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Old 12-06-04, 08:14 PM   #1
coastie1975
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Too late to start racing?

Hello everyone......question, I'm 30 years old and and I have no previous cycling experience whatsoever. I just purchased my first road bike ('04 Specialized Allez Sport) and I'm doing my first sprint triathlon in April '05 and have fallen in love with training for cycling portion. I would like to know if it is too late for me to start pursuing racing? I really don't know about the in and outs of the system so any info would be greatly helpful.....thank you all.
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Old 12-06-04, 08:23 PM   #2
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Never too late! there are age groups all the way through. Plus you can race the same races each year (mass fun rides) and work on ur PB
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Old 12-06-04, 08:44 PM   #3
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ins and outs of the system? Train, go to a local club race, join, race, do it more and more, love it, keep doing it, get obsessed, do it every weekend, enjoy !!
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Old 12-06-04, 08:46 PM   #4
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30 y/o? Your just a babe! Do it man!
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Old 12-06-04, 09:27 PM   #5
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It's never too late, but if you're doing triathlon and you've fallen in love with the cycling, great job. HOWEVER, there are two other parts of triathlon training, and you'd do well to spend more time on your weaknesses and focus on the running and swimming more. I'm not saying cut out the cycling, just don't fall into the trap of focusing on one and neglecting the other two. Otherwise, you could end up doing badly overall, which might kill your interest in racing.

Otherwise, just focus on doing cycling only races instead. If that's your interest, why do a triathlon?

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Old 12-07-04, 03:52 PM   #6
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Oh ya, I don't plan on neglecting the other two aspects of the tri....I'm just saying that the cycling has me hooked and after the tri I plan on pursuing cycling more and more. Is training for a "tri" cycling different than training for actual "racing" cycling? and if so what is the best way to transition?
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Old 12-07-04, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
Oh ya, I don't plan on neglecting the other two aspects of the tri....I'm just saying that the cycling has me hooked and after the tri I plan on pursuing cycling more and more.
My wife was/is an avid runner, but started getting stress fractures a couple years ago. She decided to cross train and try her hand at triathalons, which is how I got back into biking. As she said, "I wish I had discovered cycling a long time ago"!. Of course, we are in our 50's. It may be too late for you to win the TDF, but you have a *long* time to have fun with cycling, tri, or whatever, and on a competitive level.
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Old 12-07-04, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
Is training for a "tri" cycling different than training for actual "racing" cycling? and if so what is the best way to transition?
regular bike races are all about drafting and learning how to ride in a pack. tri racing is more like time trialing. two different beasts.
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Old 12-07-04, 04:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
Is training for a "tri" cycling different than training for actual "racing" cycling?
Oh my, yes. Like timmhaan said, tri riding is a lot like timetrialing: you get aero and grind out as fast a pace as you can handle for the distance. No drafting, just solitary suffering. And then you hop off the bike, change shoes and go for a run. It's hard and beautiful and very rewarding but it's a lot different than bike racing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
and if so what is the best way to transition?
I am also a former tri-geek who fell in love with the bike. Start riding with serious cyclists, especially in group rides. You'll learn how to draft, how to attack, how to recover, how to take your turn at the head of a paceline, how to handle your bike in the wind and when you get jostled.

I've done lots of triathlons but only a few bike races. I'm training right now for the local early bird crit in January. And by the way, I'm 37.
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Old 12-07-04, 04:32 PM   #10
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I can't imagine that it would ever be too late to try any form of cycling including racing. I don't do it myself, but imagine that racing would make me a stronger and more skilled rider. Were I to take up racing, I'd do it for the same reason I cycle now - fitness, weight contol and enjoyment. My goal would be to finish races - not necessarily to win any.
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Old 12-07-04, 04:38 PM   #11
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okay cool.......one more thing. I have friends that I train with, as I have expressed my new found interest in cycling to them they kinda shrug and say that I would/might be too "big" or "heavy" for racing, they said I might have "too" much muscle weighing me down because of my crosstraining. Now I'm 5'10" 175lbs.....what would I need to lose ( if anything ) to become "ready". And how would I go about changing diet and routine to get where I would need to get? Thanks again everyone!
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Old 12-08-04, 07:52 AM   #12
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I didn't start racing until I was 40.
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Old 12-08-04, 07:57 AM   #13
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At a cyclocross race last year they had a 60+ category. Only 3 guys showed up and they basically rode the course for fun but still. It was great to see those guys out there and especially to see there nice old bikes. I hope you all are still racing at 60-70 because then I will have some companions in compitition
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Old 12-08-04, 10:48 AM   #14
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30 years old is still young. Actually you are at the prime of your life. Train correctly and do it! There are age categories in most local racing programs that run way up to over 60 and up. Keep in mind that 30 year olds that have been racing for a while are fast so don't get discouraged at first. They will just give you a reason to train harder and become faster.
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Old 12-08-04, 04:58 PM   #15
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Same here, I just turned 34 and want to start racing in 2005... My goal is to: 1.) get a road bike by late Feb./early March, 2.) sign up with a local club and 3.) try to advance to Cat. 3 in one year...

I have been riding bike (MTB) this year, a little over 4,000 miles (training miles only) so far, did some centuries and my best 1-lap in Central Park in NYC is 16:52, my 3-lap best is 52:30 (It is a 6.15 miles long circuit with rolling hills and don't forget: It was on a 28 lbs. MTB with 26" wheels and semi-slicks, 1.5 inch... I still wonder what time could I reach with a road bike under same conditions??? )

I have always been active throughout my life, sometimes more, sometimes less, running, hiking, climbing & mountaineering (the last two outdoor activities, I love very much, taught me a lot about suffering and perseverance, traits I'd like to put to good use when racing... ), so I think I do have a decent aerobic base that'll help me to achieve my goals... Need to learn though how to ride efficiently in a pack, that's why I want to join the local club... So coastie1975, welcome to racing and have fun... I surely will...
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Old 12-08-04, 05:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
okay cool.......one more thing. I have friends that I train with, as I have expressed my new found interest in cycling to them they kinda shrug and say that I would/might be too "big" or "heavy" for racing, they said I might have "too" much muscle weighing me down because of my crosstraining. Now I'm 5'10" 175lbs.....what would I need to lose ( if anything ) to become "ready". And how would I go about changing diet and routine to get where I would need to get? Thanks again everyone!

It depends. What's your bodyfat? And have you had measurements for power, speed, and cadence?

Sure, if you're over like 15%, you may need to drop a couple of percent. If you're in the 20s% bodyfat, then you'll need to drop some fat, but we couldn't tell just by looking at height and weight.

At the very least, go to a fitness club and get some basic stuff done like a bodyfat comp and a heart rate analysis so you can figure out how to train.

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Old 12-08-04, 05:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastie1975
okay cool.......one more thing. I have friends that I train with, as I have expressed my new found interest in cycling to them they kinda shrug and say that I would/might be too "big" or "heavy" for racing, they said I might have "too" much muscle weighing me down because of my crosstraining. Now I'm 5'10" 175lbs.....what would I need to lose ( if anything ) to become "ready". And how would I go about changing diet and routine to get where I would need to get? Thanks again everyone!
Aaagh, no way, hacks. Don't listen to them. You are not THAT big, plenty of guys race who are bigger than you.
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Old 12-08-04, 10:51 PM   #18
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No, you're not too old. A good friend of mine didn't start racing until he was in his 30's and is a two-time NorCal District masters road race champ in his 40's. I just started racing at the tender age of 54.
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Old 12-09-04, 09:19 AM   #19
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i'm just getting into it at 27 years old. still young by many peoples standards, but i really wish i had become interested in racing when i was a teenager and when i didn't have to work for a living. who knows, my life could be very different than it is now.

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