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Old 05-05-08, 02:42 PM   #1
edesros168
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Can you still be a fast Cat 4/5 with a belly?? May the jokes roll

OK, this is a totally serious question...however I am sure to get some routine roadie replies. I am new to racing this year and am loving it. When I started cycling last year I weighed 228 lbs. I trained and dieted all winter with race intentions (and to get healthier of course). My 5' 7 " frame is at a much smaller 165 lbs now. HOWEVER...I still have a belly (noticable in my kit...not a regualar T-shirt) and climbing hills is getting better but is still my weakness. I have entered 2 road races and got dropped due to climbs, I have done 5 flat crit training races and always finished in the top 10 except 1 time.

Well after dieting for 8 months and losing all that weight I am sick of not eating carbs (was on low carb to lose it all). Putting in 150 miles or so a week the last thing I wanna do is diet more! But although I havnt gained weight I have stopped losing since I went off the low carb. I assume the only reason I am not gaining is all the excersise. So my question is....should I stress about the last 15-20 lbs I SHOULD be at to be a competitive cyclist, or should I eat what I want and train my ass off and race all summer? If the belly is there it's there if it goes it goes...please some serious thoughts along with the jokes would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-05-08, 02:46 PM   #2
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Not until the off season. You need to eat while in hard training and racing.
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Old 05-05-08, 02:48 PM   #3
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I've seen seriously chubby cat 2 & 3's on the road. It's rare, though.
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Old 05-05-08, 02:51 PM   #4
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Yea at least I got rid of my seriously chubby state...lol. Although I felt like the other day I was one of the fattest guys at the race... Seems like everyone was a bean poll. Of course I am sure I am still thinking like the fat guy I USED to be...but man up those climbs there are days where I still feel like I am 230+lbs...
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Old 05-05-08, 02:56 PM   #5
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One of my team mates is a 2, has a belly, got 2nd in a Pro/1/2 race this year.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:01 PM   #6
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Tactics will play into it more than weight unless you're climbing hills.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:01 PM   #7
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Yes but you have to race smart and choose your races carefully.

I'm 5'7", 170-175 or so, not skinny. I'm pretty sure my % fat is in the high teens. I'm not a strong Cat 3 but I can place or win in select races. Most group rides turn into extreme sufferfests for me though.

Ideally I'd be lighter but that involves efforts I just don't want to make. I have a few weeks to my next race so I'm trying to eat less (I normally eat relatively healthy food so I just need to eat less of it), ride more (long hours on the bike melt off pounds for me), and see where I end up for Memorial Day weekend. Without really dieting I got down to the low 160s one year, for April, so it's possible. And I was working and in a relationship at that time too.

I was best when I was single, extremely poor, and literally couldn't afford 3 meals a day (during the week, okay, but on weekends I'd be looking for any stashed cans of food - so sometimes dinner was a can of corn or tuna, but not both). I was in the low 130s, about 4% fat (7mm in 4 pinches), and very strong.

You'll be fine. Only thing you won't have is the ability to say "Yeah, I need to lose another kilo" and raise up your shirt to reveal a perfect 6 pack and say, "See what I mean?". This sort of pre-race psyc out will not be part of your arsenal.

cdr
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Old 05-05-08, 03:05 PM   #8
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Are you sure that is not a belly but some excess skin and stretched stomach muscles. Maybe some ab work might help.
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Old 05-05-08, 03:17 PM   #9
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Are you sure that is not a belly but some excess skin and stretched stomach muscles. Maybe some ab work might help.

incorrect
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Old 05-05-08, 04:15 PM   #10
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Low body fat isn't everything. My bodyfat scale says I'm 4.7% and I'm worthless in crits. To be honest I'm pretty sure that it's reading low but whatever I'm at it's low enough that random strangers tell me that I need to eat (I eat a lot, I just burn it up). I go pretty well up hill but on the flat not so good, and if there's a headwind I'm really screwed.

Anyhow, if you went from 220 to 165 in a year that's a lot. It's huge. Go buy yourself some bike schwag. You deserve it. For training, give yourself some time to get used to your new weight. You'll need to switch from a weight-loss-centric program to a regular program that stresses endurance, power etc. and lose the rest of the weight gradually. Forget low carb, you are a regular bike racer now.

One more thing- everyone looks like they have a belly while riding, even me- it's from the belly breathing.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:12 PM   #11
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Somebody is going to post that photoshopped Jan "Der Kaiser" picture soon ...

It doesn't matter what you look like as long as the other guys are looking at your wheel at the finish line.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:43 PM   #12
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For you, the "belly" strikes me as relatively immaterial at present. Keep riding and eating and
then later, if you want, focus more on dropping the weight (although, you may end up dropping
some pounds as the weather warms up in MA). Well done; best of luck!!
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Old 05-05-08, 07:45 PM   #13
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Don't sweat it Agent 168. We're all too fat for this idiot sport.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:53 PM   #14
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for me, thats really the only place where I have fat. The rest of me is pretty lean, and I would consider myself a fast rider (now cat 4) I say don't sweat it and just ride hard.
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Old 05-05-08, 08:03 PM   #15
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Somebody is going to post that photoshopped Jan "Der Kaiser" picture soon ...

It doesn't matter what you look like as long as the other guys are looking at your wheel at the finish line.
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Old 05-05-08, 08:14 PM   #16
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Hi edesros168,

I've seen guys in crits who definitely could lose some weight but somehow the rest of their physiology allows them to compete. Of course, if you want to be fast going up hills weight is your enemy.

I am 5' 7" (as long as I stand up straight) and I am currently at 155 lbs. Except for one crit this year, I haven't had any trouble hanging in and even stirring things up once in a while. When I was a young Cat. 3 I was a very good climber at 130 lbs. but it was a 50-50 proposition on whether or not I could hang in a crit.

At my current weight I can't stay in the pack in a hilly road race.

This is a very long way of saying, don't worry about your weight at this point. You've gotten yourself (quite nicely it sounds) to a point where you should be able to race reasonably well.

Keep training and enjoy the sport.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:19 PM   #17
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Im 5'11'' and 140lbs. I think that your belly looks that way because of some fat and thats just how people look while riding, but lose more weight if it will make you feel/race better. Good luck training and racing!
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Old 05-06-08, 05:35 AM   #18
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I forgot, I have belly stories:

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-of-belly.html

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-mr-belly.html

enjoy,
cdr
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Old 05-06-08, 06:02 AM   #19
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Yes but you have to race smart and choose your races carefully.

cdr

I totally agree with this. But dont settle. Work to get it off. Pokeing fun at myself aside, It's not fun racing with the roll, knowing that being lighter and leaner means I can race harder and faster. I've been lighter, leaner, faster and better. I see all the 40+ and 50+ plus guys who are fitness monsters and how well they do at thier racing and think to myself there is no reason I cant be one of them. It just takes hard work and thats what im doing.
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Old 05-06-08, 06:04 AM   #20
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Thanks CDR. I read those about 6 months ago and was looking for this the other day-

Another classic quote.

"So I hunkered down and started time trialing.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Oh no."
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Old 05-06-08, 06:18 AM   #21
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One of the reasons you've stopped losing weight may be because your body has adapted to the cycling regimen. Try a little cross training (light weights, running, a racquet sport, etc), and you might get un-stuck with weight loss even if you're not on the old diet.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:54 AM   #22
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Racing, group riding, high intensity and good rest. I've found it's the red-zone stuff that really gets that last bit of fat off. But don't overcook it with the threshold stuff: your cortisol will go up and you'll put on some flab. Happened to me last year, and naturally, I responded by training harder (only to get weaker, and not take off the flab) -- cortisol shot up, bad scene.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:35 AM   #23
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You need to eat well to fuel your workouts. Train hard, eat well, eliminate junk, and shoot to lose 1lb a week.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:40 AM   #24
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Well thanks guys for the positive advice. I'm off for todays ride. I'll make sure to get in the drops a few times so I can feel the thump thump thump....lol
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Old 05-06-08, 12:45 PM   #25
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Racing is not the best way to lose weight.

For me the season is a time to struggle to keep my weight from going up while the offseason/early base is a time to lose it.
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