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Why am I so slow!!! -- How long untill I'm fast???(12 posts)

Why am I so slow!!! -- How long untill I'm fast???big guy
Apr 28, 2002 1:49 PM
Here is a brief histroy:
I just started cycling in January and I want to race. I have been training very seriously (200 miles/wk road, 2 hours track, 20 miles running, 3 hours weights).

Prior to this year, I was in the weight room 4 hour and ran 30 miles a week. I am in good shape (180 lbs, 8%body fat, 345lbs squat, I can run a 10K in 39 minutes).

Here is the problem: I suck at cycling! I can't keep up with the guys I ride with even though they have bellies that hang over thier pants. My 200 meter time at the track is a very slow 15.5 sec. But my old and fat freinds blow me away with 200 times less than 13 seconds!

How long will it take me to be competetive? Months? Years? Never? :)

Thanks, Dave
re: Why am I so slow!!! -- How long untill I'm fast???Bil Bikie
Apr 28, 2002 2:29 PM
Hi Slow one-

I'd quite running and devote all my time to cycling...if you want to be the best cyclist you can be. How are you doing on training with these "fast" riders? Can you at least stay on their wheel? Find a 10 mile loop and do a time trial once a week, it will make you faster. Do the points race at the track. Ride into the wind!

Bil Boike
Apr 28, 2002 3:26 PM
that's a pretty good 10K time. Hey, some people just aren't build for cycling. I'm an okay cyclist, but I suck at running. I can probably can bare do a sub-20 5K.
re: Why am I so slow!!! -- How long untill I'm fast???BigLeadOutGuy
Apr 28, 2002 4:52 PM
Sounds like you are spending too much time on the track and in the weight room. could be you are overtrained. Decent track times and squating poundage dont make you a good cyclist otherwise michael johnson would win the tour every year as well as mr. olympia ronnie coleman could outsprint cippo.
I think your best bet would be to cut the weight training to once a week to just maintain your strength...instead of running put that time to use cycling. while your at it buy yourself a heart rate monitor and find your LT threshold and base your training on that. Joe freils book, the cyclist training bible, will help you out alot as well.
hope this helps
re: Why am I so slow!!! -- How long untill I'm fast???weiwentg
Apr 29, 2002 10:37 AM
agree with the overtraining. your routine sounds OK for a world-class endurance athlete. no disrespect, but I don't think you are. ease off! and quit worrying about your 200m time! so what if your friends can outsprint you? cycling's not all about sprinting.
if I were you, I'd drop track for now. build up a base on the road, and come back to track later. and remember that if you do, it will have to - sort of - come at the expense of either running or road cycling (or a bit of both).
but I think it's no problem to keep running - excellent cross training. I would suggest you figure out which is to be your primary sport and devote most of your time to it. but if you intend to do triathlons, or you don't mind having two primary sports, then go for it! just don't train TOO hard.
Whoa! Slow down there, big fella!Kerry
Apr 28, 2002 4:53 PM
Sorry about this, but there are some skills involved in cycling and you need to build those skills, along with associated muscle memory. This takes more than 4 months. Would you expect to be a really fast cross-country skier or swimmer in 4 months?

Work on your spin, work on your position on the bike, do a weekly 10 mile time trial, and do some speed intervals (3 minutes on, three minutes off) at least two days away from the TT day. You don't develop a smooth and efficient cycling style overnight, and just because you are good in another sport means that you have the fitness, but not the skills.
Patience my son!RockyMountainRacer
Apr 28, 2002 5:07 PM
It will take months for you to get fast, and at least a whole season to get reasonably competitive. Keep doing your training, build confidence from your fitness improvements, and have patience. A fast bike racer is not made over night, it takes YEARS to get really good. I too come from a running background (I played lacrosse for 12 years), and this will help you quite a bit. You will have strong endurance from all that running, but it will do nothing to help your efficiency on the bike, handling skills, or high intensity riding on the bike. My advice is to stop running ENTIRELY during the bike on-season. Do you want to be a runner or a cyclist? I only run in the off-season. Running and cycling use totally different muscles and they are not very compatible with each other. The running will increase your general fitness, but it won't make you faster on the bike. Actually it'll make you slower because that is time you could have spent training on the bike or recovering from training on the bike. Same goes for the lifting. You already have the work ethic to do your training, my advice is to spend more of your training time on the bike, don't get discouraged, and keep at it. You will be fast before you know it!
Thinks specificsmikebikr
Apr 29, 2002 9:11 AM
If you want to be good at cycling. Cycle. Drop the running except in the off season. That is unless you are considering taking up triathlons. Can you swim? You sound fast on foot. With some time you will become faster on the bike. Throw in a competant swimming stroke and tri's may be the solution.

Good luck.
What about Tri'syzfrr11
Apr 29, 2002 11:25 AM
I gave that a thought, but I really love training out-doors. I don't think I would enjoy swimming lap after lap in an indoor pool. But I love running and biking.
swim outdoors some of the year..dotkaye
Apr 30, 2002 11:58 AM
I agree, I dislike the indoor workouts. But here in sunny CO I can swim outside May-Sept, 5 months at any rate. However if you're frustrated with getting fast on the bike, just wait until you get in a pool.. lots and lots of technique to learn. But it's interesting.
Be patientVeloflash
Apr 29, 2002 10:50 AM
If you are involved in track athletics you would be aware it takes years to attain your peak performance. Development period is usually 5-6 years.

I believe Joel Friel puts a figure of about five years to become a totally proficient and competitive cyclist.

The best advice is to shortcut a lot of trial and error and learn from a coach the art of efficiently turning the pedals and reinforce and adapt that technique from the start. With hindsight that is the best advice I could give myself.

You are most probably getting blown away by experienced cyclists, even though they are on the portly side, because they know how to efficiently apply power to the pedals and the oxygen pathways to the muscles used in cycling have been developed over many years.
Apr 30, 2002 12:58 PM
there is a startling amount of technique in cycling.. when I first got on a bike for triathlons, was running about 16min for 5k, thought 'how hard could biking be ?' Boy did I find out.
After 3 years of taking cycling seriously, I'm starting to finish in the top 50% of the bike leg, instead of the bottom 30%.. Ride lots, that's the best way to start.