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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Training for a century

    I found a century that I want to use as my goal for the season. It's supported with food stops, but has quite a bit of climbing. While I can't find the exact amount listed on the website, just looking at the map it's in excess of 6000 feet. And the lowest spot on the map is 5000 feet. It has two major climbs and a bunch of little ones.

    In general, how would you guys go about training for this ride between now and September?

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    Ride up alot of hills! What's the name of the Century?

    Tabriz

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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabriz View Post
    Ride up alot of hills! What's the name of the Century?

    Tabriz
    http://www.ediblepedal100.org/previo...y-ride/routes/

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    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Great name for a century! Assuming the route remains similar, I'd say you should train with some 50 mile rides that have a climb like that at the end (looks like about 3k feet over 10 miles or so) because doing that climb when you're fresh is one thing, doing it after 50 miles... different. Except for that second climb at about 70 miles, which is much shorter, it looks like it's mostly downhill after that so the usual advice for riding a century applies.

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    That looks like a tough climb! Do you live in the area? Can you practice on it?

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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Too bad the map isn't interactive, like Mapmyride or RWGPS. I would do it for the scenery alone. That is some of the most beautiful country in the lower 48.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Might be one I could do next year! Hubby would probably be interested in going to the area and gamble while I ride.
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Yes I live 10 miles north of the start

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    I love that area! Actually further to the south (Mammoth area) is where I spent a lot of time.

    Since you live close, the elevation should not be an issue, but you could do some rides around Lake Tahoe if you think that might be an issue.

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    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    I have seen advice many times that you do not need a practice ride of 100 miles to get ready for a century. I no longer agree with that. I believe you should find a full day you can devote to riding and a route that has ample stores to act as your rest stops so that you can practice 100 miles. You will enjoy the event more if you know what to expect and are ready for it. Maybe you do not need to climb quite as much on the practice century, but it should be similar. When it starts to get painful around 80 miles just remember to keep pedaling.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

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    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    Looks like kind of a cool profile...you get to take it easy for a while, totally destroy your legs right in the middle, then coast the rest of the way! I'm not a particularly strong cyclist, but I've been trying to focus on hills as one of my strengths (as opposed to sustained speed or super endurance) and I'm doing a similarly difficult century in Sept. (Civil War Century). I've been trying to "train" by taking the hilly way home, using higher gears for climbs, practicing climbing out the saddle, etc...it seems to be working, since this past weekend I did about 6k of climbing in a 57 mile ride (3700 feet of that was in the last 11 miles). At the same time, I'm trying to keep up on my distance riding, so I'm more concerned about doing longer rides that incorporate climbs, rather than doing hill repeats. Maybe that's not a good training plan, but it's one I enjoy.
    Cars man, whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
    Maybe that's not a good training plan, but it's one I enjoy.
    It is a great plan if you keep doing it and you are having fun!

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    How to train for that depends a whole lot on yuor strengths and weaknesses.

    I'm big. And this being in the clydes area I assume you are too. But distance was never a problem for me. I've done more organized doubles than organized centruries. The First Double I ever did was the Grand Tour Highland, the lowland seemed a bit wimpy. BUT there were times on that ride I wished I had opted for the lowland triple.

    If it were me and I was training specifically and lived close I'd be inclined to do the major climb as training. If I got to the point wher I could do that climb after about 5 miles to warmup and then continue on to the next smaller climb and turn arround and go back ot where I started I'd be confident for the century. If I did that working on the flat between the climbs both ways I'd be too confident.

    But that is me and climbing feet are a far bigger problem for me that mere miles.

    Calculating the grade it came out to 6%, that is an interesting grade, not killer, but enough to wear on a recreational rider. If you can find a climb just a bit steeper at 7-8% even if shorter it could be excellent training.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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    I'm prepping for something similar because I'm doing the mountain mama inHomestead Virginia in August. It is 100 miles with 10k ft of climbing. I've been tackling my prep in mini steps because I have to train not only for the miles but also for the climbing. I decided to tackle the miles first so I started with a series of metrics followed by a century to get used to doing extended periods of time in the saddle. I also used those rides to tune in my nutrition plan. remember it's not only about what you are going to eat/drink but how are you going to carry for the inevitable refills. I use perpetuem and use a plastic tube from a protein shot that I buy at Walmart. Each tube will carry enough mix for 1 bottle so I start with 2 bottles and carry 1-4 extra tubes depending on ride length. Once I had that dialed I went and did a metric in the mountains with 6k of climbing. In the next month I have 2 big rides, one is a century with 6k ft and 2 weeks after that a metric with 8k ft. If I survive the metric with 8k at the end of this month I'll probably replicate something similar once or twice during July with a few trips ot the mountains and I'll mix in a few flat metrics/centuries for easier saddle time and that should be enough.

    So to answer your question I tackled it usng a two pronged approach, one was to work on the distance the other the climbing. I've so far been making the climbing rides shorter in distance because they work out to the same amount of saddle time as the flatter centuries. I'll slowly increase the saddle time per ride over the next two months as my build up.

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    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post


    In the next month I have 2 big rides, one is a century with 6k ft and 2 weeks after that a metric with 8k ft. If I survive the metric with 8k at the end of this month I'll probably replicate something similar once or twice during July with a few trips ot the mountains and I'll mix in a few flat metrics/centuries for easier saddle time and that should be enough.
    Pick me, pick me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    Pick me, pick me!

  17. #17
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    I'm prepping for something similar because I'm doing the mountain mama inHomestead Virginia in August. It is 100 miles with 10k ft of climbing. I've been tackling my prep in mini steps because I have to train not only for the miles but also for the climbing. I decided to tackle the miles first so I started with a series of metrics followed by a century to get used to doing extended periods of time in the saddle. I also used those rides to tune in my nutrition plan. remember it's not only about what you are going to eat/drink but how are you going to carry for the inevitable refills. I use perpetuem and use a plastic tube from a protein shot that I buy at Walmart. Each tube will carry enough mix for 1 bottle so I start with 2 bottles and carry 1-4 extra tubes depending on ride length. Once I had that dialed I went and did a metric in the mountains with 6k of climbing. In the next month I have 2 big rides, one is a century with 6k ft and 2 weeks after that a metric with 8k ft. If I survive the metric with 8k at the end of this month I'll probably replicate something similar once or twice during July with a few trips ot the mountains and I'll mix in a few flat metrics/centuries for easier saddle time and that should be enough.

    So to answer your question I tackled it usng a two pronged approach, one was to work on the distance the other the climbing. I've so far been making the climbing rides shorter in distance because they work out to the same amount of saddle time as the flatter centuries. I'll slowly increase the saddle time per ride over the next two months as my build up.
    Ok, from reading this I assume you are starting from a much higher base. My longest ride is aboutm33 miles right now with about 1400 feet of climbing

    I am training 4 days a week now but may add a day. I have one weekend day for long rides and maybe 4 weekdays I can spend an hour to one and a half hours riding.

    I am running one to two days(this is where I could,get my other day ) and one day a week we save for hiking...usually in the 17-22 mile range over the course of the day.

    So with that schedule in a general sense how would you break it up...interval and hill repeats during the week and extending my long ride about 10% a week on the weekends? Trying to incrementally add in more and more climbing on the long rides to suppliment my hill training during the week?

    That sort of thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    Ok, from reading this I assume you are starting from a much higher base. My longest ride is aboutm33 miles right now with about 1400 feet of climbing

    I am training 4 days a week now but may add a day. I have one weekend day for long rides and maybe 4 weekdays I can spend an hour to one and a half hours riding.

    I am running one to two days(this is where I could,get my other day ) and one day a week we save for hiking...usually in the 17-22 mile range over the course of the day.

    So with that schedule in a general sense how would you break it up...interval and hill repeats during the week and extending my long ride about 10% a week on the weekends? Trying to incrementally add in more and more climbing on the long rides to suppliment my hill training during the week?

    That sort of thing?
    I did have a little bit more of a base because I picked this event out at the end of last year and focused in on it as my big goal for this year. So I trained through the winter with this event in mind, but I only really started training in earnest for the Mama in April. Thatís when we started our series of metrics. We did 3 metrics then an 80 miler in 4 consecutive weeks, then took a week off and followed it with the century in Va Beach. Up until the metrics I was riding a 40 mile loop(3 hours ride time) with about 3500 ft of climbing 3 times weekly so speaking in terms of mileage vs. time until event I wasnít that far ahead of where you are now.

    I would stick to what you have for the short days and use the long day to progressively bring your mileage (saddle time) up. Once you get comfortable with 4-5 hours of ride time I would start using that day to work on the long climbs. Thatís an approach similar to mine. I worked on saddle time, then shifted gears and started working on climbing. My long ride times are still around 5 hours but the days I work on climbing the mileage is reduced because of the slower speeds. You have the advantage of living near the course, so you could do as another poster suggested and use the long day to recon the longer climbs. Maybe break the course up into half and ride each half on 2 separate days when youíre ready.

    One thing to watch for is to make sure you are getting enough rest, especially if you are really hitting it hard during those 3-4 short days where you are doing intervals. Iíve actually cut back to only 2 days a week with each ride 2-2.5 hours and then the long 4-5 hour rides on the weekends because I felt as if I wasnít recovering enough before the long day. A few times Iíve only done one day or done a super easy second day if I feel Iím not fully recovered.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Flying Foot Doc's Avatar
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    Bicycling Magazine online had an article today on an 8 week training plan for a Century. Doing one before I'm 65 is on my life goals list. Andy

  20. #20
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    If I were you I'd peek around in the long distance forum and glean some info there. While a century isn't really long distance there is a ton of very useful info there. Start at the sticky on top "Tips for riding a Century."

    T
    he quality of your training is way more important that the quantity. The key is to train at a higher intensity than you'll ride the century. If you are training 4 days a week 1 1/2 hours with a 40-50 mile day on the weekend you should be golden as long as your weekday training rides are high enough intensity. As an example, if you're training at 16-17+mph you should be able to comfortably do a century at 14-15mph. Your week day rides should include alternating between interval, hill/mountain training and easy spinning days.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    Ok, from reading this I assume you are starting from a much higher base. My longest ride is aboutm33 miles right now with about 1400 feet of climbing

    I am training 4 days a week now but may add a day. I have one weekend day for long rides and maybe 4 weekdays I can spend an hour to one and a half hours riding.

    I am running one to two days(this is where I could,get my other day ) and one day a week we save for hiking...usually in the 17-22 mile range over the course of the day.

    So with that schedule in a general sense how would you break it up...interval and hill repeats during the week and extending my long ride about 10% a week on the weekends? Trying to incrementally add in more and more climbing on the long rides to suppliment my hill training during the week?

    That sort of thing?
    For some background or preparation you could look at the suggested training plan for the 2012 Ride the Rockies.
    http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...ning-Plan.html

  22. #22
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    If I were you I'd peek around in the long distance forum and glean some info there. While a century isn't really long distance there is a ton of very useful info there. Start at the sticky on top "Tips for riding a Century."

    T
    he quality of your training is way more important that the quantity. The key is to train at a higher intensity than you'll ride the century. If you are training 4 days a week 1 1/2 hours with a 40-50 mile day on the weekend you should be golden as long as your weekday training rides are high enough intensity. As an example, if you're training at 16-17+mph you should be able to comfortably do a century at 14-15mph. Your week day rides should include alternating between interval, hill/mountain training and easy spinning days.

    Thanks hb, I was hoping you would chime in. I am still struggling with that speed number. I did an hour justerday where I was supposed to stay constant in power zones 2-3. I averaged 177 watts for the hour and still fell below 16 by .2


    I wasn't wiped by any means at the end, I would say it represented a 5-6 out of 10 effort, but it concerns me about averaging 17 any time soon. I had some small climbing in the ride...think it was maybe 500 feet.

    Sounds like I have lots of work to do

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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve, I will check that out

  24. #24
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    Thanks hb, I was hoping you would chime in. I am still struggling with that speed number. I did an hour justerday where I was supposed to stay constant in power zones 2-3. I averaged 177 watts for the hour and still fell below 16 by .2


    I wasn't wiped by any means at the end, I would say it represented a 5-6 out of 10 effort, but it concerns me about averaging 17 any time soon. I had some small climbing in the ride...think it was maybe 500 feet.

    Sounds like I have lots of work to do
    Don't worry too much about your speed right now. It'll come. What's more important is to be monitoring it and pay attention to what your body is doing. Learn where you "red zone" is and where your comfort zone is. Riding distances is all about knowing your body and learning when you need to back off and when you can hammer it.

    I'll tell you about a friend of mine. He wanted to try a little experiment. He was going to do a 780 mile in 90hr event called Paris-Brest-Paris without getting on his bike at all for the year prior to the event except to ride the four qualifying events. He was able to do all the qualifiers and PBP. He was sore but he did it because he was in tune with his body and how it worked. He never pushed his body too far and was able to pace himself. The human body is an incredible endurance machine if you let it do what it can do! A hundred miles seems like a lot but if you continue training like you are and don't push yourself too hard on the century you're going to finish that hundred miles and think "wow, I could do another hundred!"
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  25. #25
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Don't worry too much about your speed right now. It'll come. What's more important is to be monitoring it and pay attention to what your body is doing. Learn where you "red zone" is and where your comfort zone is. Riding distances is all about knowing your body and learning when you need to back off and when you can hammer it.

    I'll tell you about a friend of mine. He wanted to try a little experiment. He was going to do a 780 mile in 90hr event called Paris-Brest-Paris without getting on his bike at all for the year prior to the event except to ride the four qualifying events. He was able to do all the qualifiers and PBP. He was sore but he did it because he was in tune with his body and how it worked. He never pushed his body too far and was able to pace himself. The human body is an incredible endurance machine if you let it do what it can do! A hundred miles seems like a lot but if you continue training like you are and don't push yourself too hard on the century you're going to finish that hundred miles and think "wow, I could do another hundred!"
    This is very good advice.
    Seeing it isn't a race, and it is simply about riding 100 miles. listen to your body !

    That and get some longer rides in, just for saddle time.

    Why every body goes a little crazy about a century has always been a bit strange to me.
    Is a 95 mile ride something not to worry about? Or How about a 200K?

    A century is just a long bike ride. I really believe people get to worked up about it.
    Get on your bike and pedal. Granted that riding 100 miles is something that will take some getting use to,
    but, it's just a big old #. Like doing 4 25 mile rides back to back.
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

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