How many Months/YEARS have you been training, and what are your GOALS?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Strumpetto, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Strumpetto

    Strumpetto New Member

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    Hey guys,

    Thought it would be interesting if people shared their cycling experiences. That is, how long have you been riding, and at what level? Also, who introduced you to the sport, and what are your long term goals? And what keeps you training?
     
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  2. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I've been riding my bike for years - as long as I can recall, but I started being serious about it maybe 5 or 6 years ago, really serious 2 years ago. I'd say I have to credit my mom with keeping me interested in cycling. She started me off touring when I was about 11.

    Being a bit more serious started a few years ago with long organized rides (I did a 2 day 200 mile ride with disabled guys through the hospital I was working at). I suppose you could say I trained to do that, but nothing all that formal - long weekend rides. Then my husband and I did a several weeks tour in Spain.

    After we came back from that trip my husband decided he wanted to start racing and convinced me to buy a new bike. His second year racing he convinced me to try a race (a hillclimb TT) and I did so well that I decided to explore it some more. My first year I pretty much played by ear. I didn't have a lot of expectations, so I just thought I'd see how it went. I did fairly well - wasn't getting dropped and usually up in the top 10-12, with my best finish being 3rd so I decided for the next year to be more focused and hired a coach.

    This year I did very well, I won 2 state championship races (crit and hillclimb TT) was 2nd in a third (road race) and won the BARR (best all around rider) for the cat 4's. I've also upgraded and in the women's cycling world that means next year I have a whole new world ahead of me - the women basically have 2 fields, cat 4 and everyone else up to and including pros......

    So just being able to stay in races next year is my motivation :rolleyes: and my goal! Knowing what is in store for me will definitely keep me on my bike all through our cold wet winter.
     
  3. Strumpetto

    Strumpetto New Member

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    Congratulatons on your wins! And good luck with your upgrade!
     
  4. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I must've started riding when i was about 3 or 4 years old. I soon started racing the other kids around the streets.

    When i was 7 or 8 i saw the Amstel Gold Classic on television, and thought it looked super cool. I loved the colours of the jerseys, and for some reason (it may have been because my dad found a poster for me) Jan Raas was my hero.

    I started racing in 1984 when i was 14 y old, and i'm still racing now (well not now, cos the season is finished for me!). So i started as a juvenile, got to 2nd cat (would have made 1st, but got DQ in last race of the season for crossing the white line to avoid a fallen rider in the last 100 m). I'm now a masters racer.

    Along the way i've raced with some pros, raced in UK and Europe, and since '98 have been coaching cyclists from pros to regular racers. I've won some TTs and H/Cs. My best RR finish is a second place :mad: Thankfully, the guys and gals i've coached have gotten 1st places. I wish i'd had a coach when i was seriously into racing.

    I think mainly i got myself into the sport (i loved racing the other kids and seeing the Amstel), but my dad did some bike touring. once i actually started racing it was the best thing.

    Long term goals include continue racing and being able to put the hurt on ;) . And that's what keeps me training (it's waaaaay to hard to have a break and restart again). Oh! and winning a road race.

    Ric
     
  5. Strumpetto

    Strumpetto New Member

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    Great stuff! I don't think until recently that I realized exactly how difficult it is to become a good cylist. In other words, I never realized how hard it really is to WIN a race. I'm not a roadie, I'm a MTB'er. I've won my fair share of MTB races, but road races seem like a different, more sophisticated story; a battle of calculated jabs and blows. I'm extremely excited about getting into road racing. However, I don't yet have a bike, and riding with my univeristy team is difficult, because the majority of them are roadies. I go to school in the city and there are a lot of road rides going on all the time, including a pro ride every Tuesday that anyone can join. So, for the time being, I chase down roadies on my MTB, dreaming of the day when my tires will be thin and rock hard.

    Lastly, I'm finally realizing the amount of dedication that is required to become a fast rider. No other sport is like it. I love the challenge. I've only been back on the bike for two months after a four year hiatus. During those four years I abused my body, and I'm wondering what kind of damage I did to my lungs. I am truly dissapointed with myself. Sometimes I feel as if there is elastic around my lungs. I didn't smoke cigs, I smoked the other stuff occasionally . . . However, I keep cranking up the hills, and when I've riden hard for three hours and I get off my bike, I truly feel alive. I feel healthy and happy for the first time in four years. I quit drinking. I quit partying. I get up and start spinning. Spin it to win it.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I started riding seriously in college in the early '80s and was introduced by a room mate. I started racing collegiate events in '83 and took out my first USCF license in '84. I raced pretty seriously through the late '80s and early '90s most of it as a cat 3 on both road and track. I did some big stage races like a week long race from border to border in Nevada in a combined Cat 1,2,3 field and the Gila in NM as well as hundreds of road and track events. Managed a single Norcal district medal on the track during that time and a few decent placings here and there but mostly I suffered mightily against much better racers. Most of my placings and nearly all my wins came on the track in part because you race several races each evening and have more opportunities to make something happen. I raced a bit of NORBA and some fall cyclocross for the sheer fun of it but never really worked at it or cared much about results.

    I stopped racing in the mid '90s when I got deeper into career stuff and moved around the country for a while. I put in a lot of miles last summer and decided to give racing another go and that's when I tripped across these forums and bought a power meter. I trained in a completely different way than I did back in the day with fewer hours, more intensity and more directed focus. The power meter was extremely helpful and was key to maintaining motivation over the winter when I was stuck indoors on the trainer but realistically it was the focused higher intensity training that made the big difference.

    Anyway, I did my first races in over a decade this spring and suprised myself by consistently riding near or off the front in Master's 3,4,5 races. Most of the races in this region are open masters so I'm usually racing against cat 1,2,3 riders but I still managed a handful of top ten places and won a 40km time trial this summer. I never had results like that during my first 12 years of racing. I'm completely convinced that I never trained appropriately with way too many group hammerfest rides, too many races per week and per season(easy to do in NorCal) and too many long slow rides with the belief that miles translate to fitness and speed.

    It's part of the reason you'll hear me rail against LSD based training and dearly held training myths so often. I feel I wasted many potentially good racing years following plans like that. Plans designed by well respected cycling coaches that cost me more over the course of a season than my PM. It's why I decided to learn as much as I could and take a shot at self coaching. I'm seriously considering hiring a coach to take me further. I really believe in an objective set of eyes keeping tabs on my training and racing. But I won't hire anyone that isn't pretty darn power savvy and certainly won't hire someone who bases their coaching on tradition over science. Been there, done that.

    What keeps me going these days is seeing how far I can take this new approach to training and a sense of unfinished business from my first go round.

    Anyway, I think it's a fairly long process even if you get started on a good track but it ends up being even longer for many of us that followed some dead end paths first :)
    -Dave
     
  7. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    Been riding a road bike about 5 years now.

    Started as an alternative to buying a car and oddly enough, I've been carless for 5 years now.

    Notable accomplishments are losing 50 lbs. and finishing planet Ultra's KOM 2 years in a row (beat previous year's total time by about 2 + hours). 7th last year at a cat V race.

    Was going to try racing this year but got derailed by a pinched nerve injury.

    I really want to race next year and I'm hoping to do things "right" and realizing that there are so many opinions, schools of thought and some know it alls so I guess I will find out thru experience what works best for me.

    Right now I'm using Trainngpeak's Virtual Coach as a general guide to my training. Cyclo-core to improve my lower back condition and about 10-15 hours a week of riding till my first priority race in April.

    Next on my to do list:
    - Find a local team I'd like to race with
    - Not gain too much weight during the winter
    - establish some base miles

    Wish me luck and I hope no one kicks me out of here for asking a lot of newbie questions.
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I really started riding as a messenger in Manhattan when I was going to college at NYU. It had nothing to do with cycling but just needed the money. As I rode I enjoyed the freedom and dispatcher used to say I was pretty good based upon the number of drops per day.

    Fast foward 20 years having concentrated solely on building a business...I one day walking to work, slip an break my ankle. I have surgery and get plates put in. I never knew till than how bad a shape I was in. I felt helpless.

    I recover and decide time to get to the gym. I go for weight training mixed with cardio. It is hard to fit in the cardio so I get the idea, buy a bike and take it to work. Get to work and get the cardio!! I than set a goal to do a ride from NYC to Boston and than NYC to Baltimore. Do spinning classes and I accomplish both...suddenly decide why not buy a rode bike and take it a bit further.

    I put in a lot of useless miles until I upgrade my Trek 5000 and buy a Cervelo. Find a coach while buying the bike. Getting frustrated as it seems not to be really doing much, no way to measure. I than by my coach's help come on to a used power meter. He goes away to ride for Hungary Nationals. I than come along this site and find Dave and you guys and suddenly I have a purpose and a way to measure my progress.

    I am the type of guy without a way to measure progress in a day to day manner, I go nuts. For years going to the gym same guys and they look the same, I do not get it.

    My goals now are all in power terms and being competitive in a cat 5 race. I think once I win one, I do not know what I will do, I have no dreams of grandeur. I find the challenge of making this goal one of the toughest in my life as it is also challenging one other thing I always wanted to change...the "will to win". I have been successful in business but never thought in terms of winning .... I am finally starting to think in those terms. It is a mental and physical challenge for me.

    I wish I had done this 20 years ago, I would not have all these 20 or 30 something cat 5 guys to deal with as I did today. Also theyare so lucky today with their access to so much more info and toys. When I was young the info was so sparse and being raised in Brookl, organized sports was not easy to find. Cycling was never thought of as a spot when I was growing up, it was something kids did!

    -Js


     
  9. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    Started racing when I was 14, 8 years ago. I don't really race anymore because I'm not very interested in the endurance aspect of the sport. My goal now is basically to just become a real sprinter. It's so much more fun hammering around town than slogging down the road for 3 hours feeling like you're going to die. Last night I had some fun toying with some kids on motorscooters...so funny.
     
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