Today I knocked out the third TT of the season, the only way for me to really get better at these efforts is to do them, not on the trainer inside, I get far too warm and I need a controlled environment for it.
In Oregon we have a TT every week starting in April until at least October. In seasons past I would pick a long climb, something around 10min and belt out a steady effort weekly to get the threshold work and ride flats on Sauvie's Island for the pure TT work but nothing really compares to a race effort. Although I'm approaching these as a step to getting better I'm personally motivated by the crowds, racers in front of me and behind me.
I train faster at the track too when I have people there also.
The TT bike set-up is currently good, I think I can get lower, will give this a try in the next few days. I don't think it's going to drastically impact power output as I dropped a spacer and all seems good now.
Recovery from surgery
I had the big elective surgery a month ago. If I had known what the recovery process was going to be like I might have reconsidered! I was fully down for a week and really not 100% for another week and half afterwards but I was determined to keep working out the best I could as soon as I could.
I have not been on the track in six weeks, hard to believe! However, I am able to S,B,R no problem and will get back to the track next week for intervals.
Carbon & Aluminum frames
I've been meaning to pontificate on this for a bit. I started riding a carbon road bike last fall, something I had that I finally built. The geometry and construction of the bike has alot to do with the sensations I feel riding it compared to the previous bike which was aluminum but I have noticed differences for sure.
To be succinct, my feel is that the roadie is great for putting in training miles over hill and dale, but feels really upright compared to the TT rig even though it is a pretty low slung race bike. It doesn't feel quite as firm in the BB compared to the TT bike which is Alu. Also, it's just more comfortable and really mutes alot of the hum from rough pavement. The front end is more flexy and think that is how much of the comfort is achieved as tuning carbon frames is more do-able then aluminum.. The fact the roadie also has a carbon steerer and thinner fork blades may be a bigger factor, however, I'm the first to say I'm not sure
The TT bike is not a bike for massive amounts of training. I truly don't understand why folks do more than 2/3rds or all of their rides on one. I'm comfortable on mine but it's a race bike and as such has only one "correct" position, in the aero bars- except while climbing then you're on the tops. I do enjoy trainer rides and racing on it, I feel very locked in and part of the machine.
Riding in winter
This winter with commute miles included I've ridden outdoors way more then I ever have, the road bike with fenders is the main reason.
The other reason is gear, I picked up a Castelli winter jacket and some extra tights so that I can rotate the dirty ones with the clean. Also have been using Sportful skullcap and Toko XC ski gloves on very cold days, e.g. I've been snowed on. :)
A plastic rain cape takes care of the rest and fits into a jersey pocket on rainy days. I know that lots of folks would ride in it if they felt they would be mostly warm and dry, I'm proof that you can get through a PNW winter without being miserable on the trainer.