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Century training(18 posts)

Century trainingPEDDLEFOOT
Aug 1, 2002 7:06 AM
I'm trainig for my first century and would like to get your opinions on whats the longest traing ride to do before the event.I would also like to have an idea as to how long I should taper off before the century.
70 miles?ColnagoFE
Aug 1, 2002 7:11 AM
You definately dont need to do 100. If you can ride 70 solo with no problem you'll be fine.
75-80 miles. 3-4 days before the event. nm.onespeed
Aug 1, 2002 7:12 AM
Don't think so.jtolleson
Aug 1, 2002 7:33 AM
Riding 75-80 miles 3-4 days before one's first century isn't going to improve fitness, but it may provide leg fatigue.

Do a ride of that length about 7 days prior, and then pedal pretty easy (25-30 milers) a couple times during the week before. You don't want to be rusty but you don't want to be tired.
Aug 1, 2002 7:38 AM
I don't think he was suggesting riding 70-80 miles 3-4 days before. I think that was two separate answers to two questions. longest ride = 70, 80 miles. taper = 3, 4 days
Thanks Mr. Spin. (nm)onespeed
Aug 1, 2002 7:39 AM
heh - i read it the other way too.Steve_0
Aug 1, 2002 7:46 AM
though i'd still taper 2-1 weeks.
Gotcha! : )jtolleson
Aug 1, 2002 9:51 AM
Aug 1, 2002 7:35 AM
marathoning rule of thumb is 75-80 percent 3-4 weeks before.
Granted, cycling isnt as intense, so i guess it all depends on how hard youre planning on training-riding, as well as your condition.
depends on your level of fitnessmorrison
Aug 1, 2002 7:13 AM
what's your current weekly mileage? how long 'til the event?

if you are not used to riding long distances, i would recommend gradually building yourself up over a period of time. interspace long days with recovery rides. there are lots of web sites that will give you a schedule you can follow. (look 'em up on google or some other search engine)

generally, if you're not used to longer rides, i would recommend trying to peak at 70 to 80 miles about a week to ten days before the event. take a rest day, and then try 25 to 40 mile rides up until the day of the event. (worked for me on my first century)

good luck
Good plan. Also....Brooks
Aug 1, 2002 2:00 PM
work backwards from the event with length of rides. One week before: 80% of event (or an 80 mile ride). Two weeks before: 80% of 80 or 64 miles. Three weeks before: 80% of 64 or 51 miles and so on. If most of your rides are 20-30 miles you need to work up to the longer distances (and time in the saddle). Keep doing the midweek rides of shorter distances, throw in some intervals and/or hillwork if so inclined. Go easy the week before but ride nontheless to keep legs loose. Have Fun and stay hydrated!

If you can knock off a fifty-miler without thinking that it's anbill
Aug 1, 2002 7:26 AM
incredible ordeal -- hell, if you can knock off a thirty-miler without it's being an incredible ordeal, you can do a century. The issue is more of how fast you want to do it. The pace at which you can do thirty-fifty is probably the pace you can do 100. You have to pick a pace where you can remain comfortably aerobic. If your heart rate ends up creeping up to the anaerobic range, especially if you're not well used to running your engine at that speed, you're gonna die.
The key is to keep a healthy pace. Not too (fast or slow). Drink and eat. More than you think you need to. Sports drinks are well nigh necessary. Resting here and there is okay, but if you need 1/2 hour off the bike every twenty miles (the usual distance between stops), you're burning your candle too fast, and you're running into a long day, besides. You would be better to slow your pace and spend less time off the bike, and you'll actually finish faster.
I agree with Bill - 50% of distanceKerry
Aug 1, 2002 5:15 PM
If you can do 50 miles without feeling trashed, you can do 100. If you're flagged at 50, then 100 becomes problematic. Here's some thoughts on the ride itself:

Take short breaks - you'll stiffen up if you stay off the bike for long.

Plan to eat/drink 1000-1500 calories, starting in the first hour of riding. If you fall behind in your eating, you will not recover. If you plan to get all your food at rest stops, make sure you carry around 200 calories in your pocket in case you start to feel lightheaded or weak.

Drink at least 1 oz./mile (20 cc/km). Double that if it's hot.

Don't try out new drinks or food on the ride - nothing worse than a cranky stomach at mile 70!

Most problems in finishing a distance ride is due to not enough food or dehydration - don't let either one happen to you.

What can be a minor irritation from a wrinkle or a jersey zipper in 30 miles, can saw a hole in your skin after 100. A little numbness in your hands can turn into excruciating pain. Prevent this by stretching, adjusting, etc.
Aug 1, 2002 7:33 AM
It depends on your current fitness level and expectations (goals) for the century. Are you looking to just complete the century? Stopping at each rest area? Or are you looking to push yourself beyond what is typical for you.

With increased goals comes increased training. If your looking to just complete a century I would say bare minimum is to be able to hammer for half the distance. If you can go hard and still feel good after 50 miles, your can pace yourself and use rest stops to complete a century. If your goal is to ride a strong century with minimal stops as quickly as possible then you'll need to increase your training. In that case, I'd say do a 70-80 mile ride twice prior to the event.

As far as tapering goes, I'd only do slow recovery type rides for 3-4 days before the event. For example, if the event was on a Sunday, I'd do a 70-80 mile ride the sunday before. Then a 50 miler on Wednesday. Then just cruise the next few days while sleeping good and eating properly.
Not as much as you might think...Slowclimber
Aug 1, 2002 7:36 AM
It definately helps if you can get up to 70 mile rides before you attempt a century but it's not totally needed.

This is what my training looked like before attempting my first century.

These were my regular rides that I did every week for about 1.5 months before the century:

-21 mile ride on Mon, Tue, Fri
-21 mile mountain bike ride on Wednesday

On Saturdays

-25 to 30 miles on Sat, 4-6 weeks before century
-35 mile ride on Sat, three weeks before century
-40 mile ride on Sat, two weeks before century
-45 mile ride on Sat, one week before century

With this minimal training schedule I was able to complete my first century in just under 6 hours of ride time (16.9 mph) and about 6.5 hours total time.

The first 80 miles I felt great, the next 10 I started to hurt, the last 10 I was in pain. What helped out a lot was hooking up with two others 50 miles into the ride that were close to my same speed. We worked together in a pace line and it made the last 50 miles go faster and were more enjoyable with people to talk to and work with.
re: Century trainingjs5280
Aug 1, 2002 7:51 AM
I think a good rule of thumb to finish a century is to cover at least 100 miles each week several weeks before (e.g. 25x4, 33x3, 25x2 50x1) and building up to a ride of 60-75 miles. Since rides are almost always on weekends, do this long ride the weekend before since it also will take many hours and give you plenty of time to recover. In the final week, keep the rides real short and take off the two days prior completely or just go out long enough to get the HR up for a few minutes. Granted you won't be in fast bunch with this type of training, but it should be enough to get you through. More training is alway better and there are many century training programs out there. I would say this is the minimum you should do. Other important things I'd say is train like you're doing the century. Make sure the terrain you're riding is similar, find out the milemarkers for rest stops and make sure your water and food will be sufficient, and most importantly don't make any major changes in that last week! That's not the time to buy new shoes, seat, or energy drink.

At the ride, check the weather and bring appropriate items (sunblock, rain gear, jacket, etc.) My first century it SNOWED that morning and was 75 degrees by the time I finished. Love that Colorado weather. Start at a easy pace, spin to conserve strength, and most of all have fun! I really enjoy century rides because it's a very social event and you'll meet all types of people on the course.

Your enemies will be dehydration, bonking, and muscle soreness (shoulders and neck in my case). Training will teach you how to cope with these. If you can keep on top of these with water, food, and streching, you should have no problem finishing. Good luck!
re: Century trainingChen2
Aug 1, 2002 8:29 AM
Research the particular century you plan to ride.
Is it flat or hilly?
One way, out and back, or circular?
Prevailing wind direction, head wind early or late?
Super hot or more normal?
The more you know about the ride the more comfortable and confident you will be.
For the "Hotter'n Hell Hundred" we started 2 months in advance with one "long" ride each weekend with additional short rides between. We do two 60 miles, two 70 miles, two 80 miles, and then the weekend before we do a 50 - 60 mile ride and stay off the bike the last two days.
This has worked well for us.
website for infoDougSloan
Aug 1, 2002 2:04 PM
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