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Old 01-25-05, 03:55 PM   #1
B10Cycle
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Late Start Training

Hey,

I've been road cycling since last summer, but I've wanted to get into racing this year. I'm 16 and in good shape, but not cycling shape. I wrestle for my school in the winter (November thru February) which, along with school, has managed to soak up just about all of my time. I want to ride desperately, but I simply don't have enough hours in a day to be riding and not be dieing during the rest of my day. I honestly have not been on the bike in nearly a month and it sucks...a lot.

I know if I'm planning on racing this season I need to build up my base, but unfortunately I won't have time to start training until the last week in February, at the very earliest. I know a lot of you other guys have been building up your base miles for quite some time. I understand base training pretty well, but is there anyway that I can sort of speed up my base training? I've seen six weeks as a figure of how long one should work on that before they get to intervals and stuff, but that really pushes me way back in the season. Are there any plans out there that call for less base miles that anyone knows of? I've heard, I don't know if it goes for all training programs or not, that cutting base mileage now would hurt me later in the season. If anyone has any knowledge of any way I can shorten my base training time without hurting myself later that would be great. Thanks
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Old 01-25-05, 04:17 PM   #2
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You aren't too late.

At 16 years old, you are way ahead of the rest of us! Don't rush it- you are in a stage of development right now where it's recommended that you don't push things. At the same time, this is about the age that kids start specializing into the sport of choice. You're in good shape. Don't worry about the moment... focus on the long run. Start your base mileage now, and while you're at it, see about getting tested by your pediatrician to see how your development is going, and tell your doctor what you're wanting to do with regards to your sport. Once you have clearance, find a performance lab where you can get tested for your VO2 max, max hr, and lactate threshold (to start).

Don't shorten your base. Really, you are at a perfect age to either become very successful with time or to flop and end up an under average joe at 22. In your shoes, I'd go for success over time anyday.

Don't shorten your base. Do it. Then while you're at it, find a program that trains teens. I don't know where you might find something in MD, but start with Jittery Joe's: http://www.bikecafe.net/bean/Bean.11.04.04.asp They sponsor younger riders in teams. They may be able to help you find a team to train with.

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Old 01-25-05, 04:23 PM   #3
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you can also work on your general endurance in this off season. try some running or indoor swimming to get your heartrate up, they are less time consuming than cycling and easier to do when it's cold. a good base consists of general health, not just cycling mileage.
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Old 01-25-05, 05:04 PM   #4
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If you could get an indoor trainer you could try cycling after practice. Does your team have exercise bikes around the room or in the locker room, we always had them in the locker room for weight cutting purposes. I would just cycle after practice, it will help your wrestling too. I wrestled in high school and I use to run 5 miles after pratice or before school on the nights I had club practice. I think you are a little too worried, not a bad thing, you know what great shape wrestling leaves you in, plus your weight will be under control when racing season starts. It shouldn't take that long to convert your wrestling fitness into cycling fitness, plus your core muscles will be in tremendous shape from wrestling. Good luck in your wrestling!
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Old 01-26-05, 04:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm in good shape now, so I guess it shouldn't be too hard to get into cycling shape. I won't worry too much about the cycling until I can get done with wrestling, but I hope that I can get a few Sunday rides in in the coming weeks if the weather stays decent (ie not snowing).

Koffee: Thanks a lot for that link! I knew I recognized Jittery Joe's from something cycling related. They sponsor a team around here and I'm just getting in touch with their Juniors coach. That was really helpful, thanks.
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Old 01-26-05, 04:54 PM   #6
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B10, I realize that you DC-area folks got a ton of snow lately, but is it possible for you to ride to school once the weather warms up? Even for an old guy like me, commuting is a great way to keep the cycling muscles toned, and it allows you to throw in some extra training miles when you're feeling frisky and your schedule allows.

Good luck!
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Old 01-26-05, 05:45 PM   #7
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It's possible, but it's a pain in the ass. I've done it a few times in the past and never really found a way I can do it so it's not a huge pain. I live relatively close to school: 5-10 minute drive, 10-15 minute ride, so that's not the issue. The issue is the 25-30+ pound backpack, sport coat, tie, dress shirt, kahkis, and often duffel bag of clothes for other sports that need to go with me on a daily basis.

I've done it in the past, but it's just seemed like more of a pain than it's really worth. I've been thinking of ways to make it somewhat more viable on a daily basis, but thus far I'm coming up empty.

Thanks for the idea though. During the spring my schedule really opens up and I will have all the time that I want to ride, which I can't wait for.
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