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  1. #1
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    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

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    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?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
    Sqrl
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Broon View Post
    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.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    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).
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
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    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline516 View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  9. #9
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    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.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

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    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    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.
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  12. #12
    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  13. #13
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Broon View Post
    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.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  14. #14
    pmt
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    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 View Post
    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.

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
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    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!

  17. #17
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    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.
    My 10 speed Shimano sell-off is in the Classifieds-For Sale section.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ethan.g75's Avatar
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    all i will contribute to this thread is "**** you bmc-cyclelife"
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  19. #19
    pmt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan.g75 View Post
    all i will contribute to this thread is "**** you bmc-cyclelife"
    -Ethan
    Somebody sounds jealous...

  20. #20
    Senior Member ethan.g75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmt View Post
    Somebody sounds jealous...
    I have mixed feelings.
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  21. #21
    pmt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan.g75 View Post
    I have mixed feelings.
    I guess you also dislike HPC then as well.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ethan.g75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmt View Post
    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
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  23. #23
    pmt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethan.g75 View Post
    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
    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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