Indoor Time Trial Time

March 23, 2009

This weekend me and two of my Wheelworks Multisport teammates signed up for the indoor computrainer time trial at the Multisport World Expo in Cambridge.

Coach Brett and I decided that this would be a good test of my fitness that I could hopefully use it as a benchmark for how I’m responding to all the training through the rest of the season. It also gave me a good idea of how much I could actually blame on my bike. My road bike isn’t exactly built for speed and it was a great way to get myself on a level playing field with other guys who are rocking carbon tri bikes that cost thousands more than my bike and weigh half as much. This race was all about legs and lungs baby!

But the thing about the indoor time trial is that it isn’t just some spectators, a few other athletes and me sweating our brains out for 10k. It is right in the middle of a huge multisport expo floor! So if you bonk, finish miles behind the rest of the riders in your heat, or make the mistake of wearing that pair of tri shorts that chlorine has eaten all but a few strands of spandex and bare your back side to a few hundred very close new friends, everyone knows. Instantly. All of your data is projected on a big screen for everyone to see. Watts. Speed. Distance behind the next rider. EVERYTHING.

Pic stolen from my Wheelworks team mate Sara. I’m not in this heat, but it at least gives you an idea of the setup.

Normally I’m not all that self conscious and have gotten used to most of my friends seeing me in varying amounts of spandex on a regular basis, but having all my stats broadcast onto the big screen instantly was a bit uncomfortable. But by the time the butterflies came, it was too late to even pay attention to them. I saddled up and before I knew it, we were off.

My feet started flying and I was really pushing the cadence. That was until one of the guys that was running the race came over and let me know that apparently the computrainer works better with a lower cadence around 85. After a few gear shifts and coming down from closer to 105 rpm, I was settled in to a good pace and found myself in fourth place out of eight. I was completely clueless about pacing for such a short race, but decided that for such a short race, if it didn’t hurt at least a little, I probably wasn’t going hard enough.

After some rolling hills and switching up my wattage, I figured anything under 275 didn’t hurt enough, and stuck with that as my target. I tried to only pay attention to that, mainly because there were a billion other numbers on my performance being projected on the screen and I could have gone into overload. Eventually, I realized that I was only a little while back from third place, and had him in my sights. He looked like he was hurting a lot more than I was, so I kept pushing it, took him down and held it through the end.


I didn’t have any expectations for this race, but just wanted to to give a really hard effort and analyze some of the stats. Given that I got a new max HR and that if the race was a mile longer, I would have thrown up everywhere, it was a good day. Here are my race stats.

Distance: 6.03 miles

Time: 15:56:09

Avg speed: 22.7

Avg watts: 283

Place (overall): 25 (74 overall)

Avg HR: 174

Max HR: 189

While I can’t prove it, I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish that strong this time last year. I’m totally psyched to start racing OUTSIDE!

UPDATE: Apparently I beat Karen Smyers by 20 seconds according to the official results. I can only imagine that she wasn’t giving it her all, but either way, it is a nice ego boost. 🙂 She is pretty hard core.



  1. That is awesome! I’m sure it was an interesting experience 🙂 But congrats on the great time!

  2. I’m such a wimp on the bike. When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

  3. That is awesome!! You’ve got guts flashing your privates (the stats kind) on the big screen for all the world to see, but motivating too I’m sure! GREAT job!!

  4. Fantastic job! I was surprised at how excited I got as a spectator – definitely a good kick off to race season.

  5. That’s awesome, dude! Way to rock the Fuji Ace!

  6. Nice job!! I’ve always wondered what the indoor TTs were like – this paints a good picture.

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