I was speaking to a guy we have doing some building work who is into doing triathlons. I got talking about how i'm also a keen cyclist and do occasional running and swimming maybe a couple of times a month. We got talking about how a lot of triathelete's, marathon runners, long distance cyclists don't peak until their late 20's early 30's as a result of lots of cumulative endurance training and he said that at my age (only 17) i shouldn't expect too much in terms of endurance in comparison with these older people. He also said that if i went at it too madly i ran the risk of burning out too young and never reaching my full potential. This struck me as quite scary, does anyone know whether this is a real possibility and if so how would you know if your working too hard?
I did my first 4 century's when I was 14 years old. I began serious road riding when I was 12. Bicycling was my pasion...my life. I could not wait to get out of school and go home just so I could ride. By the time I was 16, I totaly lost intrest. I am not sure if it was a physical thing or the drivers license thing or the girls thing but I am now, over 20 years later trying hard to pick up where I left off. I guess my moral of the story is make sure that your training and riding is not all you live for. Open your eyes around you and enjoy other things as well. You dont want to turn 21 and think that you have missed so much that you drop cycling to try the other things.
Yeah be careful about training to hard to young...i am a lightweight rower at university in UK, and in my first year out of the juniors i got completely overtrained. i did move clubs to the most succesful rowing club in england in henley and the training was simply too intense. also there were so many internationals that i didnt get the kind of attention i was used to getting to develop my technique etc. as a result i was out completely shagged for 3 months and a year and a half afterward my immune system is still no where near as good as it was. eg in my last year of juniors i did not miss one day training, after being overtrained 6 months after it i was ill almost every other week. so be very very very careful about training...dont get too excited and **** up like i did.
p.s the years of cumalative training does make an incredible difference, individuals that have trained for 10years plus have a much greater aerobic capacity.
so just chill out with the training...you time will come ( much easier said..than done.)
also there were so many internationals that i didnt get the kind of attention i was used to getting to develop my technique etc.
The one thing ignored by go-get coaches whose only focus is fitness.
The first thing to disappear when fatigue sets in is style/technique/form. Doesn't matter if it's 100 metres or 1000km. Concentrating on keeping form when fatigued is one of the most important parts of training to achieve injury-free success... in my very humble opinion.
Some of the best natural athletes that I have ever known walked away from all sports entirely before they even got out of high school. Some had extinuating circumstances that contributed to their decision - like parents who pushed them too hard, unskilled or unscrupulous coaches who took advantage of their gifts, or where injuries kept them from realizing their full potential. Good coaching can really help, but it isn't always easy to find.
I can remember the first time since 5th grade that I actually had an afternoon/evening without a practice or game. I'm 46 and I can still remember that day, where I was, what the sun looked like cutting through the trees, what the air smelled like and how I felt when it hit me that there were other options in life besides non-stop training and competition. It's hard to believe that I went on like that almost all the way from grade school through college but it can happen. It's easier than you might think, especially if you have some ability.
It's supposed to be the protocol that you encourage cross training and sports and do it for fun until they hit their mid teens. Then they're encouraged to specialize and pick something you'd like to do. I see teens pushed too often and too early, and then they burn out before they're out of high school. What a shame.
My nephew is so cool- he loves to ride, but it's always for fun in his case, and I encourage him to do lots of stuff- basketball, running, karate, and bicycling. He's very fast as a cyclist. At 5 years old, he was clipping along at 11 miles per hour and doing fartlek sprints with me, but I definitely wouldn't be pushing him into anything for the next 10 years. Who knows, maybe he'll end up being the next Chuck Norris or something . Plus, I don't want to burn him out prematurely. It's kind of exciting to see where he'll end up. I only encourage him to continue working on doing the splits. He's incredibly limber and can do the splits both ways, and when a dood can do the splits, that's to be encouraged at all costs, in my opinion.
Don't sweat the small stuff, grasshopper. Take your time with it, cross train, develop your overall fitness, and when you're the correct age, you'll be ready to train for real.