Training for a century ride

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by SteveTheS30Dude, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. SteveTheS30Dude

    SteveTheS30Dude New Member

    Mar 6, 2012
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    I would like to start training to do a 100 mile (century) ride. I am biking on an exercise bike right now. I live in NH and its early march, so yea, I won't be on my road bike for 4 weeks or so. But when in I do get on it, I would like to do 100 to 150 miles a week at a good speed and including a fair amount of hills. This is assuming the weather permits. I'm sure some weeks I won't be able to bike more that 30 or 40 miles due to weather. But assuming I can keep my goal of 100 to 150 miles a week of morderate to intense training, how long would you think before it would be before I could do a century ride? I could easily do 40 miles or so at a time last season so im sure I will get back to that point in no time this spring. Oh, and as far as my daily length of my rides goes: during the week I would like to do my 11 miles route that includes 2.5 to 3 miles of uphill riding. I will do more if I have time. During the week I will probably max out at 25 miles a day, but most days, I'll be doing my 11 mile route. On the weekends I would do anywhere from 25 to 45 miles of various difficulty. And obviously slowly i will bump up all of my routes so i can gain endurance. After a few weeks I will try to get 17 miles during the week a day and then get up to 60 miles on the weekend per ride. And so fourth. Thanks for the help!

  2. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

    Oct 11, 2010
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    If you can do 60-70 miles without feeling like you're dead at the end of the ride, you can do 100. It's really not that bad, it's mostly a mental hurdle.
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    If you can only do about 11 miles per day during the week, after a 5 minute warm up period make those miles count. Ride it hard - very hard. Allow yourself 10 minutes at the end of the ride to pedal easily and cool down. Use the rides during the week to focus on riding really hard.

    As has been said, if you can do ~70 miles in training then you'll be able to manage 100 in an organized ride that has support/food/drinks etc. What you do need to do is make sure that on your long training rides that everything is "good" - no aches, no pains or undue numbness. Feet shouldn't go numb or "burn", hands shouldn't go numb etc... At the very least try to minimise the numbness. If you need to spend a planned training session fixing these items rather than training then do so. Also work on getting used to eating and drinking on the bike. Just like anything else, it is something that feels wrong at first and typically you don't want to eat or drink enough when you first start out.

    But for me, the big thing is pacing. I'd say that most people start out too hard with dreams of the wind blowing through their hair at 20 or so mph for hours on end... only to end up at 52 miles blown out their skull and in a bad way - or if they've done a lot of training then they're feeling grippy by 70 miles and the last 25 are decidedly not fun. I'd go as far as saying that given a full day of summer daylight, a fairly high percentage of reasonably inshape people could ride 100 miles if they are shown how to pace their effect and eat/drink correctly. Bike fit doesn't have to be exact - in the correct ballpark is fine and you certainly don't need all the lastest and greatest gear.

    If you're limited to only one long weekend ride, try getting it on the saturday and if you can, get another ride of any length in on sunday. Obviously the longer the better but any ride at this stage is better than none.

    It's all a game of paying your dues - do you want to pay 'em now in the form of training and prep (figuring out what food works, bike position and figuring out a resolution to body aches and pains) or do you pay the piper during the ride. Personally, I prefer the latter and to have fun during a ride that I've been preparing for.
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

    Feb 12, 2011
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    What do you mean by "moderate or intense training?" What do you mean by "I would like to do 100 to 150 miles a week at a good speed?"

    Most of the supported centuries here seem to have an 8 hour time limit. So 14mph with lots of time to eat and drink and fix flats off the bike. There is no need to be any faster than that. Get your 40 mile timedown to 2-1/2 to 3 hours and you should have no trouble finishing.


    I expect about 7 days of poor weather this week. So I will spend my time on my trainer. I don't need to work hard. Just hard enough to be dripping in sweat when my time is up.
  5. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    I ride 20 to 30 miles per ride 3 to 4 times a week. I ride 2 century rides a year. IMO if you are in decent shape and you ride regulary you can complete a century. It is not a race.
    I agree with AOG here.