A Triathlete’s Experience of Time Trials
Martyn Brunt is a member of Coventry Triathletes and has competed at ironman level. His success has meant that he has represented Great Britain and Europe on separate occasions. Here he explains why he got into riding time trials, and the benefits that riding with Coventry Road Club has given him.
How did you get into triathlon to begin with?
The voices in my head told me to do it. Joking (ish) aside I did a triathlon for a bet in 2003 and got hooked. I only intended to do one and was bet the princely sum of a tenner that I couldn’t, and I’ve now been doing them for ten years in races all over the world, which have cost significantly more than a tenner.
What made you decide to take up time trials?
My background is as a swimmer so I had no cycling experience at all when I started triathlons. I thought time trials would be a good way for me to improve my speed and skills in a proper race against the clock because a TT is very similar to the bike leg of a triathlon - it’s just you against the clock (and the headwind), hunched over your tri-bars going as hard as you can. Racing against the clock tends to make you drag that extra bit of effort out, because just like in triathlons, the clock doesn’t lie.
What was it like when you first rode time trials with Coventry Road Club?
What difference has it made to your triathlon training and performance?
What other aspects of Coventry Road club have you enjoyed?
As a result of doing TTs I also started going on CRC’s Sunday club runs, and again found these enormously useful both in terms of bike handling skills, road behaviour/confidence and fitness. You can go as fast or as slow as you want to because different groups go at different speeds, so if you want a long steady ride you can have one of those, and if it’s a hard ride you want then by God you’ll get it! There’s a mindset in triathlon which says that riding on your own is the way to get faster because you have to ride on your own in triathlons. As such triathletes tend to avoid “drafting” at all costs by riding solo or trying to stay on the front. However I have never – never – ridden as hard as while I’ve been trying to hang on to someone’s wheel in the “fast” group when it gets motoring. The other benefit about club runs is that you quickly pick up how to ride with others, and members will freely give advice on the way to ride in groups which really brings you on as a cyclist.
What advice would you give to a triathlete considering time trials?
Coventry Road Club hold weekly time trials from April to October. Non-members are very welcome on a ‘come and try it’ basis. Lots more information on this website and updates on our facebook site.