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Here is complete the century training program. Critique to your hearts content...(19 posts)

Here is complete the century training program. Critique to your hearts content...Kristin
Jan 7, 2003 8:31 AM
Taken from, "The Female Cyclist," written by Gail Bernhardt. Keep in mind that Gale is an Elite women's cycling coach; so if you are of the opinion that this program has flaws and you want to suggest improvements, please also share your credentials and qualifications.
Sweetie, I don't know what all that stuff means.bill
Jan 7, 2003 10:43 AM
(Do I even know you well enough to call you sweetie? What gives with me, huh?)
If you want to do a century, all you need to do is ride, ride, ride. No need for intensity, unless you are trying to up the speed. Just don't hurt yourself -- we all need rest, old farts like me more than others.
My theory is that, if you are fit enough to go thirty miles (certainly no more than about fifty) without it's being any kind of a big deal, you can go 100 at a reasonable pace.
What are your goals for said century? What's your ability/fitness level now? We'll develop you a program.
Can't do this in the abstract.
The book defines it all. LeadOutGuy...does that interval make more sense in the context of the entire program?Kristin
Jan 7, 2003 11:58 AM
Only call me sweetie if you mean it! :)

I will admit, the "training" seems a little cumbersome, but I figure that, once I learn a workout, I'll memorize it. I don't really need to do this program, and I don't have a century scheduled; I just wanted to try a formalized program to see if I would improve faster than just plain 'ole riding. I have never been in shape for a century before. I rode 77 miles once and crawled the last 10 miles back. Even if I could have gone 23 further, I would not have wanted to.

A friend has a friend who does an annual to Lake Geneva. They ride the 50 miles up there, then most people drive back the next day. But some ride it round trip. I figured this would be a good July goal--given no injuries.
There are two halves to a century -- the first 80 miles, and thebill
Jan 7, 2003 2:33 PM
second half. That last 20 miles can be pretty grim no matter what kind of shape you're in -- although it's all in your head. So, don't be too discouraged by your experience. If you can finish seventy-seven, I have no doubt that you can finish 100 in fine shape, because the difficulty you faced was about thinking that you're almost done, but 10 miles is 10 miles (or, similarly, 20 miles is 20 miles -- which is a good hour on the bike for a good cyclist).
If you want to go faster, you have to go faster, but do everything incrementally, with lots of rest, and use intervals to up the ante.
There really is no magic to it. I think that to put a honed edge on a racer's fitness, an elaborate plan may be helpful. For the rest of us slobs, it's about having fun, miles, plenty of food and drink and rest, and fun.
It really is about having fun. Before my first century I'd never done anything more than fifty miles. A century is just double the fun.
can't disagreecyclopathic
Jan 7, 2003 4:09 PM
depending on your condition sooner or later you hit the wall. Depend on route and pace for some it may be 50mi, for others it's a double metric.Then you drop speed and suffer esp on steep climbs and/or in head wind. But these last bonk miles are where you get your endurance training.
The best way to train for a century is to do 100 mile rides...Bruno S
Jan 7, 2003 12:02 PM
Ha, ha, ha. Seriouly, the most important thing I've learned after doing many long rides (90-120 miles) is that as long as you drink enough, eat enough and replace salt you can keep going. For me it works this way: I can do 50 hard miles with two large gatorade bottles and no food. During a century if I wait to start eating until mile 50 its already too late. I need to start eating at mile 25-30 to make sure that I will have energy past 50 miles. If you wait until hungry to start eating you may bonk.
re: Here is complete the century training program. Critique to your hearts content...JS Haiku Shop
Jan 7, 2003 12:21 PM
* rest lots
* ride lots (often, too!)
* rest more
* ride more

while riding lots:

* eat lots
* drink lots
* pace yourself
* don't stop too much
* don't stop for too long

longest ride i did before my first century was 62 miles, the week before. longest before my first double metric was 100. longest before 200 was 125, the year before. for a century, if you have the fitness for a "strong" 50, the rest is in your head. just don't forget to eat and drink.

what works for me on eating and drinking is ~32 ounces of diluted gatorade every ~25 miles, plus a clif bar eaten in 15 minute chunks over 60-80 minutes. also, a few double-caf powergels tucked away for those moments when i'd like to call a cab. these are for the duration of the ride, starting at the beginning (where else!?!).

remember, if you can do 50 and feel ok at the end, you can do 100 and feel ok at the end, 'cept your arse might be sore. saddle time over distance and speedwork is highly underrated. i'm thinking about replacing my office chair base with a brooks b17 narrow.

oh, and the one thing that will ensure a miserable century is any form of musical children's TV show score stuck in your head for 6+ hours. especially the "wiggles" or "play with me sesame".

Looks like a great plan!bsdc
Jan 7, 2003 12:34 PM
Just having a plan is a great plan. I had hardly cracked the 50 mile mark before I did my first century. I think century riding is about food, water and time on your butt, feet and hands. The best part about being in shape for a century is that you can ride quicker and have less time on the bike. I did a century with a friend, who was in good shape, but she was afraid of the distance. I'd have trouble keeping up with her sometimes, but on this ride she went sooooo slow. It seemed to take forever. My butt, hands and feet were killing me from just being on the bike so long.

No critique of your plan. Have fun!
Can you provide the secret decoder ring?Continental
Jan 7, 2003 1:13 PM
It looks interesting but I'd don't know what all these E3's and AA's and such mean. I do understand "day-off."
The best plan I know for century rides...Uncle Tim
Jan 7, 2003 1:18 PM
Just get on your bike and go 100 miles. You have the miles in your legs. Like the commercial says, just do it.

When it comes to long distance events, the mind is more important that your legs. That plan tells you that you will be ready in x months and y days. To hell with that. When you tell yourself that you are ready to ride, the body will follow.

Ride steady. Eat and drink. Smell the roses. Have fun!
does that plan also works for levitation? nmBruno S
Jan 7, 2003 1:28 PM
It makes perfect sense and here are some other pointers as wellBigLeadOutGuy
Jan 7, 2003 1:45 PM
Hi Kristin =)
The program looks good. I am not that familiar with Gail or her training plans but the connotations look very similar to Joe Friels programs. I haven't been on a training plan from Friel for awhile so I can't recall what all the abreviations mean but I am sure you do and they are specified in the program. I read some of the replies you had gotten and some are good and some are pretty poor, I will say this though...Most training plans are 90% effective and will increase your fitness if you follow them, the problem comes when you change your routine every week or every month. You should stick with a program untill you feel you arent getting anything out of it or if it is just too difficult or too easy as well. Then modify the program to suit yoru schedule and your goals. Another good piece of information is to develop all aspects of fitness, from AT intervals all the way to AA for weight training. This program seems to cover all the bases...follow it as best you can and take it one step at a time and I am sure you will achieve your goals.
Ride Safe =)
It makes perfect senseJon Billheimer
Jan 7, 2003 3:11 PM

I've used Friel's century and race training programs. This one is very doable for anyone and will work just fine. Consistency and adherence are the keys. To get the definitions of the workouts just refer to Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible. Another shorter reference is his Cycling Past Fifty. Good luck.
Looks goodirregardless
Jan 7, 2003 3:12 PM
The hardest and most important day is Sunday, the long slow distance. If you can do six hours in training, you'll finish the century, but probably not very fast, and you'll probably be very tired. And you'll learn how important nutrition is, particularly in those later hours. You'll need some speed work on one of the other days to make sure you can keep up speed, and maybe some hill work if the route is the least bit hilly. If you really want a good time, add a few more weeks to the workout, work up to six hours at a slow speed and then each week gradually increase your speed (or your heart rate) for those six or so hours (maybe by 5 bmp or so a week). You'll be in much better shape.
Thanks. Her detailed descriptions go into all of that too.Kristin
Jan 7, 2003 3:30 PM
The book has painfully detailed descriptions of each aspect of the workout. All the zones have definitions, then, each workout specifies what terrain I should ride and in what manner. Then she just mixes them together in various degrees, intervals and times on the schedule. I figure it will take me 20 minutes before the ride to review that day's workout so I understand what I need to do. I'll post a follow-up at the end of the 12 weeks and contrast how I feel then, as opposed to how I felt after my first 12 weeks last summer and if I feel the program got me farther along.
Thanks. Her detailed descriptions go into all of that too.irregardless
Jan 7, 2003 3:43 PM
You will feel better. There is kind of a metamorphisis that happens as you start to make your weekly long slow distance rides longer. Instead of getting more and more tired the day and day after the ride (and you will be exhausted, which is why I usually schedule an off day after the lsd ride day), you start to get stronger. For me this happens at about the 3 hour mark. After that, I just sit back and marvel at how my body adapts and gains endurance from the increasingly long rides. Then after you build your base and start increasing intensity, how far you can go becomes more a fucntion of your on-bike nutrition as opposed to fitness. Be sure to find out beforehand what kinds of foods work for you, because the higher the intensity or duration, the more sensitive your stomach will be. Watering down the sport drinks helps, as does finding the a gel that doesn't make you nauseas. Good luck.
Jan 7, 2003 3:16 PM
you're probably gonna want a rest day after the long slow distance day (Sunday). I'd switch it.
Well, Monday is just weights/strengthKristin
Jan 7, 2003 3:38 PM
The weight sets will probably elevate my HR a bit on the EM and possibly PM days (faster reps), but notice that she backs down the sessions on Mondays which follow 5+ hour rides. Then the week before the century, I only put in 3.5 hours on the bike total. I'll keep that in mind what you said and will and will monitor my HR on Mondays to see if I need to make a change.

Bonsoir Kristin, here's some additional infocoonass
Jan 7, 2003 4:35 PM