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  1. #1
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    50 yr old beginner

    Where do you suggest that I start with my training program.....I'll be entering some crits and road races this next coming year.....Just started riding and need a plan.......Any info would be helpful..

  2. #2
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    expect.... pain...

    was that a mr. T line? perhaps.. but anyways.. when you're in a bike race, especially if your a newbie like me, you'll be in a lot of pain, gasping for air, perhaps with legs that feel numb and won't push as hard as you tell them to... so, recreate those sensations as often as possible during training rides... and perhaps during your early races, you can sit comfortably in the middle and tell everyone you aren't stressin' the race too hard... this will make you look tough, and that could work to your advantage in the future.

    but in all seriousness... just do the opposite of what you want to do.. you want to go out for a nice pleasant ride on a sunny day and check out the scenery... instead, ride really hard, until foam and drool and snot is running on your face, pull it back a notch for a minute, then resume the unpleasant ride, this will turn you into the roadie destroyer god.

  3. #3
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryflht View Post
    Where do you suggest that I start with my training program.....I'll be entering some crits and road races this next coming year.....Just started riding and need a plan.......Any info would be helpful..
    Oh wow.

    Botto, where's your list?

    From memory:

    1. find fast group ride
    2. sit in.
    3. if you get dropped, go back to step 1.
    4. start taking pulls on fast group ride.
    5. if you get dropped, go back to step 4.
    6. go back to step 1, but replace every instance of "group ride" with "race"
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  4. #4
    . botto's Avatar
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    ^

    good memory.

    Bike Racing for Beginners: How to get started


    1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
    2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
    3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
    4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
    5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
    6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
    7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
    8. At your first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.

  5. #5
    The Truth Ih8lucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    ^

    good memory.

    Bike Racing for Beginners: How to get started


    1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
    2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
    3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
    4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
    5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
    6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
    7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
    8. At your first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.
    I think a first race at the op's age you better throw an automated external defibrillator in the mix.

  6. #6
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ih8lucky13 View Post
    I think a first race at the op's age you better throw an automated external defibrillator in the mix.
    You may be right, but I want to give it a try.

  7. #7
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    I followed that plan last year and it worked surprising well. I "sat" in for several weeks. Nothing like getting shelled on a number of group rides to get your focus. After a while I became a regular and worked at staying with the pack and doing my share. Some of these were real suffer fests but worth it. The great side benefit was I also met some great people!

    I also enlisted the advice of a coach because at 46 I wanted to remain injury free and still get good results.

    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    ^

    good memory.

    Bike Racing for Beginners: How to get started


    1. Find some group rides, fast group rides. Sit in the back.
    2. Don't get discouraged if/when you get dropped from those group rides.
    3. Go back the following week and do the fast group ride again.
    4. If you're dropped a 2nd time, repeat steps 2 & 3
    5. Once you're comfortable with the group and pace (and vice versa), take some pulls.
    6. Once you're comfortable taking pulls, try some attacks (if it's that kind of group ride).
    7. Once you're comfortable with steps 5 & 6, it's time to enter a race.
    8. At your first race, repeat steps 1-6, but substitute 'race' for 'group ride'.

  8. #8
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly downtube View Post
    expect.... pain...
    You never know. The OP may be the one inflicting the hurt. You'll never know until you try.

    All that being said, yes indeed, expect pain. But as Lance points out, it's cleansing. Like the Spanish Inquisition. At least the Inquisition didn't require you to lay out $5K+ for gear to participate.



    I wonder if Zipp made that wheel?

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    I cant give you advice as Im only beginning to enter the world of racing myself at 40, props to you for entering at 50!
    Ill make sure to follow your race reports and I look forward to it.
    good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg180 View Post
    I followed that plan last year and it worked surprising well. I "sat" in for several weeks. Nothing like getting shelled on a number of group rides to get your focus. After a while I became a regular and worked at staying with the pack and doing my share. Some of these were real suffer fests but worth it. The great side benefit was I also met some great people!

    I also enlisted the advice of a coach because at 46 I wanted to remain injury free and still get good results.
    Nice to hear from someone who's gone through it, at about my same age. I'm still working on bike control at the moment. I've only had the bike a month and with the time change, work, etc. I've only be able to get out once a week so far. I want to get the control issue behind me before I start entering into groups. I would hate like hell to make a bobble or weave and take someone out.

    Between working on the handling skills, spinning on the trainer once it gets colder over the next couple of months, and continuing to do my weight training and keeping my diet clean, I plan to be ready for serious training come spring and I like everyone's suggestion of sitting in on the fast group rides.

  11. #11
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    No offense but I think it is strange to plan on formal racing after only riding a month. Maybe 4 or 5 total rides since you say you ride once a week. I know this is the racing forum so you can't go by the population here but only a very small percentage of all of the riders, at any age, are good enough to be competitive in a race. I love riding, ride twice a week, maybe 3500 miles a year and got into riding again a little over two years ago. There is no way I would be competitive in a Cat 5 race. My local club has 4 levels and I am in the B group, the 2nd level. So actually for the 300 or so members of the club, maybe I am in the top 50 riders. Not bad but no where competitive enough. I don't want to discourage you but you have to ride a while just to see if there is potential. Anybody can get better with training but our physical makeup will mostly be the determining factor. That is assuming you also work hard.
    "people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" Benjamin Franklin

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  12. #12
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryflht View Post
    You may be right, but I want to give it a try.
    Good! Just don't get discouraged if you get spit out of the back, it's happened to all of us.

    FWIW, I did my first race this past year at the tender age of 38. It was a lot of fun, but I flatted 1/2 way through it.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  13. #13
    Senior Member barryflht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldatwork View Post
    No offense but I think it is strange to plan on formal racing after only riding a month. Maybe 4 or 5 total rides since you say you ride once a week. I know this is the racing forum so you can't go by the population here but only a very small percentage of all of the riders, at any age, are good enough to be competitive in a race. I love riding, ride twice a week, maybe 3500 miles a year and got into riding again a little over two years ago. There is no way I would be competitive in a Cat 5 race. My local club has 4 levels and I am in the B group, the 2nd level. So actually for the 300 or so members of the club, maybe I am in the top 50 riders. Not bad but no where competitive enough. I don't want to discourage you but you have to ride a while just to see if there is potential. Anybody can get better with training but our physical makeup will mostly be the determining factor. That is assuming you also work hard.
    No offense taken, but you only have one brief tour of this good earth....It's a shame to spend it on the sideline, when you can be out in the middle of the road where all the action is. I may come in last in every race I enter, but I'll have some fun with it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Bike racing, even at cat V, is pretty serious. It's not like triathlons or running races where you can show up and have a good time even if you are slow. In fact the comparison I usually give to people is based on running races. You know how people line up for the start? The really serious guys (and women), the ones who have no body fat and shoot laser beams out of their eyes, are at the front, and the less serious people who are out to turn in a PB or have a nice run, are in back. In a bike race, it's like only the first two rows of people at the front even show up. Only the deadly serious riders are there. Everyone else is off doing century rides.

    Not that you can't buy a bike and start racing, but you'd have to have an extreme amount of fitness from some other sport for it to work.

    If you really want to race and you don't already have a huge amount of fitness from another endurance sport, I suggest that you plan for a year or so of base training first. Make some intermediate goals- finish an easy 1/2 century, then a hilly 1/2 century, then a full century, then a hard hilly one, then faster, etc. You can also put the group rides in there too. Start off with a group that you can hang with, and when you can ride with the fast guys in that group, go find a faster group to ride with.

    All that said, it's a fine sport and its possible to start at 50. In fact one of the guys in my club started in his mid 50s and he's won races and catted up. But he was an athlete in some other sport for some years so he had a big base of fitness already.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryflht View Post
    No offense taken, but you only have one brief tour of this good earth....It's a shame to spend it on the sideline, when you can be out in the middle of the road where all the action is. I may come in last in every race I enter, but I'll have some fun with it.
    good thinking, I just posted something along these lines a few days ago. I was racing duathlons and doing very well but crits are just a different animal and I dont know how well I will do, I might even stink at it... but getting the courage to try is half the battle and a victory in itself
    Last edited by blonduathlongrl; 11-24-07 at 03:44 PM.

  16. #16
    elitist jerk daytonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Bike racing, even at cat V, is pretty serious. It's not like triathlons or running races where you can show up and have a good time even if you are slow. In fact the comparison I usually give to people is based on running races. You know how people line up for the start?
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The really serious guys (and women), the ones who have no body fat and shoot laser beams out of their eyes, are at the front, and the less serious people who are out to turn in a PB or have a nice run, are in back. In a bike race, it's like only the first two rows of people at the front even show up. Only the deadly serious riders are there. Everyone else is off doing century rides.

    Not that you can't buy a bike and start racing, but you'd have to have an extreme amount of fitness from some other sport for it to work.

    If you really want to race and you don't already have a huge amount of fitness from another endurance sport, I suggest that you plan for a year or so of base training first. Make some intermediate goals- finish an easy 1/2 century, then a hilly 1/2 century, then a full century, then a hard hilly one, then faster, etc. You can also put the group rides in there too. Start off with a group that you can hang with, and when you can ride with the fast guys in that group, go find a faster group to ride with.All that said, it's a fine sport and its possible to start at 50. In fact one of the guys in my club started in his mid 50s and he's won races and catted up. But he was an athlete in some other sport for some years so he had a big base of fitness already.


    you can win starting at the back. been there got the t-shirt
    I feel like a soiled kleenex dropped in the gutter in the red-light district of Paris.

  17. #17
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryflht View Post
    No offense taken, but you only have one brief tour of this good earth....It's a shame to spend it on the sideline, when you can be out in the middle of the road where all the action is. I may come in last in every race I enter, but I'll have some fun with it.
    Correct.

    As a fellow 50 year old, this is my viewpoint:

    I can die of a heart attack caused watching the Jets lose on TV while lying on the sofa or from a coronary triggered by an pathetic struggle to chase a 30 year old Cat 3 up some mile long hill. The latter affords me an endorphin high prior to my demise, which beats heartburn from too much beer and pizza.

    Hammer on, let the chips fall where they may (they'll sound like chips, they'll be your gaskets blowing all over the road).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Naterider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    You never know. The OP may be the one inflicting the hurt. You'll never know until you try.

    All that being said, yes indeed, expect pain. But as Lance points out, it's cleansing. Like the Spanish Inquisition. At least the Inquisition didn't require you to lay out $5K+ for gear to participate.



    I wonder if Zipp made that wheel?
    great stuff pc...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ih8lucky13 View Post
    I think a first race at the op's age you better throw an automated external defibrillator in the mix.
    That's harsh! You act as if 50 is ancient? I'm not sure how old you are but one thing I can guarantee - - you, too, will be 50 one day.

  20. #20
    The Truth Ih8lucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    That's harsh! You act as if 50 is ancient? I'm not sure how old you are but one thing I can guarantee - - you, too, will be 50 one day.
    I wasn't joking. I am forty years old, and even though I work in the medical field, I didn't even know I had high blood pressure until I was demonstrating how to take a BP reading in front of a paramedic class.

    Anybody over the age of 35 needs to be concerned about thier heart.

    I actually like the fact that the OP is starting racing at his age.

  21. #21
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    At least the Inquisition didn't require you to lay out $5K+ for gear to participate.

    You can compete for 10% of $5K. "Engine" and brains are way more important than the bike.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  22. #22
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    You can compete for 10% of $5K. "Engine" and brains are way more important than the bike.
    Do us a favor: when you meet that person, let us know, and post his bio and a photo of his bike and equipment here. In this sport $500 gets you shoes, a helmet, a bib and jersey and a floor pump.

    Quick, let's have a show of hands of all the BF weenies racing with $500 worth of gear.

    Mollusk, step away from the crack pipe.

  23. #23
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ih8lucky13 View Post
    Anybody over the age of 35 needs to be concerned about thier heart.
    I don't have statistics on this, but my guess is that for every very fit person that mysteriously drops dead (like a few cases in the media lately) there are hundreds of couch potatoes who routinely expire prematurely.

    I'll take my chances riding hard. If I die, I go with an endorphin buzz.

  24. #24
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Time once again for this.

  25. #25
    merckxxx
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    50 yr old beginner

    I am beginning agin .... I used to race some back 15 yrs ago.. I raced in a few Cat 4/5 races (mostly raced together back then..).. after a few years I was competitive but never won anything.. I put the sport down to raise my family.. and work for a living... now the kids are grown.. and I am back at it..I raced back them at 6'0" and 170lbs.. I got back on my bike for the first time is 15 years last August (2006)at 240lbs.. .. from my previous years I know how to make a bike go fast but my 49 yr old body was bloated and soft.. I have put about 5k base miles on my old bike since i started.. this year in sept I bought a new bike.. to bring my equipment into this century.. and I am dow to around 190lbs (a full 50 lbs lighter).. realistically I need to be at or near 180.. (I will never be 170 again... until the embalmer goes to work)... and I am certain I will get my ass handed to me over and over again... this year.. I am up to doing 1 hour interval training periods on my trainer 4 days a week..
    My trainer time consists of cadence of 95 plus 2 sets of 4 - 2 min intervals at 100+..

    I do about 50 miles spinning on the weekeends on my bike weather permitting..

    I am getting ready but I am sure that I dont have the power that the young bucks will have.. in the cat5 these days.. My plan is to continue the regieme I am on (with a few weeks off for some surgery I need).. and then bust into intervals really hard 2 a days in late feb and March.. My first race dat is first week April..

    As a beginner to racing you need to go find aclub and do sometrining rides with club racers.. and learn how to hold your line.. and draft.. in a paceline.. racing is... really fun .... but dont underestimeat how hard it is..

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