How much power do I actually need?

Time trials are a weird sport as aerodynamics shapes a lot of it. The strongest rider doesn’t always win! It’s important to have a solid training plan in place. This should include a mix of endurance rides, interval training, and strength work to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Ideally, you should be training at least 4-5 days per week, with a combination of longer rides (2-4 hours) and shorter, higher intensity efforts.

In addition to your training, it’s important to focus on your nutrition and recovery. This means fueling your body with high-quality, nutrient-dense foods to support your training, and making sure to get adequate rest and recovery between workouts. Proper hydration is also key, especially in the days leading up to your time trial.

When it comes to the day of the time trial, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is pacing – it’s critical to start strong but not overdo it in the first few miles, as you’ll need to maintain a high intensity for the full duration. A good rule of thumb is to aim for an even effort throughout the ride, with a slight increase in intensity towards the end if you still have some energy left in the tank.

With all of that said though, once training and pacing is dialled there’s the question of how many watts we actually need?

Are you a UK Time Trialist?
All UK Time Trial Events forecasted here.

How many Watts?

We decided to sift through the data to see what it would tell us. This graph is taken from around 13,000 time trials in the UK and shows us how much power we need to achieve various speeds. The vertical orange bars show us the range in power that we saw in our data.

How aero?

Exactly how aero riders were also varied. Past 43kph ‘average’ was a cda of 0.2 – this is seriously slippery! It also shows us that the pointy end of the field in UK time trials are also extremely aero, look how small the range in cda is! No wonder that the sharp end of championship races is so closely contested.

If you want data like this to accompany your training, check out myWindsock here!

Are you a UK Time Trialist?
All UK Time Trial Event analysis here.