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-   -   Question for elite level Juniors (http://www.bikeforums.net/juniors-racing-all-disciplines/895137-question-elite-level-juniors.html)

Skyline516 06-11-13 04:18 PM

Question for elite level Juniors
 
OK, in my region, there has been a Juniors team that has absolutely dominated every junior race and has a decent presence in the P/1/2/3 races. I consider myself relatively strong: I ride, do group rides and intervals and my racing age is 18 by only 9 days. So, I want to know what kind of training is required for these kids to be competing at elite level and really, how I can try to keep up with them. I hope some of you guys with higher level experience can enlighten me.

Thanks,
Skyline

chasm54 06-11-13 05:26 PM

I'm neither a junior (by about forty years) nor an elite rider. However, I do run a team that includes some classy youth and junior riders.

The fast kids graduate from youth (cadet?) racing to the higher categories fairly seamlessly. By the time they are in the junior ranks they are more than comfortable in Cat 3 fields and swiftly start to contend in the E/1/2 races.

Impossible to advise on training plans without knowing your circumstances. Do you have a coach? Does ypur team provide acces to coaching?

Skyline516 06-11-13 09:18 PM

Right, my bad for not expanding a bit more. I am 18yo, 220lbs. former swimmer, currently unaffiliated and without a coach. I've been doing intervals suggested here and on group rides.

David Broon 06-11-13 09:56 PM

Ride lots. But seriously, read http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...or-racing-tips , then find a team near you, find a coach, and ride your bike. I'm racing between p/1/2 and cat.3 (I've got both licensees) and That's what I did.

chasm54 06-12-13 03:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Broon (Post 15732648)
Ride lots. But seriously, read http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...or-racing-tips , then find a team near you, find a coach, and ride your bike. I'm racing between p/1/2 and cat.3 (I've got both licensees) and That's what I did.

^^Yes. And race. Nothing will get you competitive like racing, both in acquainting you with what is required and building your skills.

Skyline516 06-12-13 09:28 PM

Ok, I know to ride lots, that's only in every single thread asking for help in this entire forum. And I've been doing that and will continue to do that and will continue to race (as I have also been doing). What I want to know, is there something I missed? An interval set, some special juice for juniors, something aside from just riding ****loads.

jsutkeepspining 06-12-13 09:55 PM

it's mainly riding lots. I jumped 50 watts on my ftp over a winter a year ago. it made me go from a 4 to a 2 in one season. I also have gained about 400 watts on my max power over the course of the past 2 years ago. Most of it is sudden growth, and just riding a lot. Like i've said multiple times, the people who are 1's and 2's at 16-18 are there becuase they are flat out strong, and even if they just rode 300 miles a week at z2 they would be fine. If they do the best ever training plan, they will still be just as strong, maybe a bit stronger.

Race and ride more, and just keep with it. If you're new (less than 2years into racing), you're still going to get stronger everyday. Also, don't just race junior races, also race your category. Junior races are nice, but outside of national level fields the race will be too "slow" to force adaptation, but the winners will win by a long shot (i.e. that kid who could win crit natz will blast through with 200 m to go and kill everyone, or the tt specialist will tt otf for 5 miles and win, but the first x miles will be slow and useless, where as the 5-3 race won't be super fast, but will still allow you to get some quick racing in).

David Broon 06-13-13 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skyline516 (Post 15736855)
Ok, I know to ride lots, that's only in every single thread asking for help in this entire forum. And I've been doing that and will continue to do that and will continue to race (as I have also been doing). What I want to know, is there something I missed? An interval set, some special juice for juniors, something aside from just riding ****loads.

As a new rider, it honestly is the best way to get fast quickly. There will come a time when you won't keep getting faster, and that's when you really need to worry abotu intervals. As JustKeepSpinning said, do race as much as possible, and that will act as intervals for your training. It's not like marathoning where your whole build is for one race, and you don't race in training. You have to get out and ride your bike a lot.

merlinextraligh 06-14-13 11:58 AM

With a racing age of 18, and weighing 220lbs, you might consider focusing on Cat 5 races, instead of juniors. You'll be more competitive, than against elite level juniors.

David Broon 06-15-13 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh (Post 15742894)
With a racing age of 18, and weighing 220lbs, you might consider focusing on Cat 5 races, instead of juniors. You'll be more competitive, than against elite level juniors.

I like the assumption that he's overweight. He could be Shaq Height and be a waif. Never assume on the internet.

jsutkeepspining 06-15-13 11:37 AM

no i think he was more just saying that any decent junior is at 4.5-5.5 w/kg for their ftp and so at 220 lbs even at 7' 5" he would have to produce a heck of a lot of power.

David Broon 06-16-13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining (Post 15745920)
no i think he was more just saying that any decent junior is at 4.5-5.5 w/kg for their ftp and so at 220 lbs even at 7' 5" he would have to produce a heck of a lot of power.

Heh. I guess I'm above "decent"! 5.6! That said, I'm a skinny guy, so that's what's going on.

merlinextraligh 06-17-13 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Broon (Post 15745576)
I like the assumption that he's overweight. He could be Shaq Height and be a waif. Never assume on the internet.

No, it wasn't an assumption that he was overweight. It was a comment on his size, age, and physical maturity. I think it can be a mistake for inexperienced 12 year old juniors who weigh 98 lbs to race Cat 5 against full grown adults.

One year short of being out of juniors, and as big as the adults you'll be racing against, I don't see a problem with racing Cat 5.

And as a brand new racer, he's likely to be much more competitive as a 5, than racing agains 18 year old Cat 2 juniors who have been racing for years.

pmt 06-18-13 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh (Post 15752566)
No, it wasn't an assumption that he was overweight. It was a comment on his size, age, and physical maturity. I think it can be a mistake for inexperienced 12 year old juniors who weigh 98 lbs to race Cat 5 against full grown adults.

Heh. My 12-yr-old holds on a while before getting shelled out the back, but will always finish in front of a handful of adults and not too far back from the field. He has lots of experience and trains five days a week though; just like everyone else says, you need more time on the bike in competitive training.

Quote:

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh (Post 15752566)
One year short of being out of juniors, and as big as the adults you'll be racing against, I don't see a problem with racing Cat 5.

And as a brand new racer, he's likely to be much more competitive as a 5, than racing agains 18 year old Cat 2 juniors who have been racing for years.

Yeah, he'll get killed in the U19. Best to race Cat5 and upgrade when ready; OP, you're past the point of Junior racing. Looks like you're posting from Maryland, so head down every Weds eve to Greenbelt to get started.

carpediemracing 06-20-13 10:09 AM

Keep in mind that there are different ability levels, not just in age but in "talent" (primarily genetics). If your FTP is 300w (which is very good) and you've been riding loads then nothing will increase your FTP by 50% which you may need to compete with the strongest riders out there. Or for me, at 210-220w, nothing will make it increase by 100%. 10%, maybe. 20%? I suppose it's possible - that is more than what EPO gives you, based on what the busted riders admit. 50%? For a well trained rider? No.

When I started racing I was a Junior. There were a few kids that beat up on everyone else. They'd ride away on some days, they could outsprint everyone if they didn't ride away, it didn't seem fair. Ultimately they showed why they were so good as Juniors - it's because they were immensely talented. George Hincapie. Frank McCormack. Mark McCormack. Lessor known riders that, when they returned to racing, could win Masters Nationals. Etc etc etc. George was 14-15 years old, Frank 16 or so, Mark 14, so no talk about EPO or whatever. They were super, super, super strong Juniors. Period.

More recently there was a tall Junior that just killed it around here. He gained a lot of weight a couple years ago, actually looked pudgy but he was so strong he could still win. He leaned out through hard work (diet and training), demolished fields last year as a first year Senior, and turned pro with Jelly Belly this year (Ben Wolfe).

A Cat 1 rider (got 7th at Nationals as a Junior, 3rd as a Senior) broke away from a moderately talented P123 race locally on a 1 mile course with a mild rise on the backstretch (New Britain for those in New England). Jeff Rutter and Graeme Miller were in the field, as well as a slew of local pros and Cat 1s (Breakaway Couriers, Mengoni's team, etc). Our Cat 1 friend soloed for something like 40-45 laps out of 50 laps, won by a minute. I asked him how he did it. He told me that he knew that the race would average about 28mph, and to bridge a gap the group would have to go 31-32 mph. His tactic was clear. Go 28mph. When they chased go 31mph. Therefore he went 28mph. Whenever the gap fell he'd go 31mph for a lap or two. Then he'd slow down to 28mph to rest and recover. He had to bump it up to 31mph maybe 3-4-5 times, most of them when either Rutter or Miller would shatter the front of the field with 35+mph moves, trying to bridge to our Cat 1 friend.

I went out and did 28mph. I imagined that being my easy speed. It's very hard! 31mph for 1-2 miles at a time and then recovering at 28mph? If I wasn't there for 90 minutes watching him destroy the field solo I wouldn't have believed it. He's a clean racer, never got a pro contract, "only" made it as high as Cat 1.

Talent is talent. Unfortunately if you don't have you don't have it. To beat the best riders you have to be gifted. It helps to be race smart but all the intelligence/smarts/etc won't help when you get clobbered with a 500+w surge in a crosswind for 5 minutes. Five times.

Remember that if training and hard work would let you accomplish anything as an athlete then virtually anyone could win the Tour. Or Nationals. Or whatever. That's just not the case. To wit - you think Jens Voigt could win the Tour? He's immensely talented but he lacks the final bit. It's not about hard work and such. All that stuff just develops the potential you were born with. If you weren't born with it then you can't get it. Period. That's not a dis or anything - I'm a 23.5mph (38kph) time trialer at my best (for 40k) and 25.5mph for 7 mi. With all aero gear. Tons of training/racing/etc. You think I could get my TT speeds from from 38 kph to 50 kph? Right. I can barely do 50 kph for a km, to do that 50 times over is asking for the insane.

Skyline516 06-22-13 04:49 PM

Alright, so I guess I will just keep doing what I have been doing: ride and race as much as I can. Most of my races have been Cat 5 by the way, I just wanted to see if there was anything I could try to do. Thanks guys!

shovelhd 06-23-13 05:24 PM

Lots of stuff has been mentioned already, but if you are looking for some kind of secret sauce, it doesn't exist unless it's illegal. Do you have a coach? Do you have a training plan? If you don't have either, you should get one or the other. If you can't, then race as much as you can and don't forget to rest.

BTW I get to race against Mark Tuesday night. We used to be on a team together back in the 80's.

ethan.g75 06-24-13 07:44 PM

all i will contribute to this thread is "**** you bmc-cyclelife"
-Ethan

pmt 06-25-13 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethan.g75 (Post 15779326)
all i will contribute to this thread is "**** you bmc-cyclelife"
-Ethan

Somebody sounds jealous...

ethan.g75 06-25-13 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmt (Post 15780312)
Somebody sounds jealous...

I have mixed feelings.

pmt 06-25-13 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethan.g75 (Post 15780369)
I have mixed feelings.

I guess you also dislike HPC then as well.

ethan.g75 06-25-13 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmt (Post 15782526)
I guess you also dislike HPC then as well.

you are scarring me... you aren't on bmc are you? anywho, no, i don't dislike hpc. I dont even really dislike BMC, just Dimitrou :lol:

pmt 06-26-13 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ethan.g75 (Post 15783542)
you are scarring me... you aren't on bmc are you? anywho, no, i don't dislike hpc. I dont even really dislike BMC, just Dimitrou :lol:

Nope, but I have a young Junior who aspires to join one of those teams and progress further. I know a bunch of the guys on both teams and they're really nice folks. I don't know Dimitri but he sure is fast; this is his last year racing as a Junior.


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