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  1. #1
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    Training advice for Junior Cyclist?

    I'm making a foray into cycling. I was on the school track team for several years however there wasn't one in existence at my new school. I'm currently 13. (sorry about the excessive use of "I") I went through a succession of bikes of varying degrees of quality and currently own a 2003 Specialized and with the addition of an R500 wheelset and standard cycling fare (clipless pedals, computer etc.) has become a comparatively quick bike. (even against my old OCR3) I've done 2 45 minute Criterium races on uphill courses (and in abysmal conditions with a 15 headwind on the main straight in the latest race) I believe I did somewhere around 20 laps in 47 minutes... I believe at the time when I calculated my average speed it equated to around 19 M.P.H. (which is quite good considering that the Cat 3 guys described the conditions as brutal. It was bad enough to lower my speed to about 13 m.p.h. for about half a minute each lap. I hammered it on the shielded side of the course to make up. My max sprint speed was supposedly 29.4 m.p.h. Point being do you think I can complete 4.5 mile time trial up Tantalus hill in the upcoming BOCA Stage race and have the juice to run a criterium. (I'm skipping the road race for fear of being picked up by the broomwagon (Juniors race with Cat 4/5) I've been training for 7 seven months and my current regimen is to ride 15 miles a day (about crit distance) excluding my hill training (usually about an hour in the hills of Keolu) and my intervals. Do you have any suggestions to improve my training? Tips? (i.e. nutrition etc.)
    -Sorry if this post was convoluted... Thanks for your assistance.
    Last edited by PorscheCritter; 07-24-09 at 12:30 AM. Reason: Omission

  2. #2
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    First, paragraphs are your friend.

    Second, you need to start riding more. 15 miles a day isn't enough. Your mileage needs to be in the 150ish mile range so you can start building a base. You need to 'ride lots' right now.

    You need to establish a base level of cycling fitness before you start topping it off with intervals. Are there any teams with junior squads that you could ride with?
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  3. #3
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    No. I live in Hawaii. (which presents an issue because of the lack of suitable road to ride on) There are no Junior Teams. I'm considering doing the Saturday rides with the tradewinds cycling team. (with no junior specific program) How many miles would you recommend I ride daily?

    I was recently hit by a car (I hit it actually but I'm a but traumatized and don't like going on roads where the speed limit is above 25 m.p.h. and it is wider than 2 lanes. (yes it may be stupid but it was incredibly scary) I'll probably get over it soon.
    -Thanks

  4. #4
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Are you on oahu? I didn't realize there were timetrials (?? really it's a straight hill-climb not TT) up tantalus.

    I'm a beginner myself so I don't have sophisticated training advice to give you. From doing training rides with the racing jrs in my club though it seems there are a lot of nutrition and workout details specific to your age. A coach who works with juniors a lot and can assess where you're at relative to your team and the competition would be a better source of info than random folks on an internet forum, doncha think?
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook View Post
    Are you on oahu? I didn't realize there were timetrials (?? really it's a straight hill-climb not TT) up tantalus.

    I'm a beginner myself so I don't have sophisticated training advice to give you. From doing training rides with the racing jrs in my club though it seems there are a lot of nutrition and workout details specific to your age. A coach who works with juniors a lot and can assess where you're at relative to your team and the competition would be a better source of info than random folks on an internet forum, doncha think?
    At this point my only competition is aged 18 years old and 19. I finished second to the 18 year old kid in my first race (it was a sprint finish) but got lapped on the last one I lost the draft and they were drafting off each other. (not too mention they are very powerful and may have been nice to me on the first race) From what I understand a cycling coach is expensive, correct? I basically exhausted my savings on this bike. Yes I do live on Oahu. I did some recon on Tantalus it appears to be about a 5 degree incline for part of the way then some mean climbing after that. (hence my hill training)
    -Thank you

  6. #6
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Ah ok, I just saw your second post. You didn't mention: what are your goals for training & competition?
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
    First, paragraphs are your friend.

    Second, you need to start riding more. 15 miles a day isn't enough. Your mileage needs to be in the 150ish mile range so you can start building a base. You need to 'ride lots' right now.

    You need to establish a base level of cycling fitness before you start topping it off with intervals. Are there any teams with junior squads that you could ride with?
    -1. OP says he's 13. 150 miles a week is excessive for a 13 year old (and for a lot of adults too). My answer to the question is, absolutely. Race, see what happens, learn from it, do better next time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpook View Post
    Ah ok, I just saw your second post. You didn't mention: what are your goals for training & competition?
    To be a pro cyclist... Realistically I just want to be the fastest junior in my state. It appears like most serious junior athletes do triathlon here (I likely will later) To be honest I believe that the majority of the older juniors are racing so to enhance their resume. I'm quicker than everyone but the two guys that beat me LOL and they are appear to be leaving for college so I'm going to be without competition.

    My dad and I have been putting in some training for an upcoming century but at a slow pace (13 m.p.h. is our goal as he rides an SS) My short term goals are to complete hill climb/TT and average over 20 m.p.h. in the next criterium (its a 45 minute race but given the fact that the course is well shielded from the wind I think it is easily attainable) I'm looking into doing the Sunday 40 mile ride with the local club but am worried about being dropped by these guys.
    -Thanks

  9. #9
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Training advice? Don't give up, don't ever be intimidated, and ask for help.

    A wise cat 1 once told me a great piece of advice i will paraphrase and take a little bit out of context....

    Racers lose races when they lose control of situations. To practice I would recommend trying to identify situations to put yourself into and learn how to maintain control in them. Never ridden in a group? go ride in a group. Never ridden in the rain? Go ride in the rain. Never ridden a century? Go ride a century.

    I started cycling at your age as well and looking back on it the main thing is trying to keep it fun. Set realistic goals. Don't try to be the next Lance...try to be the first you. Decide that you'd like to be a cat 3 and then start to figure out who you could do that. What events would you have to go to, what kind of placings you would have to have. Compare that to what you have experienced to get a sense for what you need to do.

    Try new things. If it doesn't work for you then now you know.

  10. #10
    JR^2 under18cyclists's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat but I'm 15 now, I want to race but for now I only do fast group rides and have no idea what to do to race like I have no clue about rollouts or anything. Do the group ride and don't worry about getting dropped, just go hard and if you get dropped comeback next time and stay a little longer everytime.
    15 years old and still going strong.

    "Reach for the stars, so if you fall, you'll land on a cloud" Kanye West.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    Senior Member spinwax's Avatar
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    I raced as a very competitive Jr as well as a few others I know on these forums in the late 80s and early 90s when Jr racing was huge. Fields of 100 or more Jrs was not uncommon around the U.S. I hated to train, but loved to race. Now I like to do both.

    First and foremost, make your rides fun. That will keep you going. If you are not having fun, there is no reason to do this sport. Ride with people you like, ride places you like.

    Second, I would recommend to train by time not miles. It will make training more fun and you won't be worried about getting miles in and making your ride too long or too short to be at that mileage you set for yourself. At the age of 13, I would say 4-6 hours a week on the bike is good if your rides have some structure. Structure is hard when you are young. Most younger atheletes like to do what they are good at (don't worry, adults are the same way..LOL). If you suck at hills, do lots of hills. If you can't sprint, work on sprinting. It doesn't have to be scientific.

    Try to ride with someone older and more experienced that may be able to set some goals for you and help you get some direction.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinwax View Post
    I raced as a very competitive Jr as well as a few others I know on these forums in the late 80s and early 90s when Jr racing was huge. Fields of 100 or more Jrs was not uncommon around the U.S. I hated to train, but loved to race. Now I like to do both.

    First and foremost, make your rides fun. That will keep you going. If you are not having fun, there is no reason to do this sport. Ride with people you like, ride places you like.

    Second, I would recommend to train by time not miles. It will make training more fun and you won't be worried about getting miles in and making your ride too long or too short to be at that mileage you set for yourself. At the age of 13, I would say 4-6 hours a week on the bike is good if your rides have some structure. Structure is hard when you are young. Most younger atheletes like to do what they are good at (don't worry, adults are the same way..LOL). If you suck at hills, do lots of hills. If you can't sprint, work on sprinting. It doesn't have to be scientific.

    Try to ride with someone older and more experienced that may be able to set some goals for you and help you get some direction.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Thanks for the advice. My biggest problem is sustaining high outputs for a long time without losing breath or hitting LT. My strategy thus far has been to hammer for 3/5 of the lap and then rest where the conditions are harder. I've come to realize that this is probably a poor strategy because it has caused me to lose the draft on many occasions and I have to work harder. But trying to keep up with these older guys kills me. I'm nearly as tall as them (5'8'') but they probably have a more developed set of lungs.

  13. #13
    Senior Member enjoi07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
    Training advice? Don't give up, don't ever be intimidated, and ask for help.

    A wise cat 1 once told me a great piece of advice i will paraphrase and take a little bit out of context....

    Racers lose races when they lose control of situations. To practice I would recommend trying to identify situations to put yourself into and learn how to maintain control in them. Never ridden in a group? go ride in a group. Never ridden in the rain? Go ride in the rain. Never ridden a century? Go ride a century.

    I started cycling at your age as well and looking back on it the main thing is trying to keep it fun. Set realistic goals. Don't try to be the next Lance...try to be the first you. Decide that you'd like to be a cat 3 and then start to figure out who you could do that. What events would you have to go to, what kind of placings you would have to have. Compare that to what you have experienced to get a sense for what you need to do.

    Try new things. If it doesn't work for you then now you know.
    thats pretty much it right there.

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