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Is being fast mostly genetics?

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Is being fast mostly genetics?

Old 12-26-09, 09:59 AM
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of course it does, although i'd think with your 19min 5k speed, you'd be a lot faster. i can barely break 19:45 for a 5k & i can go 18mph for miles soloing. build your base, sprinkle in intervals when you are trying to peak, and you should be more than fine. btw, has someone evaluated your posture?
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Old 12-26-09, 10:13 AM
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Both are very different sports.My legs always give in first with Cycling;With Running,it's more on the lungs
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Old 12-26-09, 10:53 AM
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^^. Probably true for most conditioned runners: running or cycling long distances at a base pace leads to overall fatigue at some point. Ratchet that pace up a few notches, and he runs out of air before legs when running, and out of legs before air when cycling. More cycling/running at your base pace only extends the distance before overall fatigue sets in. Runners increase their anaerobic threshold with interval training. I suspect cyclists increase their leg strength the same way. In comparing the two sports, I seriously doubt an Olympic class cyclist can become an Olympic class distance runner, and vice versa. Each has superior strength in an area that isn't paramount for the other.
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Old 12-26-09, 11:04 AM
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It could be your position. If you sit up like a sail, obviously you won't be able to go as fast as if you were in a more aero position.
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Old 12-26-09, 11:41 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tc83
riding always requires "pushing muscles" predominantly (quadriceps, calves and ankles minimally involved).
Do you mean to say that quads are minimally involved in cycling? That doesn't sound right. Or am I interpreting this wrongly?
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Old 12-26-09, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by agarose2000
Genetics do help, but training is huge.
...
I still think that for non-pro racers, training trumps all. All the way up to the top amateur levels.
This
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Old 12-26-09, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by shatdow
Do you mean to say that quads are minimally involved in cycling? That doesn't sound right. Or am I interpreting this wrongly?
No, i meant it to say that quads are very involved as the big pushing muscles in cycling. the piece about calves/ankles is to draw contrast to running, where they play a big role in propelling the runner as far as "pushing" is concerned, while the quads are playing a supporting role.
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Old 12-26-09, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Hollow_Cyclist
I ride 30 to 50 mile rides every other day. Ive been at this pace for roughly two years now with not much improvement. The fastest I ever averaged a flat stretch of road that was 15 miles distance without interruptions was 18 mph and that doesnt happen every day. I did however improve since I started riding seriously 5 years ago. Back then I was averaging roughly 15 mph. Am I slow on improving or is this average for someone of my experience?

Im also not an avid runner. I run maybe once or twice a week.
There is your problem. You've been doing base for 2 years. Do you know your max hr?
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Old 12-26-09, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by agarose2000
Genetics do help, but training is huge.
On the other hand you can train and train and train and train and train and train until your Sidis fall off and if you're a 23 mph TT guy it's not going to make you a 27 mph TT guy. Maybe it will push you up to 25 mph. A 10% improvement at any level is huge, and it can even elevate you to the next level (say from Cat 4 to Cat 3), but will it push you up into Cat 2 territory? That's not very likely. So it's really both, but at the end of the day the kid that comes out on his crappy Sears bike and sneakers and solo's in to win the Cat 4 race is going straight to Cat 1/2 within a year or two, and the dedicated guy who finished 10th in the same race with his CF wheels and PM will struggle mightily to get to Cat 3, if he ever gets there at all. Of course the latter guy got dropped in his first couple of Cat 4/5 races, so for him that's big progress.

There's always a bigger fish. Always.
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Old 12-26-09, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hollow_Cyclist
Im bigger than both of the people I mentioned by atleast 40lbs. Im not a big guy but Im not small either. Im not a climber. Most of my rides are climbs. I live nearby mountains and thats all I do because I enjoy going downhill at 40 to 50 mph. Im slow to climb. Anything over 7% grade will have me going at 6 or 7mph. I have decent acceleration but Ive seen other people out accelerate me. Im not a sprinter because I can sprint till I explode and I am still going 34 mph at best for only 3 or 4 seconds. I get passed a lot on bike paths by riders doing over 20 mph.
I think the advice of riding with a group is probably your best way of increasing your speed. I noticed that you live in Orange County, California. We have several groups that you could ride with on a Saturday or Sunday.

Here are a few:

https://www.canyonvelo.org/index.cfm
https://www.ocrebels.com/
https://www.ocw.org/
https://www.bikeirvine.org/

There is a difference in experience between these clubs. If you do decide to ride with a club, I would start with the Bicycle Club of Irvine. They are less structured and ride mostly for fun and exercise. The Velos, on the other hand, are fast competitive riders that are either professionals or close to it.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:02 PM
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I'm fundamentally confused. 19:00 for a 5k isn't that great. maybe a decent benchmark, but if you run regularly at all, that's just ok.

genetics do play a large role in everything sports (and learning, but we don't talk about that)

I'm built like a long distance runner (read:scrawny) but biking is wayyyy more fun.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:41 PM
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You're slow because you think you're slow.

My advice is to ride harder and to stop comparing yourself to other people.

You're faster than a whole bunch of people who don't ride as much or push themselves as hard as you do.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:53 PM
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Yes. It's all genetics.

How much you train, and how you train has nothing to do with your fitness.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
On the other hand you can train and train and train and train and train and train until your Sidis fall off and if you're a 23 mph TT guy it's not going to make you a 27 mph TT guy. Maybe it will push you up to 25 mph. A 10% improvement at any level is huge, and it can even elevate you to the next level (say from Cat 4 to Cat 3), but will it push you up into Cat 2 territory? That's not very likely. So it's really both, but at the end of the day the kid that comes out on his crappy Sears bike and sneakers and solo's in to win the Cat 4 race is going straight to Cat 1/2 within a year or two, and the dedicated guy who finished 10th in the same race with his CF wheels and PM will struggle mightily to get to Cat 3, if he ever gets there at all. Of course the latter guy got dropped in his first couple of Cat 4/5 races, so for him that's big progress.

There's always a bigger fish. Always.
I disagree that the differences from training are that small. They are HUGE. Most people simply don't train hard enough.

When I was a pure runner, I plateaud for 15 years at what I thought was hard training, running 5 miles per day (45-60 mins/day) with sprints, 6x/week.

Little did I know it would take up to 15 miles per day 7 days per week (2.5 hrs per day average of running - that would probably equal 3-4 hours of cycling per day - I often trained twice per day) over a 2 year period to break through.

Went from a solid runner at top 25% to a very good amateur, top 2%. I'm sure that if I kept at it that seriously another few years, I could have become a regional age group champion - which seemed absolutely impossible to me given that in high school, I was so untalented that I didn't even count as a scoring member of a crappy HS x-country team.

I agree that it's a mighty struggle for someone who has been stuck at Cat4 for awhile to get up to Cat3/Cat2, but before you count him out, he/she better be logging at LEAST 2.5 hours per day on the bike, 7 days per week - or closer to 3-4 hours per day on the bike, and be doing this for a minimum of 2 years, preferably 4+.

I highly doubt you'll find too much Cat5 fodder for guys training on a disciplined schedule with this kind of volume. Regardless of genetics.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:59 PM
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Oh great, another genetics vs. training debate. The super-fast guys have genetics and training. You won't go all the way without both. Cat 1s are basically unpaid pros, for all intents and purposes. They are freaks of nature.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:27 PM
  #41  
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As the years go by the internet has gradually turned into the misinformation superhighway. BF is a good example of this.

My suggestion (if you really want to know some of the legitimate science behind bicycle performance) is to leave this place, and go do some real study on it.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:28 PM
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I'm built like a long distance runner (read:scrawny) but biking is wayyyy more fun.
Isn't that the cycling build too?
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Old 12-26-09, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by agarose2000

Little did I know it would take up to 15 miles per day 7 days per week (2.5 hrs per day average of running - that would probably equal 3-4 hours of cycling per day - I often trained twice per day) over a 2 year period to break through.
May i ask how you were able to juggle 21 hours of physical exercise/week with work or study? During a good week, i can devote 7 hours during weekdays and 7 hours on the weekend, and i have barely enough time left for my studies. 21 hours seems almost unimaginable. Also, how did you get used to doing doubles for your running? I don't think i can recover fast enough in 12 hours. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 12-26-09, 08:50 PM
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Cycling will help you run uphill faster. If you run xc, it will be a big help.
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Old 12-26-09, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich
May i ask how you were able to juggle 21 hours of physical exercise/week with work or study? During a good week, i can devote 7 hours during weekdays and 7 hours on the weekend, and i have barely enough time left for my studies. 21 hours seems almost unimaginable. Also, how did you get used to doing doubles for your running? I don't think i can recover fast enough in 12 hours. Many thanks in advance.
I never trained 20+ hrs per week. Peaked at about 18, possibly 20, and most of the time it was 14-16hrs/week.

The key is to put in time during the weekdays - so you can go hard on the weekends! Figure 2-3 hrs per day on weekdays. It's completely doable, even for the busy - my schedule is likely busier than most on this forum (medical field) and thought it was hard, I got used to it. Wake up at 4-5AM if you must, combine commutes with workouts, and don't waste any time. If you want it, you can definitely squeeze in 2-3hrs a day, even on busy days.

1 hr per day is for weekend warriors - unless you're a gifted monster, don't expect to have any particularly strong results with that low a training volume.

Keep in mind that lots of amateur triathletes training for Ironman, and not even coming close to placing in their age group, train this much. It's pretty typical volume for an IM competitor.

Elite pro runners ALWAYS run doubles. They never run over 22 miles at a time. Run AM + run PM. Swimmers do, too. Cyclists less so because there's not as much need to avoid the pounding or joint strain (swimmers shoulder).

I know for me in running, to get this fast, I felt a bit beat-down all the time. I nearly always ran on tired legs, even hard workouts. It wasn't overtraining - but I had to be extra careful to ensure that I wasn't. If you haven't pushed into this territory for a long period of time, you're nowhere near your potential, but it may take years to get strong enough to even attempt it successfully.

Last edited by agarose2000; 12-26-09 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 12-26-09, 09:51 PM
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Date a fast girl
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Old 12-26-09, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Oh great, another genetics vs. training debate. The super-fast guys have genetics and training. You won't go all the way without both. Cat 1s are basically unpaid pros, for all intents and purposes. They are freaks of nature.

I think what you meant to say is Cat 1s that win are are freaks of nature. Doesnt take any good genetics to ride the draft of a 100 pros for any distance, just some solid training and a small body that can find a nice hiding spot in the draft. I know several. Put them in a TT and they ****e.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Terex
Cycling will help you run uphill faster. If you run xc, it will be a big help.
Yup.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by peterot
I think what you meant to say is Cat 1s that win are are freaks of nature. Doesnt take any good genetics to ride the draft of a 100 pros for any distance, just some solid training and a small body that can find a nice hiding spot in the draft. I know several. Put them in a TT and they ****e.
You probably don't realize that to become a cat 1, you have to beat other cat 1s and pros. There are very few cat 2 only races. They are almost all Pro/1/2.

That's why Waterrockets, as gifted as he is, is downgrading back to a 3. Although he can destroy your typical cat 3, he just can't compete with the Pros and 1s.
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Old 12-26-09, 10:06 PM
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Since we're going down this road again...

Genetics is the Alpha factor. The maximum potential that you can realize through training is dictated by genetics. However, so is what you are capable of for a given level of training. What I mean is that there is not a world-class cyclist hiding underneath your current performance, waiting to be unleashed. However, with more varied and smart training, you likely CAN get a lot faster than you are now.
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