or just below. That no other thoughts should cross my mind other than getting there – fast. Every other rider on the route was a target and I was there to catch them. Every time I saw my HR going below certain numbers I would spin faster, and get an extra gear. Every part of the course I kept thinking “ and here is when I should catch so and so” “ and here is where X will catch me… I should try not to let him go too far away” and thoughts like that. There was a couple of patches where I started thinking about work, or uni…. I moved them both away and kept thinking in wellington, and the wind and how similar the TT course is to the race cource, and how similar that TT was to my last race in Welli.

The result? I had a great TT in windy conditions. My secret objective was to be over 90% average HR for the ride, but due to tailwind and headwind influences I was just below. The second objective was to be closer to 1:05:00 than to 1:10:00. I ended up finishing right in the middle.

The run after was not as harsh and overall a great day out on my own.

How do you play your mindgames?


  1. hmmm...good question. If I'm sucking ass (like I was tonite) I think about no matter how much I think I am suffering now, it could be a whole lot worse, especially if I wasn't doing any of this at all. then a cute girl went by and I was fine.

  2. nice TT!!
    I probably need more of this thought process especially over the next 4 mon ths, I guess over the last year I can only think of one TT I did - the Oly race last year! since my HIM I tried to hold your racing and TT's

  3. I like TT. I like to be pushed and to mentally push myself. I think you have to chace doen targets and you have to focus on staying in and uncomfortable gear at a just out of comfortable range.