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Thoughts on my potential in cycling?

Old 11-11-20, 12:12 AM
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collinullrich
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Thoughts on my potential in cycling?

Hey all!

My name is Collin, and Im going to be making the switch from collegiate distance running to cycling.

I had a few questions for some of the vets regarding my potential...

Before I ask them, heres a little about me:

- I weigh 180 and stand 63.
- Resting heart rate is 28 bpm according to holter monitor as of January.
- vo2 max of 73.
- 2 mile of 9:02 (running)
- 3 mile of 14:28 (cross country)

Im wondering if any of these metrics indicate I have potential in cycling. Any positive advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-20, 01:42 AM
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rivers
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Your running numbers mean nothing when it comes to cycling, other than you already have a good base level of fitness. My brother is a 2:27 marathoner, and I'm faster and stronger than him on the bike. With some training, you probably would become a strong cyclist. Or you might not.

Last edited by rivers; 11-11-20 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 11-11-20, 05:58 AM
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VO2 max of 73? You're well on your way. Losing 10-15 lbs. would be very helpful.
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Old 11-11-20, 06:38 AM
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Why did you have a Holter monitor?
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Old 11-11-20, 06:56 AM
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Talk about potential is useless. You're a collegiate athlete; you know how to train and compete. Apply the same principles to cycling. See how things are progressing in 3-5 years. By then you'll have either made it showcasing brilliant potential a la Mike Woods (pretty much impossible), you'll be a solid amateur rider/racer, maybe cat 2 or 3 (very possible), or you'll not be riding at all as you'll be done with college and ...life (equally as possible).

Long story short; potential simply doesn't matter when you haven't even started a sport.
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Old 11-11-20, 09:11 AM
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Give it a go and see if you like it. Most runners I know that have turned to cycling (myself included), have done well. Helps when you start with a strong aerobic engine and only have to learn the mechanics of riding/racing, instead of having to learn the bike and improve your fitness at the same time. Altho, cycling fitness will be a bit different from running fitness, so you'll still room to improve, I'm only two years into cycling and still improving. I came from ultra running (where I was fairly competitive, not just finishing) and had no problems jumping right into A+ rides, have won some races, place regularly (locally, not saying I'm ready to go pro or anything, but I'm also 46 lol). I still run some, but def enjoy the bike much more.
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Old 11-11-20, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Give it a go and see if you like it. Most runners I know that have turned to cycling (myself included), have done well. Helps when you start with a strong aerobic engine and only have to learn the mechanics of riding/racing, instead of having to learn the bike and improve your fitness at the same time. Altho, cycling fitness will be a bit different from running fitness, so you'll still room to improve, I'm only two years into cycling and still improving. I came from ultra running (where I was fairly competitive, not just finishing) and had no problems jumping right into A+ rides, have won some races, place regularly (locally, not saying I'm ready to go pro or anything, but I'm also 46 lol). I still run some, but def enjoy the bike much more.
muscle efficiency -- people who only run have poor efficiency cycling. so it just take time to improve muscle efficiency. this is my argument why you will see cyclist who ride 50 or 70 or 100 miles and they are pudgy. they have become efficient at cycling, so their body has figured how how to conserve calories.
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Old 11-11-20, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by collinullrich View Post
Hey all!

My name is Collin, and Im going to be making the switch from collegiate distance running to cycling.

I had a few questions for some of the vets regarding my potential...

Before I ask them, heres a little about me:

- I weigh 180 and stand 63.
- Resting heart rate is 28 bpm according to holter monitor as of January.
What is your heart rate when you're running?
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Old 11-11-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
VO2 max of 73? You're well on your way. Losing 10-15 lbs. would be very helpful.
Weighing 165# at 6'3 would be helpful?
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Old 11-11-20, 10:04 AM
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Have you ever rode a bike before?
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Old 11-11-20, 10:04 AM
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Many distance runners really excel at cycling. But some don't. Get on a bike, give it a go, and see what happens.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Weighing 165# at 6'3 would be helpful?
Probably not.
For reference, Jens Voight is 6'-3" and his racing weight was around 170lbs, with around 4% body fat.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Probably not.
For reference, Jens Voight is 6'-3" and his racing weight was around 170lbs, with around 4% body fat.
Right. I get that 165# is around the high for pros, but few are 6'3.
And this is college, not someone on the world tour.

Ha, there was a CX pro who was like 6'6 and probably 175. That guy was slenderman. You probably know who I'm referring to.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by collinullrich View Post
Im wondering if any of these metrics indicate I have potential in cycling. Any positive advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Potential to ride a bike? You can do it!
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People here don't get it.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Right. I get that 165# is around the high for pros, but few are 6'3.
And this is college, not someone on the world tour.

Ha, there was a CX pro who was like 6'6 and probably 175. That guy was slenderman. You probably know who I'm referring to.
Exactly.
​​​​​​According to procyclingstats.com, the average pro cyclist is 5'-11" and weighs 151lbs. So while a 6'-3"/180lb rider would be on the taller end of the spectrum, it's not as if it's unheard of for someone that size to be incredibly successful at cycling. Obviously being lighter is an advantage in terms of power/weight ratio, but only to a point.

Conor Dune is 6'-8"/195lbs and has multiple national championships and has rode in several grand tours.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:30 AM
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Wow you guys, the guy asked if he has potential to ride a bike and your telling him to lose 15 lbs LOL.

I think, your first question should be A) Do you like to bike? And B) What is your goal?. If you dont like biking, then it dont matter what your potential is, your never going to achieve greatness, let alone smile doing it. If you like biking, then what are you trying to achieve? At what level do you wanna compete etc. And then strive for that goal. I dont think anyone on this forum, I dont care how smart or experienced they are, is going to accurately predict what you can or cant do. If that was the case, then no one would try anything and life would be incredibly boring.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by oleg232000 View Post
Wow you guys, the guy asked if he has potential to ride a bike and your telling him to lose 15 lbs LOL.
A. Only one person said that.
B. Isn't "lose 15lbs" the standard tounge-in-cheek answer to anyone asking what they can do to improve their bike racing?
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Old 11-11-20, 10:39 AM
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Bike handling and pack riding skills are important to your success and your survival. I've seen strong runners jump on a bike and perform well but crash due to their lack of experience.
If you start racing and/or doing fast group rides take your time to learn as much as you can. There is a lot more to riding a bicycle fast than a big engine.

Yes, you're on the big side for a pro but your size won't be a disadvantage in crit racing or flat road races or TTs. Size may never become a factor depending on what you end up doing.

Find some fast group rides (after you get familiar with bike handling) or racers and let them know where you are coming from. Maybe hang on the back at first to test the waters. In my experience racers are willing to help you grow, just don't over estimate your skills. In a group, it's not just your ass on the line.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by collinullrich View Post
Hey all!

My name is Collin, and Im going to be making the switch from collegiate distance running to cycling.

I had a few questions for some of the vets regarding my potential...

Before I ask them,
heres a little about me:

...!
And the questions are?
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Old 11-11-20, 10:46 AM
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The correct answer is probably, but you need to start riding with a club to find out.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Weighing 165# at 6'3 would be helpful?
If the weight lost was fat, yes. I have a feeling though, just based on he is a collegiate level runner, he probably is already fairly lean.
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Old 11-11-20, 11:36 AM
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Being a lifelong runner who now rides more due to age (59) and runner's dystonia, I frankly think you should keep running. You have great numbers but probably not going to be a professional track star. I would concentrate on running local races and maybe even get in shape for a marathon. In my way of thinking you have a much better chance gaining notoriety running now. As you age you can add cycling. You have potential to be good at cycling but who knows. Right now you already a a great runner with sub 2;20 marathon potential............nothing to be sneezed at!
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Old 11-11-20, 12:03 PM
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What they said ^ .

If you want to maximize on years of training in running run. if you want to try cycling, ride a bike.

Join a Club.

Even group rides aren't too hard to manage. Join the slow group and hang off the back ... that way if you don't get much aero benefit you could still hang on. I know the club I rode with a while back would let me ride last in line and not take a turn pulling ... i'd just let the guy dropping back into line ahead of me. A lot safer for all concerned.

Borrow a bike, rent a bike, buy a cheap bike ... see what you think. As for potential ... you could be the next Tour de France winner, or the fastest guy in your region, or the guy who does long solo rides at high speed and embarrasses the local club riders when he blows buy them .... who knows? People tell me that with dedication we can achieve a lot of what we can imagine .... so what do you imagine yourself doing on a bike?
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Old 11-11-20, 02:03 PM
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Sounds like you are wanting to at least do amateur competitions since you mentioned collegiate level distance running. If the change to cycling involves a coach, then good, listen to them. If a coach is not involved, then get one.

Otherwise listening to us here you'll get a mish-mash of different methods thrown at you that are in and of themselves, not entirely wrong or right.

How fast your body recovers from one day to the next might determine if your forte is going to be short distance cycling or long distance.
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Old 11-12-20, 05:50 AM
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Yes, my "lose 15 lbs." comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. However, if the OP is interested in maximizing his cycling performance, losing weight while maintaining strength and fitness otherwise should be a priority. BTW, I'm a hair taller than the OP, and weigh in at 162+/-.
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