Training & Nutrition - Training for first metric century... only 47 days left, yikes!
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09-19-11, 07:31 PM
I signed up to do a metric century charity ride on Nov 4th and I need help making a training program. I'm really pushing the limit here, because I *just* dusted my bike off for the season. Yikes. I've been spinning aggressively for 1 hour sessions a few times a week, but have logged minimal bike time. Double yikes.
What is the longest distance I should ride before the event? I've done a half marathon and the longest I did was 10 miles before, so does that mean the farthest I should train to would be 45-50 miles? Also, if you have any pre/during event nutrition tips I'd appreciate it!
Ha, I hope I make it!
Go out today and ride as far as you feel comfortable riding. If you've been doing 1-hour spinning sessions, you should feel comfortable for at least an hour on the bicycle outside, if not 2 hours. Let us know what distance is your comfortable outside distance right now.
Then, start building up your distance. Since you've been regularly active, 47 days should be ample time to build up to a metric.
And you know that a metric century is 100 km (62 miles), right?
Get off the spinner and start riding your bike - you need to get one some hills etc to get used to the change in terrain. If you can do 40 to 45 without too much trouble you'll be fine on the 62 ride. Most likely the ride organizer will provide snacks and drinks - but you may want to see what your stomach can handle during your practice runs (i.e. water or cytomax or Hammer etc and dried fruit or gels or cookies etc). Everyone is different, but we all need fluid, so be sure to carry fluids. I prefer gels and dried fruit - others can eat a meatball sandwich when they ride. Whatever works for you.
The rule of thumb is that if you can ride 70% of your target distance about 40-45 miles, you should be ok for a metric (63 miles) assuming the hill profile is similar. If you spin the way you ride, then spinning is a good proxy for cycling. You can cheat at spinning though by that I mean riding along with little tension on the fly wheel. You can not cheat in cycling because riding a mile is riding a mile and there is no way around it. Nothing is going to prepare you like actually logging the miles on the bike.
Any kind of aerobic exercise that uses your legs that you do during the week will help: running, jogging, walking, stairclimbers, spinning and so on. But try to get out every week end and ride for at least 20 miles and hopefully on both Sat and Sun. The more riding the better.
You want to always carry at least one water bottle on your bike and 2 is better. You need to drink often. Try to drink a bottle per hour. Now I can ride a metric without eating, but that does not work for most people. Most rides have SAG stops every 15-20 miles. Stop at the SAG stops and drink some water, eat a snack, relieve yourself and get going. Try to make the stops relatively short. If you sit too long, it is harder to get the muscles going again. I don't eat much of anything before most rides. For centuries, I will eat a banana and maybe half a small bagel before starting. Everyone is different. That is why it is good to get some rides in to get an idea of what you need to do. Also, it gives you an idea of what sort of foods work well for you. I know some people who can not stomach any solid food and get calories from GU or something similar. Me, I can eat darn near anything on a ride.
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