Century Training Program for 1st Timer

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dcojeda, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. dcojeda

    dcojeda New Member

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    I am looking for a structured century training program, preferably 10 weeks. I've participated in full distance triathlons before, but never a bike event of this distance. My goal is simply to finish and have fun.

    I'm the type that needs a daily plan on the calendar so that I don't flake. If you can recommend any such programs I'd really appreciate it.
     
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  2. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    Do a Google search for century training and you will find structured weekly training programs, most of which will have you doing one long ride per week. They will recomend increasing that long ride by about 10% per week unitl it grows to about 75 miles. Most plans will have you doing about 3-4 shorter rides each week around 15-35 miles each. Also search this forum for centuries and you will find some good tips and information. If you are already in good shape and have been riding regularly, 10 weeks will be plenty of time to prepare,
     
  3. soonerbiker

    soonerbiker New Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you; I'm riding in the Hotter than Hell Hundred in just about 10 weeks. I've found most of the info to be the same, and it's all pretty much the same as what OCRoadie mentioned. One long ride on the weekends (increase ride by 10% until you hit 75 miles), various shorter rides during the week (with at least one at high intensity), and take it easy on the days leading up to the ride. Here are the links that I've found (I've taken bits and pieces from each):

    http://www.adventurecorps.com/how/centtrain.html
    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052703.htm
    http://bicycling.about.com/od/training/l/aa042397.htm
    http://www.bikevb.com/goals/century/century_schedule.html
    http://www.maccfund.org/trek100/riders/train.pdf#search='century%20training,%208%20weeks'

    BTW, does anyone on the board have strong feelings (one way or another) about using aerobars for a century? Are they worth the $$$?
     
  4. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    If you plan on riding by yourself for the most part, then aero bars are worth considering. If you want to ride in pace lines or groups, they are not safe. I will not ride in front of or behind anyone with aero bars, unless I am familiar with and trust them. If your ride has a lot of climbing, they are just extra weight that are probably not worth it.
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    From what I've heard, huge pelotons are the norm for the Hotter than Hell. In that situation, you'll get plenty of wind break from the riders around you, and will also want to keep a 'heads up' at all times to avoid crashes. I wouldn't think aerobars would be of much use for that ride.
     
  6. dcojeda

    dcojeda New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. I'll review the sites you've suggested.
     
  7. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Ditto the other replies, with one caveat. Get your weekly long ride distance up to 60 miles as quickly as possible. With a day off the next day, you should be able to handle 60 miles almost immediately. If your century has any climbs at the end, they will be about 300% harder after 60-75 miles than they are on your daily rides. At the end of each of your weekly long rides, do about 5-10 miles of climbing. If you can't do a climb, then do 5-10 miles into the wind. These hard efforts at the end of your long rides will acclimate you (physically and mentally) for the hardest part of a century - the last 25 miles. Find a group that wants to go a similar pace and share the work. Good luck.
     
  8. soonerbiker

    soonerbiker New Member

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    You settle on a training schedule yet? How's it going so far? Keep us posted on your progress...
     
  9. dcojeda

    dcojeda New Member

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    I have a general idea but no specific schedule yet. My structured training won't start until early July, though I'm riding occasionally now.

    My plan hit a snag when I found that the Century -- the Lighthouse in San Luis Obispo -- is not accepting any more riders and I did not sign up in time. I'm hoping to find two people who signed up but need to cancel so my friend and I can purchase their registrations.

    If anyone knows anyone interested in selling their Lighthouse registrations to me, please let me know.

     
  10. G-Box

    G-Box New Member

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    Can't help you out with the SLO century, but there's always the Surf City Century on September 18... Santa Cruz to San Juan Bautista and back... that'll be me and my partner's first century as well...
     
  11. noonievut

    noonievut New Member

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    On Saturday I did 45...then on Saturday I did 52...I know this isn't a century but in terms of preparation for a century, how does say 100 in 2 days compare to 65 in one day (and a rest the following day)?

    I ask because I like to ride both Saturday and Sunday's because I have time, and although the 65 on one day is good prep, I would hate to miss Sunday. If I were to do 50-60 2 days straight, then rest and light riding for the next week before, is this enough prep for a century?
     
  12. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    It depends on your goals and how you want to feel for the last 25 miles. With what you mentioned, you would most likely be able to complete the 100 miles (it's hard to say for sure as there are easy and hard 100 mile rides). If you want to finish strong and feeling like you can't wait for the next century, I would suggest working up to close to 75 miles on your long ride. However if your century is the weekend after, it's too late to really help much and may wear you down. There's a signifcant difference between 60 and 100 miles, the most common mistakes are under nourishment and hydration. To avoid hitting the 75 mile bonk, start eating right away (like 15 minutes into the ride0 and continue to do so throughout the ride. Same thing goes for hydration, 1 bottle every 45-90 minutes depending on your body and weather conditions. Start off at a conservative pace, it's much more enjoyable to finish strong than be stopping every five minutes towards the end (I've ben in both positions), don't worry if it seems like everyones passing you at the start. If you pace yourself good and are in descent shape, you will be doing the passing later in the day. Good Luck:)
     
  13. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Personally, I think you'd be better off doing 65/35 or even 70/30 rather than 50/50 on the weekend. The reason is that you need to acclimate your body and your mind for the hard miles of the century. The first 50-75 miles of a century are not very difficult. The last 25-50 miles are where you are going to suffer. Second, it makes all the difference if the century you are training for has hills in the last half of the course. If so, you need to do training rides with some hills AFTER 50 miles, when it hurts like hell. When you do your long training rides, think of the first 50 miles as just a warmup for the key part of the ride, after 50 miles. This is where you will learn to manage your hydration, nutrition and pain. A 35 mile ride the next day at a recovery pace won't do any harm.
     
  14. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    Solid advice, if you want to keep the 100 miles over the weekend going.
     
  15. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    One more thing, which might be the most useful training ride you do over the coming weeks. Whatever distance you plan to do that day, go hard early. For example, if you plan to ride 60 miles, go hard the first 40. This will make the last 20 miles very much like the last 20 miles of a century. And, after you do this a time or two, I guarantee you that you won't make that pacing mistake in the century.
     
  16. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I don't have a magic wand to get you a spot in the Lighthouse Century, but I notice that the Amtrak Century (Sept. 10th) is going to be taking names for a wait list on July 1st. I haven't ridden the Amtrak Century, but other members of my club have ridden it and rave about it. The course is flat and along the CA coast from LA to SD. In SD, you get on a special train and get drunk on the way back to the start. They wrap your bike in blankets and truck them to the start. Maybe OCRoadie has ridden it, since it starts in his backyard.
     
  17. noonievut

    noonievut New Member

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    Thanks for the good advise and sorry to the original poster for hijacking the thread. I like the idea of 65-35...might try that this weekend (though I may be mountain biking on the Sunday...but I'll take it easy and just go for an hour).
     
  18. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    Yes, I did this last year and it's a very fun and fast century. I think I will have to skip it this year as I will be getting ready for Everest Challenge. Like you mentioned, the route is very flat, there are 2 climbs. The first one is Bake Pkwy in Irvine and that is more of a hill. The second climb is Torrey Pines down in San Diego, this ones a little tougher, about 3 miles at 6-7% (I think). At the top of Torrey Pines you are treated to a popsicle sag stop[​IMG]. The train ride back is a lot of fun. If they sell it out, you have a good chance of getting a ticket last minute. If you can't get in Lighthouse Century, you may be interested in Cool Breeze, I may do the double metric on that one.
     
  19. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You should have no problems doing the 65 if you've been doing 50 or so on a regular basis. For the most training value (physical and mental), try pushing your pace on the first 45. This will make the last 20 harder and thus more realistic of the last 20 of a century. That's the point.
     
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