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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-04-08, 08:56 PM   #1
404
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Competitive Clydesdale?

I am new to triathlons. I am a former pro baseball player, and really want to get into triathlons. I am 25, 6'4'', and weigh 240. I have been trying to do as much research as I can on the different races and such. I am wondering how competitive can you be as a Clydesdale? I see a number of races have awards for the top 3 in this category, but these are mostly local races I have seen. I guess what I am getting at, is I know that I would not be able to compete with those in may age group...the only area I will be able to compete in is in the clydesdale division. but do all the races acknowledge this division? (all the way up to the ironmans?)
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Old 05-04-08, 09:22 PM   #2
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Competitive? Certainly. For the overall? I doubt it, but possible. Our bigger size will be a detriment to the running and if there's any hills--the cycling. Can it be overcome? Yes. Just unusual. Given your background accomplishments, I'd definitely say give it a tri (sorry...couldn't help myself. I'm weak that way.)
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Old 05-04-08, 09:46 PM   #3
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I too, have been a Clyde my entire adult life, and competitions were never ranked to my favor, as I was always the big guy, had the heavy yellow Schwinn road bike. I knew when I was your age, a win was not in the cards for me, unless a strong wind gust blew them (the leaders) in the ditch, a deep ditch. I always competed against myself, an improved at riding that I completed several century type events with top ten and better finishes and also received respect from those I rode with first and against second. I always knew that if that wind did occur I was in a position to take the lead

This was 25 years ago, maybe a little longer. Today, there are often more brackets/categories, but I have not paid attention if Clydes or size is ever a criteria qualifier, except in boxing, wrestling, or another sport that size is a true advantage. I just enjoy the event, but more the preparation and those I meet and share the experience.

I suspect you will need to learn to compete with the age class, unless there is an experience or qualifying type event, like the Boston Marathon is controlled.

Good luck with Tri preps, I never found interesting, could not understand the advantage of the Running leg, when you have a perfectly good bike right there in the second segment. Why not take it to the end.

I wish you the best, and if better each time you attempt, you will eventually become competitive in your age class. (Never rest until Good be Better and Better Best.)
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Old 05-04-08, 10:04 PM   #4
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Just remember guys, the OP has one huge advantage in the fact he is/was a professional athelete. My guess is you can probably run some of the skinny roadies into the ground. A good book, clyde or not, is "My first Tri" It goes through the process from equipment to training. Good luck and keep us posted

So who did you play for and what position?
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Old 05-05-08, 12:40 AM   #5
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thanks for the replies....

i was a relief pitcher and played in the cubs minor league system for 2 years...
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Old 05-05-08, 05:21 AM   #6
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Just remember guys, the OP has one huge advantage in the fact he is/was a professional athelete.
You cannot automatically assume because someone is a professional baseball player he is an athlete. Two words: John Kruk.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:48 PM   #7
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You cannot automatically assume because someone is a professional baseball player he is an athlete. Two words: John Kruk.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:31 PM   #8
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You cannot automatically assume because someone is a professional baseball player he is an athlete. Two words: John Kruk.
I don't think he is alone in that either, I have seen a few pro baseball games, and some of those guys have a real pot going. The problem with baseball, is that players don't get much endurance work, and Tri needs massive amounts of endurance. If someone isn't a cyclist, runner or long distance swimmer, and they want to do a Tri this year, it's already too late, they are better to learn one of the sports, and be able to do excessively long distances at that, then add another sport, then add the third. This is a good time to start training for the 2010 tri season.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:34 AM   #9
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Well, the Clyde body type lends itself to some kinds of riding more than others...specifically sprinting, which requires a burst of massive power, carefully timed, to blast to the finish line. If you watch pro races, all-arounders are very lean and typically smaller, climbers are very light, but sprinters look a little more like we do. In fact, I think some of them are pretty big (over 6 feet) and pushing clyde status.

Can you make a living as a rider at your height / weight? I think it's a loing shot. Can you compete effectively in some areas? I don't see why not.

I often ride with someone who is way leaner and much lighter than me (he's about 160, I'm 230 and 6'4 or so). I can't catch him on climbs or sustained flats, but I can outsprint him.
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Old 05-06-08, 07:40 AM   #10
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You cannot automatically assume because someone is a professional baseball player he is an athlete. Two words: John Kruk.
Mr. Kruk's autobiography, published in 1994, was titled "I ain't an athlete, lady." The title comes from a comment he made to a 'fan' that criticized him for being overweight and a poor example for folks who want to become athletic.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:42 PM   #11
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I am not looking to compete professionally. I am just looking to have fun training and competing. I am looking to do a sprint tri at the end of the summer. my biggest question is what type of bike to buy. i have been getting mixed messages about going with a tri bike or going with a road bike...

any insight?
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Old 05-06-08, 10:12 PM   #12
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roadie with removable aero bars, that way you can bike for fun, too. one sprint tri? low commitment, then if you like it, you can upgrade till you die.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:15 PM   #13
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I'm almost 40 years older, but we're the same size. I was primarily a runner until I was in my 40s, and I did well in the over 200-pound class, even won occasionally. I busted my butt to finish in the top 25 percent overall, though.
I haven't worked as hard in cycling as I did running, plus I didn't start until I was 44, so I don't have any direct comparisons that might apply to you. One thing that occurs to me, though, is that you're carrying way too much weight for a competitive cyclist. Certainly it's possible to be FIT at 6'4" and 240, but I don't think you can be FAST on a long ride, especially a climb. Somebody did a survey of top-rank cyclists last summer (can't find it online, but I remember reading it), and most weigh less than 2 pounds per inch of height. NONE was carrying 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per inch. For a 6''4" guy, that's a MAXIMUM of less than 170 pounds.
Not going to happen to me, either....
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Old 05-07-08, 06:21 AM   #14
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One solution is to avoid the climbs Many of the rides I completed in Indiana had gentle climbs, it was the head winds that drove you into the ground. Imagine the rides in most of of the plain states would allow you to be competitive, as long as endurance is there and head stays focus.

No better way to have fun and meet great folks, is on a ride, always found the runners a tad to serious, maybe why I do not like running

All the best,

PS: Did you ever play the Fort Wayne Wizards? They are associated with San Diego (IIRC). Getting new downtown park for next season even though present field is in great shape
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Old 05-07-08, 06:40 AM   #15
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I am not looking to compete professionally. I am just looking to have fun training and competing. I am looking to do a sprint tri at the end of the summer. my biggest question is what type of bike to buy. i have been getting mixed messages about going with a tri bike or going with a road bike...

any insight?
Then freakin quit worrying about trophies and being competitive - just go out and do it and have fun.

I'd just get a road bike, which you can use for other types of cycling...worry about getting a tri bike if you decide you want to get serious about the sport.
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Old 05-07-08, 06:25 PM   #16
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Honey, I think Chipcom has stopped smoking...he seems kind of grumpy.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:03 PM   #17
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Honey, I think Chipcom has stopped smoking...he seems kind of grumpy.
Maybe he's gettin' his ganga from a new supplier, and this stuff isn't as good.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:08 PM   #18
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quick question about age group/clydes divisions

when you register for a tri, do you have to pick to compete as an age grouper OR a clydesdale? or can you be eligible for both?
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Old 05-13-08, 08:37 PM   #19
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I'm entered in Masters Clydesdale,40-49 class for my Tri upcoming.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:52 PM   #20
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Don't buy a dedicated road bike and just strap aerobars on it. The riding position isn't correct.

Look at a bike that is either a dedicated tri bike, or one of the few on the market that TRULY can act as both. I'm big on Cervelo because I know some about them, so look at the Cervelo Soloist. Cervelo Soloists have a flippable seatpost that will allow for the proper seattube angles for both road and tri. This will help alot.

The Soloist Team is ultra stiff, ultra aero and can work as both a tri or road bike. A damned good value at $2000 complete for a bike that has won professional peloton races.
http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=SLT2008

If you're into carbon, they have a carbon version. This exact ride is in the Tour de France in this form and the super-light form. Pricier of course.
http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=SLC2008

Cervelo also makes the most successful tri-bike. The P3C.
http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=P3C2008

They also make the P2C and P2SL (P2SL $1650 Ultegra) for more budget friendly tri-bikes.

Get some wheels that will hold you (Mavics maybe?) or some clydesdale Zipps and go kick the scrawny people's butts.

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