For most club members, James Jenkins needs no
introduction. It was his outstanding performances at local, national and
international level that attracted the attentions of Richardsons-Trek.
This year, James has swapped club ten-mile time trials at Steeple for
the pro circuit with Richardsons’ formidable Under-23 squad.
Renowned for his TT prowess, he has kindly shared his winter training
tips to give you guidance and motivation ahead of the new season.
‘For me, especially last year and the year before, training for each
time trial was imperative – rather than just rock up and hope for the
best. I always had a clear way of training through the winter, so as to
make sure I hit the new season flying.
I tend to use a power meter for measuring my block efforts, but it can
just as easily be achieved by using your heart rate instead. Doing a
Functional Threshold Power (FTP), in which you go as hard as possible
for 20 minutes, will give you an indication of what your ability to
sustain the highest possible power output over 45 to 60 minutes is.
Regular FTP tests will then give you an indication of whether your
training is actually improving your performance. Plus, they create a
platform from which to create more informed training plans on a
After the 20 minutes, note average heart rate. If you have a power meter
also, then note your heartrate and power averages. Your FTP score is
calculated by using 95% of your average power across the 20 minutes.
I found five minute efforts (rather than long efforts to simulate riding
a ten mile TT) above time trial pace were the best for improving my
actual ten mile race times. The fact they’re above TT threshold means
that when I actually got around to the day of the event itself, starting
the race was considerably easier than before and I could ride at a more
Something similar can be said about 25 mile TTs in that 12 minutes at
110% FTP (or around just over 10 mile pace) helped improve my times
considerably. Doing this enabled me to knock nearly 15 minutes off my
original time in only three seasons.’