Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

Starting full time racing.

yodasmyodasm Posts: 25
edited August 2008 in Pro race
Hi there folks, here's an interesting scenario.

Q. How much progress could I make if I dropped everything and began full time training and racing?

Age: 23
Weight: 81 Kg
Height: 180 cm

Experience: I have been riding seriously for a little over a year now. A friend and I used the July London to Paris as a target for training and managed it comfortably.

I commute to work, 10 miles each way and ride on the weekends (45 -50 miles) at an average of 17-18 mph.

I did a CAT4 evening race at Hillingdon a couple of weeks ago and finished in the main pack comfortably.

What would be realisitc given the amount of time I could commit?




  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    No idea. You're asking how long is a piece of string! :wink:

    I'd start by joining a decent club and learning the basics. If you start to get better, you can think about dropping work but for the time being, just enjoy your progress. If you finished mid-pack in a beginners race, that's a good start but try to climb up the ladder a bit first before jacking in everything!
  • yodasmyodasm Posts: 25

    Definitely will be riding with the local gang.

    Really I'm considering a kind of gap year/ sabbatical before I get too old for it.

    Could probably get by on partime shift work to accomodate training rides etc.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    I'd give yourself at least a full season of racing before you make any decision on dropping work. Plenty of Elite/1st cats hold down a full time job as well as racing.
  • virtuosovirtuoso Posts: 45
    I predict that you and Chris Hoy will be our main medal hopes at London 2012 and that you will win 5 golds and have a torrid affair with Sue Barker.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    You might find that your body wont be able to jump up to the kind of training that would justify being full time. Not having work would help - you'll be able to rest and recover better - but even so you need to up your training load gradually.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Well....after my a-levels I trained as hard as I could without over-training and well, starting off with zero race fitness (but being able to ride 50 miles at around 16mph with no real difficulties other than sleeping for the rest of the day!) I got into racing in about 6 weeks. However, i could have looked after myself better (no drinking, no late nights etc) and if i had I probably wouldn't feel so bad now. The thing is after attempting to race twice a week for a few weeks, I suddenly got really, really tired, mix this with slightly disappointing results and I've got a bit down it's frustrating that I'm fit enough to cycle in the pack but not to race actively.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, attempting to race full time needs to be approached carefully, otherwise it can be frustrating, firstly, recovery as a cyclist is of paramount importance, this means you have to look after yourself, which can be boring, I've had to say no to a number of friends parties etc which sucks...sorry i cant stay out till 1 drinking I've got to leave for a race at 6 in the morning. Secondly, your performance in races will dictate how you feel about yourself, which can mean racing is no longer fun.

    However, given a whole year to structure training properly I would probably fair better, and it would be more enjoyable.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Patience grasshopper!!

    Next year would prob be too soon to go full time. You go full time so that you can take on the increased workload. However without any previouos development your body would wilt if u went full time. Pros take years of development to be able to absorb those workloads and training volumes .... you have to develop the same as come from little base. So first i would suggest get a coach who can guide you as you develop. Also i would recommend plenty of racing next year - 1)find out if you really do like it 2)learn tactics and make all them mistakes when young :D 3)help you develop and hopefully move up grades to harder and longer races 4)learn to listen to ur body and look after urself off the bike (recovery is just as important and essential as training)

    If all that works out then step it up the following year - that might mean more development or going full time but for now the focus should be NOT going full time but just be a better bike rider.
  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    virtuoso wrote:
    I predict that you and Chris Hoy will be our main medal hopes at London 2012 and that you will win 5 golds and have a torrid affair with Sue Barker.

    Hazel Irvine is mine. :o
  • page23page23 Posts: 182
    alot depends on your genetic potential and what is referrred to as constitution.

    it's one thing to do alot of miles but what really counts is intensity and this is where people start falling to bits. as soon as you put intenstiy into the mix with volume it not only comes down to recovery but also whether or not your body can handle it. people bang on about getting enough rest. well, that's easy, but it may require that you need MORE rest than an individual whom has a better constitution. therefore, said individual could do more training and would prob end up being better.

    another thing people seem to be neglecting is that road racing aint just all about fitness. sure, you need it to survive but i've raced with loads of people who just weren't that strong but always managed to get in the right break or get a good wheel in a sprint.

    of course, you may be genetically gifted and be a natural racer. who knows? i would def expect you to sig improve on a full time training programme - who wouldn't? thing is, can you improve enough to cut it with the big boys (E/1/2)?

    not to sound rude, but looking at your stats so far they aren't that impressive. to be fair, you ought to be averaging at least 20mph on steady rides and finishing easily in the bunch is, well, easy. i'd also say you're a tad overweight. but hey, that's the picky nature i tend to have and you did pose this question on a public forum...
  • yodasmyodasm Posts: 25

    Thanks for the reply.

    Its not rude at all, simlpy honest.

    I got in to bike ridding relatively late and want to improve. I'm not expecting to go Pro but instead race regularly with a team making progress.

    My physique is certainly a bit soft around the edges and I reckon I could easily satnd to shed at least 5 kg.

    Really I want to gauge whether if I put time in above the normal working man's allowance (ie evenings and weekends) I could yield good results.

    For example if I could train mon-fri and race Saturday with a rest on Sun could I accelerate my development?
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Yes, that's what most people do, normally you race Sunday, have Monday off, and can train during the week, take it easy on Saturday and race again. Repeat for 25 weeks.
  • Fat HeadFat Head Posts: 765
    things will move a lot faster for you if you have a codename such as Valv.piti or have a dog called Birillo
  • If you can afford to do it, I say do it. I dont think you will really regret it whatever the outcome.

    The difficult thing will be being careful not to overdo it - you would need to spend a few months beforehand training as hard as you could with the goal of being fit / strong enough to train 'full time' - i.e building up mileage, looking after core strength etc etc.

    It might be better to do it after a few more years of developing bunch racing skills but if you leave it longer it might not be an option.
Sign In or Register to comment.