Training is training and racing is racing. They can be mutually inclusive but they can also be mutually exclusive. There are those that train poorly and race well and there are those that train well and race poorly and of course there are those that train and race well.
In short it takes all kinds. The title of today's daily musing is to the point. Time Trials. The very thought can be intimidating but that is self fulfilling ~ they must be intimidating because intimidation removes complacency. Complacency resides in failure. Failure is not an option although we must dare to fail. The Time Trial is the conduit between training adaptation and race sharpness and readiness. A necessary evil if you will and need to be practiced at different distances and with sensible and optimal frequency. Do not just perform time trials when in peak shape prior to competition. To do so would be to yield exclusively to the physical~no, include time trials throughout the training year in varying conditions and at varying stages of fitness, reinforcing that the TT is equally to develop and challenge the mind. To practice the art and science of self discovery, to develop the mental calluses so essential for good racing and to increase the capacity of one's training. Keep in mind the need to maneuver the body through the windows of the mind. With this concept in mind, keep the time trial as part of your training weaponry, your arsenal, your regimen !
Complete a pre determined distance, a % of a chosen race distance at goal race pace or slightly faster which could range from comfortably uncomfortable at a lower intensity but longer period to sheer uncomfortable for a shorter distance but higher intensity such as 800/mile effort. Complete the same warm up routine and protocol and cool down as you would for a race which in turn creates good racing habits establishing the routine which will keep you calm on race day. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect !
Learn to make Time Trials your friend and it they will serve you well !