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Century advice(14 posts)

Century adviceErik W
Feb 20, 2002 9:31 AM
I know this topic has come up before but I couldn't find much by doing a search. I'm riding my first century this spring (Elephant Rock in CO) and was wondering what your advice would be on how to approach it, food, water, pace, etc. . .
Erik W
re: Century adviceLC
Feb 20, 2002 10:47 AM
I remember my first century was very humbling. i had been training for it for a long time with 25-50 mile fast rides, and thought it would be a piece of cake. It was a hot spring day, and the start line had 3,000+ riders and a police escort out of town so it was very exciting. I got on the lead pace line, even pulling quite a bit right out in the front. Little did I know that these lead guys could do 100 miles in less than 5 hours. About 40 miles into the ride the big hills appeared, and it was like hitting a wall. It got kind of foggy from hear on, but I remember people I knew that were normally much slower than myself passing me. This was the Wenatchee Apple Century, so there was plenty of free Tree Top apple juice and apples at the feed zones and I drank a lot of it. Found out I was not used to the apple juice, and started getting stomach cramps and gas too. About 85 miles into the ride, now late afternoon, it was getting really hot and my legs could hardly turn the pedals anymore. I ran out of water and started getting really dehydrated. I tried to keep pace with this old woman and still struggled. I somehow made it to the finish line, but everyone I knew had already left...either that or I could no longer see straight? I crawled back to the hotel and into bed, and did not wake up till the next morning.

If you do the exact opposite of what I did, you should be fine!
Make sure you go out far enoughBrian C.
Feb 20, 2002 10:55 AM
You'll leave home full of vim and vigor and might take a meandering route to some point of return.
Bu on the way home, you'll be getting weary and might be inclined to take the path less crooked.
Many times I've pulled up five or 10 miles short. One time, the odo read 99 miles. I couldn't believe it.
Someone suggested I should have gone around the block a few more times. Couldn't. I was too tired.
Make sure you go out far enoughxxl
Feb 20, 2002 1:19 PM
And I thought I was the only one; that's sage advice, dude.
re: Century adviceLen J
Feb 20, 2002 11:06 AM
Try this link. I searched under "First Century" (Include the ").

mickey-mac "Any last minute tips for my 1st century tommorro?" 11/21/01 4:33pm

re: Century advicedzrider
Feb 20, 2002 11:32 AM
I'd suggest for training you ride hard only when you're out for an hour or less and willing to ride hard for most of the hour. Once a week do a long easy ride and every other week make it longer than the last one. Use these rides to experiment with food and drink to carry.

For the ride, start nice and easy. When you warm up, try to resist the temptation to speed up. Save your energy. You won't remember how great you felt flying over the first 30 miles if the last 25 miles include bleeding, puking, choking, or cramping.

I prefer taking very short breaks. The longer I stay off the bike the harder it is for me to get going again. Experiment with this in training. We aren't all the same about this. I have riding buddies who only ride 80 out of 90 minutes and do long rides easily. Carry vaseline, bag balm, or something like it.
re: Century adviceJimP
Feb 20, 2002 12:26 PM
Bicycling Mag usually has a century training schedule in a late spring issue - something like 8 weeks long and with increasing mileage.
My advice...MrCelloBoy
Feb 20, 2002 1:17 PM
1.) Train. It doesn't need to be an ordeal. The more you train the less it hurts. I've gotten better and better as I've gotten older, and it hurts less and less. Work up your weekly mileage no more than 10% per week until you can do 50 mile back-to-back rides during a weekend. Your longest single ride need be no longer than 55-65 miles.

2.) Ride your OWN pace, especially in the first half. Don't get caught up in chasing faster riders. If you feel frisky at 65-70 miles speed up a little, but wait until you're closer to the end for this in case you poop out.

3.) Eat and drink. Stop at rest stops and eat. Eat every hour or so even if you're not at rest stops and keep hydrated. If it's hot drink a sports drink as well to help replenish Sodium & Potassium.

4.) ENJOY yourself! That's why you're doing it, right?
good advice -- one caveathms
Feb 20, 2002 8:30 PM
MrCelloboy's advice is right on. However, I would add one caveat -- if you drink a sports drink, make sure it is something that you have had before and can tolerate. On my first century, cytomax was available at the rest stops. I drank the cytomax (which I had never had before) and had serious digestive tract problems during the last 15 miles of the ride.
good advice -- one more caveatBill Coffee
Feb 21, 2002 9:22 AM
Start hydrating the night before. If you don't get up at least once during the night to urinate, you didn't drink enough water.
Feb 20, 2002 1:43 PM
Is one of the west's great centuries, IMHO. But it is NOT flat. It is not always a good first century because it is quite hilly and pretty early in the season (for us out here in the weather which limits winter training). Train not just for the distance, but for the climbing.

Don't worry about food and water. They'll feed you PLENTY and give options for both water and sports drinks at aid stations. Just eat and drink steadily, just as you do on your long training rides.

Start EARLY. The weather at E-Rock is notoriously unreliable, and by 2 pm you can get caught in deluge.

Feb 20, 2002 2:53 PM
hills come at the end.
avoid the sketchers.
remain in the light.
E-Rock and Hillsjtolleson
Feb 20, 2002 3:02 PM
While the 4-mile or so climb to the finish is best known, the climb out of Castle Rock and into Franktown is a little wake up, and the century route rejoins the main route via Roller Coaster Road... and it doesn't feel very roller coaster like 'cause it's mostly up.

It is a great route, but the total elevation gain in the century is more than you'd think for a ride that doesn't technically include any mountain passes.
re: Century adviceAllen W
Feb 20, 2002 8:36 PM
I followed the Bicycling Magazine century training chart 10 years ago for 10 weeks and I was able to finish my first century although it took me 8 hours.
Basically it starts out you ride 6 days a week with Saturday the long ride of 30 miles and you add 4 miles a week for 10 weeks. On Wednesdays ride about a third of your long day but at a faster pace to help get your average speed up. Week 1 started at 77 miles/week and I finished up 10 weeks later at 170 for the week including the Hotter than Hell 100 in Wichita Falls. It definitely helped riding with several thousand riders.