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First Century, looking for advice(13 posts)

First Century, looking for advicejagiger
Jun 25, 2001 10:15 AM
I'm thinking about doing my 1st Century in September. I've seen two training programs from 'cycling mag with radically different recommendations. Last years ideas from Kevin Lippert (Chris Carmicheal Training) says the training should begin at 140/160 miles, increasing to 284/303 miles depending on if you just want to finish or do well. This year someone else is saying that you can get away with 77/103 miles to start and end up with 155/194 miles. That's quite a swing.

The other thing is they don't mention what kind of base you might need for openers. (Is is zero to 60 in 10 weeks?)

I'm coming into this as a runner with 30 miles per week. I've also completed 10 marathon (awhile ago), so I have some general ideas of training load but would like thoughts on what happens in a Century as you push the limits. I've started to give hydration & eating more thought I've seen some results which has expanded my thinking somewhat, beyond Gaterade & pasta.

I'd appreciate any other tips or suggestions that might help me get to the end. Thanks!
re: First Century, looking for advicePatM
Jun 25, 2001 10:36 AM
I did a century(2nd) this weekend, I did my first century years ago. Last time and this time I loosely followed the start at 103 end at 194. I dont know of the other program it seems like a ton of miles for a century. There are some posts on this board of people doing century with far less miles as a base. The program above worked well for me, I bonked at about mile 80-85, because of heat/humidty not drinking enough. I plan on doing another century in Sept., I am going use week 7 or 8 as my weekly workout to maintain my base.
Do you have a link for the Kevin Lippert training guide ?
Thanks !
re: First Century, looking for advicemr_spin
Jun 25, 2001 10:39 AM
It's tough to say how many miles a week, because hill miles will count a lot more than flat miles. Do what you can do during the week, favoring intensity over distance, then do long rides (50+ miles) on weekends. Work your weekend rides up to 80-90 miles over time, of which you have plenty! Also, try to do an organized metric century (100K) at some point. September is a long way off--you'll make it easily.
re: First Century, looking for advicejagiger
Jun 25, 2001 5:53 PM
I imagine that doing an organized metric century is to get a handle on things. I haven't done any bike racing at all, should I look to do some races. Actully, I'm just getting the handle on clipping in/out, but I haven't done any group rides or pace line stuff. (I certainly don't want to be my own personal "natural disaster".)
Probably ix-nay on the acing-ray idea...RhodyRider
Jun 25, 2001 6:57 PM
I don't think jumping in to racing will help you prepare for your first century. Especially if you haven't done any group riding, etc. Frankly, your comment about "just getting the handle on clipping in/out" is rather revealing. You aren't ready for a race atmosphere, even Cat 5. And please don't take that the wrong way! You need to build base miles, ride hard, work on your form, seek out a local group ride, and heed all the other posters who've counseled you here. Prep well and enjoy that century.
re: First Century, looking for adviceBig Lug
Jun 25, 2001 11:33 AM
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink like a fish. If you don't have to pee at or before the first rest stop then you're not drinking enough.
Eating is also important but not as critical as drinking.
Just try to munch down a little bit at every rest stop. Don't eat too much though, especially if it's food you're not used to eating.
Remember to pace yourself too. It's not a race, it's a ride.
The goal is to finish and still be able to walk over to the barbeque without falling down in front of everybody.

Get a good night's sleep, if possible, drink plenty of water and Gatorade and ride within yourself and you should be fine. Stand up frequently also. Your butt will thank you.

Good luck and have fun!
...my actual ride log for the year in prep for my 1st century...Haiku d'état
Jun 25, 2001 12:25 PM
you can get plenty of century tactics through a search of this board and the archives, and will probably get alot of responses here that will help immeasurably.

on a different note, i did my first on 5/5. long ride before that was (i think) 62 miles in 2001, and last year was half that. you can see my actual mileage leading up to the century on my
re: First Century, looking for adviceterry b
Jun 25, 2001 2:03 PM
I did my first century back on Memorial Day weekend coming off a base of 70-100 miles per week beginning (in earnest) in January. Longest rides prior to that were 62 miles in March and 70 in April. It's hard to ride evenings here in the spring due to the wind so I adjusted my weekend baseline ride to 50-60 miles on Saturdays and 35+ on Sundays in the weeks leading up. I would also catch a 20+ mile ride on 2-3 nights, wind permitting. I was trying to follow a recommended build up, but the proposed distances are too rigid to fit into my schedule. Finished the ride in exactly 6 hours, my goal going into it. Was tired mainly due to the 95+ degree heat over the last 40 miles. Was tired the next day, but fine thereafter. I find myself these days in the camp of "if you can ride 50 regularly and easily, you can ride 100." However, watch the hydration and the heat.
re: First Century, looking for adviceAlan B
Jun 25, 2001 2:50 PM
I did my first with 3 or 4, 1 hour rides during the week, specifically training hills, doing intervals, etc. Then on Saturday I did the long ride starting with 40 and adding about 5 per week, leveling off at 70 or 75 the two weeks before the event. Sunday was 45-60 minute easy spinning recovery (<120 bpm). Try to learn about the route and train accordingly. I knew mine was fairly flat until mile 60 and then quite hilly for 20 miles or so. As a result, I made sure to put lots of hills at the END of my Saturday rides to be used to doing long distances before starting to climb. Also take seriously the advice to do very little the week before the ride.

When I started my training, I was a tub of goo. By the time the century was over, I had energy to spare after the ride. With your good fitness base you'll have no problem. Good luck!
re: First Century, looking for advicecasati_rider
Jun 25, 2001 6:54 PM
Training for centuries is not really as hard as one would think. The two most importat things are quality of your training and ALWAYS drink plenty of water! On long rides I carry 3 water bottles and ride the same 6 course all the time and have the watering holes well scouted out. Also bring pop tarts, cookies, fruit, or something to knick knack on after a couple of hours and during long rides. I will generally go through 9 bottles of water, 2 packets of pop tarts and an apple on long rides.

I ride 90 to 120 milers once a week. But only once a week do I do high mileage. I train to do centuries in less then 5 hours. Here is an example of the training schedule I use.

Monday's are my long days and I start a cycle one Monday 90 flat following Monday 90 hills and then add 10 miles after each flat & hill week till 120. I'm off the bike very little time, just long enough to fill the 3 water bottles I carry. I would recommend you start at 30 or 40 miles and work your way up 10 miles every two weeks until a hundred.

Tuesday 20 miles recovery ride very easy flat ground with low gears and spin at 110 - 120. I would recommend 10 - 20 listening to your body and how you feel to determine your actual miles.

Wed. 35 - 40 hills hills hills and more hills. Work on sprints on the steeper part of climbs to work on climbing speed. I would recommend for just starting around 20 miles and add about 5 every 3 weeks.

Thurs. Either off or 10 - 20 very easy.

Friday flat ground with a series of sprints for speed. I do 3 to 5 low gear sprints for leg speed, the same in a moderately large gear, the 3 in the biggest gear for strength. After sprints work on jamming for flat power work.

Sat. easy 20

Sun. easy 20

Do the same thing as above Fri. - Sun. but adjust the schedule to what fits your week. I work weekends and that's the reason my schedule looks a little strange to most.

Best of luck on your first century!
re: First Century, looking for advicejagiger
Jun 25, 2001 8:02 PM
You dirnk 9 bottles of water on long rides which sounds like a lot. What's your thinking? Also, Pop Tarts sounds good! That was two individual Pop Tarts or more (I'm not sure how they come any more but I'd give it a try.)
re: First Century, looking for advicecasati_rider
Jun 26, 2001 12:28 PM
I'm thinking hydrate, even drinking 9 bottles of water I typically drop about 7 lbs of weight on a 100 mile ride. I'm not a heavy sweater and hardly ever do I have to urinate on long rides. Just goes to show that we lose much more in body fluids than we think we do. I learned along time ago, you can't drink enough water.

I don't care much for the energy bars and find that cherry Pop Tarts and Fig Newtons work really well for me. The Pop Tarts come 2 to a package and I'll eat one Pop Tart an hour since I'm going to be on the bike for 5 to 6 hours. The big thing is find out what works for you.
Forget about all of the fancy shmancy training stuff.shmoo
Jun 25, 2001 10:39 PM
Just train to become reasonably comfortable and fresh in the saddle after 50 or 60 miles (Hint: if that's your goal, you'll naturally get enough miles in). You won't feel "comfortable" in those last 20 miles of the century, but you WILL get it done. After you do one or two you'll get an idea of how hard you have to "train" to achieve the performance (time) you want. If you've done marathons, you already know the basics - Keep drinking, Keep eating, and Pace yourself. Did I mention "keep drinking"? Also, like a marathon starts at 20 miles (the wall), a century starts at about 80 miles. Your marathon experience should help you there as well, since it becomes a mental game at that point. You'll have no problem. Have fun. Did I mention "keep drinking"?