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  1. #1
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    Training For My (Our!) First Century

    Well, sometimes you get what you wish for....! I finally got my Wife interested in cycling, and she has excitedly decided that we need to ride a Century being held next Febuary in our area.....

    I feel it's a goal that can be reached but don't have a clue how to get started. Currently I am 47, 5' 8" and 245 pounds. The bike is a Centurion Lemans RS that's all tuned up and ready to go. (It was my bike oh so many years ago when I was fit and excited about cycling, I rode it endlessly...figure it's a decent starter bike for now). I have been puttering on a Marin Muirwoods 29er for a while, but my fitness level is very low due to sickness at the end of last year. I am making it to the gym a couple of times a week and working out lightly and swimming. I seem to be having cramping issues more than what I think I should. Compounding the issue for me is the age difference between me and my girl, she's 25 and fairly healthy. We need to work out schedules for both of us. I have the desire, but need direction....

    Can anyone recomend books/ websites/ software that can help us understand how to start getting into shape for this....and what other issues (equipment, diet, snacks, etc) that we may need to address? Currently we are riding around our town, and looking for shorter events to take part in. I hope we get to the L.A. River ride next weekend for the 35 mile event.
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Just get out and ride for an hour every evening for starters. And don't go 8 mph hobo style, put some oomph into it and see how far you can get in an hour. If you've got hills, work on them.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    I'm a Cyclist! Missbumble's Avatar
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    OK just my 2 cents - find a group that rides and join them or their rides... Look for No Drop rides and join them. In my opinion the group rides will motivate and push you to go with oomph as a fellow poster suggested. i Started last June and did my first Century (Age 45) in october. You can do it!!

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Just ride the bike.
    You will get stronger each week.
    Rest one day each week.
    Ride safe.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Here is an online guide that I have found. I have looked it over and the information looks solid, So here is the
    LINK

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    You live near Mills Creek Rd. That would be a great trainging road for Palmsprings. It's posted as a flat century but here is a good climb at the start heading up to 29 Palms. Gets pretty windy in that section too. Don't count on totally flat rides to get you through. Dillon Rd has plenty of roller too. Best to train on gentle climbs for this ride.

    Why would you pay to do the River ride 35 miler? Pretty ragged area from what I've heard. If you want to trail ride, try the SART.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
    Well, sometimes you get what you wish for....! I finally got my Wife interested in cycling, and she has excitedly decided that we need to ride a Century being held next Febuary in our area.....

    I have the desire, but need direction....

    Can anyone recomend books/ websites/ software that can help us understand how to start getting into shape for this....and what other issues (equipment, diet, snacks, etc) that we may need to address? Currently we are riding around our town, and looking for shorter events to take part in. I hope we get to the L.A. River ride next weekend for the 35 mile event.
    FWIW, I have posted this in the past:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I do a ten week training program for a Century that I saw published in BICYCLING MAGAZINE years ago, and retrieved from the Mt. Diablo Cycling Club website, though it has been removed the last time I looked. There are two variations, called Easy Century Training, or With Strength to Spare. I do the latter one, and it is about the most time I can spare to train. Fortunately I commute, so that's where I do it by lengthening my usual 14 mile distance. I find that the schedule motivates me to keep up, and it's very satisfying to plug the data into my Excell spreadsheet and watch the charts expand.

    I don't consider myself a strong rider, but I did my best century (actually 107.5 miles because I got lost ;-) in 6:58 at about 15.4 mph, with about 40 miles in a paceline and about 60 miles solo. My modification of the plan is to make Sunday my rest day, and Saturday is my century day. This won't print on the Forum as a nice table, but I think you can figure it out:

    WITH STRENGTH TO SPARE:
    Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Weekly
    Easy* Pace* Brisk* Pace* Pace* Pace* Mileage
    10 12 14 Off 12 40 15 103
    10 13 15 Off 13 44 17 112
    10 15 15 Off 15 48 18 123
    11 16 19 Off 16 53 20 135
    12 18 20 Off 18 59 22 149
    13 19 23 Off 19 64 24 162
    14 20 25 Off 20 71 27 177
    16 20 27 Off 20 75 27 177
    17 20 30 Off 20 75 32 194
    19 20 30 Off 10 5 Easy Century 184

    1,516

    EASY CENTURY TRAINING:
    Week Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Weekly
    Easy* Pace* Brisk* Pace* Pace* Pace* Mileage
    1 6 10 12 Off 10 30 9 77
    2 7 11 13 Off 11 34 10 86
    3 8 13 15 Off 13 38 11 98
    4 8 14 17 Off 14 42 13 108
    5 9 15 19 Off 15 47 14 119
    6 11 15 21 Off 15 53 16 131
    7 12 15 24 Off 15 59 18 143
    8 13 15 25 Off 15 65 20 153
    9 15 15 25 Off 15 65 20 155
    Cent Week 15 15 25 Off 10 5 Easy Century 170

    1,240
    I'm a year round commuter normally of about 70 miles per week in the off-season. Since I only ride in the early morning, I'm not inclined to add miles until it warms up consistently enough in May. This is week 4, preparing for a July Century.

  8. #8
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    someone posted but I'll post it again http://www.ultracycling.com/training/century.html

    I used it for my metric century and it was finished with ease... using the same training for a full century comming in Oct as well as our clubs "epic" 50 mile MTB race in November that I plan on ridding solo (big deal as the most i've ridden out on our trail is 18 miles in a day)
    mtbr clyd moderator

  9. #9
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    Try to find a group to ride with that you can keep up with. Riding in a group will make it much easier and much more enjoyable. You will use 30% more energy and go a lot faster with the group.

  10. #10
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
    ...I seem to be having cramping issues more than what I think I should...
    Stretching and increasing your fitness level can help, but nutrition is the key. I had cramping issues until I became aware of the need for potassium and sodium as distance increases. Gatorade will not give you enough. You can get supplements at most bike shops, like Endurolyte, Elete, Saltstick, etc. You should also choose helpful foods before/during rides, like almonds, potato chips, etc.

    I was able to pedal for 23 hours straight without cramps. With proper nutrition/hydration, you will fall asleep on the bike before cramping up. Try searching or asking the long distance forum for more info.

    Commuting is a great way to get in miles if it can work for you. An hour on the bike vs. 30 minutes in the car makes for a "free" half hour of training every day.

    The Centurion is more than enough bike to get you there, if it is in good condition. Equipment choices are not that critical to getting the distance, as long as the bike is road-worthy. Good luck, and enjoy the training and the ride.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  11. #11
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    Thanks to all so far for the ideas! I am going to set the first goal as to just getting on the bike everyday. We have looked into a club in Riverside that a friend rides with, and will hopefully take part in their rides and join them as a club.

    Thanks to Mr Beanz for the idea on riding SART, it's about 30 miles away and we hope to do it tomorrow, instead of waiting until next week and paying in L.A.

    I wish I could bike commute again, I actually did so for about 6 or 7 years long ago...but I can't load 12 sets of fencing gear, scoring equipment and lesson plans on a bicycle and ride 20 miles over to the studio...I am rather stuck with the F-250 for that...;<>! BUT...I hope to add rides to school for my own classes during the day (about 8 miles each way).

    I like the tips on nutrition...I know I am sadly lacking in eating correctly right now, so anything at all helps to know. The charts for training give an idea of what to do once the fitness level increases. We are both going to the gym, she works with a trainer and I swim to get in better shape (her trainer is our friend who is an avid cyclist already..).

    My old Centurion got riden tonight for the first time in perhaps 20 years, since I completly went through repairing it last week. It rides like a dream. We found the wife a early 90's Diamondback Expert TG road bike for a first road bike, and practiced in a large parking lot for her to start getting used to a road bike, compared to her Trek commuter/ cruiser type bike. She likes the road bike!

    O.K., time to get some sleep so we can hopefully drag ourselves out of bed in the morning and hit the SART ride!
    R Bean
    "The FAA says I should weigh 170 pounds..."

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