how old is too old to train to go pro?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jrtalon, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. ewan52

    ewan52 New Member

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    look im not going to drop to the level of the gutter here but i just dont see how someone who has been riding for a few weeks and hasnt even done a race can ask this question. im not saying i dont want you to become pro, thats stupid, im saying that your kind of disrespecting the whole system that cycling has in place by asking this question before youve even started bike racing. wait a year see how your going then maybe, and its a big maybe, you might have a shot at being a pro of some sort by the time you turn 28-29.
     


  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quite true.

    Someone else can confirm this ...

    It is my understanding that the CAT3 (?) guys in my area ride between 60-and-100 miles PER DAY ... with as many climbing miles as possible (e.g., mountain roads). At close to competitive speeds, no doubt. Does that sound right to the aspiring/competitive riders?

    I guess the question that jrtalon has to ask-and-answer for himself is whether or not he is willing to minimally put in that kind of on-the-bike training.
     
  3. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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  4. ishiwata

    ishiwata New Member

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    then why'd you ask in the first place?
     
  5. jrtalon

    jrtalon New Member

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  6. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    You're MUCH better off being the weekend warrior cat 1/2 who has a real job and actually earns a decent living.

    BTW, I hope you like pain, if you want to be a good rider.
     
  7. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    Are you serious?

    perma cat 4? Come on! I'm the first person in my family tree to get their heart rate above 120 and I made it to cat 2.

    Anybody who is under age 40 and stuck in cat 4, they are either mentally weak, or their training is lacking for any number of reasons. Or they are trying to fail.
     
  8. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Sorry, but that's total nonsense. The genetic outliers aren't just the guys winning in Europe. There are also people who don't respond to endurance training. At all. Studies that use untrained subjects run into them all the time. You don't know them, because they don't gravitate towards recreational endurance athletics, but they're real.

    Both 'baseline' untrained fitness and the ability to respond to training are genetically determined. Feeling superior to someone because you're faster than them on the bike is inane; it's like feeling superior to someone who's shorter than you, and telling them to "just stand up taller." If you want to feel good about your training, look at the progress you've made, when compared against yourself.
     
  9. goldsbar

    goldsbar New Member

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    Anybody in cat 2 is genetically gifted when it comes to cycling. You don't get there on just hard work. Tons of cat 4's try very hard for a few years and quit because they can't break out of the 4's (myself included though I'd replace very hard with somewhat hard).

    Haven't you ever noticed in every other walk of life how some people are just better at certain things? Every one had the college buddy that partied every night, never steadied and yet still had a high GPA. It's the same thing.
     
  10. Pendejo

    Pendejo Member

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    I don't know about the college example: I majored in physics as an undergrad, and I never knew anyone in that major to get good grades without lots of hard work. Maybe it depends on the major; or maybe it depends on when one went to college. As for sports, yes, some people just seem to have a natural physical fluidity that gives them a headstart in most sports. But I'm not so sure that sort of talent carries over to endurance sports like biking or running, where hand/eye/spatial coordination is not much of a factor. What do you think?
     
  11. fastcat

    fastcat New Member

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    I'd disagree - genetics plays a part. Yes, I'm sure all of you in your college physics class worked hard, but you are a selected sample of people with a talent for physics otherwise you wouldn't be doing it as an undergrad. Think of all the others who didn't make it that far in the education system. Some because of lack of opportunity, or money, or hard work, or aspirations, and some failed by the education system at an earlier age, but also genetics. Within my class the person who came top of that selected group wasn't always the person who worked hardest - some people had more of a knack that others to pick up really complex stuff - partly nurture, but also nature, I'd venture. Electro-magnetic waves and plasmas - I never did really get that!

    For athletes of all disciplines, different genetics will play a part - as someone pointed up above it's a continuum, not just an isolated group of Lance, Jan and Ivan, then the rest of us. Unfortunate for those of us with weaker genetics, but true, I'm sure. For endurance sports as well as other activities also, if not more so.

    That knowledge doesn't stop me trying to be better, but it does temper my expectations a bit.

    Hence, like a couple of posters above, I'm convinced that if the OPer had the superior genetics that all pro riders have, he'd have noticed it by now. From an early age, running around in the playground, he'd have found himself better or quicker at some activity. Not to say he can't be a quick rider with lots of hard work and commitment...but unless he has those genes I think it's unlikely he'll make pro.
     
  12. sooray02

    sooray02 New Member

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    oh boy... i really didn't read the whole thing... since i'm pretty lazy but here is my $.02. genetics DO play. i have seen some crazy good young teen-age racers moving up categories and showing tremendous improvements in 4-5 months of period.

    BUT, without dedication and right direction from parents, coaches, friends, and local cycling community and also decent financial background, super natural gifted young rider could end up having 2-3 jobs and not ever get a decent bicycle to comepete during the summer. and did i say dedication??? all of you here are most dedicated sons of bitches when it comes to training. it seems like you have to make a big commitment to become a good cyclist. and actually i'm glad that i didn't do any cycling when i was younger, because i got to play varsity sports in high school and actually i got to enjoy my summer. :D

    but the whole becoming a pro thing... i think it's very tough. i like biking but i don't enjoy pain THAT much. but here is my ultimate goal of my life... when i go back to korea, i'm going to try out for olympic in 2012 or 2016 in time-trial. the chances are... very slim but i have the body, bike and dedication to get closer to my dream. maybe you will see me on tv in 10 years.. hahahahaha oh... boy...
     
  13. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    Total BS!
     
  14. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Thanks for your contribution. Would you care to elaborate? Which part do you disagree with?
     
  15. goldsbar

    goldsbar New Member

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    Hah - physics is probably a little different but you need to be genetically wired to understand it. Still, I'm sure within your class you noticed that some people were gifted (maybe you) and some people weren't. Do genetics play a role in endurance sports vs hand/eye sports? Absolutely - just as much if not more. It's all about lung capacity, fast vs. slow twitch, etc. You can only train that stuff so much. The majority is from your parents. If you really want to get cynical, a good part of a pros success - assuming they're already gifted in the areas mentioned - depends on how they react to PEDs.
     
  16. Geoff2010

    Geoff2010 New Member

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    I will put in my 0.02 cents here as well. I started cycling when I was 24, but only recreationaly, I never really had an interest in racing, and never tried to go super fast. My athletic history was limited to snowboarding, tons of it, but that was really the only sport I took part in.

    When I was 25 a buddy convinced me to race a Cat5 crit. I placed top 5 and was hooked. I did a couple more races last season, but just enough to move to a Cat4. I trained hard through the winter, got a coach, put my miles in. My training plan is solid, my nutrition is good, my recovery is good... This season I have moved up from a Cat4 to a Cat2... with over 60 upgrade points as a Cat3. I am what most would consider an all-rounder with good TT ability, good climbing, and a descent sprint. I am continuing to place top 15 in the P12 field, and have every intention of making it to cat1 within 2 seasons. That will be put me @ 28 years old with a cat1 license. Could I continue on the path to go Div3 pro... in my opinion, yes. Will I choose to, who knows, I have a family and a business to run... but so far none of the factors that everyone pointed out have had any affect on me.

    Is 24 too old to train to go pro: NO.
     
  17. Pendejo

    Pendejo Member

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    I think I was unclear in my above post. I certainly do believe that genetic profile plays a large part in one's potential to be a top cyclist; it's just not the same sort of endowments that mark coordination-type sports like soccer, tennis, basketball, etc. I see reaching the pro level as having to come through a long funnel. A lot of people get poured into the funnel. The ones with poor genes and no work ethic get stuck early on. Those who work hard but have poor genes get further, as do the ones with good genes but mediocre work ethic. The ones who finally come through the funnel are the ones with the right genes and unworldly motivation.
     
  18. Dietmar

    Dietmar New Member

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    Are you serious? You went from zero (well, one single Cat5 race) to Cat2 in one season, and you are saying genetics had nothing to do with that? You are saying any reasonably healthy 24-year-old I pick off the street could achieve the same? You are kidding, right?

    Not for you, no. But, yes, I am sure there are plenty of people who could never get there, no matter how early they start.
     
  19. Geoff2010

    Geoff2010 New Member

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    I don't think I am a genetic mutant. I seriously abused my body when I was younger (16-21). I was overweight (190lbs @ 5'6"), smoked, drank, and did various other things which were bad for my health. I used to run 12 minute miles... athletics (aside for snowboarding) never came super-easy. I changed my lifestyle when I was 21 and got healthy, I started cycling for fitness at 24. Once I realized I could potentially be a good cyclist, I trained hard, very hard, and the effort paid off big time! I am 150% dedicated to the sport, a fact which I believe has WAAAY more to do with my success than my genes. I think the odds of finding someone with my genetic abilities are a lot more common than the much quoted 1000000:1 everyone is saying here.

    Perhaps I am totally wrong and my genes played a huge role here... it is hard to tell from this side of the conversation, mainly because I just feel like I trained hard to get where I am... not that it was just given to me by some super-human genetics.
     
  20. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    You don't get it: the fact that you did all that to your body, and started being healthy and athletic so late, just further proves the genetic advantages you obviously have (in cycling.) A lot of people work hard, a lot of people have good genetics. The best have a combination of the two. Many people can sit at a keyboard and say they are 150% dedicated...but few of those people can say they went from cat 4-2 in a year.
     
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