How to become pro?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by cmacblue42, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I'd agree with the other posters that mentioned entering (and winning) the biggest races in your area and competing against the best competition you can find. If you're regularly winning the big races and national events, then you'll get noticed.
     


  2. kmavm

    kmavm New Member

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    Bringing it back to the OP for a moment: don't worry about people telling you you need amazing genetics. On the one hand, they're right. Even bottom-level domestic pros are probably way above average (and a bottom-level domestic pro is tough, TOUGH path in life). But in reality, almost nobody ends up living the dream they had when they were your age. When I was 13 years old, I either wanted to be either a heavy metal guitarist or a surrealist poet. No big surprise, I'm neither. I'm a computer programmer, in fact. However, my life has been much, much richer for having pursued those dreams to the extent I was able to, and I think your life will also be richer if you choose to do the same for your dream of reaching the pro ranks.

    As young as you are, I'd be a little bit careful about focusing on cycling too much from a training perspective. Be sure to get in some other athletic "ABC's", too. Run, jump, get stronger, move side to side, develop some hand-eye coordination. All those things will serve you well later in life, are hard to develop as an adult, and don't get much help from cycling. You'll have time to adapt your fitness to cycling as your body matures.
     
  3. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    Listen. This is all you need to know.

    Get a good coach. Talk with and ride with experienced racers in your area. Look for a good junior developement team. Train hard and have fun. Don't even start looking at numbers.
     
  4. cmacblue42

    cmacblue42 New Member

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    well as far as winning races,there was this tri. camp i attended when i was 11 and there was a race at the end. i was 2nd to last out of the pool out of 8 (they doubled the # of laps at the last second so i got intimidated). i got on my steel, 24", k2 mt. bike which was getting too small for me and managed to hold off a 17 year old on an intense xc bike and pass everyone else though they werent that good at biking, catch up to another 17 year old on an sworks epic or enduro and stay behind him for the last.5 mile and was close to passing him and gettin into first but the bike portion ended and i had to run (which i suck at) and ended up dropping back into 4th. i dont know how long the distances were except for the run which was a mile.
     
  5. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    It's great that you have been active for a few years, and that you cycled well against other begginers, but you really need to go out to true road races and race against kids your own age that are also in training. This will do so much more for your development than riding centuries. Junior racing is enjoying an upswing in popularity, so get out there and race! In a year or two, you should also begin to race with the mens category races, making it a goal to move up so you can get experience in big, fast fields.
     
  6. cmacblue42

    cmacblue42 New Member

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    true, true. i got some info on a junior development team in my area and they are really into racing. i know they have a level 3 certified coach on the team and probably some other coaches too. Best of all, it is free because i am a junior. i will start training with them next sunday probably. also, what do you guys think about doing some "cross" training in the veldrome and maybe even an occasional race.
     
  7. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    That sounds good. Riding with other juniors will be good, and so will soaking up tactics and training info from the coaches. Just do your homework before you take on any of them as a "true" coach who manages your day-to-day training. There are some quacks out there, and I'm not sure what goes into being a certified coach.


    I have zilch experience on a 'drome, but it sounds great to me. Good way to develop handling skills, sprinting, etc.
     
  8. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    Sounds like a good plan. You will learn a lot of skills that you can't pick up just doing tri's or riding by yourself. Road racing and triathalon can be two very different beasts. Sure there are athelets who come across - premdominently Lance Armstrong comes to mind..... but we have a fair number of women on our team who started doing tri's and found that they really liked the cycling part of it and felt that they kicked butt. Some are finding road racing to be a bit challenging as you are not just racing against the clock. (One of them the other week told us that it was a humbling experience for her - she hadn't been sure she wanted to join an all women's team, as she wasn't sure it was going to be challenging enough for her to ride and train with us. It was the first time we really went out and rode hard and were kind of putting the hurt on her :p) Pack dynamics seem to be pretty hard for some people to pick up -if you get nervous and back off or go to the back of the pack you have a good chance of getting dropped.

    Velodrome (track) work can really develop your sprinting. We have a number of people on our team who do both road and track. In fact a lot of our team races more than one discipline - road -track - cross - mt bike.

    Anyway - good to hear you found a team and even nicer that its free. Good luck and tell us how its going from time to time.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I would suggest that first of all, you join a road racing club.
    Then you need to get a training plan - a plan that allows you to develop the capacity to improve your stamina and your speed and which will maximise whatever potential that you do have.

    There are some pre-defined criteria that no training plan can account for.
    Are you prepared to work very very hard in training in order to improve?
    Are you sufficiently disciplined enough to set an objective and to sacrifice everything to work to that objective?
    Are you prepared to frame your entire existence around racing/training?

    You're a youngster and the fact that you're a teenager, your schooling will in all probability take precedence right now.
    But if you want to become a pro - you'll need to prioritise cycling over everything else apart from your education : being out with your friends, going to parties etc cannot be allowed to take the place of training and living the life of someone who wants to be an athlete.
    These issues - along with good physical training are essential to anyone intending to go the pro route.

    So my advice is - go and train, and go and race.
    See how your fare.
    See have you got enough self discipline to live the life of a cyclist.
    Only by testing the water will you know if you've got what it takes.

    Remember when you see guys racing - they've put in literally thousands of hours hard work in training.
    They've watched their food intake - they've avoided alcohol/smoking etc.
    It's hard/tough existence : it calls for sacrifice over and above what every single other sport demands of it's participants at the professional level.

    I wish you luck.
     
  10. jerryz

    jerryz New Member

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    I say it's good to have dreams and to really shoot for them. You may never get them. On the other hand you may actually achieve them. My daughter came home one day in the 3rd grade and declared her intentions regarding a career path. This career path included exactly the university she wanted to attend. She graduated high school early. She completed her undergrad in 3 years and is attending grad school on a full scholarship. All at the Universities she had mapped out when she was 8 years old. Was it in the field of athletics? No. But she will have achieved great dreams by being encouraged.

    So I say OP go for it! Only time will tell how far you go and there is no way a test can determine your true potential. Only desire and drive can determine that.
     
  11. Cat1RDR

    Cat1RDR New Member

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    I think we all need to chill out for a bit here people.

    This coming season will be my first year as a senior and I know what junior racing is like. The actuality of junior racing is that most juniors who try and do to much to early burn out. I know first hand many kids with great potential that simply don't enjoy the sport anymore and go on and do other things. When you are that young the whole point should be about having fun, not about VO2 testing and strict training plans. Those are the kinds of things that make kids quit.

    One person earlier talked about all the sacrifices that this kid must make, how he can't enjoy many of the best parts of being a teenager. This is all untrue, I'm a cat. 1 and on a very competitive elite team, yet cycling has not held me back in terms of my social life. I have competed on three varsity sports every year of high school, maintained a steady girlfriend for the past year, and been able to hang out and have fun with my friends. It is true that you cannot be a hardcore partier and a great cyclist at the same time but by no means do you have to give up everything that makes being a teenager so great.

    Another argument made earlier in the thread was that if he was to turn pro he must be winning everything early on. No offense to him but there is no way that a 13 year old is going to beat mature and competitive 18 year old kids in a junior race. There are so many older juniors who are at or near the level of a domestic professional and below them there are even more cat. 3 kids that will make a 13 year old look silly. There is no way that his body has developed to be competitive with the people he will be racing against.

    You can't expect a kid to devote his life to cycling at that age. He needs to do other things and have fun with being a kid. He has his whole life to be and act like a pro, let him be a kid for a few more years.

    That's enough of me raggin' on other comments. Here is my advice to you:
    1. Have fun!
    2. Play other sports and work hard at school.
    3. Take it easy in the winter and do your training in the spring and summer. As you start to get older become more disciplined and structured in your training.
    4. Join a local club or development team and learn everything you can from them.
    5. Hire a coach in a few years.
    6. Race! That's what you want to do and it's also the best way to develop as a cyclist. Junior racing is fun, short, and fast. As you start getting better you can do the junior races and your category races and before you know it you will be beating everyone.

    To make it really simple, love cycling and love life.
     
  12. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    Well said, I agree. I am now 21, been racing since I was 14.
     
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