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Training advice for a 16yr old

Richmond ParkRichmond Park Posts: 18
I'll get straight to the point, after watching the Tour de France for the first time in the summer i was really inspired by it and it was then that i decided to get into road racing. I've been cycling for about a month going to the legendary richmond park and country lanes in Surrey and so far I have participated in one sportive (Ride of the Falling Leaves) which I hugely enjoyed and I managed to achieve a silver standard time. I hope to be able to have a good level of fitness by next season to be able to compete in 4th cat races and maybe even move up to 3rd cat if all goes well :D I have been running for about 6 years at county/national standard so i have a decent level of fitness.

I have a few questions of which your advice is greatly appreciated :)
How many hours per week should a relatively new cyclist be training for?
Should i be focusing on training stamina, speed endurance, increasing average speed or just all aspects balanced evenly?
Should i look to invest in a set of rollers or a turbo for the winter?

Sorry if the questions seem a bit vague and thanks in advance for your help :)

Posts

  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    "Get to know your bike, and learn to love riding it. That's how and why I started - purely a love of the bike". Eddy Merckx.

    A friend and I did a bit of time trailing when we were at school but never did any training; we simply rode our bikes all the time. Paper round on a bike, visit Grandma 20 mile round trip, mid week 10 mile time trial (25 mile round trip as we had to ride there), Sunday club run; it all added up to good base mileage.
    When you start racing you will find any weakness and strengths you have and will be able to work on them.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Richmond Park - well done to you for getting started. You're obviously doing very well indeed in a very short space of time - I'm not sure many people could start cycling and just 1 month later be riding a sportive in silver standard time!

    If you do some road racing next year you will he classified as a junior. I'm not sure of the exact rules for juniors participating in senior 3rd/4th cat events but there will always be junior races available to you too.
    How many hours per week should a relatively new cyclist be training for?
    That's a "how long is a piece of string" question. How much time do you have available and how much can your current fitness level support? If you want to give racing a serious go next season, though, I think you should be looking for somewhere in the region of 6-10 hours or possibly more but the most important thing is that all that training is good quality, rather than the precise quantity.
    Should i be focusing on training stamina, speed endurance, increasing average speed or just all aspects balanced evenly?
    Bear in mind that races will probably be in the region of 40-50 miles so you're going to have to be able to cover that distance at racing pace relatively comfortably. However, there are many facets to road racing - it's not just about stamina and sustainable speed. You have to be able to climb, sprint, chase down breaks, follow wheels, sit comfortably in a large bunch, corner well........... Are you in a club, or do you ride with others on a regular basis who have plenty of experience of road racing? I'd strongly advise you to get out with some experienced folk as soon as possible - road racing isn't just about fitness.
    Should i look to invest in a set of rollers or a turbo for the winter?
    If you think that will help you spend more time on the bike, yes.

    Ruth
  • Check out the Richmond Park threads, everyone there is very friendly and I'm sure someone will be happy to meet you and/or ride with you.

    From what you've said you're no lay about, Hillingdon has a wide range of races which may kick start your learning curve into tactics or highlight any weaknesses.
  • Thanks a lot for all of the really helpful advice, especially BeaconRuth, i really appreciate it :)
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    I'll get straight to the point, after watching the Tour de France for the first time in the summer i was really inspired by it and it was then that i decided to get into road racing. I've been cycling for about a month going to the legendary richmond park and country lanes in Surrey and so far I have participated in one sportive (Ride of the Falling Leaves) which I hugely enjoyed and I managed to achieve a silver standard time. I hope to be able to have a good level of fitness by next season to be able to compete in 4th cat races and maybe even move up to 3rd cat if all goes well :D
    Mate, first off its great that someone young has been inspired to get out on a bike having watched the TDF. I'm sure the success of TEAM GB cyclists has brought more people to cycling as well. As Ruth hinted its hard to give recommendations to a Newbie. From my experienc ex runner seem to adjust to endurance cycling very well. In fact a Junior rider at my club Addiscombe CC went from 4th to 2nd cat in one season last year.

    I think you're overall plan should be to ride as much as you can and also enjoy it. Don't force yourself to ride for too long or too hard especially if you're feeling tired. Being a new comer to the sport you'll continue to steadily improve on a week by week or month by month basis. I hope that doesn't sound patronising.

    Get on the British Cycling site and look for a club to join if you're gonna start racing. Some clubs are better equipped to handle youth/junior riders so that must be worth investigating. Have fun and good luck :D
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Toks wrote:
    Get on the British Cycling site and look for a club to join if you're gonna start racing. Some clubs are better equipped to handle youth/junior riders so that must be worth investigating. Have fun and good luck :D
    "Go Ride" acreditted clubs have a minimum of 2 coaches who have experience working with younger cyclists so I recommend you try one of these local to you as a first option.

    Good luck with it - it really is a great sport and pastime that can be enjoyed by anyone old enough to ride a bike.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I wouldn't worry too much about rollers of a turbo yet. You're young so should have plenty of timefor riding :wink: , and being a runner presumably faily used to grim conditions, so just do plenty of club rides, and try and rack up a good number of miles.
  • JC.152JC.152 Posts: 645
    Next year in races you'll probably be a junior 4th cat to start cos I think thats what I'll be as well next year once i'm 16. If you train with a club then it'd probably get you more prepared for races then on your own completely and you might be train with older and more experiecend riders that might bring you on more than training with others starting out in cycling but i don't relly know
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